PROJECTS

Olivia Reneau (class of 2022, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy major with a concentration in Domestic Policy and interests in racial economics. At Duke, she is a member of Defining Movement, the Student Conduct Board, and the I&E Fellowship. Outside of Duke, she is the legislative assistant's intern to NC House Rep. Vernetta Alston and member of a COVID-19 policy research group through the Margolis Center. This summer, she will be completing her thesis research under the direction of Professor Sandy Darity on current reparations proposals.2021.

Dora Pekec (class of 2022, she/her/hers)

is a double major in Public Policy and Political Science with a minor in French. She grew up in Chapel Hill, NC as a first-generation American to Croatian immigrant parents. She is passionate about political messaging and increasing voter turnout and enthusiasm among young people. She has previously interned for Cal Cunningham's Senate run, House Majority PAC, Common Cause NC, and a D.C. lobbying firm. Most recently, she took the fall 2020 semester off to work as a field organizer for Sara Gideon's Senate campaign in Maine. At Duke, Dora has been involved with POLIS, the Reporters' Lab, Tour Guides, and the American Grand Strategy program.2021.

Maya Miller (class of 2022, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy major with a certificate in Policy Journalism and Media Studies and a minor in Environmental Science. She is originally from Des Moines, Iowa and hopes to pursue a career in journalism and media after she graduates. On campus, Maya is a member of the Duke University Marching Band (known affectionately as "DUMB") and has served as a staff reporter for The Chronicle. Last summer she interned as a breaking news reporter for her hometown paper, The Des Moines Register, and will intern as a metro reporter for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis in summer 2021. Her senior thesis will examine the relationship between the decline in local news resources and poor coverage of elected representatives in Washington, D.C.2021.

Jack Rubenstein (class of 2022, he/him/his)

is a Public Policy Major with a certificate in Civic Engagement and Social Change and minor in Political Science. He is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and hopes to work on the Hill after graduation. Jack took a leave of absence in the fall 2020 semester to work as a Field Organizer for the North Carolina Democratic Party. Prior to that, he was an intern for Common Cause North Carolina, Cal Cunningham's U.S. Senate Campaign, and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. On campus, he writes for the Duke Chronicle's Arts and Entertainment section, Recess, and has been active within Duke's Center for Politics, Polis.2021.

Amanda Kang (class of 2022, she/her/hers)

On campus, Amanda is the VP of Engagement for Women in Politics, VP of Philanthropy for Scale and Coin Business Society, and the previous VP of Finance for the Duke chapter of WISER International. She is also a research assistant on the Global Care Policy Index project team, focusing on care policies in the United States. This past fall, Amanda took a gap semester to serve as the Call Time Manager for Eugene DePasquale's Congressional campaign in PA-10 and worked as the VP of Student Outreach for Swing NC Duke.2021.

Kyle Melatti (class of 2022, he/him/his)

is a Public Policy and Political Science double major and pursues a minor in Computer Science. He is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada and plans to pursue law school or graduate school. AT Duke, he has previously served as a Senator for Duke Student Government. He also serves as President of Duke Students for Education Reform, Co-Chair of the Program in American Grand Strategy, and TK Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Additionally, he has been a Research Assistant for Professors Helen Ladd and Doug Brook at the Sanford School. He is interested in public budgeting and administration, education, and national security. He spent the past summer interning for Congresswoman Susie Lee’s D.C. Office.2021.

Daisy Lane (class of 2022, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy and History double major from Charlotte, North Carolina. At Duke, she is the Press and Marketing Committee Chair for Duke Votes as well as the Vice President of Community Outreach for Women in Politics and an officer in the Alexander Hamilton Society. She also worked as a writing coach for Public Policy 155, is a tutor for student athletes, and volunteers with the Duke Puppy Kindergarten. This year she is involved in a Bass Connections project called "Elections in a Pandemic" where she and two other women created and executed a pilot project aimed at convincing non-voters to vote. She spent last semester working with Duke Votes and various campus organizations to promote voting across Duke's campus and encourage all members of the Duke community to engage politically. After graduation she hopes to work in politics and attend law school.2021.

