2016 Undergraduate Public Service Scholars

Shivangi Bhatia, 2016 Undergraduate Scholar

Shivangi is a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, majoring in Political Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. When it comes to sexual violence prevention, Shivangi’s passion for women’s rights has led her to be a pro-active member on campus. Additionally this year, Shivangi created a program to increase menstrual health education in rural areas of India. Shivangi wishes to use the skills and experiences she gains through her internship at EMILY’s List, to launch a career in activism with women and girls living in communities of India. She hopes that by learning how to empower women domestically to get involved in politics, she can do so internationally in an effort to ensure that Indian laws are less oppressive and gendered.

Sana Johnson, 2016 Undergraduate Scholar

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Sana Johnson is a rising senior at Boston University where she studies International Relations with a minor in History. At Boston University, Sana works as a Student Ambassador for the Center for Career Development and Educational Resource Center, where she helps connect her fellow Terriers to the academic and career-related resources they need. This summer, Sana will be working for the Department of Justice in the Strategic Communications Office for the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. During her internship, she will use her capacity for creative problem-solving and learn about new ways to communicate messages to specific audiences. She looks forward to the summer and is confident that her experience as a B.A. Rudolph Undergraduate Scholar will help her pursue a career in public policy.

Felicitas Reyes, 2016 Undergraduate Scholar

Felicitas Reyes is a junior majoring in American Studies and Ethnicity. Felicitas has held leadership positions in various organizations on and off campus such as becoming the newly elected President of The Roots Foundation that aims to uplift women on Skid Row through mental health and wellness events. She also works as a mentor and tutor for mobilized high school youth at Community Coalition and has become a foster youth advocate through the nonprofit Journey House, where she helps demand legislative change for former foster youth in California. Aside from her extracurriculars, Felicitas also works with the Vice Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives, where she helps implement diverse programming for different student communities on campus. Felicitas holds another position with the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity/Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration where she has carried out administrative duties and puts together different events showcasing the center’s research. Felicitas is currently working on a project that involves Freedom University and the movement for undocumented student’s rights to a college education in Georgia. She has also continued to help with the Spreading Seeds Project, in which she helps analyze best practices to help system-impacted youth who have experienced severe trauma. Felicitas is currently spending her semester abroad in Spain where she is perfecting her Spanish in order to communicate better with people, both abroad and in her work.

2016 STEM Scholars

Ellie Fratt, 2016 STEM Scholar

Ellie Fratt, originally born in the small-town of Ashland, Wisconsin, now resides in Memphis, Tennessee where she attends Rhodes College. She is a rising junior who is majoring in Neuroscience and double minoring in Chemistry and Religious Studies. On campus, Ellie tutors statistics and is passionate about mental health awareness and advocacy. With the assistance of the B.A. Rudolph Foundation, Ellie will be continuing previous research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Potter Lab. Ellie’s project involves isolation and identification of specific enzyme inhibitors found within various natural products; her research thus far has earned her a 2016 Barry Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention. She hopes to pursue a dual MD/PhD degree, and go into translational research in Neuroscience.

Racquel Sohasky, 2016 STEM Scholar

Racquel Sohasky is originally from Sylvania, Ohio. She currently studies biology and Spanish at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, with plans of going to medical school after graduating. At Carthage, Racquel works as a Laboratory Assistant as well as a Supplemental Instructor Leader for Organic Chemistry. Outside of Carthage, she enjoys volunteering at Daybreak, an adult daycare center for people living with different forms of dementia. In January, Racquel went on a trip with other students and faculty members from her college to Nicaragua, where she had the opportunity to work in clinics and experience the culture of a developing country. After this trip, Racquel was moved to pursue another international service opportunity in Guatemala, where she will teach basic science courses to elementary and middle school aged children. This summer, Racquel will intern with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology. She looks forward to gaining experience in an exciting field of medicine as she ultimately hopes to become an anesthesiologist.

Kristina Rothchild, 2016 STEM Scholar

Kristina Rothchild is a recent graduate from Haverford College where she studied chemistry and French literature. Her passions blur the line between biology and chemistry with a specific focus on medicinal plant secondary metabolites. This summer, Kristina will be working under Dr. Lynn Adler at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying the medicinal effects of nectar and pollen compounds on bees infected with the intestinal parasite Crithidia bombi. Following her research at UMass, Kristina will spend a year in Toulouse, France, teaching English at the middle and high school levels. Once Kristina returns to the US, she plans to earn a Ph.D. studying plant chemistry and ultimately teach and conduct research at a university.

Elizabeth Wicks, 2016 STEM Scholar

Lizzy is from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and is a senior at the University of Mississippi. While majoring in International Studies and French, she is also pursuing the pre-medical curriculum and plans to attend medical school. As a part of the Croft Institute for International Studies, Lizzy has formed a Global Health concentration and has completed her senior thesis on the relationship between culture and worldview as displayed on maps throughout history. Through the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, she has become actively involved with the Lazarus Project, a multispectral digital imaging research team that seeks to restore damaged historical manuscripts. In her spare time, Lizzy enjoys volunteering as an ambassador on the Ole Miss campus, teaching Organic Chemistry recitations, teaching French at the local Boys and Girls Club, singing, and painting. She was also the primary organizer for the first TEDxUM event on the University of Mississippi campus. This summer, Lizzy will be working with Dr. Anthony Atala, the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. As a part of Dr. Atala’s lab, she will be using 3D cell culture techniques to create a more effective in vitro model of the human brain for use in drug testing and therapy.

