Washington, D.C.

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

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Peter Barnett
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Peter

Peter Barnett is a senior political science and history dual major working towards an additional pre-law certificate at Texas A&M University. He was born in Woodland Park, Colorado, but came to College Station from Perth, Western Australia. His time spent living and traveling abroad is where much of his inspiration for diplomatic service stems from. Peter is an active member and the current president of the Texas A&M Model United Nations club, which he joined his freshman year. Texas A&M Model UN allows for Aggies to practice their rhetorical skill, sharpen their knowledge of politics and history, and compete at conferences across the country. Peter has also worked as an Aggie Orientation Leader within the Department of New Student and Family Programs for two separate orientation seasons. In doing so, he cultivated leadership and problem-solving skills he expects to utilize for years to come. While in Washington D.C., Peter will be interning at the International Trade Administration, a subsection of the Department of Commerce.  Peter plans to follow up on his internship experience by concluding his studies at Texas A&M and advancing to achieve a Master of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government & Public Service.

Madison Fields
Office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

About Madison

Madison Fields is a first-generation Aggie and a proud member of the Class of 2022. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, and plans to attend law school following her undergraduate studies. Madison was raised in the beautiful hill country, specifically Marble Falls, Texas. During her time at Texas A&M, Madison has been involved in several student organizations such as her sorority Pi Beta Phi, Aggie Triota, Feminists for Reproductive Equity and Education, and the Pre-Law Society. Through these organizations and the experiences that they have provided, Madison has been able to channel her passion for social justice into tangible positive outcomes for her community. Through philanthropic pursuits in the Bryan-College Station area, advocacy for women’s rights, and more, these organizations have facilitated Madison’s passion for helping to create a more equitable society. The Public Policy Internship Program became of interest to Madison because of her interest in progressive policy, civil rights, and the intersections of advocacy for civil rights and policymaking. Madison will be interning in the office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and is honored to have been selected by her office as her work for Americans and Texans alike is inspiring. During her time in Washington D.C., Madison is incredibly excited to take in every moment and learn as much as she can about the policymaking process, D.C. life, and what it means to advocate in a tangible way for all of society.
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Intern Photo

Kriti Korula
Todd Strategy Group

About Kriti

Kriti Korula is a recent graduate from Houston, Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Spanish. She is fascinated by the field of health policy and hopes to pursue an amalgam of her passion for women’s rights, medicine, and public policy in the future. Her enthusiasm about public policy began when she participated in the Texas A&M Global Health Study Abroad program in Barcelona, Spain. There, she completed a Public Policy Initiative through the University of Pompeu Fabra in which she examined low-value clinical practices and developed potential policy solutions. On campus, Kriti was actively involved in several organizations, including Aggie Sisters in Healthcare, an organization that empowers women pursuing careers in the healthcare field. She also pursued her passion for medicine as an undergraduate research assistant under the direction of Dr. Farida Sohrabji at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Through research, she analyzed how ischemic stroke affects women disproportionately compared to men and became a strong advocate for the inclusion of gender differences within research. This fall, Kriti will be interning in Washington D.C. with the Todd Strategy Group, a boutique federal government affairs firm focused on health care. There, she will be researching current legislative and regulatory issues, examining health policy inquiries for clients, and attending Congressional hearings and health policy forums. Kriti is extremely excited to examine the intersection of healthcare and legislation while gaining valuable experience within the health policy field.

Yilin Li
U.S. Department of Justice

About Yilin

Yilin Li is a sophomore economics and mathematics double major with intentions to graduate in 2024. Yilin has spent most of her life living in Sugar Land, Texas and her entire primary education in the Fort Bend Independent school district. During her time in high school, she learned from her experiences with structural gender barriers and exposure researching human rights violations which motivated her to take action. Yilin aspires to pursue a law degree and to use it to protect civil liberties and eliminate structural discrimination. During her time at Texas A&M, she is very thankful to have had experiences and involvement in activities that have expanded her knowledge and skills. She is a research assistant with Dr. Samuel Cohn analyzing Leontief multipliers and their effects on more than fifty different countries. She previously interned with the National Women’s Political Caucus researching candidates for 2021 races, creating graphics for demographics of Congress, and sitting in on strategy meetings for legislation. Yilin is the Career Development director for Aggie Minority Women in Law, researching lawyers and law schools to invite to meetings. This fall, Yilin will be interning with the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions section of the Department of Justice Criminal Division. Through this experience, Yilin aspires to use and expand her research skills, add to her knowledge, and grow from the combination her unique view of the world with the work she will do.
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Intern Photo

Madeline Luster
Environmental Protection Agency

About Madeline

Madeline Luster is a recent graduate of Texas A&M at Galveston who is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She graduated Cum Lade in Maritime Studies, emphasizing in Political Science. Madeline is passionate about environmental policy and has made that her primary focus in her undergraduate. Participating in Model United Nations for the Food and Agriculture Organization her first semester made her fall in love with policy. The next year, she engaged in the Student Conference on National Affairs in College Station. Madeline, alongside her focus group, won best policy presentation overall. In fall 2019, Madeline pursued undergraduate research. This research concentrated on the environmental policies of Texas A&M at Galveston and analyzed campus sustainability efforts. Her research was accepted into the Southern Sociological Societies 2020 conference in Jackson, Florida. Throughout her time in Galveston and outside the classroom, she served the church on campus and took on executive positions in multiple student organizations. She looks forward to working towards her passion and interning with the EPA in their Office of Land and Emergency Management in D.C.

