Civic Internship Grant Recipients: 2016
the clough center for the study of constitutional democracy
My name is Kayla Arroyave and I am from Naperville, Illinois. I am a rising junior at Boston College as a history and international studies double major with a concentration in international ethics and social justice as well as a Hispanic studies minor. At Boston College I am the Secretary of the Bellarmine Law Society and a member of Women in Business and of Nourish International. My ambitions extend outside the classroom and into trying to find a way to make a positive impact on the world every day. I teach ESL and volunteer inside and outside of the Boston College community. I was bitten by the travel bug at a young age and take advantage of every opportunity I have to explore a new city. Next year I will be studying abroad during the spring semester in Santiago, Chile.
Since my sophomore year of high school I have strived towards law school. My summer internship is with the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender. Cook County encompasses the city of Chicago and provides legal representation to its citizens. The Office is focused on protecting the rights and liberties of every client. I will specifically be working within the Legal Resources Division which handles appeals and post-conviction processes. Within this division I will be directly assisting attorneys with trial preparation. This includes filing transcripts and organizing court documents. I will learn how to conduct legal research and writing, draft motions and appeals, conduct client interview sessions, and attend motion hearings all while learning about the complexities of case law. Assisting with the volume of case work while providing legal counsel for people who would otherwise be unable to afford a lawyer is a way for me to explore my interest in law while contributing to the public good. This internship is an important step towards my career as a lawyer and I am incredibly excited to step into the professional world of the Public Defender’s Office and see democracy in action.
I am a student in the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program majoring in Islamic Civilization and Societies and minoring in Arabic studies. Outside Boston College, I work as a freelance journalist, and my work on conflicts in Myanmar, Syria, and elsewhere has appeared in Cracked, The Daily Beast, The Daily Dot, The Diplomat, The Global Post, Vice, and USA Today.
Professors David DiPasquale and Kathleen Bailey from the Department of Political Science have helped me research ethnic conflict and religious intolerance in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Last summer, I studied these topics in Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand through the Martin Luther King Jr. Advanced Study Grant from the University Fellowships Committee, the Mizna Fellowship from the Islamic Civilization and Societies Program, the Summer Research Grant from the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, and the Travel Grant from the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy, strengthening my understanding of Muslim minorities in Buddhist countries.
This summer, I will travel to Uganda to work with World Peace and Reconciliation, an American nongovernment organization focused on conflict resolution, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, and peacekeeping in Darfur, the Blue Nile, and the Nuba Mountains, Sudan’s three most-troubled regions. I will divide my work between researching the country’s many civil wars to document war crimes and crimes against humanity—using Arabic—and teaching English to Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees around Kampala, the Ugandan capital. My travel there will likely improve my research on these conflicts, some of which has appeared in The Small Wars Journal.
In future, I hope to work at a newspaper such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or The Washington Post or think tanks such as the Institute for the Study of War, the Middle East Forum, or the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, using what I have learned at the University and in Uganda. Next summer, I will try to intern at one of these newspapers or think tanks.
My career interests revolve education and education policy. After I graduate from Boston College I hope to participate in a program such as Teach for America or maybe teach abroad for a year or two before I go back to graduate school for education and move forward with my career.
My name is Christina Fallon and I am a political science major in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences class of 2017. I am from South Hamilton, MA and just returned from a semester abroad at the University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland- the home of golf! While at BC this fall I had the opportunity to complete an internship with MA State Representative Kate Hogan, who, in addition to representing the 3rd Middlesex District of Massachusetts, is also the co-chair of the Committee on Public Health. After working with and supporting her staff I was eager to gain further real world experience in a government-related area. This summer I will be working for Congressman Seth Moulton, who represents the 6th District of Massachusetts. In addition to best representing his district, Congressman Moulton is committed to the economic growth of Massachusetts as well as policy areas of issue such as veterans’ affairs. While working in the Congressman’s Salem District Office I hope to gain further experience in constituent services, casework, and current policy issues. In addition, I am looking forward to helping to make a positive impact on life in my home district! Following graduation I plan to continue gaining experience in both government and private areas related to my political science major, while hopefully attending law school sometime in the near future. I am very excited about this Clough Center Junior Fellowship opportunity and I am looking forward to the upcoming year!
My name is Alyssa Florack, and I am a rising senior majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Political Science. I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and came to BC after graduating from Notre Dame Academy. During high school, I was very involved in both academics and sports, completing a full diploma in International Baccalaureate and captaining the varsity soccer team for two years. I also participated in several clubs, from student government to raising awareness and funds for cancer research.
Beyond extracurricular activities, my large family gave me a great love and appreciation for the outdoors. We’ve done everything from wakeboarding to skydiving, skiing to hiking. My love for nature has inspired me to choose a path to protect this public good through a future career in environmental public policy. At BC, I’ve engaged with environmental issues in multiple ways, most fundamentally by being accepted into the Environmental Studies Program. I’ve also joined extracurricular groups on these issues as the Vice President of Geology Association, a research assistant in a Paleontology lab during my semester abroad in Australia, an Undergraduate Research Fellow in the BC Political Science department, and an executive member on Climate Justice at BC.
