Austin, Texas

Please welcome our PPIP interns for the 87th Texas Legislative Session in Austin, Texas!

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Alexis Casiano
Office of State Senator Borris Miles

About Alexis

Alexis Casiano is a recent, first-generation Texas A&M Graduate from San Antonio, Texas. In December 2020, she received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an emphasis in Pre-Law. During her college experience, Alexis worked closely with on-campus programs aimed at aiding first-generation college students in navigating their first year in college. She mentored and instructed classes to help marginalized students discover and understand that each of them belonged and had a place at Texas A&M. Alexis also spent time interning under Judge Edward Spillane of College Station where she first discovered her passion for law and policy. She then went on to intern for the Texas A&M University System’s Office of Federal Relations in Washington, D.C. during the spring 2020 semester. There, Alexis found where her interests in education and policy aligned. Alexis has not only experienced personally, but has also been a witness to, opportunity gaps in particular groups of individuals and strives to be a changing force in time. She hopes one day to gain a law degree and find herself back in Washington, D.C. where she can help reform education policy.

Elizabeth Crisp
Office of the Speaker

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Crisp is a December 2020 Texas A&M University graduate from Keller, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth. She is a History major and Anthropology minor who served as the Treasurer for the Texas A&M Medievalist society, a group focused on the history and culture of medieval Europe. In 2020, she worked as an intern for the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office helping inmates in the Brazos County Detention Center find compatible dormmates and rehabilitation programs. Elizabeth has a strong passion for history, nature, and politics. In her free time, she is either bird watching or catching up on the latest news from Washington, D.C. She hopes to combine these interests in a career focused on land and animal conservation, educating the public on the natural world and our relationship with it. Elizabeth is both excited and grateful for the opportunity the Public Policy Internship Program has provided for her in Austin this spring.
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Sterling Crowdus
Office of the Speaker

About Sterling

Sterling Crowdus, an Austin, Texas native, is a senior at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University pursuing a degree in finance. During his time at Texas A&M he has been involved in Aggie Transition Camp as a counselor. In this role, he loved showing incoming students the traditions of A&M while successfully transitioning them into the Aggie family. He is an advocate for giving back to communities and organizations and strives to pay it forward. In his spare time, Sterling loves to find new places to go hiking around Austin as well as riding his motorcycle through the hills and backroads in the area. Sterling has a lengthy history of jobs involving customer service, which aligns with his goal of helping people succeed or enjoy themselves. Sterling hopes his passions combined with a degree in finance will lead him to a career where he can help financial markets succeed.

Alicia Dixon
Office of State Senator Brandon Creighton

About Alicia

Alicia Dixon is a highly energized individual whose favorite part about being alive is connecting with and interacting with all kinds of people. Her passion was discovered because of her love for Christ and desire to serve Him as she grew up in her hometown of Austin, Texas. She chose to major in community health when she came to A&M because she has been influenced to become a healthier version of herself. A degree in community health will enable and qualify her to educate specific populations about health risks and topics. It has also taught her much more about the healthcare system in America and current ways health issues are being addressed. She wants to use the knowledge she has gained from A&M to fuel her path as she enters the workforce and pursues social work, non-profit health organization work, or policy making related to healthcare. Some of her experiences such as serving local families in Bryan and driving the Aggie Spirit busses have further increased her desire to be around people and to serve them well. She cannot wait to expand her horizon and learn about public service and policy making through the Public Policy Internship Program.
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Skyllar Duncan
Office of State Senator Jane Nelson

About Skyllar

Skyllar Duncan is a recent Texas A&M graduate from Austin, TX. She received her degree in University Studies with a concentration in Society, Ethics, and Law with minors in Philosophy and Leadership Studies. Skyllar’s interest in government and law began in high school when she began travelling to other countries and learned more about their cultures and ways of life. As part of her course of study Skyllar interned in Dublin, Ireland for Senator Paddy Burke, gaining more experience in the field of public policy on a global level. During her time at A&M, Skyllar was a member of the TAMU Pre-Law Society and LEIAS, a women’s organization that focuses on service for local animal shelters. Additionally, she served as an Orientation Leader for summer New Student Conferences where she welcomed incoming freshmen and transfer students and ensured they felt welcomed to their new home. In addition to travelling, Skyllar enjoys cooking and watching movies, and loves decorating for Christmas. During her internship with Senator Jane Nelson, Skyllar hopes to learn more about the public policy process in the United States at the state level. Afterwards, she hopes to follow her passions for social justice and helping others by pursuing a career in law or public policy.