Jeremy Carballo Pineda (class of 2022, he/him/his)

is a public policy and political science double major with a concentration in normative political theory. He is originally from Wilmington, NC. On campus, he is involved in GANO, Team Kenan, and the Chronicle Editorial Board. He is currently a John M. Belk Fellow and Intern for the Hunt Institute where he works on national educational equity policy. His research interests include structural Marxism and expanding the project of democracy to non-citizens in the US. After college, he plans on attending law school or working on the Hill. He was previously a reporter for IndyWeek where he covered the NC General Assembly, a policy intern for Emerging Markets Investors Alliance where he analyzed the sovereign debt conditions of Brazil, and an immigration legal intern for asylum seekers in Miami.2021.

Lucy Callard (class of 2022, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy major, with a minor in Classical Civilizations and a certificate in Policy Journalism and Media Studies. She is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and plans to attend law school or graduate school after Duke. Lucy is a captain of Duke’s Varsity Swimming and Diving Team and is a member of Duke Athlete Ally. She is also a member of the Bass Connections project: Harnessing Data for North Carolina Jails to Inform Effective Policy, where she interviews stakeholders to explore the utility of a statewide jail database for North Carolina. Her policy interests cover a variety of civil liberty issues, including criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights and voting rights.2021.

Wyatt Bui (class of 2022, he/him/his)

is a Public Policy major, pursuing minors in Religious Studies and Economics. He is originally from Orange County, California. On campus, he has worked in a variety of different roles, including as an operations intern for Duke Men’s Basketball, a team member of the Duke Law Innocence Project, and as a member of the Interfraternity Council Executive Board. He has also worked closely with the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation to raise money for Duke’s adolescent oncology program through the annual Shave and Buzz philanthropy event. Additionally, he is working on a research project with a Political Science professor focusing on African American political participation in the South. Last summer, he worked for a Congressman in Washington D.C., and he plans to pursue law school after graduating.2021.

Caroline Avery (class of 2022, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy major, with a minor in History. She is from Spokane, Washington. On campus, Caroline is on the executive board of Women in Politics, a teaching assistant at the Center for International Development, and a member of the Penny Pilgram George Women's Leadership Initiative. Caroline is passionate about social justice, especially issues related to women, children, and families. In the summer of 2020, she interned for a local nonprofit called WomenNC. This coming summer she hopes to intern for a legal advocacy group or on Capitol Hill.2021.

Democracy Fellows:

2021.

Shania Khoo (class of 2022, she/they)

is a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar and Coca Cola Scholar pursuing a Program II in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. As a 1.5 generation Malaysian immigrant, they are passionate about creating and being in learning and growing spaces to better understand and commit to anti-racism, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, and interrelations of power structures. At Duke, they are deeply involved in the fight for Asian American Studies through the Asian American Studies Working Group, and in 2019, she helped launch the first issue of Margins, a publication inviting Asian/Americans to engage in more nuanced conversations to radically understand identity. Beyond Duke, they are involved in Community Empowerment Fund, a nonprofit that combines person-centered support with financial services that pursue racial and economic equity. Beyond North Carolina, she is on the East Coast Asian American Student Union National Board as the current Advocacy Director and past High School Program Coordinator.2021.

Carlo-Alfonso Garza (class of 2022, he/him/his)

is an Economics major with a Finance concentration. He is originally from San Antonio, Texas. On campus, he founded and leads Duke's Latinx Business Organization, is involved with the Scale & Coin Business Society, serves on Duke Student Government's Latinx Caucus, and is curating an Exhibit in Perkins detailing the history and experience of Latinx students at Duke. After college, he will be working at the Boston Consulting Group and will spend his career increasing representation of Latinxs in business. His political interests lie in increasing Latinx representation in politics, increasing Latinx voter turnout, and one day running for office.2021.

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Dalia Dichter (class of 2021, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy major and also pursuing her Master’s of Public Policy through Sanford’s 4+1 Accelerated Master’s program. She is originally from Los Angeles, CA. Her policy areas of interest are education policy, democracy reform, and civic engagement. On campus, she has been an executive board member for Women in Politics, the Director of Communications for the Public Policy Major Students Union, and has conducted research with professors. Her policy experience includes campaign and nonprofit work. After receiving her MPP, she hopes to work on the Hill or stay in North Carolina in some capacity.