This summer I will continue working to protect threatened public goods through an internship at U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group that uses grassroots organizing, research, public advocacy and litigation in order to protect democracy by standing up to powerful special interests. During my internship, I will be working on the campaign to stop the overuse of antibiotics on livestock and poultry. While the current system of routine antibiotic consumption prevents current strains of disease, this process creates strains that are resistant to antibiotics, a consequence that has dire consequences for public health. Due to the powerful political control of agricultural interests, U.S. PIRG has turned to major restaurants and consumers in order to push improvements in this area. In my work with U.S. PIRG, I continue this project by assisting with campaigns directed at major food chains like KFC and Wendy’s to encourage them to switch to meat not raised on routine antibiotics. I will be producing reports on these issues to share with the general public and will work with other PIRG groups from across the country to create a strong coalition in order to protect public health.
In addition to this benefit to public health, this internship will also help me to learn about different careers in public policy. After graduation, I plan to attend law school, focusing in environmental issues, in order to make my own contributions to public policy. In my future career, I hope to design policy within the government or to work for an advocacy organization like U.S. PIRG or the NRDC.
Miriam George is originally from Singapore, but has lived in Shrewsbury, MA for most of her life. She is a Political Science major and a Hispanic Studies minor. At BC, Miriam is a Chapter Director for Generation Citizen, a non-profit organization which works to bring an effective action civics education to low-income and minority students in the Boston Public Schools. Every semester, she teaches a different class of high school students about government and advocacy, and then engages in an action project with them to solve an issue that their community is facing; her classes have chosen to work on issues ranging from the school-to-prison pipeline to racially-motivated traffic stops in Boston. In addition, Miriam is a member of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, and she is also the Chair of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women committee at BC's upcoming EagleMUNC Model UN conference, which is attended by hundreds of high school students from around the world every year. She is a Resident Assistant and a member of the BC Flute Ensemble as well.
Miriam is particularly interested in the protection of the civil rights and liberties of minority and immigrant groups, which is why she is interning with the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office this summer. The Civil Rights Division works to end discrimination and to ensure equal and meaningful opportunity for all to participate in civic society, in areas such as education, housing, employment, healthcare, transportation, and voting. The Division also works to protect the individual rights of free speech and privacy. Miriam will be working as a non-legal intern in the Division; her responsibilities include interviewing complainants and reviewing complaints, mediating disputes, referring complainants to outside organizations, conferring with Assistant Attorneys General about possible intervention by the Office, and assisting staff members in conducting ongoing investigations and court cases.
In the future, Miriam hopes to attend law school, and eventually, to work as a lawyer or public official in the field of civil rights and anti-discrimination law, with a special focus on the interests of minority and immigrant individuals.
My name is Jimmy Gilman, and I am from Rochester, New York. I am a political science major, and have minors in geological science and philosophy. I am an avid sports fan, having played baseball and basketball in high school. At Boston College, I am a member of the cycling team. I enjoy doing community service in the Boston area, and have done work at the St. Francis House shelter and the Commonwealth Tenants’ Association after school program. Next year, I will be a member of Boston College’s PULSE Council in which I will coordinate different placements for Boston College’s PULSE service-learning course. I studied abroad in Ecuador in the fall of 2015, where I became close to fluent in Spanish and worked at a school for disadvantaged children. I hope to do more in terms of working and living abroad in the future, and will start that by participating in Boston College’s Arrupe Program and its trip to Morelos, Mexico in January.
Through my coursework, I have developed an interest in environmental concerns in the world. Because I have a background in both policy and the earth sciences, I hope to go into the field of environmental law, policy, or advocacy. I have thought extensively about becoming an environmental attorney, but most of all hope to work with any organization in this field. Through my work at various non-profits in the Boston area, I have also become interested in the functioning and development of non-profit businesses.
This summer, I will be working at the non-profit Earthwatch in Allston. The organization specializes in environmental research trips. Their business model revolves around taking ordinary people on these trips and having them do research in a “citizen scientist” mold. Trips are led by experts in the field. My work with Earthwatch will involve identifying groups of people that would be likely to go on trips and developing models for recruiting them. I will also have the opportunity to go on one of their expeditions after I complete the internship. I will have the opportunity to learn more about non-profit business development through my work, and will also gain more knowledge and awareness of environmental issues and occurrences in our world.
Currently a Senior in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences here at Boston College pursuing a major in Political Science and a minor in Art History, I am a native and lifelong resident of East Boston, Massachusetts.
Before coming to Boston College I attended Boston Latin School, where I graduated in 2013. During my time at Boston Latin I had the fortune of being selected for the John William Ward Fellowship, a program that introduces students to public service, both through a speaker’s series and summer internships with city, state, and federal government offices around Boston. Through this program I was afforded an unparalleled introduction to my local civic community, which sparked my commitment to public service. Over the next few years I became more involved with civic activities in Boston, working with local schools to organize a series of student-organized voter registration efforts and public forums and debates between candidates for local office in the city.