Eric Ewing
Office of State Representative Briscoe Cain

About Eric

Richard “Eric” Ewing is a recent Texas A&M graduate from Liberty, Texas. He received his degree in political science with a minor in History in December 2020. He is a first-generation Aggie. Additionally, Eric is planning to attend the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University for a master’s degree in Public Service & Administration. While attending college he interned with the Liberty County DA’s office and worked closely with the county judge. He also volunteered for the Pete Session 2020 Campaign to fill the seat left vacant by Congressman Bill Flores. He is primarily interested in transportation, infrastructure, disaster relief and defense spending policies. His long-term goals are to work in Washington, D.C. as a Legislative/Policy Director for a Senator or House member. This spring, he will be interning with the Office of Representative Briscoe Cain, where he is eager to meet legislative staff and learn how state government operates.
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Henry Featherston
Office of State Representative Steve Toth

About Henry

Patrick “Henry” Featherston recently graduated summa cum laude with a double major in philosophy and history. Henry grew up in San Antonio watching his father litigate on behalf of criminal defendants, which inspired him to pursue a dual-degree in philosophy and history, preparing to further his education in law school starting in the Fall of 2021. While pursuing his education at Texas A&M, Henry had the honor of being one of four campus-wide judicial advocates for the Student Government Association’s judicial court. Henry had the privilege of participating in the Public Policy Internship Program once before, where he spent a semester living in Washington, D.C. as an intern in the Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Before his time in Washington, D.C., he worked as an intern with Keep Brazos Beautiful, a sustainably-minded organization that has been active in the community for over forty years. Upon his return, he had the honor of being nominated and appointed to the Board of Directors. Throughout his time at A&M, Henry also was a member of Young Americans for Freedom. Henry is primarily interested in national security, drug, and criminal justice reform policy. When he isn’t reading for his classes or studying for exams, Henry enjoys watching the Packers and keeping up with politics. Henry has happily accepted the opportunity to join Representative Steve Toth’s office as a Legislative Aide for the 87<sup>th </sup>Legislative Session. He is very excited to be able to serve the people of House District 15 while gaining experience working first-hand with public policy and being able to carry new perspective with him as he goes on to law school in the fall.

Natalie Flanagan
Office of State Senator Kelly Hancock

About Natalie

Natalie Flanagan recently graduated from Texas A&M University in December of 2020, receiving a Bachelors of Business Administration in Management and a Minor in Economics. Natalie is a first-generation Aggie from Keller, Texas. Throughout her time at Texas A&M University, Natalie was a Peer Leader for two years in the Freshman Business Initiative Peer Mentor Program at Mays Business School. She was also a member of Phi Beta Lambda, a professional business fraternity at Mays Business School, serving as the Vice President of External Affairs and Sergeant at Arms. Being heavily involved at Mays Business School reinforced her commitment to her academic career. Entering her undergraduate education, Natalie knew that she wanted to pursue a career in law. Her course of study unlocked her passion for employment and labor law, which contributed to the discovery of her interest in public policymaking. Natalie is interested in policy issues surrounding the Texas economy, public education, immigration, and corporate sustainability. During her time as an intern, Natalie hopes to gain more insight into the connections between public policymaking and a career in law. She is also excited to gain experience working for a lawmaking office in Texas.
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Kyrie Garlic
Office of State Representative John Smithee

About Kyrie

Kyrie Garlic is an English and Philosophy double major from Weslaco, Texas—a city in the middle of the Rio Grande Valley—and is the daughter of John and Marla Garlic. She graduated summa cum laude with departmental and university honors distinctions in December 2020. During her time at Texas A&M, Kyrie was a member of the Corps of Cadets, the Texas A&M Consulting Club, and the Maroon & White Leadership Society. She also worked part-time as a certified writing consultant at the University Writing Center and spent her junior year working on an undergraduate creative thesis and novel through the Aggie Creative Collective and LAUNCH Undergraduate Research. Kyrie was selected to present her novel at the 2019 Capitol of Texas Undergraduate Research Conference, the 2020 Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Research Symposium at Johns Hopkins, and received the LAUNCH Outstanding Thesis Award in the Creative Works category for the 2019–2020 school year. She has since been selected to participate in the Academy of Undergraduate Researchers Across Texas (AURATX), through which she has had the opportunity to connect with undergraduate researchers from Texas A&M and the University of Texas and present her undergraduate research to members of the 87th Texas State Legislature. During her internship with the office of Texas House Representative John Smithee, Kyrie hopes to gain familiarity with the inner workings of our state government and positively impact the lives of her fellow Texans. She is particularly interested in education policy, as she will be working with Teach for America as a high school math teacher in August 2021. In her free time, Kyrie enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, working on her novel, writing poetry, and discovering new coffee shops.