2016 Graduate Public Service Scholars

Ryan Corbett, 2016 Graduate Scholar

Ryan Corbett attends Boston University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts and just finished her second year. Before starting law school, she worked at the African Refugee Development Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, working with and helping asylum seekers reunite with family members abroad, and apply for refugee status. This first sparked her interest in international refugee law and she has been working in that field ever since. After her first year in law school, Ryan traveled to Cairo, Egypt to work at the Refugee Legal Aid Project at St. Andrew’s Refugee Services. There, she assisted asylum seekers in their appeals for refugee status as well as helped with resettlement applications and appeals. During her second year of law school, she worked at the Human Trafficking Clinic at BU School of Law. Ryan also started the BU Law chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and is currently the chapter Director. She was also recently elected Editor-in- Chief of the BU School of Law International Law Journal. This summer, Ryan will travel to Washington D.C. to work with the Caribbean Protection Unit of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. There, she will be drafting refugee status determination and appeal decisions for asylum seekers in the Caribbean region, as well as drafting advisory opinions requested by Caribbean governments for pending asylum claims.

Jess McDonald, 2016 Graduate Scholar

Originally from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jess McDonald recently acquired her Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in May 2016. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, where she graduated summa cum laude. While pursuing her Masters, Jess focused her studies on the intersection of energy and climate. She was able to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) international climate negotiations as a student delegate for the American Chemical Society in Lima, Peru in 2014. During this trip, Jess became intrigued by the multilateral policymaking process. She has since worked for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in Geneva, Switzerland where she researched and reported on international policy developments at the nexus of trade, climate, and the environment. Most recently, Jess assisted ICTSD in Paris, France with reporting and analysis of the Paris Agreement, an international climate agreement adopted by countries to the UNFCCC. With the support of the B.A. Rudolph Foundation, she is pursuing her interests in national energy and climate policy this summer at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of International Climate and Clean Energy.

Ashlee Peña, 2016 Graduate Scholar

Ashlee Peña is a native of San Antonio, Texas. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Policy and Planning at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from Trinity University in San Antonio and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from St. Mary’s University School of Law also in San Antonio. Since law school, Ashlee has worked as a legislative aide on public education in the Texas Senate, advocated on behalf of Social Security Disability Insurance recipients, and started a private law firm. This summer, she will be in Washington, D.C. as a Graduate Fellow with the Archer Center Graduate Program in Public Policy and an intern with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Ashlee hopes to combine her knowledge of law and education policy in order to pursue a career advocating for the betterment of equal and adequate educational opportunities for all.

Michelle Williams, 2016 Graduate Scholar

Michelle Williams was born in Brazil and grew up in Guyana, where her former career as a news reporter allowed her to appreciate the importance of efficient delivery of information like health care. Michelle is entering her second year as a Master of Health Informatics Candidate at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Michelle holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Michigan and an Associate of Science from Lake Michigan College. She is a 2011 Lake Michigan College Presidential Scholar and a 2012 Center for the Education of Women (CEW) Scholar at the University of Michigan. Michelle’s goal is to have a world where patients have access to data and the necessary tools to manage their own health. She believes that patient-centered healthcare is the future, and will be effective in setting and maintaining higher standards and quality of care, especially for disadvantaged and minority groups. Michelle Williams volunteered with the Safe Shelter for Women and Children Domestic Violence victims and is currently a member of the CEW’s Advisory panel. Michelle currently balances a trifecta of family, part-time work and full-time school. Her internship at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C., provides her the opportunity to expand her knowledge in understanding the development of informatics policy decisions for improving health outcomes across communities. She will be participating in two projects: the implementation of new diagnostic codes for the Zika virus in a clinical decision support (CDSS) system for hospitals across the nation, and a patient matching and data quality initiative aimed at improving the quality and usefulness of big data by developing standards.

2017 Rudolph Scholar at the Clinton School for Public Service

Amie Alexander, 2016 Rudolph Scholar at the Clinton School for Public Service

Amie Alexander, of Little Rock, Arkansas, is a 2018 candidate for the degree of Master of Public Service at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. In addition to her focus on public service, she is also a concurrent law student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and will complete her Juris Doctorate in May 2019. Prior to her tenure in the Clinton School and Bowen School of law, Amie attended the University of Arkansas, where she graduated with honors and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and an emphasis in Agricultural Education.

At the Clinton School, Amie has worked with the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation to study the residual effects of rural electrification and what lessons can be applied to the current struggle to provide broadband service for rural Arkansans. This summer, she will work with the Foreign Agricultural Service in Tokyo, Japan, where she will assist in developing agricultural commodity trade reports and marketing American agricultural products. Upon the completion of her degrees, Amie plans to use her knowledge of both public service and law to influence rural development policy and promote social change. Amie is passionate about closing the gaps between rural and urban America, specifically in the areas of poverty, education, agricultural literacy, and access to broadband.