As a Clough Civic Intern for the summer of 2016, I was able to continue my involvement with public service as an intern for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in Washington, D.C. As a committee intern I was tasked with a number of duties to assist the committee in its work, including conducting research, gathering information, composing memos, preparing for hearings, and drafting correspondence on behalf of the Ranking Member, Senator Tom Carper. With the committee’s wide range of oversight I was able to work on a wide range of important contemporary topics, such as the Zika Virus, oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA, improper payments by government agencies, the continued thread of ISIS, and the Opioid Abuse Epidemic, the rise of which I’ve witnessed firsthand in communities across the Northeast in recent years. I was able to witness firsthand how legislators were responding to these issues on a national level and the work of congressional staff to support them in this duty.
After my time interning with the committee, I was able to participate in a second program, spending four weeks in the Chinese cities of Suzhou and Shenyang, teaching high school students international affairs, public speaking, and diplomacy through a course on Model United Nations. Model UN has been one of the activities I’ve been most involved in during my time at Boston College, and getting the opportunity to spread it through this cultural exchange was an exciting and unique challenge.
Still formulating my plan for life after Boston College, I know that I would like to continue my involvement in civic participation throughout my future career. One of my biggest choices is that of focusing on either local, national, or international levels, evaluating my experiences so far to weigh the merits of each.
During the school year I also work for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as a Gallery Officer, where I spend my time protecting works of art from the threat of absentminded tourists.
Alexandra Graham is a rising sophomore majoring in Applied Psychology and Human Development in the Lynch School of Education with a minor in Economics. From the Washington DC area, she is extremely interested in educational policy work, both through the federal and nonprofit sectors. After spending the last three summers working inside the classroom for a private school’s summer program, she decided to take her professional goals of educational work to a new height. Working one-on-one with children inside the classroom visibly demonstrated the power and importance of a high quality education on her students’ future social and academic achievements. Alexandra imagined the support she could provide to not just handful of students, but hundreds and thousands of students in the United States and abroad by pursuing education professionally.
This summer Alexandra is working at The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education, a branch of the Department of Education that aims to strengthen the Nation by expanding opportunities and improving educational outcomes for its American Indian and Alaskan Native students. Further, it supports self-determination and the possibility for these students to learn more about their native languages and histories, as well as receive a complete and competitive education. She is serving as of one the Initiative's policy assistants, working closely with the Executive Office of the President to help ensure the implementation of key administrative priorities. She has the opportunity to participate in some of these meetings, as well as write policy reports regarding future proposals. The Initiative and its policy assistants are also involved in the development of sufficient data resources to inform progress on Federal performance indicators, in close collaboration with the National Center for Educational Statistics. Finally, Alexandra is pursuing the Initiative’s networking goals—sharing the best practices in minority education and encouraging the implementation of these policies. She is optimistic that her internship under the US Department of Education will give her an opportunity to watch, participate in, and learn from real federal policy work. Alexandra anticipates that this experience during the Summer of 2016 will prompt her to continue delving into the world of education policy and reform, possibly also exploring the nonprofit sector in the future.
Thomas Hanley is a rising senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Studies with a concentration in Conflict & Cooperation. A dual Irish-American citizen, Thomas grew up in Rochester, New York and graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School in 2013. Last summer, Thomas worked as a strategist intern with R/GA digital advertising working on Nike’s Western European Running Campaign in their London, England office. He spent the end of his summer taking intensive Danish language courses before spending a semester studying Political Science at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. At Boston College, Thomas is a producer with the Boston College Television station and a member of the Political Science Departmental Honors Program. This upcoming fall semester, Thomas will be taking an intensive seminar on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Professor Eve Spangler before traveling to the region over the Christmas break to gain a first-hand perspective on the conflict. Additionally, Thomas will be spending the duration of his senior year working on a Political Science Departmental Honors Thesis with Professor Jonathan Laurence. He will be examining the impact of the current asylum and migration crisis on the rise of right-wing populist parties in Europe, with a focus on Denmark and Sweden.
Thomas will be spending the summer working for the United States Department of State. He will be posted to the U.S. Tri-Mission in Brussels, Belgium (The Tri-Mission includes the U.S. Mission to the European Union, U.S. Mission to NATO, and the U.S. Embassy in Belgium). While in Brussels, Thomas will be specifically assigned to the Department of State’s U.S.–European Media Hub. The Hub, as it is referred to colloquially, is a part of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Media Engagement, working with the Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Mission to the European Union and with Public Affairs Offices at U.S. Embassies throughout Europe. The Hub works to help media organizations in Europe gain access to U.S. policymakers and inform European audiences about U.S. foreign policies and perspectives through broadcast interviews, video productions, and social media. Thomas will be assisting in all facets of the Hub's work, and, while he is not working, hopes to conduct interviews in Brussels for his upcoming Thesis.
After graduation, Thomas hopes to spend a year teaching English or working for an international or nongovernmental organization abroad before pursuing a master’s degree in International Relations and inevitability have a career centered on International Relations in some capacity.
Jessica Ilaria is a rising senior in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences studying Political Science with a minor in Medical Humanities. She is originally from a small town called Zionsville, Indiana. She spent her last semester is Istanbul, Turkey, studying Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University, where she had an incredibly eye-opening experience learning about Turkish politics and culture. While at Boston College she is very involved in extracurricular and volunteer opportunities in different aspects of college life. Previously a dedicated member to the Emerging Leader Program freshmen year she continued to be a sophomore facilitator that worked towards helping acclimate freshmen into the Boston College community and leading leadership skill training exercises. Currently she participates in 4Boston and volunteers at ACEDONE, an afterschool tutoring program for Somalian refugees. Jessica is also on the Student Admissions Program Executive Board as the High School Visits and Outreach Coordinator, which will allow her to work with many of the prospective high school students interested in Boston College. Another role Jessica has on campus is Chapter Director for the Boston College chapter of Strong Women, Strong Girls, a mentoring organization for third to fifth grades girls that works towards building confidence and teaching girls about volunteering and community engagement in elementary schools throughout the Boston area.