Abigail Jablon
Office of State Representative Michelle Beckley

About Abigail

Abigail Jablon is studying political science and sociology and plans to graduate in 2022. When she’s not at school, she resides in Cedar Park, Texas, a suburb of Austin, with her family. Throughout her time at Texas A&M University, Abigail has served on the Legislative Relations Commission within Student Government, where she discovered her interest in policy. Additionally, Abigail is on the Texas A&M Mock Trial team and is exploring the avenues law has to offer. To balance out her time, Abigail enjoys serving as Co-Chair for a student organization called RISE. RISE partners with a global social enterprise, The Women’s Bakery, to support women in East Africa through educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.  Abigail is passionate about human rights and social justice issues and hopes to incorporate these into a career after college.
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Emily Jacobs
Office of State Representative Giovanni Capriglione

About Emily

Abigail Jablon is studying political science and sociology and plans to graduate in 2022. When she’s not at school, she resides in Cedar Park, Texas, a suburb of Austin, with her family. Throughout her time at Texas A&M University, Abigail has served on the Legislative Relations Commission within Student Government, where she discovered her interest in policy. Additionally, Abigail is on the Texas A&M Mock Trial team and is exploring the avenues law has to offer. To balance out her time, Abigail enjoys serving as Co-Chair for a student organization called RISE. RISE partners with a global social enterprise, The Women’s Bakery, to support women in East Africa through educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.  Abigail is passionate about human rights and social justice issues and hopes to incorporate these into a career after college.

Ryan Jones
Office of State Senator Brandon Creighton

About Ryan

Ryan was born and raised in Arlington, TX where he attended Martin High School. In December of 2020 he graduated with a degree in political science, and a minor in history. During his time at A&M, Ryan was an active member of Theta Chi Fraternity where he held several positions including vice president in 2020. Through Theta Chi, Ryan learned the importance of selfless service in their work with the USO and Salvation Army. Theta Chi also served to further his communication skills and the importance of understanding others. Combining this with his passion for politics and government procedures, Ryan found that PPIP was the perfect program for him because it allows him to be inside the government he spent years studying. In the fall, Ryan will be attending law school to further his education and where he will specialize in international law, hoping to work the U.S. State Department. Ryan looks forward to interning in State Senator Brandon Creighton’s office this spring.
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Brittany Keller
Office of State Senator Bryan Hughes

About Brittany

Brittany Keller is a first-generation college student from McCook, Texas, a small Polish farm community located in the upper Rio Grande Valley. She is currently a junior working towards her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a philosophy pre-law certificate. Brittany’s interest in politics and international affairs stems from her experiences growing up living on the border in addition to her time spent traveling to our State and Nation’s Capitals. During her time at Texas A&M, Brittany has had the opportunity to be involved with many different organizations including being a peer mentor for the Hullabaloo U Mentoring Program for Fall 2020. In addition, she is a member of the women’s organization Aggie Southern Darlings and of the organization Providing Smiles & Understanding Needs (PSUN). PSUN helps offer free programs and services for children with long-term disabilities and illness. Besides her time participating with extracurriculars she also competes in intramural sports on campus and works two jobs. Brittany also enjoys playing tennis, hunting, and spending time with her friends and family during her free time. Throughout her experiences, Brittany has been able to learn the importance of being adaptable and responsible in any situation and has implemented that into her life. She hoping to pursue her policy interests through a career in Law and to someday be a congresswoman or senator at the state or national level. Brittany is grateful to have the opportunity to be an intern for Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Internship Program and is excited to work within the Capitol in State Senator Bryan Hughes’s office to further achieve her professional and academic goals this spring.

