Washington, D.C.


Meet the summer 2017 Washington, D.C. PPIP interns!
 


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Leticia Alilionwu
Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities

About Leticia

Leticia Alilionwu, originally from Houston, Texas, is currently a Graduate Student in the Department of Educational and Human Resource Development and is studying Higher Education Administration. As an undergraduate, she studied education at the University of Texas at Austin. Before attending graduate school, Leticia spent 5 years in the education sector as a teacher, instructional coach, and campus administrator in public and charter schools. As a graduate student at Texas A&M, she is currently a Diversity Fellow and works in the Department of Residence Life as a Graduate Hall Director. She is excited to embark on the journey of interning with the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and is also excited to fully embrace Washington D.C. culture.

Fernanda Benavides
Mexican Embassy

About Fernanda

Fernanda Benavides is from Rio Grande City, Texas and a member of the class of 2017. During her time at Texas A&M, she was a philosophy and women’s and gender studies double major and managed to graduate in only three years. She became involved with several organization on campus including Texas A&M Amnesty International, the Hispanic Presidents’ Council, New Student Conferences, and International Women’s Day. Amnesty International, the largest human rights organization in the world, increased her passion in human rights and led her to become more interested in public policy and how it shapes people, specifically minorities. Through the Hispanic Presidents’ Council, she served as an outlet for the Hispanic Community by helping host events for Hispanic Heritage Month, Fusion Fiesta, Dia De Los Muertos, and making connections with other Latinx organizations on campus. Her interest in diversity led her to become a New Student Conference presenter wherein she spoke about diversity and respect at Texas A&M. She was a board member for the 1<sup>st</sup> and 2<sup>nd</sup> ever International Women’s Day Conference at Texas A&M and engaged people in calls to action, difficult conversations, as well as an overall celebration for women. Through her involvement in these programs, Fernanda’s passion for human rights increased and she hopes to influence public policy. This summer, she is interning at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. and will start a graduate program at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia in fall 2017.
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Intern Photo

Emajae' Clements
U.S. Department of Justice

About Emajae'

Emajae’ Clements is a first-generation Aggie from Arlington, Texas, majoring in International Politics & Diplomacy with a double minor in business and sociology. She has had the opportunity to serve on campus in various leadership realms including her experience in the Student Government Association, serving as a representative in the SEC in the DC legislative program, Associate Staff for Southwestern Black Student Conference, and with her work serving on multiple university committees. These positions have allowed her to culminate leadership experience while simultaneously preparing her for a future in law and politics. Emajae’ has a passion for people, and giving a voice to those who feel as if they have none. She plans on perpetuating this passion into being a working in policy to implement positive change within the country. She is excited to intern this summer with the Department of Justice, in the Office of Public Affairs, where she hopes to do just that.

Kristina Dickinson
U.S. Department of Justice

About Kristina

Kristi Dickinson of Dripping Springs, Texas is a sophomore political science and international studies commerce double degree with a minor in climate change who plans to graduate in May of 2019. Kristi is a member of executive team in the ASPIRE learning community, and is a member of the Terry Foundation Student Organization and the Maroon and White Leadership Fellows. For Kristi, these organizations have helped nurture confidence, leadership skills, and communication skills. In the ASPIRE learning community, Kristi helps mentor freshmen as they acclimate to campus life, and serves as a resource for their development. The Maroon and White Leadership Fellows helps students reflect on their leadership style, and Kristi credits the organization with much of her personal growth in college. Kristi hopes to pursue either a law degree or a master of public service after graduation before choosing to work either for the government or an interest group to promote environmental protection legislation. Her passion for environmental protection stems from growing up on a horse ranch in a small town. Kristi is honored and excited to be one of the summer 2017 Washington, D.C. public policy interns.
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Clare Elizondo
American Public Human Services Association

About Clare

Clare Elizondo is a senior biomedical science major from San Antonio, Texas. She is interested in policy relating to underprivileged groups, children, and families. Clare interned at Bexar County Children’s Court in the summer of 2015, where she was exposed to the civil district court system and children’s law. Clare became interested in health policy last summer when she worked as a research intern at the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University. She completed and presented a research poster, “Investigating Low Medicaid Enrollment Rates Among Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries”, and hopes to publish her findings in the upcoming months. At Texas A&M, Clare is a Brown Foundation Scholar and is the founder and chair of the Brown Foundation Mentorship Program. This program pairs incoming freshman Brown Scholars with like-minded older Brown Scholars for support and academic guidance. Clare has also been involved with the Big Event as a staff assistant for two years and helped facilitate the International Big Event while studying abroad for the semester in Bonn, Germany. She hopes to attend law school and continue working on health policy and other policies to improve the lives of children, families, and underprivileged groups. Clare is honored to be a PPIP intern this summer and is looking forward to learning more about the policy process firsthand in Washington, D.C.