During the summer of 2016, Jessica will be interning at the office of Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana in Washington DC. Her responsibilities include but are not limited to: attending hearings; researching policy issues; compiling information to respond to constituent inquiries; pulling press clippings; helping draft press statements and assisting with the operations of the DC office and other projects as assigned. Additionally, she will be engaging in thoughtful dialogue with constituents and engaging the full cycle of civic responsibilities and stages. Jessica has not decided definitively what she will be doing after graduation, but she knows that whatever she pursues, it will have an international component to it. She hopes to have a position where she is working towards creating policies that positively affect the lives of those who feel that they do not have a voice in society. She is very interested in public development or security, and hopes to look for a career after graduation that revolves around those topics, perhaps in a setting like the State Department of a NGO.
My name is Abigail Kilcullen, and I am a rising senior at Boston College. I am majoring in Applied Psychology and Human Development in the Lynch School of Education with a minor in Sociology. I am from a suburb of the greater Washington, D.C. area in Kensington, MD. Having had extensive community service experiences as well as exposure to Catholic Social Teaching throughout high school, I gradually fostered a passion for and interest in social justice issues facing marginalized, vulnerable populations. The various sociology and theology classes I have taken at Boston College coupled with my involvement in an inner city tutoring program has led me to specifically seek out opportunities that serve and interact with the criminal justice system and those affected by the issue of mass incarceration.
I will be interning with three programs, CARE, RESTART, and RISE, in the Federal District Court in Boston. I will be working with the programs from June 1 to August 15, 2016, full-time (maintaining 20 hours/week at least). CARE and RESTART are programs that seek to help people who are on federal supervised release and probation to re-enter the community after incarceration. Many of the participants have substance abuse issues. All of them face daunting challenges in obtaining housing and employment. The RISE program is for criminal defendants who have been released into the community and are awaiting sentencing. They have one year to demonstrate that they are making strides toward rehabilitating themselves by addressing deficits such as drug abuse, unemployment, educational needs, etc.
As an intern with these programs, I will attend all program meetings, which presently cover about twenty-five hours per month. I will be responsible for researching best practices for re-entry programs, helping establish contacts in the community, working with the program administrators to improve the programs, working with participants to assess their needs and address them, and helping establish a process for statistical evaluation of the program’s success. I will work out of Judge Kelley’s chambers at the Courthouse, out of the office of Ms. Hedges’ law firm, and off-site as needed.
In terms of my future plans, there are a few different paths that I see myself taking as of now. In the case that I decide to pursue criminal law or criminal justice policy reform someday, I would then like to attend law school. However, my humanitarian interests may push me to attend graduate school in San Diego for Social Work or Non-Profit Management. Therefore, I believe that gaining hands on experience this summer by working directly with the affected population through researching, interacting with, and understanding these people and their obstacles will provide me with a solid foundation moving forward. Permitting my acceptance into the program, I am planning on joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps for a year immediately upon graduation. I believe this program will provide me with practical experience and skills and invaluable connections allowing me to take the necessary time to decide what my next step will be.
Originally from outside of Philadelphia, Kathleen Larkin is currently a Senior at Boston College. She is studying International Studies with a concentration in Political Science and is minoring in Economics and Women’s and Gender Studies. On campus, Kathleen is actively involved in the Jenks Leadership Program and is a director for the Jenk’s class of 2017. She has also participated extensively in Boston College’s Model UN and EagleMUNC club and was even a member of the Boston College Pom Squad her Freshman year. Outside of school, Kathleen loves to dance, sail, and participate in various community service projects.
This summer, Kathleen will be working for the United States Department of State in Washington D.C. in the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL). DRL is committed to “protecting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world,” as integral to U.S. foreign policy. The Bureau aims to accomplish these goals through “bilateral diplomacy, multilateral engagement, foreign assistance, reporting and public outreach, and economic sanctions,” by working with numerous government and non-government organizations both regionally and internationally. The Bureau’s official goal is “to promote democracy, protect human rights and international religious freedom, and advance labor rights globally.” During her internship, Kathleen will have the opportunity to work directly alongside foreign and civil service members as well as ambassadors to promote human rights around the world. Her work will have a direct impact on the lives of citizens around the world, from aiding NGOs to directly providing the funds for human rights activists to escape persecution in their home countries. She is excited for this unique opportunity to grow personally, academically, and professionally, and plans to learn as much as possible during her time in D.C. this summer.
Kathleen has known that she has wanted to work either for or with the government in areas of foreign policy since her eighth grade U.S. history class. Her passion for International relations and social justice has only grown in her years at Boston College. She plans to use her internship this summer to solidify her interest in the field and to explore various career opportunities.
