Washington, D.C.

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

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Luis Arauz
Peace Corps

About Luis

Luis Arauz is a junior urban and regional planning major from Missouri City, Texas planning to graduate May 2018. While at Texas A&M, Luis has been involved in the Association of Student Planners. Luis has a strong interest in emergency management and plans to pursue a career in that field. During his time at Texas A&M University, he has worked for the 12th Man Foundation and Texas A&M University Special Events and Services. Apart from his academic life, Luis likes living an active lifestyle and enjoys playing sports and exercise. He is currently serving in the reserves in the United States Marine Corps. He is excited about working for the Peace Corps this fall and hopes to gain valuable experience that will positively contribute to his future endeavors.

Taylor Aycock
The Pinkston Group

About Taylor

Taylor Aycock is a third generation Aggie and proud member of Texas A&M Class of 2018 originally from Houston, Texas. Taylor is a business major with a minor in communication studies. While at Texas A&M, Taylor has been an active member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and TAMU’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). She also works in the TAMU College of Education, writing press releases and helping to maintain their online presence. Taylor has studied Spanish culture and business abroad in Spain, as well as traveling and immersing herself in the culture of various other European locales. Taylor spends much of her free time volunteering at Courtney Cares Therapeutic Equine Center, where she, aided by the incredible program’s therapeutic horses, work hands on with local special needs children and veterans to improve physical and/or cognitive disabilities they might be facing. She is overjoyed to have this opportunity to intern in Washington, D.C. and hopes to learn how public relations can affect policy in our nation’s capital. Taylor foresees that this internship will be an extremely valuable experience as she pursues her dream of influencing policy as a public relations consultant.
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Intern Photo

Michael Bish
U.S. Department of Energy

About Michael

Michael Bish, class of 2018, is an urban and regional planning major from Yorktown, Indiana. While at Texas A&M, he has participated in the Association of Student Planners and Texas A&M Veterans’ Association. Michael has a strong interest in the fields of international security and conflict, international development, emergency management, and energy security. These interests stem from two combat deployments to Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn) while serving in the U.S. Army. He was wounded in an IED explosion in Baghdad in 2009 and received the Purple Heart medal. Michael plans to study international relations in graduate school and then go on to conduct research on the intersection of international development and security in the urban environment. In his free time, he enjoys olympic weightlifting, traveling, and reading. 

Ishanee Chanda
National Conference of State Legislators

About Ishanee

Ishanee Chanda of Murphy, Texas graduated from Texas A&M in May 2017 with a degree in international studies, concentrating in politics and foreign diplomacy. While at A&M, Ishanee was a part of the Cornerstone Living Learning Community along with its corresponding association, as well as Explorations Undergraduate Research Journal. Ishanee has also been a part of nonprofit organizations such as Mic Check Poetry, which further allowed her to step outside communities familiar to her and discover the importance of fighting for those who have been silenced. She studied abroad at Oxford University for a summer, and traveled to Italy for the following fall semester where she further discovered her passion for refugee resettlement issues and the continuance of the US-EU relationship. Ishanee’s international experiences as well as her international background have inspired her to apply for a Fulbright research grant after graduation, which she intends to follow up with law school. Her interests in foreign policy and international law push Ishanee to work towards the fields of public policy and migration reform every day.
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Talia Chavez
American Public Human Services Association

About Talia

Talia Chavez, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in political science and minors in sociology and philosophy. During her time at A&M, Talia was involved in a variety of organizations, including the National Society for Collegiate Scholars where she served as secretary, and KANM Student Radio where she hosted and curated her own radio show. She has previously interned with the City Council of San Antonio, the Texas A&M Women's Resource Center, and the Underground Network. These experiences allowed Talia to delve into her interests in human rights, immigration, gender equality, and the impact of media on creating perceptions about social or economic issues. Talia is incredibly excited to intern in Washington, D.C. and hopes that this experience will introduce her to new areas of interest.

