Washington, D.C.

Meet the spring 2019 interns for our Washington, D.C. program!

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Reagan Ashley
U.S. Department of State

About Reagan

Reagan Ashley is senior political science major and history minor from Harlingen Texas. His primary field of interest is foreign affairs with an emphasis on human rights and American soft power abroad. Reagan is interested in pursuing a career in diplomacy or foreign policy analysis. He has served as the vice president of the Texas A&M Ballroom Dance Association, president of the Aggies for Rick Perry, and as the programs chair for the Texas A&M Liberal Arts Student Council. As an undergraduate research scholar, he is writing a creative thesis that address topics such as courage, the challenge society faces when institutions undergo a change during times of peace, and the interpersonal relationships and interactions of people suffering from depression, grief, and fear.

Caroline Benson
Embassy of Mexico

About Caroline

Caroline Benson is from Katy, Texas and graduated in December 2019 with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and Spanish. Her experiences interning with Voices for Children - CASA of the Brazos Valley and Head Start in College Station Independent School District have fueled her passion for advocating for disadvantaged populations. While at Texas A&M University, Caroline was involved in Kappa Alpha Theta and served as a chairman for their spring philanthropy event, Rock the CASA. She was also involved in Active Minds and Hispanic Studies Association. She spent the summer of 2017 studying abroad in Havana, Cuba where she volunteered in Fidel Castro’s childhood neighborhood. In addition, Caroline studied in Santiago, Chile in the summer of 2018 where she gained insight on contemporary Hispanic culture and how it affects transnationalism. Caroline is passionate about international affairs, involving relations between Latin America and the United States, as well as national security issues pertaining to drug and human trafficking. Post-graduation, she will be interning with the Embassy of Mexico and is very excited to gain exposure to public policy and everything that Washington, D.C. has to offer.
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Collin Bullard
Office of Congressman Louis Gohmert

About Collin

Collin Bullard is a junior history major from Tyler, Texas and a third generation Aggie. During his time at Texas A&M, Collin has been a member of the history honor society, as well as the Texas Nu chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. During his time in Phi Delta Theta he served as the social chair and helped coordinate multiple philanthropy events. Collin has worked for the University Center as an Event Setup Assistant where he helped facilitate the setup and monitoring of events. Collin is passionate about improving the country and his local community and hopes to study law and pursue a career as a lawyer or politician. Texas A&M has exposed Collin to many different groups of people and his experiences have prepared him for interning for Representative Louie Gohmert, who was also a history major at Texas A&M.

Meghan Collier
Bose Public Affairs Group

About Meghan

Meghan Collier graduated from Texas A&M in December 2018 with a degree in English and political science. After interning in D.C., she plans to pursue a J.D. While studying at Texas A&M, Meghan has been involved in a variety of activities, including the Memorial Student Center’s Wiley Lecture Series, which promotes thought-provoking discussion on foreign and national policy. Meghan’s various leadership roles in this organization stimulated her interest in public policy and allowed her to develop her organizational and communication skills, as she was often called upon to initiate contact with speakers and plan the lectures put on for the Texas A&M community. Meghan’s interests also include research, and she developed her research skills by participating in the Undergraduate Research Scholars program and completing an undergraduate thesis. She was also a member of English Honors and University Honors and was employed at the University Writing Center as a writing consultant for the last year and a half. Meghan is enthusiastic to intern in Washington D.C. through the Public Policy Internship Program this spring and to gain more exposure to public policy, law, and politics.
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Rebecca Gates
White House Office of Science & Technology Policy

About Rebecca

Rebecca Gates is a biology major with a minor in neuroscience from Denton, Texas. She is currently participating in undergraduate research studying opioid induced microbial dysbiosis in mice, or how morphine causes its negative side effects due to the disruption of healthy gut bacteria. However, Rebecca’s primary interest lies in making scientific findings accessible to the public so that people without a strong scientific background can think that it’s as fascinating as she does. When she graduates in May 2020, Rebecca hopes to eventually become a science policy advisor to help guide the creation of policies governing complex biological issues such as the regulation of genetic editing and the use of stem cells in biomedical research. As this is her first internship experience, Rebecca is very excited to intern with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and to have the opportunity to use her research experience and knowledge from the classroom to impact federal policy decisions.