Julianna R. Marandola is a rising sophomore in the Carroll School of Management Honors Program. In the Carroll School, she concentrates in Finance and Entrepreneurship. A native of Cranston, Rhode Island, Julianna serves as an Executive Board Member for the Honors Program’s Community Integration Committee, the Boston College Chapter of Smart Woman Securities, and Boston College Splash. She is also a member of the Boston College Pep Band, in which she plays the trombone. As both a business and pre-law student, Julianna’s academic focus lies in developing a more comprehensive understanding of the intersection of the public and private spheres. Upon graduation, Julianna intends to pursue a career in strategic consulting.
This summer, Julianna will serve as a policy research intern in the Office of Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Daniel J. McKee. As such, her work will be centered on supporting Lieutenant Governor McKee’s tri-part “Advance RI” initiative, which seeks to develop and promote legislation that will improve and modernize Rhode Island’s public education system, cities and towns, and small businesses. Lieutenant Governor McKee’s Office is also strongly oriented toward creating regionalization programs that will enable Rhode Island municipalities to engage in the sharing of utilities and services across local lines. Her internship will include research assistance in each of these areas, with a particular focus on projects relevant to Rhode Island’s business climate. In keeping with the Lieutenant Governor’s emphasis on government transparency and accessibility, Julianna will have the additional opportunity to assist the Office’s communications staff in developing the Lieutenant Governor’s social media presence and publicizing sponsored proposals and events. She looks forward to gaining both practical experience in the public sector and a greater appreciation for the delicate homeostasis of interests and power that constitutional democracy is able to preserve in Rhode Island and beyond.
Julianna is honored to serve as a Junior Fellow at the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy in the upcoming academic year.
My name is Conor McCadden, and I am a 20-year-old rising junior at Boston College. I am from the town of Calais in northeastern Maine. I attended Calais High School where I graduate in 2014. I am the younger of two kids; my older sister, Emily, just graduated from Bowdoin College. My father, Tim, works for the Department of Transportation and my mother, Kim, is the secretary of the Calais Elementary School.
This summer I will be living in an apartment in Boston while working an internship at the Massachusetts State House. This is a full time internship in the office of State Representative Randy Hunt of the 5th Barnstable District of Cape Cod. At this internship I will have two main areas to focus my attention: constituent services and research. The constituent services aspect of my work mostly focuses on receiving and responding to letters, taking phone calls, and meeting and greeting constituents. A lot of this interaction comes when constituents hear about bills working their way through the state house that will have an impact on them. This impact can be either positive or negative as we receive letters expressing concern and urging support. Whether the people of the 5th Barnstable are for or against a bill, they are very good at letting their Representative or Senator know their opinions.
The work I do on the research side is much more meaningful to me as I feel like I am making a real impact on the communities of Cape Cod. One example of this is research I did from February until the beginning of May on community wireless Internet networks. There are initiatives being started on the Cape to bring Wi-Fi, as a purchasable good, to members of rural communities that would otherwise go without. I compiled my research into a memo that was presented to the parties involved in bringing these ideas to fruition.
For future career plans, I hope to work as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. I recognize that this is looked at as a lofty goal because Foreign Service workers are usually older. I believe the average age in 2015 was 31. This is an ultimate goal, “The Dream,” so to speak. Until them I am interested in graduate school programs for International Relations and internships in Washington relating to foreign policy. To boil my career plans down to a simple phrase, I wish to do work to ensure that the United States never stops communicating with friend and foe alike. They day we decide to cut our diplomatic ties and stop talking is the day we fail.
A member of the class of 2017, Olivia McCaffrey is majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Political Science and a minor in French. Originally from Wakefield, MA, she is a member of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program and Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. She is interested in research and analysis on the topics of international politics and government. She completed an Advanced Study Grant to examine the prevalence of Independent voters in Massachusetts, and her scholarly work from this and other research endeavors has been featured in Elements, the Undergraduate Research Journal of Boston College and Kaleidoscope, the International Studies Journal of Boston College. Her interest in both American government and international diplomacy stems from her academic work and her three summers interning at the Massachusetts State House. Additionally, Olivia has worked as an Undergraduate Research Fellow in the Political Science Department for Professor Jennifer Erickson, and completed externships with the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative (now Project Citizenship) and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Olivia spent the summer semester of 2015 studying Modernism and practicing her French language skills in Paris. In her spare time, Olivia serves as an Executive Board Member for the charitable arts club of Boston College and violinist for the Liturgy Arts Group and Irish Fiddle Ensemble.
This summer, Olivia will be returning to the Massachusetts State House, this time to work within the Office of Governor Charlie Baker as an intern for the Office of Access and Opportunity. The Office of Access and Opportunity (OAO) is an executive office within the Governor’s Administration that works to increase diversity and inclusion within the Commonwealth. As an intern for the OAO, Olivia will be leveraging her research skills to examine state-level diversity within Massachusetts, with a focus on business contracts between the State of Massachusetts and small businesses run by women, minorities, and veterans.
In the future, Olivia plans to pursue a career in governmental and international research, as well as a Master’s Degree in a related field.
