Washington, D.C.


Meet the Fall 2022 interns for our Washington, D.C. program!

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Kerry Abernethy-Canella
National Hydropower Association

About Kerry

Kerry Abernethy-Cannella is a junior from Austin, Texas, graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies in Geosciences. He is also pursuing minors in Mathematics and Climate Change. Kerry has worked as a research assistant in the Climate Science Lab and the Fluvial Landscape Dynamics Lab and recently published an undergraduate thesis focusing on the effects of climate change on the West African Monsoon in the University’s undergraduate repository. He has experience working for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, where he helped streamline projects related to hazardous waste management, and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, where he helped plan electric vehicle charging infrastructure. As an undergraduate, Kerry has been interested in climate change mitigation policy and how the American energy sector can play a role in advancing sustainable energy policy. His professional interests include the intersection of science and policy, believing that robust scientific policy is the foundation of substantive climate change and energy legislation. This interest was perfectly matched to his internship at the National Hydropower Association – the trade organization for the hydropower industry. There he will work as an advocate for clean hydropower and continue to advance his career in energy policy.

Cristina Camargo
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legislative Affairs

About Cristina

Cristina Camargo recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is originally from Houston, Texas, and became interested in political science following her love of history and law. During her time at A&M, she was involved in the MSC L.T. Jordan Institute for International Awareness and Aggie Minority Women in Law, which helped to expand her interest in policy issues abroad and at home. She also volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Brazos Valley, which furthered her interest in how policy affects marginalized communities across Texas. She hopes to earn her Juris Doctorate to learn the skills necessary to aid these communities, especially those affected by voting rights injustices. This fall, Cristina will be interning with the Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington D.C. and is excited to represent her fellow Aggies and learn how policy is created first-hand.
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Aileen Flores
Air Force Public Affairs

About Aileen

Aileen A. Flores graduated with the Class of 2022 as a political science major. She is a first-generation Aggie from San Antonio, TX, but was born in Colón, Panama - where she often visits her family and friends. As a military brat, Aileen developed a deep love for different languages and cultures and how they influence decision-making and policy development. With this in mind, Aileen dedicated her undergrad to shedding light on the importance of diversity and inclusivity. Ultimately increasing her love for the complications of policymaking, law, and criminal justice reform. Aileen held the title of the 2021-2022 Social Director for the Aggie Minority Women in Law, where she strived to provide opportunities for minority women to network and establish relationships that will benefit their law school journey. Aileen’s primary goal as Social Director was to create safe spaces for minority women to feel uplifted and supported during their undergraduate experience. Aileen was a highly engaged student leader who also served as the Vice President of Advocacy for the Student Government Association Diversity Commission. Her role within the commission was to create a more comfortable and inclusive campus environment for all Texas A&M students. As VP of Advocacy, Aileen organized monthly events called “Maroon Table Talks", which served as an educational opportunity and a platform for students and faculty to voice their opinions on several topics. Some of these topics included campus climate, the vital role of race in society, and adversities between genders on campus and in the workplace. Aileen is highly passionate about the law and criminal justice reform. She plans on pursuing her J.D. in hopes of creating change within the criminal justice system and helping boost the underrepresentation of Latinas in law.

Armando Garza
Office of Congressman Vicente Gonzalez

About Armando

Armando “Mando” Daniel Garza is a graduating senior from the Rio Grande Valley, of which he is very proud of. Mando majored in Political Science and minored in History, with a focus on contemporary debates and issues facing the average American. He believes public service, such as the work done through the PPIP hosting offices, is both a privilege and a form of service. It is a way to give back and help, especially for those whose voices are not being heard. As such, Mando is especially focused on policies that can help alleviate the difficulties and struggles of America’s middle and working class, like those from his native South Texas. In particular immigration, housing affordability, and cost of living are all policy areas he is very passionate about. The people he met during his four years at A&M, be they fellow classmates, professors, or even the odd stranger, have all had a profound and lasting impact on his life and who he has become. It is through relationships with others that he defines himself and has learned who he is and what motivates him to fight the good fight. Besides a commitment to service, Mando is also someone who loves to laugh and help bring joy to others. Life is meant for laughter, love, and joy, and he hopes to spread those things to every person he meets. He hopes that he can have a positive impact on the lives of others in the same <a>way as those people in his life, and those he met along the way, have impacted him</a>. In that way, public policy, and PPIP as a whole, is a way to pay it forward.
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Intern Photo

