Washington, D.C.


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



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Terence Bailey II
Texas A&M University System Federal Relations Office

About Terence

Terence Bailey II recently graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Psychology. He is a first-generation Aggie and college student from Dallas, Texas, specifically Oak Cliff. He developed a love of politics as he saw it create change through movement and debate. He eventually thought of it as a play with several moving characters, and a way to express his faith. Throughout high school, he noticed that several inequalities plagued his community, such as a lack of affordable healthy food, the over-abundance of fast-food restaurants and the lack of quality education. Terence’s passion increased while at Texas A&M where he noticed the lack of representation of students of color and the barriers of success in American society. So, he decided to act through leadership. Throughout his time at Texas A&M, he fostered his love for education into organizations where he strived to educate his fellow students on social issues, such as a lack of interdisciplinary learning, racism, and the need for diversity. He did this through involvement in the Memorial Student Center’s Bethancourt where he was the director of lectures and hosted anti-racism programs. He has served as a peer mentor through Impact ministries and the University Honors program. He has served in organizations such as Compassion for Change where he served the Bryan, College Station area through selfless service such as raising money for the Child Advocacy center Scotty’s House and volunteering at food banks. In the Diversity Sciences lab at Texas A&M, he created an excel sheet that documented the demographics of nearly 50 schools to determine if they met standards for diversity. He aspires to use his time in the Public Policy Internship Program to develop the skills necessary to serve others by making society a better place through every avenue possible.

Margaret Black
Todd Strategy Group

About Margaret

Margaret Black is a proud first-generation Aggie from Peachtree City, Georgia. She is a second-year doctoral student in the Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering under the advisorship of Dr. Mark Lawley. Margaret earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in industrial engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Margaret is an active member of the Bryan-College Station Young Republicans and the Brazos County chapter of the True Texas Project. She has always had an interest in the field of health care. After working at the largest podiatry clinic in Georgia, she developed an interest in health care policy. Margaret is thrilled to have the opportunity to intern with Todd Strategy Group in the Spring 2022 semester. Through this experience, she hopes to develop a better understanding of how health care policy is created in Washington, D.C. and enhance her research skills to encompass a new aspect of health care.
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Ellie Conrad
Air Force Public Affairs

About Ellie

Ellie Conrad is a recent Texas A&M graduate from Bryan, Texas with a degree in International Studies with minors in history and sociology. During her career at A&M, Ellie was involved in the Student Government Association, serving on the Legislative Relations Commission and as the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Advocacy and engagement have played a major role in the development of her future goals. She was also a member of the International Studies Honors Program and recently completed her capstone thesis analyzing diplomatic and military intervention in the Middle East. During the summer of 2021, she lived in Amman, Jordan, where she not only took Arabic classes, but learned the value of experiencing and understanding different perspectives and cultures. Ellie has a passion for public service and a desire for change. This spring, Ellie will be interning with the office of Air Force Public Affairs. In doing so, she hopes to garner new skills, connections, and insight. Ellie is extremely excited to begin a career in public service, and has hopes for remaining in Washington, DC to pursue a full-time career.

Jack Merritt
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Jack

Jack Merritt is a first-generation student from New Braunfels, Texas. He graduated in December 2021 Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in economics. As a student, he was a member of the Liberal Arts Student Council, MSC Wiley Lecture Series, Texas Aggie Democrats, and a Student Senator representing On-Campus Students in the Student Government Association. His interest in policy extend to international trade, global commerce, and energy. This spring semester, Jack will be interning with the International Trade Administration’s Office of the Director General. Jack plans to further his education by pursuing a program at Texas A&M’s Bush School and receiving a Master of Public Administration degree.
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Intern Photo

Aktaa Patel
Office of Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia

About Aktaa

Aktaa Patel is from Houston, Texas and is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in sociology. She is extremely intrigued by education policy and its effect on higher level institution’s educational outcomes. She hopes to pursue her JD to practice law and advocacy. During her time at Texas A&M University, Aktaa was involved in the Student Government Association as a student senator for the off-campus caucus for both the 73rd and 74th session of student senate. She was able to advocate for change through both written legislation and active support. Along with being a student senator, Aktaa was heavily involved with the Hindu Students Association as a public relations coordinator. She assisted in putting on large cultural events such as Navratri and Holi during her time on the officer team. This spring Aktaa will be interning with Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia’s office. Through this experience, Aktaa hopes to further her research- oriented skills to assess public policy decision- making and outcomes.