Randy Mai
Office of Congressman August Pfluger

About Randy

Randy Mai is a first-generation Aggie from the small border city of Laredo, Texas. He recently graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. While at A&M, he was involved in various service organizations on campus, including MSC Hospitality, the Liberal Arts Student Council, and the Corps of Cadets. His interest in politics and current events began during his senior year of high school, and he is very much interested in influencing foreign policy, national security, and immigration conflicts. Moreover, he became very intrigued by congressional politics during his senior year at A&M after taking a class that focused on the inner workings of Congress. This fall, Randy will be interning with Congressman August Pfluger, where he is aiming to become a legislative staffer. He hopes to gain valuable political experience and network with others in his field and is very excited and enthusiastic to work in Washington, D.C. to shape how we will approach and resolve very complex policy issues.
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Intern Photo

Jordan Nellums
Texas A&M University System Federal Relations Office

About Jordan

Jordan is a senior from Houston, Texas, majoring in Political Science minoring in Communication. He is committed to the study of public policy, as evident through academic excellence, organizational leadership, and professional experience. Jordan currently serves as the Chairman of the Student Affairs Fee Advisory Board and Director of Workshops, a part of the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference. Throughout the spring of 2021, he served as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Pete Sessions. He became a Fellow with the Public Policy and International Affairs at Carnegie Mellon University during the summer. Jordan aspires to earn a master’s degree in Public Administration and Juris Doctorate to help educational institutions implement reforms that champion educational equity. Jordan is an independent, motivated, high-achieving student seeking to obtain experiences that will provide him with the necessary tools to succeed in public policy.

Andrea OƱate
Office of Congresswoman Veronica Escobar

About Andrea

Andrea is a first-generation Aggie from Sugar Land, Texas, pursuing a degree in International Studies with a double minor in Business and Spanish. She became fascinated with cultures and languages from a young age after moving from Venezuela to the United States when she was eight years old. This experience influenced her current interests in international relations, immigration patterns, and foreign policy. On campus, Andrea has been involved in various organizations pertaining to languages and international affairs such as the International Studies Honors Program, the French Honors Program, and MSC Freshman Leadership International. She also worked at Texas A&M University’s Department of Cultural Services as a student facilitator for their Community of Respect Program to introduce campus resources to incoming students and to discuss the importance of diversity and maintaining a welcoming campus. This fall semester, Andrea will be interning at the office of Congresswoman Veronica Escobar and looks forward to gaining first-hand, valuable experience in the world of public policy, applying and improving her skills in a professional setting, and exploring a new career path.
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Intern Photo

Joshua Rillera
Air Force Public Affairs

About Joshua

2nd Lt. Joshua Rillera (USMC) was commissioned on August 13, 2021, and earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M. During his time at Texas A&M, 2nd Lt. Rillera was a member of the Corps of Cadets Company G-2 and served as the Logistic Sergeant for Corps Staff. He was a member of the Freshman Drill Team, which won a national championship in Collegiate Drill and served as a member of the Ross Volunteers, the Official Honor Guard for the Governor of Texas. 2nd Lt. Rillera received the opportunity to go abroad with the Corps of Cadets twice. In 2019, he traveled to Israel on a two-week diplomatic excursion. They introduced him to foreign policy and affairs, cultural and ethnic studies, and military and intergovernmental relations. The trip to Israel fueled his curiosity for foreign affairs and diplomatic relations, and in 2020, he attended the prestigious Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, Australia. He trained with the Royal Australian Army members and various military cadets from the South Pacific Region. He learned how to operate under different military jurisdictions and lead members of different ethnicities and backgrounds. The trip was unfortunately cut short by the outbreak of COVID-19. Additionally, during the summer between his junior and senior year, 2nd Lt. Rillera attended and graduated from Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, a selection program designed to test candidates’ physical, mental, and leadership abilities of future Marine Officers. Upon his commissioning, 2nd Lt. Rillera is scheduled to attend the Basic School for Marine Officers in March 2022. Finally, 2nd Lt. Rillera will be working with the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs through Texas A&M’s Public Policy Internship Program to gain experience pertinent to public policy, which can aid his Marine Corps career.

James Southwell
Office of Congressman Michael McCaul

About James

James Southwell graduated in August, 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Born in Austin, Texas, he grew up in a Longhorn family before attending Texas A&M for his education. Throughout his time at A&M, he has had a keen interest in politics, both foreign and domestic, and law. To better specialize in foreign politics, James spent the summer of 2019 studying the European Union in Germany, Poland, Belgium, and Paris, getting a first-hand view of European politicking. In College Station, he was a member of the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs, helping to host a national student conference on a variety of political issues facing the U.S. Each year, this organization hosts students from across the country who come together with numerous policy experts to write proposals in various fields of U.S. policy. This fall, James will intern in the office of Texas Congressman Michael McCaul. Through this internship, he hopes to gain experience with governmental processes and refine his foreign policy knowledge by working under the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. After graduating, he plans to attend law school and one day work in the federal judiciary.
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