Erin Gonzales
Bose Public Affairs Group

About Erin

Erin Gonzales is a first-generation student from Houston, Texas. She recently graduated from Texas A&M, Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy along with a certificate in Pre-Law studies. During her time at A&M, Erin was a part of the recruitment committee for Aggie Minority Women in Law, and a member of Amnesty International and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Her passion for justice and advocacy drove her to be a part of these organizations that work towards bringing awareness, knowledge, and aid to marginalized communities. In the Spring of 2021, she interned at an Immigration Law firm in Houston. While there she learned about the legal process of immigration, worked in the waivers department, and assisted attorneys with pressing cases. She also taught the N400 Citizenship class that was designed to assist permanent residents looking to gain their citizenship. This fall, Erin will be interning with Bose Public Affairs Group. A lobbying firm that focuses on education, technology, and energy. Erin is enthusiastic to work in Washington D.C. and hopes to gain experience in policy making, critical analysis, and researching skills that will create change and provide solutions for the public good. In the future, she plans to obtain her JD and specialize in intellectual property law. 

Brittany Keller
Office of Senator Ted Cruz

About Brittany

Brittany D. Keller is a first-generation, recent Texas A&M graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Philosophy Pre-Law Certificate. She grew up on the South Texas border in the McAllen area, which she attributes to her passion for international affairs. During her time at Texas A&M, she was involved with multiple student-led organizations including Aggie Southern Darlings and Texas Trophy Hunters. Besides that, she spent her time as a volunteer notetaker for Disability Services, a Peer Mentor for incoming freshmen and working with different research teams on campus. Brittany has previously interned through PPIP during the 87th Texas Legislature for Senator Bryan Hughes who represents Senate District 1. Her time spent interning in the State Capital led her to discover her passion for helping people through the power of legislation and all public policy has to offer to the people of our country. Currently, besides preparing for the move to Washington, D.C., she works as a legal assistant in College Station and hopes to enter law school during the Fall 2023.
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Archana Murthy
The Fertilizer Institute

About Archana

Archana Murthy is a recent graduate from Flower Mound, TX, and is the first Aggie in her family. She graduated from Texas A&M in May 2022 with a degree in biology and philosophy and a minor in anthropology. She was heavily involved in the University Honors Program and served as a mentor in both her sophomore and junior year. She was also in Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre fraternity, and participated in productions like Much Ado About Nothing and the Student New Works Festival, the latter of which allowed her to create and direct her own piece. Archana has had a longstanding interest in environmental education and policy and has served as president of the Texas Aggie Green Society. She is also interested in mental health advocacy and policy. She will intern The Fertilizer Institute in Washington, DC. Archana hopes to gain an internship that will allow her to understand the policy process while also furthering her knowledge in one of her interest areas.

Adeola Olagoke
White House - Office of Presidential Correspondence

About Adeola

Adeola Olagoke is a senior Political Science major and Communication minor at Texas A&M University from Houston, Texas, planning to enroll in law school following her undergraduate studies. Throughout her time at Texas A&M, she has remained actively involved in various minority-based organizations, where her passion for serving marginalized communities thrived. She has served in organizations such as the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference, where she showcased her communication and leadership skills while learning about the importance of motivating the intellect of young Black collegians to be productive leaders of tomorrow. She fostered her love for helping others in her work and volunteering services, where she was able to mentor youth in the Brazos Valley area and develop hundreds of professional development resources for educators across the U.S. following the devastating aftermath of COVID-19. Her experience as a political campaign intern in a New York mayoral race was able to help her understand how policy can enact true change and inspired her to bring about change in marginalized communities through the reformation of drug legislation. Along with the value she sees in helping others, this inspiration is what drives her to excel in her academics and build a career as an attorney. Adeola is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the Public Policy program and aspires to develop the skills necessary to excel in the legal field and be of service to underserved communities during her time in Washington, D.C.
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Intern Photo

