Washington, D.C.

Meet the summer 2021 interns for our Washington, D.C. program!

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Samuel Evans
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Samuel

Samuel has a plan for his life which includes his life goals. The plan for his life can be separated in three ways but essentially are all connected. He has academic plans, entrepreneur plans, and personal growth goals that serve to challenge him to empower himself more every day. Initially, Samuel’s goal was to get an undergraduate degree in marketing analytics because he wanted to learn how numbers translate to tangible going-to-market strategies. As he continued throughout his undergraduate journey, Samuel realized he had what it took to complete a JD/Ed program. Currently, he is pursuing a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, where his concentration is innovative education. his academic goal is to complete his educational journey before 2028, obtaining a J.D. Ed. from a prestigious university. Outside of his role as a scholar, Samuel has always searched for innovative solutions to make the world a better place. This search led him to create Very Individual Protection, aka VIP, which is designed to combat sexual assault and fight human trafficking by allowing individuals to quickly send an alert and summon help when in danger. His goal is to bring the VIP app to college campuses nationwide, starting in America’s southeastern region.

Anna Gamboa
Office of Congressman Lloyd Doggett

About Anna

Anna Gamboa is an incoming junior pursuing a Political Science and Applied Mathematics double degree with an emphasis in Statistics and is set to graduate in May of 2023. Anna was born in The Woodlands, Texas and has spent most of her life living in Katy, Texas. She credits her success to her family, their tenacity and strength as immigrants from Venezuela inspiring her to dream big and achieve her goals. She has had a strong interest in the law and politics ever since middle school and, during her time at Texas A&M, has been motivated to continue to unlock her potential in these fields by joining the university’s Mock Trial program where she is able to explore the experience of being a trial attorney in a courtroom atmosphere. She currently holds the position of Vice President for the ’21-’22 school year and was the Treasurer for the ’20-’21 school year. Anna was also a member of the Liberal Arts Student Council her freshman year at Texas A&M. To continue learning about policy, one of her main interests, Anna was a research assistant for the CoronaNet Project in the summer of 2020, a global coronavirus policy research initiative run by professors and academics worldwide. She aided in coding the policy responses of the United States to the Coronavirus pandemic into a database utilized by journalists, policymakers, and academics to further understand the policy implications of the pandemic. Anna utilizes her spare time to work for the Graide Network, an online grading platform, as a teaching assistant where she provides feedback to elementary, middle school, and high school students on their writing and helps them to grow as writers. This summer, Anna will be working in the office of Congressman Lloyd Doggett where she hopes to learn how to successfully navigate the intersection between public policy and the law.
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Devin Graham
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

About Devin

Devin Graham is a first-generation Fighting Texas Aggie from Tucson, Arizona. She will be graduating in May of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, a minor in Biomedical Sciences, and a Certificate in Public Health Entomology. As an undergraduate at Texas A&M, Devin is involved in several student organizations such as the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Texas A&M VOOM Ambassadors. Devin is currently employed as an Undergraduate Scientist within the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis & Immunology at Texas A&M’s Health Science Center, where she participates in the research of various pathogens of public health concern. She is also a Student Assistant at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Department, where she has fallen in love with AgriLife’s community outreach programs. This summer, Devin will be interning with the Biomedical Advanced Research Authority (BARDA) under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Throughout this experience, Devin hopes to blend the fields of science, policy, and public service and learn from D.C.’s experts in her dream field of bioterrorism and infectious disease preparedness and response.

Zach Jones
U.S. Department of Energy

About Zach

Zach Jones is a third-generation Aggie from Bryan, Texas, who will be graduating in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering. In fall 2021, he will start his Master of International Affairs degree program at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government. On-campus, Zach is a member of numerous service organizations, including CARPOOL, an organization that provides safe rides home for community members on weekends. Outside of school, he enjoys being outdoors,<br /> reading, and spending time with friends and family. Since the start of his undergraduate degree, he has developed a strong interest in foreign affairs and national security that was piqued by his nuclear engineering coursework. This interest lead to his taking international affairs and diplomacy courses towards a graduate level certificate through the Bush School with the goal of eventually pursuing a master's degree within that program. Zach interned with the Department of Energy’s NEPA policy office in 2020 and will be returning to the Department of Energy to intern in the Office of American Affairs within the Office of International Affairs. Through this experience, he hopes to learn more about our government and the interagency process as well as how the United States conducts its foreign policy.
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Robert "Zeke" Kollman
Office of Congressman Jodey Arrington