Eleanor Korth
Office of State Representative Andrew Murr

About Eleanor

Ellie Korth is a proud third-generation Aggie from Alvin, Texas, who is a business-management pre-law major in Mays Business School.  She will be graduating in May of 2021 and hopes to attend law school in the fall.  Ellie is a member of multiple organizations she is passionate about, such as Aggie Transition Camps, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, and the Texas A&M Pre-Law Society.  Her experience as a camp counselor for transfer students is a large part of her passion for Texas A&M and her love and demonstration of the Aggie family.  Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy events benefitting the sorority’s national philanthropy, Domestic Violence Awareness, is something Ellie has thoroughly enjoyed participating in and contributing to with her chapter.  Her experience working with community organizations such as Phoebe’s Home in Bryan, College Station, serving women in the area, plays a role in her interest and passion for the government and service.  She has always been interested in pursuing a career in law and using various opportunities to engage in areas of the law that impact our daily lives to gain knowledge and insight to the duties and responsibilities of law makers.  Pursuant of an inside look at the legal system and government, she has participated in a legislative internship with State Representative Ed Thompson in his Pearland office that neighbors her hometown.  She was given the opportunity to participate in meetings, round-tables and local events that allowed her to see legislation in action at a local level and also network with members of the community.  This experience led her to pursue an internship experience at the state capitol, and she is extremely excited to do so for her last semester of college.  Ellie will be a legislative assistant for State Representative Andrew Murr’s office, and she can’t wait to experience working at the capitol and participating in meaningful work serving District 53.
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Christopher Livaudais
Office of State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.

About Christopher

Christopher Livaudais is a freshman political science major at Texas A&M University, and the only freshman participating in the Public Policy Internship Program during the spring of 2021. He will be working in the office of State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. Christopher is originally from Austin, so working in the city will be familiar, but the experience will be brand new. Prior to this, he was highly involved in his community, participating in marches and events, working on a few political campaigns, and volunteering for non-political causes for several years now, including the organization Love Hope Strength, which works to find blood marrow donors for people with serious conditions. For his age, he also has a wide range of experiences in various fields. Having worked since the age of 15, he has done data entry in an insurance office, manual labor for a landscaping company, and worked as a server in a local restaurant. However, his biggest passion is politics and public policy. Christopher finds it fascinating in and of itself, but also appreciates it as a means of improving people’s lives. His first true experience working in this field was when he was invited to participate in the 2018 National Student Leadership Conference in Washington DC, a mock political conference for politically engaged students which had us preparing bills and meeting members of the government. This experience left an impact, and solidified his interest in public policy that had already been growing. This internship will be substantially more valuable than that experience, and he hopes it will be his first step towards a potential career in this field.

Gabriella Mata
Office of State Representative Evelina Ortega

About Gabriella

Gabriella Mata is a recent graduate originally from McAllen, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the Texas A&M Galveston Campus, majoring in maritime studies and minoring in marine biology. Gabriella is interested in all things involving the environment, including science, law, and policy. Since high school, she has been involved in numerous paid and unpaid experiences that have allowed her to gain interpersonal and research skills. One of her favorite experiences was an internship with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network where she worked for 6 months assisting with animal necropsies and rehabilitation, as well as digitized over 40 years of stranding data. While at the Galveston campus, Gabriella was also a member of several student organizations. Gabriella was a member of the Student Association of Latino Leaders, which placed emphasis on promoting a positive perspective of Latinx students and showcases their culture through campus activities. Gabriella has also attended both political and scientific conventions. In early 2020, Gabriella attended the Student Conference on National Affairs in College Station and her group was awarded the best policy brief paper, where they discussed combatting water scarcity at the agricultural level. Outside of school activities, Gabriella enjoys cooking, savoring the outdoors, and taking care of her chocolate lab, Hazelnut. Her future goals are to continue her higher education and hopefully work with environmental conservation organizations like Oceana and the Environmental Defense Fund. Gabriella is looking forward to her internship with State Representative Evelina Ortega of District 77. She hopes it will give her a greater insight into the world of policy and strengthen her passion for a future career in environmental science and policy.
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Shruthi Murali
Office of State Representative Michelle Beckley

About Shruthi

Shruthi Murali, originally from Houston, TX, is a junior set to graduate in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in public health and a minor in business. Shruthi’s interest in policy stemmed from her experiences in Mock United Nations throughout high school. This club added to her intrigue of international politics and the policy making process overall. Taking what she saw while rounding in hospitals and then applying that information to research behind the bench, she utilized her research internship at UT Health to strengthen her interest within the healthcare field. As a public health major, she has gained an understanding of the way policy plays a role in facilitating change within the healthcare community. In her internship at Sewa Houston, a non-profit organization that works to provide relief services for refugees, she grew in her interest of public policy issues amongst the refuge populations. This interest only strengthened throughout her coursework in public health, which covered topics ranging from various healthcare systems to the minute social dynamics that encompass community health. Shruthi is interested in policy issues ranging from healthcare, to the environment, to immigration. In the future, she hopes to attend law school and work within the healthcare field. She ultimately wishes to write her own healthcare policies.

