Washington, D.C.

Meet the spring 2018 Washington, D.C. PPIP interns!

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Brooke Berner
SCL Group

About Brooke

Brooke Berner is a senior anthropology major from Humble, Texas planning to graduate in December 2018. While at Texas A&M University, Brooke has been actively improving greater Bryan and College Station area through volunteer work in the non-profit organizations, H.E.A.T. and Aggie Eco-Rep. Additionally, Brooke has created a proposal to reduce nutrient deficiencies in the Bryan school district and it will be implemented in the fall semester of 2018. Due to her interest in health, she hopes to pursue a master degree in health behavior and conduct research to better understand how to improve health care policy implementation. She is excited to be interning for the SCL Group and learn about utilizing social science in a private sector company. This internship will give her valuable experience analyzing human behavior and will act as a stepping-stone towards her goal to research health care policy in order to make it more efficient for her fellow Americans.

Michael Buse
Texas A&M System Federal Relations Office

About Michael

Originally from Springfield, Ohio, Michael Buse is a political science major with a minor in business administration. While at Texas A&M University, Michael worked as tour guide for the Department of Residence Life and served as an assistant speech and debate coach at A&M Consolidated High School. A 2016 recipient of the Buck Weirus Spirit Award, Michael has spent his time at Texas A&M serving in numerous leadership roles including: The Residential Housing Association, Southwestern Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (SWACURH) Regional Board of Directors, and the Texas A&M Speech and Debate Team. In these various roles, Michael has represented Texas A&M at the highest level, winning numerous state titles with the speech and debate team and being honored with the SWACURH Distinguished Service award. Michael will be interning with the Texas A&M System Federal Relations Office in Washington, DC. Following this internship, he hopes to attend law school and eventually work in higher education policy or constitutional law.
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Abhisha Christopher
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Abhisha

Abhisha Christopher graduated in December 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a certificate in international business. During her time in Texas A&M University, she served as the Overseas Loan Executive, the Development Executive, and the Vice-Chair in the MSC L.T. Jordan Institute for International Awareness. Her experience in the institute fueled her passion for the minutia of global culture, including the different foods, clothing, and ideologies. Abhisha’s love for culture impassioned her to intern for a consulting group for six weeks in Singapore during the summer. Her fantastic experiences working in Singapore furthered her interest in international policy and international relations. Abhisha Christopher is incredibly excited to be interning with the Department of Commerce and hopes to gain some experience with international trade policy before getting her master’s degree in international policy.

Sarah Colley
U.S. Department of Justice

About Sarah

Sarah Colley is a junior majoring in history and political science from Salado, TX. She dedicates her time to the Texas A&M Moot Court team, and is currently the Vice President for the organization. Through rigorous involvement and dedication Sarah analyzes constitutional law and actively participates in oral advocacy and litigation. Representing A&M, Sarah ranked among the top 10 speakers for TUMCA in the 2016 season, and placed second overall with her case partner at Texas Tech Law School Regional Competition in November 2017. She and her case partner will represent Texas A&M at the National Competition in January 2018. Sarah is excited to be interning with the Department of Justice in the Office of Legislative Affairs in the spring of 2018. She hopes to observe and learn about the various facets of law and examine the critical relationship between the Department of Justice and Congress in legislative initiatives and strategies. Sarah hopes to use the skills acquired in her internship to achieve her dream of attending law school and becoming an attorney.
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Laura Cureton
Office of Congressman Bill Flores

About Laura

Laura Cureton of Houston, Texas, graduated from Texas A&M in December 2017 with a degree in international studies, concentrating on politics and diplomacy. At Texas A&M, she was involved in a number of organizations, including Sigma Phi Lambda where she served as a New Member Educator for two years, and Breakaway ministries where she was a volunteer on the Reach team, forging relationships with international students. She was also a member of International Justice Mission, where she assisted in planning different awareness campaigns and on-campus events. Laura also worked as a senior counselor for Pine Cove Camp in the City, an organization that hosts day camps at hundreds of churches across the southeast U.S. Additionally, she interned at Davis & Davis Law, where she was able to support various lawyers in their service to the Bryan-College Station community. Laura also had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Bilbao, Spain in the spring of 2017 and considers it to be one of the greatest experiences of her personal and academic life. Laura is passionate about building a bridge between public policy and the American people and is honored and excited to work with Congressmen Flores.  She is confident that her time in his office will prepare her for a lifetime of public service and hopes to continue working in D.C. following her internship experience.