Philip Cho
Bread for the World

About Philip

Philip Cho is a second year Master’s student in philosophy. He grew up in South Korea and came to the United States when he was fourteen. Philip graduated from Texas A&M University summa cum laude with B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in classical studies. An ardent admirer of ancient civilizations, he studied classical Greek philosophy in college, writing his undergraduate research on the moral philosophy of Aristotle and Kant. Philip was also a proud member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets for two years. In 2014, he was nominated by the school for the Rhodes Scholarship and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Over the years, Philip has travelled extensively. He studied philosophy in the United Kingdom for one semester, during which he got to travel several important ancient cities, such as Athens and Rome. After graduating from college, he volunteered for three months in an impoverished traditional fishing village in Indonesia teaching English to local children. His experience both as a volunteer and a teaching assistant in the last two years helped redirecting his career path from academia to public service. Philip is now planning to attend law school and eventually pursue a public interest career in poverty law. 
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Intern Photo

Luke Dube
Informational Technology Alliance for the Public Sector

About Luke

Luke Dube is a third-generation Aggie from Aledo, Texas who graduated in May 2017. He was involved in the Corps of Cadets all four years as a member of Squadron Six. He was also involved in MSC OPAS—an organization devoted to bringing theatre and the arts to stages on campus. For the past seven summers, Luke worked at a summer camp in Granbury, Texas, Camp Crucis, in various positions, with the past summer serving as the Boys Head Counselor. Luke has a strong interest in the fields of environmental policy and civil liberties, and hopes to eventually end up working for a governmental agency or a think tank.

Jason Fitzgerald
Office of Senator Ted Cruz

About Jason

Jason Fitzgerald, born and raised in Plano, is a sophomore economics major Texas planning to graduate in May 2019. While at Texas A&M, Jason has been involved as both a member and an executive in the Texas A&M Economics Society, an academically based organization that focuses on promoting both social and professional economic information and networking for economics majors. Additionally, he has served as a member on the Student Leadership Advisory Council for Texas Representative Jeff Leach. During his school breaks, Jason has worked at Academy Sports & Outdoors as a customer service representative where he has learned valuable customer relation skills. Jason has a passion for the law and the constitution that, through his internship experience, he hopes to expand upon. Jason plans on attending law school after graduation with the eventual goal of becoming an attorney focusing on constitutional issues.
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Intern Photo

Marlee Krohn
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Marlee

Marlee Krohn is a proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2017. She is an international studies major, with minors in both business and economics. With a major focused in international commerce, she is highly passionate about global politics, business, communications, and logistics. Throughout her time at A&M, Marlee was involved in many organizations, such as the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and The Big Event. She also volunteered as a mentor for foreign exchange students. Marlee studied abroad in both Mexico and Spain, learning Spanish and travelling to many places. She had an internship in Mexico working as an event planner. During her senior year, Marlee served as the resource development intern at the United Way of the Brazos Valley, where she worked continuously to make an impact in this community that has benefited her own life in so many ways. This was a small-scale operation that allowed her to learn the details of a nonprofit that was working to grow an economy, educate the population, and better healthcare, while influencing policy to help it do so. With that experience, she now wants to move to a larger organization in an environment that will allow her to be an even greater influence. She is excited and humbled to have an internship with the U.S. Department of Commerce this fall.

Sarah Lamson
Washington Partners, LLC

About Sarah

Sarah Lamson is from Groves, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2017 with a degree in political science and a minor in history.  Along with working for the Academic Success Center on campus, she was a member of the College of Liberal Arts Student Council, where she has helped connect Liberal Arts students to the college.  As a student council member, she participated in several recruitment and service events throughout the years including Aggieland Saturday, the Liberal Arts College Experience (LACE), Big Event, and Adopt a Highway.  Her volunteer experience and her experience as a Political Science student fostered her interests in a government relations and public policy career.  She dedicated her time volunteering for Twin City Mission’s Community Closet and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  Through volunteering, she has gained an intense passion for advocacy and social change, especially concerning issues that surround poverty.  Additionally, after taking a Women in Government course with Dr. Taylor-Robinson, issues concerning women’s rights and representation are a special interest of hers.  This summer she participated in an internship for Project Transformation in Dallas, a non-profit that helps children from low-income communities improve their literacy, social-emotional, and spiritual development.  Furthermore, after time spent expanding her experiences in public policy and representing Texas A&M University in Washington D.C. during the fall 2017 semester, she hopes to continue working in D.C. for a non-profit or advocacy group that focuses on the issues that truly inspire her.
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Intern Photo

Jordan Linhart
The Wilderness Society

About Jordan

Jordan Linhart is a senior Environmental Studies major with a minor in Geography from San Antonio, Texas. Jordan will graduate from Texas A&M University in May of 2018 and plans to further her education with a Master’s degree relating to Park Planning and Sustainability. During her time at Texas A&M, Jordan has been involved in various organizations on campus including Fish Camp, Student Geosciences Council, and MSC Hospitality. She has held a Student Associate position at Texas A&M Transportation Institute for the past three years, and she credits her passion for Sustainable Policy to have sparked her interest in chasing a career in Sustainability. Jordan is excited and honored to have been given the opportunity to learn first-hand how policy is created and to continue exploring career options while interning in Washington D.C.