Kyler Murphy
Office of State Representative Jake Ellzey

About Kyler

Kyler Murphy graduated in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Sports Management. He is a first-generation Aggie from Red Oak, Texas. Kyler is interested in public policy and lobbying involving healthcare and education. His interest in healthcare policy stems from his diagnoses of Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 9. During the summer of 2020, Kyler had the opportunity to intern for a local minor league baseball team called the Texas AirHogs. There, he learned more about the behind the scenes work of a professional sports team. He previously volunteered at his local church helping with Vacation Bible School working with the 2nd grade age group. Throughout these experiences, he has been able to recognize the importance of creating a culture of acceptance for everyone. During his free time, Kyler likes to play soccer with friends and work on his '66 El Camino with his dad. This spring, Kyler is excited to be interning for his hometown representative of Texas House District 10. While at the Texas State Capitol, he hopes to learn more about the policy process and politics in general. He hopes to pursue a career in policy analysis after this internship.
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Brittany Reed
Office of State Representative Chris Turner

About Brittany

Brittany Reed graduated from Texas A&M University in December 2020 with her Bachelor of Science degree in political science. She is a first-generation college student from Clovis, New Mexico. Brittany’s research focused on Eastern European comparative politics and gender studies in post-communist societies. While at Texas A&M, Brittany was involved in Fish Camp, Texas A&M Legacies, Political Science Aggies, Aggies Women’s Mentoring Circle, and served as the Social Executive for Collaborative Aggies Leadership Initiative. She worked diligently as a Special Needs Educational Advocate for families in Brazos County.  Brittany also served her community through the mentorship of the Bryan and College Station youth through the Sisterhood of Aggie Mentors. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease her sophomore year of college, Brittany became passionate about speaking to student organizations to raise awareness about the mental and physical implications of chronic illnesses. Brittany has used her experiences from working with special needs children and her personal malady to become a fierce advocator for creating a more accessible and inclusive society to those with disabilities. Along with health systems and services, Brittany’s policy interests include economic affairs, national security and foreign affairs, secondary and higher education reform, and social welfare. She will be attending Texas A&M University School of Law to pursue her Juris Doctor degree in the fall of 2021. During her time at the Texas State Capital, Brittany hopes to better foster her professional skills and to further serve her community through public policy.

Elizabeth Schneider
Office of State Representative John Raney

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Schneider is a recent graduate from Texas A&M University at Galveston with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean and Coastal Resources. She was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and graduated from St. Michael’s Catholic Academy. While at Texas A&M University at Galveston, she pursued a degree related to her passion for the environmental, economic, and social aspects of marine resources. During her college career, Elizabeth gained professional experience working for the Texas Conservation Corps, the Galveston Bay Foundation, and the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores. She was also involved in many organizations on campus: the Galveston Freshman Leadership Organization, Check-In Crew, the Big Event, the Women’s Soccer Club, the Sisterhood of University Leaders, and the Maroon Delegates. She held many leadership positions within these organizations, including serving as Vice President and later as President of the Galveston Freshman Leadership Organization. Elizabeth also served as president of the Maroon Delegates, managing interactions between students and university donors and actively fundraising for the university. Elizabeth is a recipient of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition Scholarship, the William Paul Ricker Memorial Scholarship, and the 2020 Student Organization Officer of the Year award from the Division of Student Affairs. She also received a Presidential Coin awarded by President Young and Col. Fossum in honor of her boat rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey. During the 2021 legislative session, Elizabeth will be interning with Representative John Raney’s office as a legislative aide. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Public Policy Internship Program and is excited to leverage her experience in conservation policy to benefit the State of Texas and to learn more about the legislative process this spring.
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Whitney Sloan
Office of State Senator Angela Paxton

About Whitney

Whitney Sloan is a junior biomedical engineering major from Wausau, Wisconsin. She is a member of the Engineering Honors Program and is also minoring in Spanish She specializes in biomaterials and has worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Melissa Grunlan’s research lab. Whitney is a member of the Engineering Honors Executive Committee where she works on the service committee. Additionally, she is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority where she has held roles as the Philanthropy Day Chair and on Social Committee. She has decided to pursue biomedical engineering due to her passion and interest in the life sciences and medical devices. The career field that Whitney is choosing to pursue is in the medical device industry and ensuring that these devices are made to be readily available for the public. Whitney looks forward to helping others have access to health care devices that will help improve quality of life. After graduation, she will pursue a Master of Science in Finance.