About Robert "Zeke"

Robert Ezekiel (Zeke) Kollman is a Senior Nuclear Engineering major with a minor in both Mathematics and Philosophy. Originally from the small town of Shallowater, Texas, he grew up fascinated by the natural sciences. His decision to pursue nuclear engineering was born out of a desire to continue to learn as much as he could about the physical world. His mathematics and philosophy interests were also ways to branch out and learn several different subjects in his time at Texas A&M University. Concurrently during that time, he has been involved in extra-curricular events ranging from professional organizations such as the American Nuclear Society, to A&M traditions such as Fish Camp; and service organizations such as Texas Runners Against Cancer. Robert has had a long-held interest in state and national politics, and he is excited about his internship in Washington D.C. this summer. He hopes to gain experience to help guide a potential career in political representation and advocacy for nuclear power and technology.

Sunjay Letchuman
Texas A&M University System Federal Relations Office -and- Senate HELP Committee

About Sunjay

Sunjay Letchuman is a junior Business Honors major from Shreveport, Louisiana. He is fascinated by the field of health policy and will be attending the Mount Sinai School of Medicine after graduation. He enjoys writing articles for his health care policy blog titled “Caring for Healthcare,” where he discusses national health policy issues. His dream is to combine his interests in business, healthcare, and politics in working as a physician/policymaker to help lower the cost of healthcare in the United States. Sunjay is inspired by the 17 physician-congressmen in our own country, but he has also studied global health policy in Germany. When he is not in class, Sunjay works on two types of research. He conducts health policy/health services research with Dr. Kayla Cline and Dr. Leonard Berry at the Mays Business School. And, to keep his love for medicine close, Sunjay performs biomedical research on the use of stem cells as a therapy for patients with a spinal cord injury, under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Dulin. In his free time, he enjoys leading Texas A&M Moderates, a non-partisan political organization focused on facilitating healthy political discussion. Sunjay is extremely excited to intern in D.C. during the summer of 2021 and is hoping to gain new insights on a life of public service.
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Jackson Pierce
District Department of Transportation

About Jackson

Jackson Pierce is a graduating senior from Plano, TX with a B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning and a minor in Geographic Information Science and Technology. He has extensive research experience in hazards mitigation planning, having investigated emergent volunteer rescue groups and coastal disaster resilience plans under his department, and is eager to translate this experience into work in the transportation field. He is greatly interested in studying public transit and land use alongside how networks are designed, managed and communicated; as a part of PPIP he seeks roles in administration, research or advocacy organizations that influence these processes. With some of the country’s most vibrant cities and extensive transit infrastructure, he looks forward to immersing himself into the immediate Washington area and the greater Northeast Corridor.  This fall, Jackson will begin pursuing the Master of City and Regional Planning at Rutgers University with concentrations in transportation and urban informatics.

Ryleigh Rains
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Ryleigh

Ryleigh Rains joined the Bush School of Government and Public Service in fall 2020 as part of the joint 3+2 program at Texas A&M University; in 2022, she will receive both a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and master’s degree in Public Service and Administration. As an Aggie, Ryleigh has been active with a variety of organizations: Mays Business Fellows, Women in Economics, and the Tri Delta Sorority. She also served in a number of leadership roles with Laity Lodge Youth Camp in Texas, working with and empowering young teenagers for four summers. More recently, Ryleigh interned with Advent GX as an international development intern; there, she worked with the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty. Ryleigh is now excited to apply those experiences to her 2021 summer internship at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. and future career.
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Aabid Razvi
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Aabid

Aabid is a third-generation Aggie from College Station, Texas pursuing degrees in Business Honors, and Finance with a minor in Cybersecurity and a certificate in Intelligence. During his time at Texas A&M, Aabid has enjoyed leading the COVID-19 Small Business Response Team, peer leading in the Business Honors Program, participating in Gilbert Leadership Conference, and being a member of Fish Aides and the Business Student Council. He is also a member of the Texas A&M Maroon Coats. Aabid’s passion for politics began during his freshman year of high school through congressional debate, and it grew even stronger after attending Texas Boys State and Boys Nation. The topic areas that are most intriguing to him include the justice system, foreign policy, and economic policy. In the future, Aabid hopes to be a judge on a federal court and impact policy in that way. His goal for the PPIP program is to gain valuable, hands-on experience working with the people who shape our nation’s laws and gain more clarity on a future path. Outside the classroom, he enjoys traveling, Aggie football, and playing basketball in his free time.