Gabrielle Ford
U.S. State Department

About Gabrielle

Gabrielle Ford is a junior Economics major with a minor in Chinese from Cedar Park, Texas. As the child of a Sooner and Longhorn, she’s the first Aggie in her family, and the first of her four siblings to go to college. During her time at A&M, she’s become interested in the impact of education, both K-12 and Higher Ed, on an individual and country’s economic well-being. Through an Econometrics class, she researched the correlation between tuition freezes and four-year graduation rates. In the Spring 2016 semester, she went to DC for a week with a group of students to lobby on behalf of A&M and the SEC. She’s passionate about helping others by improving access to quality education. Gabrielle, graduating in December 2017, has devoted in her time to being an officer for Mock Trial, an exec for Aggie Experience Council, a tour guide, and an intern at the Visitor Center.
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Intern Photo

Alex Goodman
National Defense University

About Alex

Alex Goodman is a junior political science major with minors in history and economics, and a 3rd generation Aggie. She was born into a military family, but has lived the past 8 years in San Antonio. Prior to that, Alex lived in Germany for 4 years, which developed her love of history and passion for international politics. At Texas A&M, Alex has been involved in many student organizations that have given her valuable experiences. She has been involved in Traditions Council, been a Student Conference on National Affairs research committee member, and served a two-year term on the Student Affairs Fees Advisory Board. In the fall of 2015, Alex became part of a team that sought to create an organization that could provide professional attire to Aggies at a low cost, which resulted in the TAMU Career Closet. This past year, she has served as the 2016-2017 Executive Director. Her time with the TAMU Career Closet has allowed her to develop her leadership skills and help create a service for her fellow Aggies. Academically, Alex has studied European Union and US relations abroad and is currently working on research regarding human rights and Olympic host city bid success. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school. She looks forward to interning at the College of Internal Security Affairs this summer.

McKenzie Horwitz
U.S. Department of Commerce

About McKenzie

McKenzie Horwitz is a proud member of the Texas A&M Class of 2017 from Carrollton, Texas. She is double majoring in economics & international studies with an emphasis in politics and diplomacy. At Texas A&M, she has served as an officer in The American Association of University Women at Texas A&M and in Global Brigades Human Rights. As an officer, she has had the opportunity to coordinate with both local and on-campus community members to organize philanthropic events and to organize the International Women's Day Conference held in the spring. While with Global Brigades Human Rights, she has served abroad as well, growing her interest in holistic development models. She is currently working as a research assistant in the Texas A&M Economics department addressing questions of trade and economic development and is a recognized Aggie Research Scholar for her work assisting in research on poverty and food insecurity in the Brazos Valley. Her work as a research assistant and volunteer has led her to pursue a career in international economic development and economic policy. She will continue to pursue this passion by attending graduate school after her time at Texas A&M University in hopes of growing her ability to address these issues as a developmental economist.
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Rachel Keathley
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Rachel

Rachel is a junior business honors and management major with minors in Spanish and economics from Austin, Texas. This summer, she will be interning at the International Trade Administration in the Department of Commerce for the US Foreign Commercial Service. She is passionate about international culture and trade, social justice, and education. Her love of travel has led her to study abroad and volunteer in six countries during college. Additionally, she has served extensively in the Student Government Association, previously as the Election Commissioner in the Executive Cabinet and currently as Operations Executive Vice President. She is also involved in the executive council of Philadelphia Sisters, the Marketing committee for the MSC Wiley Lecture Series and works for the Business Honors Department as the Events Coordinator. Each of these positions has allowed Rachel to do what she loves doing most, solving problems. After graduation, Rachel hopes to attend law school and work in public policy.

Joshua Lewis
TAMU System Federal Relations Office

About Joshua

Joshua C. Julian Lewis is a graduating Posse Scholar from Atlanta, Georgia. He has served the Texas A&M community through student leadership. As a former on-campus student senator, he introduced legislation that would alleviate campus life from issues affecting sexual assault, bystander intervention, and religious freedoms. As the former president of the Black Student Alliance Council, an organization that seeks to advocate for and enhance the Black Aggie community, Joshua served as an outspoken proponent fighting for true inclusion and diversity at the university. Through his engagement, he is most proud of the invaluable experiences he has gained, the impact he has made on the Aggie network, and the new attained appreciation for public policy. Joshua has plans to continue working in advocacy through public policy. Through the TAMU Public Policy Internship Program he will be interning with the TAMU System’s Federal Relations Office in Washington D.C. this summer.
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Intern Photo