2020 Summer Project(s): Dalia worked as an intern for Rock the Vote, where she helped develop resources for young voters to better understand the democratic process. She continued the internship through the fall semester. She also worked with the “Elections in a Pandemic” team to develop Duke-specific resources about how to maintain voter eligibility in preparation for the unpredictable Fall semester.2020.

Thea Dowrich (class of 2021, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy major, with a double minor in Chemistry and Statistical Science. She is originally from Bridgetown, Barbados and previously lived in Connecticut before relocating to Tokyo, Japan. At Duke, she is a camp counselor through Duke’s chapter of Camp Kesem, a teaching assistant in the Statistical Science department and volunteers at StepUp Durham, off campus. Thea also participated in a Bass Connections project about expressive writing for resilience. This summer, she is interning at Civis Analytics as an Applied Data Scientist on their Government team.

2020 Summer Project(s): Thea spent her summer working with StepUp Durham, while completing Math 212.2020.

Nadia Innab (class of 2021, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy major, with minors in Statistical Science and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. She is originally from Los Angeles, California. On campus, she is involved in Greek Life’s Sexual Assault Prevention Team, serves as VP: Panhellenic for her sorority, and is a member of Duke Students Against Gender Violence and Women in Politics. Nadia also participated in the Duke Puppy Kindergarten, housing a service dog in training three times a week. After college, she hopes to work in policy, specifically gender policy, and eventually attend law school.

2020 Summer Project(s): Nadia worked for North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association as a Communications Fellow. The Stanback Internship was a a 12 week virtual internship that allowed me to research and write pieces about the clean energy industry in North Carolina, specifically regarding access to and diversity within clean energy.2020.

Maya King (class of 2021, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy major, with a double minor in Education and Spanish. She is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and plans to attend law school after graduation. During the Fall 2019 semester, Maya studied Spanish language and culture in Madrid, Spain. Back on campus, Maya is involved in Duke Student Government, the President’s Council on Black Affairs, and Duke Partners for Success. Maya’s specific political interests are education policy and minority access to the political process.

2020 Summer Project(s): Maya had two remote internships during the summer of 2020. The first was her role as an Environmental Education intern at Population Connection, a nonprofit organization which promotes education of young people about world population and other progressive issues. She was also a Student Legal Intern at Mobilization for Justice, serving the legal needs of vulnerable students and parents in the Children's Rights Division.2020.

Anna Klingensmith (class 2021, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies double major with a concentration in Arabic. Anna grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but has identified as a blue devil all her life. She is passionate about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and U.S. security policy, especially countering violent extremism efforts and international diplomacy. On campus, Anna is a member of Illyria and enjoys volunteering for INJAZ, tutoring Arabic speaking refugees in Durham. She is a member of the Women in Politics Club, and the Duke Association for the Middle East. Anna enjoys studying abroad, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. She spent the summer of 2018 participating in the Duke in the Arab World program in Morocco, and in summer 2019 she won a Critical Language Scholarship award to study Arabic in Oman. In fall of 2019 she studied the geopolitics of the Middle East in Amman, Jordan, through the School for International Training.

2020 Summer Project(s): Anna worked on collecting data for her senior thesis, "Women as Agents in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE): A Comparison Between Europe and the Middle East and North Africa". She also worked as a Research Assistant for the Nicholas School on a project entitled "Targeting of Infrastructure in the Middle East" looking at the impact of conflict on environmental infrastructure in Israel-Palestine.2020.

Erin Lee (class of 2021, she/her/hers)

graduated from Duke with a degree in Public Policy. At Duke, she was the co-director of MeToo Monologues 2019-2020, a BassConnections undergraduate researcher with SALUD (Scholar Academy for Latinxs United for Diversity), and a member of Duke Swing. Since graduation, she has been working as the Youth Organizer at NCAAT (North Carolina Asian Americans Together), an organization dedicated to empowering the civic engagement and political participation of Asian Americans in North Carolina. She was also accepted to Georgetown Law where she will be attending in the fall of 2021.