Seher Patel
Office of Congresswoman Veronica Escobar

About Seher

Seher Patel is a recent Aggie graduate from Sugar Land, Texas. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. While at A&M, she was involved with service-oriented organizations such as MSC Freshman Leadership International, was the President of Omega Phi Alpha (OPA), and was the Marketing Director for Aggie Minority Women in Law (AMWL). OPA is a National Service Sorority that aims to foster sisterhood through numerous mental health service projects, their philanthropy with SARC, and various social events. As President of OPA, Seher managed and oversaw organizational growth, communications, funds, and facilitation of service projects, social events, and philanthropy initiatives. AMWL is an organization that focuses on empowering minority women to succeed in the law field through preparation and inclusivity. As Marketing Director of AMWL, Seher strategized social media campaigns to market organizational events and maintained a strong virtual network. Seher’s interest in law-making and legislation came to fruition during her internship with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office last summer. She gained insight into proceedings and processes within the criminal justice system, which inspired her to pursue a career in criminal law. She aspires to earn her Juris Doctorate and work in the criminal justice sector. Seher is looking forward to gaining additional experience from the Public Policy Internship Program before applying to law school! This Fall, Seher will be interning with the Office of Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. Seher hopes to learn more about the policy process and the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating successful legislation!

Sarah Rains
Office of Congressman John Carter

About Sarah

Sarah Rains is graduated senior with a Bachelors of in Business Administration in Management from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. She is from Normangee, Texas and got introduce to policy by joining the Speech and Debate Team. She has always had a passion for serving others and strives to inspire their success. During her time at Texas A&M University Sarah has been involved with the Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Team, Freshman Business Initiative, Chi Alpha, New Student and Family Programs and her local church. Outside of Texas A&M, Sarah works with Kesler Science Middle School Curriculum and Camp Eagle Adventure Camps.  Through the Public Policy Internship Program, Sarah will intern for the Office of Representative John Carter. She is very appreciative to have the opportunity to experience Washington D.C. and learn everything there is to know about our government.
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Natasha Sarem
Texas A&M University System - Office of Federal Relations

About Natasha

Natasha is a sophomore from Amarillo, Texas who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Economics. She has been passionate about politics from a young age, which stemmed from her being inspired by her father’s interest in the subject. Her decision to join speech and debate at Bushland High School solidified her desire to work in government, as it allowed her to learn more about policy and appreciate the nuances of political topics. She is now the president of Texas A&M Moderates, where she leads weekly meetings related to current events. She is also an executive officer for Aggie Ballet Company.  Additionally, she is a member of the Student Conference on National Affairs, where she served as a roundtable host and a member of the external marketing subcommittee. She marketed the conference to numerous universities through these positions, and she led a group of students who created a winning policy paper. After graduating, Natasha plans to earn a master’s degree in either Economics or Public Administration. This fall, she will intern with the Texas A&M University System Office of Federal Relations, which will allow her to explore a variety of policy areas. 

Marie-Louise Westermann
U.S. Department of Commerce - Office of the Deputy Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service

About Marie-Louise

Marie-Louise Westermann graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in political science and minors in history and sociology from Texas A&M University in May 2022. While she spent much of her childhood moving between military bases, Westermann and her family eventually settled in San Antonio, Texas, and have considered themselves Texans ever since. From an early age, Westermann learned the importance of honoring the past and developed an interest in geopolitics and international affairs. As the daughter of a German immigrant and former U.S. Air Force Colonel who now specializes in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Westermann grew up with significant exposure to different political systems and how citizens are victimized under autocratic states. With family members who fled Soviet-occupied East Berlin at the time of the Berlin Wall, Westermann is personally and morally invested in issues related to human rights and democratic freedoms. Beyond her studies, Westermann has been involved in a number of campus organizations, including Ryllies (women’s organization), Fish Camp, and Memorial Student Center Freshmen in Service and Hosting (MSC FISH). In 2020, Westermann was awarded the J. Wayne Stark Outstanding Leadership Award with recognition as a preeminent promoter of the Memorial Student Center. Westermann is a first-generation Aggie, and she is eager to channel her interests in national security, foreign policy, and the international political economy into tangible and positive change for her country. This fall, Westermann will intern at the Global Markets Office of the Director General within the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She looks forward to learning how contemporary events influence the presence of U.S. businesses across global markets, and what strategies are used to foster export promotion, advocacy, commercial diplomacy, and foreign direct investment within the international community.
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