Lidya Mesgna is a senior at Boston College majoring in International Studies (Political Science track) with a minor in Economics. A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, Lidya graduated from Montgomery Blair High School’s Math, Science, and Computer Science Magnet Program. There, she developed her interests in public policy, social justice, and advocacy through her involvement with Student Government, Maryland Youth and Government, and Spanish Honor Society as well as through her research internship studying Washington D.C.’s congressional voting rights at the George Washington University Institute of Public Policy.
At BC, Lidya has been involved in EagleMUNC, BC Bigs, the Learning to Learn Dominican Republic Service and Immersion Trip, and the Undergraduate Government of Boston College. During her sophomore year, she interned at Project Hope, a non-profit in Boston that works to move families past homelessness and poverty by providing low-income women with children access to vital services. She spent her junior year studying abroad in London, taking special interest in immigrant and refugee issues. Beginning this fall, she will serve as Director of Policy for the AHANA Leadership Council.
This summer she will be interning with the Office of Representative Chris Van Hollen. She will mostly be working from the district office in Rockville, MD handling constituent casework and community outreach. Additionally, she will be responsible for drafting correspondence, meeting with constituents, and attending events in the community, acting as a liaison between the Congressman and the community.
Following her graduation from BC, Lidya plans to work for a non-profit or policy think tank for a few years before getting her graduate or law degree. She eventually plans to pursue a career in international policy, with a focus on immigration, refugee policy and economic development.
Emily Murphy is a rising senior in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College. She majors in Political Science and Islamic Civilizations and Societies, and is in the Honors programs for both fields. She is from Burlington, Vermont, but spent the summer conducting Counterterrorism research with the renowned Institute for the Study of War (www.understandingwar.org) in Washington, D.C.
Emily’s interest in counter-terrorism stems from her experiences in other countries, particularly Kuwait and France, where problems of identity and governmental policies regarding Counterterrorism fascinated her and propelled her to look for solutions to the dilemma. She spent a month in Kuwait last summer studying the politics of oil in the Gulf states, and spent this past semester (Spring 2016) studying near Marseille, France. Her studies in France focused on problems of Muslim integration into French politics and the greater European identity.
Emily has also worked the past year and a half as an Undergraduate Research Fellow for Professor Jonathan Laurence, of the Political Science department at Boston College. Her work with Professor Laurence inspired her to look into and evaluate the effectiveness of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and de-radicalization policies in the Western world for her undergraduate thesis.
In the future, Emily plans to pursue at least a Master’s degree in Islamic Studies or Security Studies, and she will use the knowledge gained from her education to work in policy formation and advisement in order to best guide our society forward in its ability to deal with the conflict between countering extremism and terrorism, and adhering to problems of human rights and democratic freedoms.
Her work at the Institute for the Study of War involved monitoring Arabic news sources and tracking ISIS’ movements, attacks, and other significant events. She worked with a small team of Research Analysts and other interns in order to create comprehensive analysis of ISIS and other terrorist organizations’ actions and whereabouts, so that governments and the public may be best able to formulate strategies to combat terror groups abroad. She prepared and presented both written and oral briefings for the staff about developments regarding ISIS around the world. She also assisted in the creation of informative graphics and maps to convey the data she found.
Matthew Phelps is a rising senior at Boston College, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Theology. He is originally from Napa Valley, California where he lived for the entirety of his childhood before coming to Boston for school. Born and raised in a region renowned for premier food and wine (and, as a result, inherent luxury and excess), Matt developed an increasing awareness of inequality growing up, particularly in regards to class and race. Now, as a young adult, he attributes his sociology major and the origin of his ever-growing sociological imagination to his upbringing and place of birth. Since moving to Boston and starting at BC, Matt has cultivated this curiosity in and out of academic environments. He enjoys learning about cultural constructions and expectations surrounding race, class, gender, and sexuality, and the discrimination that occurs as a result. Matt has also had the opportunity to take part in international immersion opportunities that have brought his social justice perspective outside of the classroom, including a trip with the Arrupe program to Morelos, Mexico and a semester abroad in Manila, Philippines with the Casa program. He will travel with a BC program this December to Israel where he will have the opportunity to look deeper into the religious and political tensions at play in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Matt enjoys constantly finding new ways to challenge his worldview and biases.
This summer, Matt will be working at Next Mile Project in Boston. Next Mile is an incubator and collaborative working space for young non-profit start-ups. Matt was selected by Next Mile to work closely alongside one of their member organizations, Step Up International, which aims to provide young people in Botswana, Africa with opportunities to lead socially and economically productive lives. Matt will be assisting Step Up with communications, marketing, and project design. As Step Up is only about a year old, Matt expects that working with a young non-profit will be an informative opportunity to better understand non-profit management and the work that goes into founding an organization. Aside from his work with Step Up, Matt will work with the greater intern cohort at Next Mile Project to collaborate on projects. The intern team has a diverse skillset, including focuses in graphic design and film, and Next Mile is encouraging of interns coordinating in their own collaborative ventures. What excites Matt most about this opportunity with Next Mile Project and Step Up International is the unique combination of exercising his creativity and working for a mission-driven organization. He is interested in how creativity can be a driving force in promoting social entrepreneurship. In this work environment, he hopes to expand his own skillset and gain further insight into future career paths.
Alex Pilla is a rising junior from Randolph, New Jersey. She is in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a double major in Political Science and International Studies, with a concentration in Economics.