2020 Summer Project(s): During summer of 2020, Erin was working at the ACLU of Georgia while finishing up the I Exist audio documentary earlier in the summer and writing her thesis in the latter part of the summer.2020.

Catherine Martinez (class of 2021) is a double major in Public Policy and International Comparative Studies with a certificate in Markets and Management. She is originally from Miami and plans to attend graduate school to continue her studies in public policy. On campus, she is part of the Penny Pilgrim George Women’s Leadership Initiative, political chair for Mi Gente (Duke’s Latinx Student Association), chief administrative officer for Latinx Business Association, and academic chair for Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority. Catherine also helped lead the Center for Race Relation’s annual Common Ground retreat, centered on dialogue and perspective taking regarding privilege and marginalization within race, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual orientation.2020.

Sydney McKinney (class of 2021) is double majoring in Public Policy and German. She is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and plans to either pursue a career on the Hill or attend Law School. On campus, she has served as a student journalist for the Duke Reporters’ Lab, a member of the Club Soccer team, Political Action Committee Chair of the Duke NAACP, and Team Leader for Duke Community Consulting. Last summer, she worked as a Sales and Trading Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York. King spent the fall 2019 semester studying abroad in Berlin.2020.

Julianna Rennie (class of 2021) is a Public Policy major who is also pursuing certificates in Policy Journalism and Media Studies and Sustainability. She is originally from Charlotte, N.C., and is interested in environmental justice. She is a reporter for PolitiFact North Carolina and the student editor of the 9th Street Journal, a class-run publication that covers local news in Durham. She also works at the Duke Campus Farm and leads hiking and camping trips for students through Outing Club.2020.

Asael Salinas (class of 2021, he/him/his)

is a Public Policy and International Comparative Studies double major, with a minor in Mandarin. At Duke, Asael was president of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, is an executive board member of Duke Splash, and a member of LangDorm. Asael is also a part of the Duke Equestrian team and a research assistant for the Parenting Across Cultures (PAC) study. Outside of Duke, he is also a fellow with The Blue Lab South Carolina and an intern with CityBright LLC. He plans on attending grad school after working in the public sector for a few years. Asael is passionate about education and child welfare, equity, and social justice, and hopes to work with related non-profits after graduating.

2020 Summer Project(s): Asael worked on three research projects: Parenting Across Cultures; Evaluation of the Durham Children’s Initiative; and Latinxs and the Right. In addition, he was a fellow with The Blue Lab South Carolina where he learned the skills to organize, and work in, political campaigns. 2020.

James (Jimmy) Toscano (class of 2021)

is a Public Policy major from Orlando, Florida. On campus, he is a research and teaching assistant in the Duke Center for International Development, a senator for Duke Student Government, and a member of a Board of Trustees Strategic Task Force on the future of the relationship between Duke and Durham. He is passionate about diplomacy and political engagement, has studied abroad in Chile, Serbia, and Scotland, and wrote his honors thesis on the demographic dynamics of rejected provisional ballots in North Carolina from 2010-2020.

2020 Summer Project(s): Jimmy helped create a nonpartisan voter education website (https://myvoteproject.com/) for a nonprofit called Empower the People.2020.

Ellie Winslow (class of 2021, she/her/hers)

is a Public Policy Studies major, with a double minor in Spanish and Political Science. She is originally from Columbus, Ohio. At Duke, Ellie is captain of the Varsity Swimming & Diving team and represents the Duke Athletic department in the Duke and Atlantic Coast Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committees. This year, she is involved in a Bass Connections project called "NC Early Childhood Action Plan," where she is co-developing a study to investigate the factors influencing children’s health and development indicators in North Carolina and develop policy strategies that could be implemented by the state with members of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.

2020 Summer Project(s): Ellie participated in ACE in Place, where she learned about the impact of civic engagement and how to meaningfully prepare for future civic engagement work. She now serves as an ACE Ambassador and is currently helping the ACE Program Directors create the virtual experience for the 2021 program.2020.