Katherine Curtis
House Committee on Homeland Security

About Katherine

Katherine Curtis of Austin, Texas graduated from Texas A&M University in December 2017, with degrees in international studies, Russian, and French. During her time at A&M, Katherine was involved in Maggies, a women’s leadership organization, that served to cultivate her leadership skills and encourage her to be catalyst for positive change in the world. She spent a summer studying abroad in Moscow, Russia at the Higher School of Economics and gained a profound cultural perspective and understanding that will hopefully prove useful in her future. Katherine is also an ardent traveller in her free time. These factors have pushed her to pursue a career in law, and Katherine is now planning to attend law school in the fall of 2018. She hopes to combine her interests in foreign language, history, and the ethics of national security policy in order to effectively work in the field of international public interest law. Katherine is excited to intern with the House Committee on Homeland Security and gain valuable experience and insight into the national security policymaking process.
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Intern Photo

Tranae Felicien
Office of Congressman Will Hurd

About Tranae

Tranae Felicien is a political science major with a minor in sociology originally from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, but raised in North Texas. During her time at Texas A&M, Tranae was involved both inside and outside the classroom. She served as a research assistant in the Department of Political Science, enjoyed a Ph.D. course on Security and Conflict with Dr. Koch, and studied global politics in London for a semester. Throughout college, Tranae was an active member of the service organization, Career Closet, a Cornerstone Honors Program mentor, an international student mentor, and a volunteer teacher of refugee children at the Vickory Meadow Summer Reading Academy. The majority of Tranae’s involvement was through the MSC Wiley Lecture Series, where she acted as Main Program Director. Additionally, Tranae has been a student worker at the Texas A&M Foundation in the Donor Relations Department. Through her experiences at Texas A&M, Tranae has developed a passion for American foreign policy as a pacifier of conflict and an aid to disadvantaged communities. She hopes to pursue her goal of obtaining a Master’s Degree in International Affairs. Tranae is enthused and humbled to have the opportunity to see the public policy process first-hand in Congressman Will Hurd’s office.

Kayla French
Embassy of Mexico

About Kayla

Kayla French is a proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2019. She is a philosophy major with a Spanish minor. A devoted Christian, she is passionate about sharing the Gospel with people all over the world. During her time at Texas A&M, she has been involved in different organizations: Reformed University Fellowship, Impact, and ARTISTS, all on-campus organizations that revolve around her faith. She is also a member of Sigma Phi Lambda, the on-campus Christian sisterhood, where she serves as the worship leader. Kayla was involved in a multiply group and a life-group at her church, New Life, throughout her sophomore and junior year. Her post-graduation plans include attending graduate school to earn her Ph.D. in philosophy and then attending law school to attain her J.D. to become a prosecuting attorney in human trafficking cases. She has been passionate about fighting human trafficking and sex slavery since she was a young girl, which is what drives her interest in policy. She is ecstatic about her internship with the Embassy of Mexico for the spring semester, which complies with her minor and her passion to work with victims of human trafficking in Latin America.
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Intern Photo

Preston Howey
Office of Congressman Will Hurd

About Preston

Preston Howey is a political science major from Midland, Texas. He is a first-generation Aggie and proud member of the Texas A&M Class of 2018. While at Texas A&M, he has had the opportunity to be involved inside and outside of the classroom. He has worked as a Development Relations Intern in the College of Liberal Arts helping secure financial donations to the college. Preston has also had the opportunity to take part in organizations such as Kappa Alpha Order, The Student Government Association, The Big Event and The Interfraternity Council. Just recently, Preston had the opportunity to travel through Central Europe with Dr. John Robertson on the Danube Summer Institute to study European politics which greatly affected his view on America's role in the world. Throughout his time at Texas A&M, Preston has developed a passion for public policy issues and is excited to get a first-hand look how federal policy is constructed this Spring in Washington, D.C. He plans to eventually obtain a law degree and continue his commitment to making a positive impact through public service.

Megan Lafleur
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

About Megan

Megan Lafleur of Martin’s Mill, Texas graduated from Texas A&M University in December 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in public health. A product of a small, rural community with poor healthcare, she took an interest in studying the health disparities between populations. She is passionate about preventative care, rural health, and building healthy, equitable communities. Her passion for health took root in health policy, with a particular interest in health policy analysis and connecting isolated communities to quality medical care. During her time at A&M, she was involved in several organizations. Along with working as a Transfer Student Peer Mentor, she was also a Fish Camp counselor, member of the Public Health Student Organization, and a member of Delta Zeta sorority. Although she will greatly miss Aggieland, she is thrilled to spend the Spring semester completing an internship with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid before pursuing a graduate degree in health policy and management.
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Gabrielle Orion
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Gabrielle

Gabrielle Orion, a Haitian American student raised in Houston Texas, will graduate May of 2020 with a bachelor of business administration in finance and business honors. While at Texas A&M Gabrielle has focused on making A&M a more diverse and inclusive place. She has worked diligently as a member of Texas A&M’s Black Student Alliance Council, Texas A&M’s Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, to attract a more diverse class of students. Gabrielle works to achieve, through her work, a community where people don’t have to be afraid of persecution for the way they look, where small businesses can thrive, where we can accept each other’s differences and learn from them instead of forcing conformity.  This internship will be an extremely valuable experience and become a stepping stone to achieve her goals. It is through her belief in God, familial support, and the opportunities afforded to her by Texas A&M University that Gabrielle has been able to become the person she is today.