Alex has made Boston College her new home by diving into community through many campus activities. As a current voting member and secretary of the Student Organization Funding Committee she oversees the funding process for all 200 student organizations on campus. As an SOFC member she works with club treasurers to ease the budgeting process and deliberates with the other committee members to ensure a thoughtful allocation of funding to student activities that enrich campus life. Additionally, Alex is a dedicated member of the EagleMUNC team, working as a co-chair this past year and as the deputy of finance for the upcoming academic year. Members of EagleMUNC plan and host a 40-hour Model United Nations simulation conference in Boston each year for high school students. This past spring, Alex worked as a Blue Lab Associate at Liberty Square Group in Boston where she contributed to the revolutionary campaign incubator. As a part of the Blue Lab Team, Alex provided campaign support and advice to local political candidates.
At Boston College, Alex is also involved with several service-oriented organizations. She volunteered at Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s thought Boston College’s PULSE program. As a tutor at the Teen Center she assisted high school students, who join the Boston Public School system from Cape Verde, with both homework and the college application process. She also participated in the Appalachia Volunteers program and spent a week in Goose Creek, South Carolina working with Habitat for Humanity and learning about social injustice in the Appalachia region. Through both the PULSE program and Appalachia trip, Alex learned the importance of being an advocate for the voiceless and marginalized people in the community. With this inspiration in mind, she sought out the McCain Institute’s summer internship program.
This summer, Alex is the Humanitarian Action Intern at the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington, D.C. Senator John McCain and his wife Cindy McCain founded the Institute in 2012 as a bipartisan do-tank committed to character-driven global leadership, security, economic opportunity, and human dignity. The Humanitarian Action program at the McCain Institute continues to tap into the knowledge and experience of leading experts in the field with the purpose of educating the public on human trafficking and implementing anti-trafficking efforts in many forms across the country. Alex’s work will focus on finding solutions to the problem of human trafficking and effecting change both in domestic and foreign policy. In addition, Alex will conduct research and analysis regarding the scale and scope of human trafficking and modern day slavery. She will contribute to the building of a comprehensive database for human trafficking information and transform the current domestic initiatives into global efforts.
The Humanitarian Action Internship and Clough Center Fellowship are Alex’s exciting first steps toward a career motivated by social justice.
Originally from Winter Park, Florida, Jordan Alexander Pino is a graduate of Lake Highland Preparatory School and a current senior in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College. He is pursuing a double-major in both Political Science and Philosophy, and he is a member of the Departmental Honors Program of the former. Jordan was also a Dean’s Sophomore Scholar and a 2015 Civic Internship Grant recipient.
On campus, Jordan has served as a Resident Assistant in Fenwick Hall, and he has worked as a Research Assistant at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, until its closing in the spring of 2015. Since his first year, he has helped to resolve the cases of students as a member of the Student Conduct Board, where he now serves as Chairman. Jordan also contributes as a guest columnist to his hometown newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, and his work has been featured in the U.K.’s Front Bench Magazine and BC’s Bellarmine Pre-Law Review. Jordan has been involved with the Clough Center’s Junior Fellows program since his sophomore year.
Recently, Jordan is returning from the United Kingdom, where he spent his junior year on an Overseas Exchange program studying PPE (philosophy, politics, and economics) at the University of Durham. Over the preceding summer, he completed a Research Internship in Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) in Washington, D.C. At AEI, Jordan studied the causes of American poverty, and he explored policies that aim to improve the welfare and work of low-income Americans. This past summer, Jordan brought these interests with him to Capitol Hill, where he completed a Legislative Internship in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) with the assistance of a 2016 Civic Internship Grant.
In the future, Jordan intends on working at the junction of law and politics. He plans on pursuing a J.D. that leads him to a public service career in Florida and Washington, D.C. He is also considering the completion of a Masters in Public Policy in combination with a law degree.
My name is Nana Yaa Pobee; I’m a rising sophomore at Boston College. I was born in Toronto, Canada and currently live in Alpharetta, GA. Prior to attending Boston College, I was a student at Cambridge High School in Alpharetta where I participated in student government, was Founder/President of a Habitat for Humanity chapter and also was a graduate of the Emerging Leader’s Program organized by the Greater Fulton Chamber of Commerce .
At Boston College, I am a Political Science major and plan to attend law school in hopes of becoming a Human and Civil Rights attorney. I am also the Secretary of the African Students’ Organization, an Eagle Eye’s buddy at the Campus School and a recipient of the McGillycuddy Logue scholarship to study in Spain this Fall. While studying in Spain, I hope to join a volunteer and service club at the school.
Fortunately this summer, I will be part of a non-profit empowerment internship program as an Economic Empowerment intern at the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta, GA. The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. At work in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home. As an Economic Empowerment Intern, I will seek appropriate training for refugees to further their development. This training includes working with clients to create resumes, assist clients in filling out job applications, research potential employers and job possibilities for clients, prepare clients for job interview to help clients generate critical income for health and education needs for their families. Specifically, I will work with TANF(Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), a group that helps clients(single mothers and their children) by allotting a monthly cash assistance to them and their children. I will assist these clients in understanding TANF services in an effort to help them establish self-reliance.