McKie Gribbons
U.S. Department of Commerce

About McKie

McKie Gribbons is a junior history major from Dallas, Texas. He has been a member of the Texas A&M Ultimate Frisbee team for the last two years and plans to continue it until he graduates. He is currently a volunteer researcher for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, reading documents from Papua New Guinea to look for clues that might lead to finding the bodies of U.S. service men from World War II. He has also been involved with political campaigns, the most recent of which was the Beto O’Rourke campaign, where he canvassed and phone banked. He has a deep love of politics, leading him to apply for internships in D.C. because it is the center of national politics. In his free time he enjoys the outdoors, cooking, and reading. After he graduates he hopes to go to law school and eventually become an environmental lawyer.
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Intern Photo

Christopher Leshikar
TAMU System Federal Relations Office

About Christopher

Christopher Leshikar is a junior majoring in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics. He is an undergraduate research in the Vehicle Systems and Controls Laboratory within the Aerospace Engineering department. His research interests include nonlinear control design, system identification, and development of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for various tasks. Additionally, Chris served as a member of the inaugural leadership team for the Engineering Community of Scholars Program in the 2017-2018 academic year. As a leader in the dorm, he was mentored freshmen Engineering Honors students by providing tutoring for classes, encouraging early involvement in research, and giving advice on how to thrive during freshman year of college. Chris is also a student member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Chris is excited about the opportunity to intern in Washington D.C., and is eager to learn more about the legislative policy, with a specific interest on the appropriations process.

Emily Pearce
Office of Congressman Will Hurd

About Emily

Emily Pearce is a senior political science major and psychology minor from San Antonio, Texas. In her time at Texas A&M, Emily has been involved in several on campus organizations, including Aggie Recruitment Committee, Aggie Democrats, and Connect. This spring, Emily interned at Hernandez Law Firm, which fed her interest in immigration law. She also expresses this interest through volunteering with the Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network, a non-profit organization that offers citizenship-seeking immigrants the opportunity to better their English as well as prepare for the naturalization exam. Emily takes pleasure in exploring new places and their cultures. This past summer, she participated in the Summer European Academy. Emily aspires to become an immigration lawyer and have a large impact in her career field.
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Intern Photo

Matthew Sandoval
Office of Senator Ted Cruz

About Matthew

Matthew Sandoval is an Economics major from San Antonio, Texas. Raised in Edmond, Oklahoma for half his life, Matthew’s experiences traveling across the United States (20/50 states and counting) have exposed him to an incredible amount of diversity. As a second-generation Texas A&M student, he is the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2020. During his time at Texas A&M, Matthew has been involved in numerous organizations such as Aggie Replant, the Cornerstone Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts, the Maroon and White Leadership Program, Impact, and Beta Upsilon Chi. However, Aggie Replant, Texas A&M’s largest environmental service organization, has impacted Matthew the most. Matthew’s experience as an executive for Aggie Replant first piqued and later developed his interests in environmental sustainability, natural resource development, and energy policy. Previously Matthew has served the past two summers as a camp counselor for TbarM’s Camp Travis, a lakefront adventure camp for high school youth. After completing his bachelor’s degree in 2020, Matthew plans to earn his J.D by 2023. While attending law school, Matthew plans to specialize in environmental law or energy law- both appeal to his passion about the importance of taking care of the Earth while creating economic conditions for the American people to succeed. Matthew hopes to have a hand in the federal government’s efforts to develop its natural resources, in addition to pursuing his education and professional goals while serving in the office of Senator Ted Cruz this spring in Washington, D.C.

Jena Seidemann
Global Cold Chain Alliance

About Jena

Jena Seidemann is an International Studies major from Coppell, Texas. In her three and a half years at Texas A&M, she has worked for The Battalion Newspaper as a writer and assistant editor for the Life and Arts section, and served for two semesters in CARPOOL. Her favorite memories during college consist of her internships and her time studying abroad. During Texas’ 85<sup>th</sup> Legislative Session, Jena worked in Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s office, focusing on Article Two, which was policy making for Health and Human Services. The exposure to state law making was an opportunity to learn more about the issues her fellow Texans faced, but also helped her understand the importance of civil engagement. This past spring, she spent six months abroad in Latin America, primarily in Santiago, Chile, where she worked for the Foreign Commercial Service at the United States’ Embassy and found her passion for learning foreign languages. She is incredibly grateful for both experiences because they showed her a future career path where she could make a tangible difference and create lasting relationships. If she is not interning, she is finding ways to travel. In her short life, she has travelled to 28 nations and hopes to visit all seven continents in the future. For this internship, she is excited to learn how the global cold chain serves to build sustainable infrastructure that helps improve food insecurity issues people face around the world. In the future, she hopes to earn her master’s in either Public Policy or International Affairs and be involved in the legislative process in some shape or form.
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Intern Photo