Alanna Paul
Office of Congressman Mark Pocan

About Alanna

Alanna is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University. She is from Irving, Texas, right outside of Dallas. She graduated Summa Cum Laude as a Communication Honors Major and Business Minor. While at A&M, she was involved with service-oriented organizations such as WHOOP, Women Helping Out Other People, and was the Marketing Committee Chair Leader of Round Table Talks (RTT). WHOOP fosters community outreach by partnering with organizations such as Build and Brazos Valley Foodbank among others to bring resources and passionate volunteers to their aid. RTT seeks to host events that seeks community bonding through conversations about divisive issues and coming together as a campus to support diversity and inclusion. Alanna’s interest in public policy came to fruition in college as she became more aware of the ways that policymaking and politics are involved in shaping the culture and climate of society’s operations in the United States. She aspires to earn her Juris Doctorate to help lessen the divide of equity for minority groups and the working class. This spring semester, Alanna will be interning at the office of Representative Mark Pocan and is looking forward to applying her skills and learning more about the administrative and legislative aspects of the policymaking process.
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Intern Photo

Kelsey Pormasdoro
U.S. Department of Justice

About Kelsey

Kelsey Pormasdoro graduated from A&M in December with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics. Originally from Sunnyvale, Texas, she fell in love with politics and policy through conversations with her father and lessons in her dual credit history class. As an Asian American, she is passionate about representation in politics, specifically within women and racial minorities. Kelsey spent her freshman year on the Asian Presidents’ Council LEAD Committee, where she helped plan the second annual Asian American conference held on campus. She then pursued several research endeavors, including the completion of her Undergraduate Thesis, serving on a research team with PhD students, and assisting Dr. Hyeran Jo in the political science department. This spring, Kelsey will be interning in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. She hopes to expand her research skills and policy knowledge in the work she will do.

Sydney Ramon
Bose Public Affairs

About Sydney

Sydney Ramon is a junior Political Science major and Communication minor at Texas A&M University, with plans to enroll in graduate school following her undergraduate studies. Sydney was born and raised in the border city of McAllen, Texas and is a passionate advocate for her community in the Rio Grande Valley. She has remained heavily engaged locally through her experiences as a TEDxMcAllen speaker, Keynote Speaker for the South Texas Youth Health Summit, Founder and Executive Director of a youth-led civic engagement organization, Congressional Youth Advisory Council Member, and Futuro RGV Advisory Board Member. During her time at Texas A&M University, Sydney has served as a Texas A&M Foundation Maroon Coat, Fish Aide, and Texas A&M Student Senator. Currently, Sydney is the Vice President of the SGA Legislative Relations Commission where she leads a team of student advocates in drafting and advocating for legislation relating to Higher Education policy at our state and nation’s capitols. During her time in Washington D.C., Sydney is excited to fully immerse herself in the rich history of our nation, explore the local culture and arts, and gain valuable experience within the field of higher education policy at a national level.
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Kaylie Richardson
Office of Senator Ted Cruz

About Kaylie

Kaylie Richardson graduated in December of 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in Sport Management. She is a third-generation Aggie from the quaint seaside town of Beaufort, South Carolina. As the daughter of a United States Marine, Kaylie spent much of her childhood moving between various military towns, which sparked a personal interest in military and veterans’ affairs. She looks forward to further developing her understanding of these issues throughout her experience on the Hill. During her time at Texas A&M, Richardson was involved in various student organizations including Fish Camp, The Big Event, CARPOOL, and Liberal Arts Student Council. Additionally, she contributed to the execution of Aggie sporting events as a member of the Athletic Department’s Marketing Team. Her favorite aspect of much of her collegiate involvement was the opportunity to home in on Texas A&M’s core value of selfless service. Ultimately, this same value inspired her to explore the opportunities presented by public policy. Richardson possesses previous professional experience in political consulting, campaigning, and the legal industry, and is thus eager to gain firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of the policymaking process. This spring, she is honored to have the opportunity to represent Texas values in the heart of our nation’s capital as an intern within the Office of Senator Ted Cruz.