Grace Swift
Office of State Representative Jim Murphy

About Grace

Grace Swift is a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2020! She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Society, Ethics, and Law. This major included two minors: Philosophy and Public Health. She was raised in Houston where she saw firsthand how public health access and affordability affected those in her community. Healthcare became a passion of hers, and so did law once she realized how closely they interacted with one another. After working in a law firm for a summer, Grace decided that law school was the right career path for her. Since she started at Texas A&M University, her goal was to participate in the Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP). She felt that this opportunity was a unique hands-on experience. After she knew that she was on track to graduate a semester early, Grace realized this program was a perfect opportunity to fill a gap semester before entering law school. By working alongside Representatives and Senators she will be able to see first-hand how and why policies are created. Living in the suburbs outside of the Texas Medical Center, she is primarily interested in how her local Representatives and Senators are influencing healthcare accessibility and affordability for Texans. Grace hopes that once she completes the PPIP she will have an increased passion for the law that will help her in law school and as a future attorney.
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Victoria Torres
Office of State Representative Nicole Collier

About Victoria

Victoria Torres ’20 grew up in Mission, Texas and graduated from Sharyland Pioneer High School. As a recent graduate with a sociology major, Victoria was a first generation Latinx undergraduate. She served as a mentor to incoming Latinx freshmen with Latino Longarodes, was a member of the Texas A&M Powerlifting team and was part of the Liberal Arts Student Council. Victoria also gave back to her community by volunteering in food drives, The Big Event, and Adopt-An-Angel. She worked for two years at a local HEB, where she worked as a cashier, as well as at a local bingo hall in Bryan, Texas. Victoria also held an internship at a local family law firm in Bryan in the summer of 2020. Victoria found this experience to be memorable and believes she will use what she learned in her future occupation. She learned time management, gained connections, and learned how to work in a professional environment. Victoria is grateful for her internship at the State Capitol, under The Honorable Nicole Collier, State Representative. Victoria believes this is a great honor and looks forward to working with Representative Collier’s office. After her internship, Victoria hopes to go back to school for a master’s degree in psychology and continue her education in law school.

Nekaybaw Watson
Office of State Representative Toni Rose

About Nekaybaw

Nekaybaw Watson is a second year Master of Public Health student who will graduate in May of 2021. She was born on a United States Army base in Germany, but she was raised stateside in Georgia. Nekaybaw graduated Cum Laude and received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University. There she learned about holistic wellness and how public health can positively impact communities by providing health resources or educating community members on health topics. After being exposed to the significance of public health and its need in rural and minority communities, Nekaybaw decided to expand her network and study at Texas A&M University. Here she has learned about the importance of community engagement, needs assessments, and the steps to creating successful programs. Nekaybaw is a member of the health and wellness ambassadors. In this organization she helps create, plan, and host programs that focus on various health topics. Nekaybaw’s future includes creating health programs for people who live in communities like the one she grew up in: minority, rural, and poor. She wants to create community centers that provide holistic wellness education and resources that help rebuild these communities. Nekaybaw also recognizes that without policy to help promote health or education, health programs are less likely to be funded or sustained. During her internship in Austin, Nekaybaw hopes to learn more about public policy and how it affects public health programming and minority and underserved communities.
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Mariam Zaidi
Office of State Representative Tom Oliverson

About Mariam

Mariam Zaidi is a recent graduate from Katy, Texas, with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Throughout her college career, Mariam has been involved in organizations dedicated to public service, such as TAMU MEDLIFE and UNICEF. In January of 2018, Mariam traveled to Cusco, Peru for a service trip with MEDLIFE to volunteer at a mobile clinic. This experience gave her great insight into health disparities that are prevalent all over the world. Her public health courses have given her a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health and what it takes to achieve health equity. Additionally, Mariam is passionate about addressing mental health and has become involved with the Muslim American Youth Initiative as a project coordinator. Her goal in this organization is to create a safe space for the Muslim youth as they navigate through high school and college. After visiting her family in Pakistan and India, Mariam is adamant about fighting against injustice and voicing her advocacy for human rights. She hopes to be an agent of change in her future aspirations and was particularly drawn to the Public Policy Internship Program to understand the policymaking process and the necessary steps to pass a bill that directly impacts local communities. As an intern, Mariam is intrigued to gain communication and leadership skills that can be applied towards her career as a physician.