Elyse Mowle
American Psychological Association

About Elyse

Elyse Mowle is originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminology at the University of Miami. She was awarded a Graduate Merit Fellowship to pursue her graduate degree at Texas A&M. Elyse is a Ph.D. student studying clinical psychology with a focus in forensic issues.  While a graduate student, Elyse has authored five peer-reviewed publications and presented her research at four national conferences. In 2014 she was awarded the Texas A&M “Top Up” Award as a continuation of her fellowship funding. Additionally, since March 2017 Elyse has served as the State Advocacy Coordinator for Texas for the American Psychological Association’s graduate student division. In this position, Elyse has participated in state and federal legislative advocacy. She has met with lawmakers to discuss professional issues related to the practice of psychology, healthcare access and mental health parity, and federal funding for social science research. Elyse is passionate about increasing access to mental healthcare as well as the intersection between mental health concerns and the criminal justice system. Elyse hopes to influence mental health policy and the integration of mental health with criminal justice reform initiatives. After graduation, Elyse plans to integrate a career in policy with continued involvement in scientific research and teaching. Elyse is honored and excited to have the opportunity to observe the policymaking process firsthand and to continue exploring career options in mental health advocacy while interning in Washington D.C. She is excited to intern at the American Psychological Association this fall.
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Intern Photo

Katy Richards
U.S. Department of Justice

About Katy

Katy Jo Richards is a senior from Edinburg, Texas.  She graduated in May 2017 with a degree in international studies and Spanish.  At Texas A&M, she served as a class of 2017 representative in Class Councils and had the opportunity to work closely with some of Texas A&M’s most beloved traditions, including Elephant Walk, Ring Dance, and Maroon Out.  Katy had the privilege of studying abroad in Costa Rica for ten weeks during the summer of 2016, an experience that furthered her interest in international relations and international policy, specifically in relation to Latin America.  Katy Jo is excited to be interning with the U.S. Department of Justice in the fall of 2017 and hopes to further her understanding of international policy and relations before attending law school with a special interest in international law.

Michelle Sohne
U.S. Air Force Public Affairs

About Michelle

<p>Michelle Sohne graduated from Texas A&M in May 2017 with an international studies commerce degree and a minor in business administration. She was a first-generation college student from Dallas, Texas. Michelle was a proud member of the Corps of Cadets, The Fighting Texas Aggie Band, Parson's Mounted Cavalry, and B-Company. For the 2016-2017 academic year, she was the commanding officer for C.A.D.E.T., also known as The Cultural Awareness and Diversity Expansion Team. She has always had an interest in international affairs and development. She hopes to pursue a career that involves connecting and working with people from all over the world practicing ethical commerce and trade, improving national security, and protecting civil rights. Michelle is looking forward to her internship this fall with the U.S. Air Force Public Relations.</p>
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Intern Photo

Rachel Thompson
Office of Congressman Will Hurd

About Rachel

Rachel Thompson is a political science major with a minor in philosophy from Boerne, Texas. She is a third-generation Aggie and proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2017. During her time at Texas A&M, Rachel was involved both inside and outside the classroom. She served as a research assistant to the Department of Psychology, enjoyed a Ph.D. course on American Political Institutions with Dr. Paul Kellestedt and Dr. Joe Ura, and studied American Politics in Washington, D.C. with Dr. Ura. Rachel was an active member of the women’s service organization, Aggie Sweethearts, throughout college, a Fish Camp Counselor, Muster Host, and served on numerous student government election campaigns. The majority of Rachel’s involvement was through Traditions Council, a Student Government Association organization, where she acted as Membership Development Chair during her junior year and Vice Chair through her senior year. Rachel also worked directly with university faculty and staff through the Student Rules and Regulations Committee and the Athletic Council where she served as a student representative. Additionally, Rachel has been a student worker at The Association of Former Students, Texas A&M’s alumni organization, for two years – first to accounting and then in government relations assisting in the creation of the Texas A&M Advocacy Network. Through her experiences at Texas A&M, Rachel has developed a passion for policy and hopes to pursue her goal of obtaining a law degree and making a positive impact through public service.