Shelby Talton
Office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

About Shelby

Shelby Talton is a management consulting major at Texas A&M. She is a member of the Student Government Association, serving on the Elections Commission as the Chair of the Student Body President Debate. As the Treasurer and Political Awareness and Involvement Chair for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, Shelby has had the opportunity to create programs such as a voter registration drive and a watch night event for the midterm elections. She has also had the opportunity to intern with KPMG and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Both of these opportunities provided her great insight into the world of business and politics respectively. She has been interested in politics since she was young. After seeing the impact President Obama’s 2008 victory had on the moral of her community, Shelby knew that government and policy was the path she wanted to take in life. She knows that PPIP will help her get one step closer in accomplishing her dream of working in policy and government.

Donya Tartibi
Office of Congressman Will Hurd

About Donya

Donya Tartibi is a sophomore political science major with a minor in sports management from Plano, Texas. While at Texas A&M she has been a member of MSC Freshmen in Service and Hosting (MSC FISH) as a freshman where she was able to participate in numerous service opportunities in the Bryan College Station area, as well as host several campus wide service events. She continued in the MSC as a member of MSC Business Associates as a member in the Development committee where she worked closely with donors and alumni of Texas A&M and the MSC. In Business Associates she also helped the other MSC committees fulfill their funding and development needs. CONNECT is another organization that Donya has recently been involved in. This service and social organization allows her to serve her community as well as building long lasting relationships with others who have a passion for service.  Donya was also a 2018 Fish Camp Counselor, which allowed her to act as a support system and mentor to many incoming freshmen. During the summer of 2018, Donya also participated in the Summer European Academy study abroad, which allowed her to travel to six European countries and gain a very unique global perspective on political issues that both Europe and America are facing. Donya’s patriotism and passion for national security has led her to becoming a political science major as well as also pursuing ways to become involved first- hand with the policy making that keeps our nation secure. She is extremely grateful for this opportunity to intern in Washington D.C. and is looking forward to all that she will learn during this experience. After graduation, Donya has hopes of attending law school and eventually working closely with national security topics in the government.
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Intern Photo

Eliza Thomas
U.S. Department of Justice

About Eliza

Eliza Dawn Thomas is a junior psychology and English major from Sinton, Texas. During her time at A&M, Eliza has sought numerous opportunities to grow and develop through participation in various student organizations including Fish Aides, Traditions Council, Chi Omega Fraternity, the Pre-Law Society, Tell Your Story Leadership Forum, and the Aggie Creative Collective. She is also a member of the University Honors community, and works as the Class Programs Student Assistant at The Association of Former Students. All of these experiences have helped foster her passion for leadership, advocacy and effecting positive change. She hopes to pursue these passions further by learning about the policymaking process, and taking an active role in the creation and implementation of public policy through her internship experience. After graduation, Eliza plans to pursue a law degree with a particular focus on constitutional law in order to help ensure that the law is interpreted in such a way that is beneficial for people living in today’s society.

Jack Youngblood
Office of Congressman Michael McCaul

About Jack

Jack Youngblood, a second-generation Aggie and member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2020, was raised in Midland, TX.  During his time at Texas A&M, Jack has pursued a BBA in Management from Mays Business School with a minor in History. In addition, Jack has held roles in various organizations throughout campus, including being a peer leader for May’s Freshman Business Initiative, a course within the Business Undergrad Special Programs office, as well as serving leadership roles in his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order, and general role on the Inter Fraternity Council’s Lead program. During the summer of 2018, Jack spent his time in Barcelona, Spain where he learned more about geopolitical issues in Europe as well as gained knowledge in international business through time spent with leading Spanish industries. Jack aims to pursue a J.D. and M.B.A after his undergraduate time at A&M, and looks forward to gaining more experience and insight into procedures and issues involving law, politics, and public policy while interning in Washington, D.C.
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