Macy Riley
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Macy

Macy Riley graduated in December 2021 with a degree in International Studies and a double minor in both Business and Chinese. She is originally from Bullard, Texas where she received her primary and secondary education, before moving to College Station to attend Texas A&M University. Throughout her time at Texas A&M she has remained actively involved in both Aggie Replant and the Chinese Language and Culture Club, where she held the position of club president. After graduation she plans to attend law school where she will further study the legal processes of public policy. Her policy area of interest is international relations, specifically trade between the U.S. and China. Her interest in China emerged in 2019 when she traveled to Jiaozhou, China where she worked as an English teacher. During her time in Washington D.C., Macy will be interning with the Office of Strategy and Engagement (OSE) within the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Macy is very excited to learn how international trade is facilitated and specifically how the U.S. government advocates for U.S. economic and security interest in global markets. Together with the assistance of Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Internship Program, Macy hopes to gain the experience of working in a professional setting and the understanding of how the governmental processes work within the creation of public policy.
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Intern Photo

Emily Schweizerhof
Environmental Protection Agency

About Emily

Emily Schweizerhof is a senior civil engineering student with a focus in water resources, originally from Houston, Texas. As a civil engineer, she was introduced to the importance of creating and maintaining our infrastructure to provide access to everyday resources while holding people’s safety paramount. Emily’s passion for water resources was developed through her education as a civil engineering student and her participation in Dr. Gretchen Miller’s Geoecohydrology Research Group. Emily joined the research group her freshman year and has since worked with Dr. Miller on water-resource and environmental-related projects that have provided her with the opportunity to experience how research is conducted and how important academic research is within policy. She also participated in the Undergraduate Summer Research Grant Program (USRG), where she presented her research data to symposium attendees at Texas A&M University. This experience that taught her how to effectively analyze and present technical data to people unfamiliar with the research topic. Emily’s goal is to assist in providing clean, accessible water for everyone by ensuring that the laws drafted by policymakers reflect current scientific research. Emily wants to gain more technical experience and obtain higher education that eventually leads her to becoming a subject matters expert in water resources. This Spring 2022 in Washington, D.C., Emily will be interning with the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Land and Emergency Management, where she plans to learn about how scientific data forms environmental regulations that protect our world.

Jesus Torres
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Jesus

Jesus Torres is a first-generation Aggie from the small town of Nederland, Texas. He recently graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. As an undergraduate student, Jesus spent time as a research assistant with the Economics Statecraft Program (ESP). In his time with ESP, he has been involved with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Database project and the Eisenhower Working Group. He has helped facilitate the development of a database with the hopes of bringing together a network of trusted third-party users, including policymakers, scholars, and the private sector. To develop a comprehensive accounting of BRI expenditure, Jesus has also spent time as an undergraduate research assistant with the Texas A&M Economics Department. He and his team investigated the effects of a state’s majority party on the intergovernmental revenue allocated to each respective state. His interests lie in the statistical analysis of data, which involves gathering valuable data and extracting information from the data. Jesus’ motivation is driven by his restorative nature and his passion for adding knowledge and solutions to the vast pool of economic research. He also holds a deep passion for the arts and music which fuels his involvement with one of Texas A&M’s jazz ensembles.
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Intern Photo

Royce Yu
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Royce

Royce Yu graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University. He was born in Austin, Texas, but grew up overseas. He previously worked as a software engineer and as a student researcher for the Texas A&M Computer Science Department. During the pandemic, in what was essentially a gap year for him, Royce took courses at Waseda University and developed an interest in public policy and government. Combined with his interest in economics which began in high school, he is working towards a future career in economic public policy. After his time with the Public Policy Internship Program, he will pursue a graduate degree in economics at the University of Tokyo with his newfound knowledge and experience from his internship with the U.S. Department of Commerce.