Anna Martinez
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Anna

Anna Martinez is a senior international studies major with a concentration in commerce from Richmond, Texas. Anna was part of PPIP’s international program in Madrid, Spain during the fall of 2016. She interned at that time with the U.S. Commercial Service, and she is excited to be interning again with that department in Washington D.C.  While abroad she was able to learn more about the U.S. Commercial Service, their part in international trade and commerce, and wants to continue to learn more about their function within the United States. During her time at Texas A&M University she was part of the Corps of Cadets, MSC CAMAC, BUILD, and Aggie Pen Pals. Her passions include traveling, learning about diverse cultures, and interacting with people with different backgrounds, which has led to an interest in foreign policy. After her internship, Anna is interested in working for a governmental agency or for a company in the private sector that conducts business abroad. She is very excited to be going to D.C., explore the secret gems of the city, and work for the Commercial Service.

Kenneth McIntyre
TAMU System Federal Relations Office

About Kenneth

Kenneth J. McIntyre, III is a senior industrial & systems engineering student from Fort Worth, Texas. His academic and student involvement experiences have fostered in him a passion for seeing the world as an interdependent system, where families, groups, and nations all rely upon advocates to fight for their best interests. It is up to the advocates to ethically pursue the best outcomes for their constituent groups, while remaining open to collaboration and compromise for the good of the system. Kenneth hopes to attend law school to one day work on matters of consequence in healthcare, education, or the environment. While at Texas A&M, MSC FISH, The Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, and the Century Men’s Society have each played a role in developing his desire to serve others, and to do so for the benefit of our university, state, and nation. Kenneth interned for Texas A&M Engineering at the University System Office of State Relations in Austin, Texas this spring, and he is thrilled to continue this summer at the Office of Federal Relations in Washington, DC. He looks forward to the exposure to our nation’s capital and its people, organizations, and challenges.
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Thomas McKean
Global Cold Chain Alliance

About Thomas

Tom McKean of Andale, Kansas graduated in May 2017 after majoring in molecular and cell biology with a minor in horticulture. After interning with the Global Cold Chain Alliance, Tom will be pursuing a master’s degree in horticulture and crop science from Ohio State University where he will be researching controlled environment food crop production. When his education is complete, Tom hopes to help develop and implement sustainable food production systems all across the globe in order to combat food insecurity and inadequate nutrition. Tom’s interest in international development and outreach came from his involvement in MSC Freshman Leadership International which works to bring cultural understanding and international awareness to the Texas A&M campus. Additionally, through his experience in MSC FLI and a study abroad trip to the Rio Negro region of Brazil, Tom developed a desire to pursue a future combating food insecurity. The Global Cold Chain Alliance is a perfect fit for Tom as they work to prevent postharvest loss in developing countries across the globe, and he is extremely excited for the opportunities and experience that this positon will provide. In addition to MSC FLI, Tom has been involved as a Fish Camp counselor, as a member of the Century Men’s Society, and as an organic farming intern at the Howdy Farm.

Stephen Muela
Environmental Protection Agency

About Stephen

Stephen Muela, from Austin, Texas, is currently pursuing his master’s in water management in the Water Management and Hydrological Sciences program at Texas A&M University. He received his bachelor of science in geosciences with a minor in environmental studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He currently works at the Texas Water Resources Institute as a graduate research assistant. This entails working on a variety of watershed protection and water quality monitoring projects. His academic interests include water management, conservation and water quality. After graduation, he hopes to work in water planning addressing water scarcity issues. He looks forward to working with the EPA Water Office this summer.
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Lynsie Patschke
U.S. Department of Energy

About Lynsie

Lynsie Patschke is currently a senior environmental studies major with minors in geography and German at Texas A&M University. She is from Taylor, Texas, and plans to graduate in December 2017. Lynsie has taken an active role on campus over the years. With a focus on leadership and service, she has been involved in Omega Phi Alpha, a National Service Sorority, and Maroon & White Leadership Fellows, a leadership program through Student Activities. She was recently inducted into the Maroon & White Leadership Society after successfully completing the program. Lynsie is also currently the Associate Director for Aggie Replant and enjoys working with the Replant team to organize the annual tree-planting event in the community. Additionally, she has studied abroad in Europe and enjoys learning about new cultures and meeting new people. Last summer, she interned with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through the Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program where she had the opportunity to learn about the Texas Watermaster Program and see how regulations are implemented in the program from the policies that were passed by the Texas State Legislature. Her main interests include renewable energy and energy efficiency policy with regards to climate change. She hopes to gain a better understanding of energy policy on the national level at the Department of Energy this summer. After graduation, Lynsie plans to explore an environmental policy career path with plans to return to school for a graduate degree program relating to environmental or energy policy.