Matilin Rigsby
Global Cold Chain Alliance -and- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

About Matilin

Matilin Rigsby ‘23 is a Public Health major from Gainesville, TX. She is currently pursuing a 5-year Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology. Outside of the classroom, Matilin serves as the Health and Wellbeing Chair for Aggie ACHIEVEMates, an organization that serves fellow Aggies with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is involved in the School of Public Health as the undergraduate representative on the SPH Curriculum Committee, and she is also a Health and Wellness Research Ambassador studying the impact of COVID-19 on nursing home residents. Off-campus, Matilin works as a shelter monitor for a local domestic violence shelter called Phoebe's Home. This summer, Matilin will intern in Washington, D. C., with the Global Cold Chain Alliance. There, she will be conducting a research capstone investigating food insecurity in Southeast Asia. At the same time, Matilin will intern with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to shadow the nation’s leading policy experts on public health emergencies. Matilin is grateful for the opportunity to expand her professional portfolio and gain experience in the public health workforce.
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Joseph Rodgers
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Joseph

Joseph Balmain Rodgers is a sophomore Finance and Business Honors major from Texarkana, Texas, set to graduate from Texas A&M University in May 2023. During his freshman year, he served as a student research and administrative assistant for a capstone project at The Bush School of Government and Public Service. After completing the project, he co-founded the Economic Statecraft Program as part of a team of undergraduate and graduate students led by Dr. William Norris. Joseph is passionate about the intersection of economics and security and how states can use economic means to achieve foreign policy goals and spread geopolitical influence. He has co-authored several published academic papers on subjects such as the Chinese reverse merger scandal, a market-oriented system to improve supply chain security, and the effects of tightening auditing requirements on foreign companies listed on U.S. exchanges. Additionally, he is assisting in creating a national nonprofit association for economic statecraft and hosting a conference for policymakers in Washington, D.C., in September 2021. Outside of the Economic Statecraft Program, Joseph serves as a student senator for the Off-Campus Caucus in the Student Government Association Student Senate after serving as a senator at Texas Boys State. In this role, he has passed and authored legislation protecting academic freedom, increasing the availability of open educational resources, and promoting further development and growth of Texas A&M. Additionally, he currently serves as Finance Director for The 12<sup>th</sup> Can and volunteers in the food pantry. At Mays Business School, Joseph is in Aggies on Wall Street and the Finance Guild of Horizons to learn more about the mechanics of the U.S. and global financial systems. Upon graduation, Joseph wishes to pursue a Master of International Affairs with a desire to continue to engage with economic statecraft, geopolitics, and international business in government, academia, law, or the private sector.

Xiomara Villarreal
Office of Congressman John Carter

About Xiomara

Xiomara Villarreal is a first-generation Aggie from Galveston, Texas. She is a junior at the Texas A&M Galveston Campus pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Maritime Studies. She grew up exposed to public policy and world issues, along with a determined work ethic and an itch to travel. In her time at TAMUG, she has attended many policy-related conferences, a few of them abroad, including one in Xian, China, and another in Erfurt, Germany. Additionally, she completed a study abroad in Bonn, Germany, where she researched the German welfare system's Syrian refugees. Xiomara has been recognized for her research on refugees and was presented the Second-Place Overall award at the 2021 Annual Student Research Symposium at Texas A&M Galveston. She is passionate about foreign maritime policy, and she has an interest in the European Union's politics. Xiomara is very excited for the opportunity to go to Washington to work alongside colleagues in public policy to research and carry out projects she is passionate about. She looks forward to interning and is eager to learn from those far more advanced in her field with hands-on experience.
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