Veronique Placke
Bose Washington Partners

About Veronique

Veronique Placke is from Austin, Texas and a fall 2017 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. During her time at Texas A&M, Veronique was inducted to the National Society of Leadership and Success and elected to serve as President of Feminism 4 Aggies. As leader of Feminism 4 Aggies, she created and oversaw a new activism position to give members opportunities to provide public service in the College Station area. Veronique has a strong interest in civil rights and education policy and plans to pursue these interests as a Teach for America 2018 San Antonio Corps Member. She is excited to apply her gained experience in Washington D.C. and her future work as a teacher to work with education policy  in the future.
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Winston Savoy
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

About Winston

Winston Savoy is a junior Posse Foundation Scholar from Atlanta, Georgia attending Texas A&M University. Winston will graduate from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in leadership studies with minors in communication and sociology. He plans to graduate early in the fall of 2018. While at Texas A&M, he has served as a Resident Advisor, Academic Peer Mentor and Head Research Writer all within the Department of Residence Life and Academic Success Initiatives. Additionally, he has served as the Travel Coordinator for MSC Freshman Leadership International, leading an excursion and service learning trip to the Texas A&M Soltis Center in San Ramon, Costa Rica. His involvement and leadership across several organizations on campus show his passion for working with a variety of others in very diverse and challenging setting. Winston has a very strong interest in equal post-secondary attainment, higher education, policy and student affairs. These interests stem from involvement and network within his scholarship foundation, and work as a student leader on campus. During his free time, Winston loves to participate in leadership conferences as an Alumni for SkillsUSA Georgia and Travel. After graduation, Winston intends on attending a graduate institution to pursue his interest in higher education leadership studies, eventually to result in serving as a prominent representative for those who are underrepresented

Katherine Sawzyn
Democratic National Committee

About Katherine

Katherine Sawczyn is a psychology major with minors in sociology and English from Irving, Texas. She is enthusiastic in the classroom as well as out. As secretary of the Aggie Agora Student Committee, Katherine promoted citizenship and political discourse amongst students. She served as research assistant in several psychology labs, working on projects with topics ranging from racial identity to political ideology. One of Katherine’s most treasured accomplishments is co-founding a study on racial identity centrality, which focuses how central an African American’s race is to their identity, and how that affects workplace interactions. It was in sociology classes that Katherine discovered her calling to work for social justice. This passion drives Katherine towards law school, which she plans on attending in the fall of 2018. Her long-term goal is to become a civil rights lawyer, focusing on reforming the criminal justice system.
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Intern Photo

Martha Todd
The Wilderness Society

About Martha

Martha Todd is a senior environmental geoscience major with a minor in parks and natural resources management from The Woodlands, TX. Martha will graduate in December of 2017 with plans after her internship to work for an environmental services or urban planning company. During her time at Texas A&M, Martha found a passion for the National Park Service. This turned into working a concessions job at Yellowstone National Park after her freshman year. In the following summers, Martha would become a backcountry ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park and went to the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program in Rangely, CO before working as a law enforcement ranger at Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. During her time in the semester, Martha has been involved with Student Geosciences Council as well as Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She served as the New Member Coordinator and had the privilege of leading 80 young women towards their membership initiation. She has also has been involved in research in the College of Geosciences, taking a study abroad trip to Costa Rica to study the effects of rip tides on beach visitors and ways to improve warning signs. Martha hopes that with her internship in Washington D.C. she will gain a better understanding for land conservation and environmental policymaking

Treavon Tryon
Consumers Research

About Treavon

Treavon Tryon is a first generation Aggie who is pursuing a degree in economics at Texas A&M University in College Station. Passionate about the financial world and how the economy works he has interned for Houston’s Chamber of Commerce as well as The GMS Group. With encouragement from friends and family, Treavon attended the Research Institute of Economics and Management in China in 2016. In his free time, Treavon loves to play chess with his friends and host chess tournaments. He is also a part of an organization that brings music and entertainment to his campus throughout the semester. Grateful for an amazing group of friends and peers, Treavon makes sure to respect and welcome everyone.
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Gregory Wiatrek
Office of Senator John Cornyn

About Gregory

Gregory Wiatrek is a junior Marketing major from Katy, Texas. At Texas A&M University, he is a Student Representative for the Class of 2019 as a member of Class Councils, an organization dedicated to continuing traditions like Ring Dance, Elephant Walk, and Maroon Out. Greg is also a Business Communication Consultant as Mays' Communication Lab where he helps business majors strengthen their professional voice. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing fictional stories, spending time with his loved ones and journaling.

Mark Wischmeyer
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Mark

Mark Wischmeyer is a proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2017. He is an economics major, with a minor in Spanish. With a major focused in international commerce, he is passionate about global politics, developing economies, and creating a better life for those who are less fortunate. Mark has been involved in a variety of organizations at A&M. He was a Co-Chair for Fish Camp 2017, a member of Aggies Reaching Out, a director of the now-defunct MSC Lead, and a member of the Century Men's Society. In his free time, Mark enjoys serving the community around him. He currently tutors 5th graders at the Brazos Valley School for Inquiry and Creativity through the Century Men's Society. He also loves playing basketball, and getting to know fellow Aggies. Mark has held two internships in the private sector, in the insurance and consulting industries. However, he is taking a step towards serving the greater good by making a positive difference in the public sector. He is looking forward to making an impact on the global economy during his internship with the Department of Commerce.
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