Maria Pimienta
National Conference of State Legislators

About Maria

Maria Pimienta is a junior political science major with minors in business and philosophy from Houston, Texas. She will graduate in May 2018 and plans to attend law school after graduation. During her undergraduate years, Maria has been involved in organizations that have furthered her understanding about the government and about the nonprofit sector. For example, Maria is involved with Aggie Agora at Texas A&M where she attends events which facilitate public discourse and civil engagement and discuss topics such as campus race relations. Maria has also been an intern for the College Station Municipal Court under Judge Edward Spillane III, where she observed court proceedings, arraignments, jury and bench trials and also assisted in legal research. Furthermore, Maria has been exposed to the nonprofit sector with her job as a nonprofit fundraising professional at the Association of Former Students. This summer, Maria hopes to learn more about the national issues of immigration and hunger during her time interning at the National Conference of State Legislators.
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Kiaya Skinner
Peace Corps

About Kiaya

Kiaya Skinner is a junior international studies major at Texas A&M, from Austin Texas. She is currently studying within the Communications and public relations track and is minoring in Arabic. Kiaya is passionate about the Middle East and has spent a substantial amount of time there when not at school.  Through the Critical Language Scholarship Program, Kiaya lived and studied in Ibri Oman for the summer of 2015, advancing her Arabic language skills. The following summer, Kiaya traveled back to the Middle East and lived in Jordan, completing an independent research project on the divide between East and West Amman.  This upcoming summer Kiaya will be completing an internship with the Peace Corps in the Office of Gifts and Grants management through Texas A&Ms Public Policy Internship Program. In her spare time, Kiaya acts as a student worker to the Department of International studies and spent the last year serving as Vice President for a womens leadership and service organization on campus called Texas A&M Legacies.  She is passionate about womens empowerment and middle eastern studies. After graduation, Kiaya wishes to attend grad school for communications and public relations in addition to working for the Federal Government, hopefully within the State Department. She stresses that the willingness of the professors, and the opportunities Texas A&M University has given her, have helped to foster her education and desire to learn in a way she never thought possible. She believes that in order to work towards a better future, and in order to learn more about ourselves, we must try to connect with those who may seem different than us.

Hannah Walsh
U.S. Department of Energy

About Hannah

Hannah Walsh is a junior business honors major with a minor in psychology from Allen, Texas. At Texas A&M, she has been involved at Mays Business School as a member of Business Student Council, where she serves on the executive team, and as a peer leader for two years through the Freshman Business Initiative. She has also been involved in Kappa Alpha Theta where she currently serves as Scholarship Director. Hannah has worked as a student intern at Voices for Children in Bryan since October 2016. Through her undergraduate business degree, Hannah has developed a strong interest in civil rights and employment discrimination issues, and hopes to attend law school after graduation in order to pursue a career in employment law. She is excited to develop a deeper understanding of labor policy this summer in Washington, D.C.
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Intern Photo

Blake Welborn
Environmental Protection Agency

About Blake

Blake Welborn is a second generation Aggie from Austin, Texas, and is set to graduate in May 2018 with a major in environmental studies and a double minor in business administration and geography. Blake is an active member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, where he has served on the risk management committee, the Texas A&M Geography Society, and Aggie Research Scholars, an undergraduate research program. When not in class, you can usually find him around the O&M tower, reading a book, or on a basketball court in Eastgate. After graduation, Blake would like to work for Teach For America or the Peace Corps for a couple years, giving back and gaining valuable, varied experience before heading back to school for a masters in water management or possibly a law degree. Blake is passionate about the intersection of environmental science and policy, and is excited for the exposure to politics he will gain through his internship this summer. He is hoping that his summer in D.C. will be a formative experience as well, possibly narrowing down his broad interest in water security and affordability.

Olivia Wolford
U.S. Department of Energy

About Olivia

Olivia Wolford is an incoming senior environmental studies major from Coppell, Texas, with two minors in climate change & sustainable architecture/planning. She has served as an officer for A&M's on-campus, student-run farm, Howdy Farm, since her freshman year. In spring 2016, she completed an internship with A&M's Office of Sustainability and helped spread awareness of sustainable issue to the campus community. She is currently involved in two research projects within the Department of Geography, studying corporate climate change governance and alpine treeline change in Washington and Alaska. She also works in an entomology lab on-campus. Olivia will be interning with the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy office of the U.S Department of Energy this summer. Her passion for the topic of climate change has led to a strong interest in renewable energy, and she hopes to learn more about the field while immersing herself in everything D.C has to offer.
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