It is my hope that my internship at the International Rescue Committee will further nurture my passion for social justice and public service. This opportunity will enable me to develop practical knowledge and experience in the field of humanitarian efforts which I hope to leverage for my future career objectives. The Clough Center Civic Internship Grant will give me the opportunity to gain priceless experience in the non-profit sector which I hope will translate into my future goals. For this, I am extremely grateful.
My name is Samantha Spellman. I was born and raised in the small coastal community of Duxbury, Massachusetts. I attended Duxbury High School where I was heavily involved in sports, volunteering, and music. I moved on to Wake Forest University where I continued my involvement in intermural sports and volunteering through the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. I transferred from Wake Forest to Boston College after my sophomore year. At Boston College I am a rising senior majoring in Political Science and Sociology. In my relatively short time at Boston College I have become heavily involved in the Bellarmine Law Society as I intend to pursue a career in law. I have also become a member of the AHANA Pre-Law Student Association. Academically, I have dedicated myself to learning and engaging at the highest level. Both of my semesters at Boston College I have received First Honors. I have thus been nominated for Dean Scholar recognition and won the Lynda Lytle Holmstrom Sociological Paper Award. I have also found meaningful volunteering through the Cradles to Crayons organization, which allows me as a volunteer to help children in need gain access to suitable necessities such as clothes and school supplies. I am also involved in service with the on campus organizations Circle K and Appalachia Volunteers. As a transfer student, a transfer ambassador, and the Vice President of the Transfer Ambassador Program I work hard to make sure that all new transfer students have access to the information and contacts that they need in order to gain their greatest happiness at Boston College.
This summer I will be working in the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s office represents the state government in the prosecution of criminal offenses within its jurisdiction. The functions of this office include: enforcing the law, highlighting public safety, and protecting the rights of all to ensure that justice is done on behalf of the Plymouth County community. This district also strives to expand the traditional role of District Attorney’s offices everywhere to include extensive outreach and preventative programs in collaboration with local residents and service providers. As an intern I will be assigned to assist specific Assistant District Attorneys in a prosecution unit within the office. This internship provides numerous opportunities to explore all inner workings of the criminal justice system. I will observe and help prepare for court proceeding. I will also be responsible for interacting and coordinating between all levels of staff. My responsibilities will adapt based on the requirements and characteristics of the projects and cases that I am assigned to throughout the summer.
After graduation, I hope to fulfill my dream of attending Law School. The Clough Center’s Civic Internship Grant is giving me the opportunity to witness the justice process in my home district while gaining valuable experience. This experience will help me both in the pursuit of Law School and in what I hope will be a long career helping justice be done and the law carried out.
My name is Sydney Sullivan and I am a rising junior at Boston College studying Political Science and Economics. I am from Branford, Connecticut. At BC, I have participated in a variety of activities including Best Buddies, BC Bigs, and Appalachia Volunteers. I am also Vice President of the Golden Key National Honour Society and a member of the Finance Team of the Public Policy Council. Last year I was named a Political Science Distinguished Sophomore and a Sophomore Scholar. I am a work-study student for Media Technology Services and last semester I also served as a note-taker for Learning Resources for Student Athletes and participated in an internship at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. Next spring, I will be studying at Bocconi University in Milan. In my free time I love running and working out and plan on completing my second half-marathon this summer.
This summer I will be working at the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General. The OAG represents and advocates for the interests of the state of Connecticut and for its citizens. I am working in the Collections and Child-Support Department. The Collections attorneys deal mainly with bankruptcies, foreclosures, and hospital collections. I will be involved in foreclosure cases in which the OAG is the defendant where I will be conducting an initial review of the complaint to determine if there is equity in the matter. Then, if the decision is made to open a case, the file must be entered into the database and an appearance must be e-filed. I may also be helping to prepare pleadings and motions from templates as well as e-filing various documents.
Additionally, the department handles Child Support cases all throughout the state of Connecticut. The child support attorneys are in court most days of the week so, as an intern, I will have the opportunity to observe and attend court and gain insight into contested family case issues involving paternity and child support, support modifications, custody, dissolutions and termination of parental rights.
Other work I could be involved in includes legal research, preparing memos to agencies, contacting courts for hours, organizing files, working with the legal investigator to review files and conduct assets research, and assisting staff with filing and data entry. Developing practical knowledge and skills in the field of law, learning about something I am passionate about, and helping people in the process is the ideal summer position for me.
I have always been passionate about the government, law, and the civic duty a citizen owes to his or her community, state, and country. After finishing at BC I plan to attend law school and become a litigation attorney or an attorney for the government. I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of others through my career and my service to my community and my country. I am also interested in the intersection between economics and politics and specifically economic development in developing countries.
My name is Daniel Yang and I’m currently a rising Junior studying Finance and Business Analytics in the Carroll School of Management. I was born and raised in Northbrook, IL which is a northern suburb of Chicago. My childhood hobbies included sports such as baseball and basketball, as well as outdoors activities like camping or hiking, and road tripping with my family. Since moving to Boston, my hobbies have slightly changed. I still enjoy all those activities but my passion for learning has definitely grown. I thoroughly enjoy topics on history, sociology, and philosophy. My world view has broadened since coming to BC and I plan to continue this education abroad in Vienna, Austria. I see this summer as an opportunity to grow because I’ll be in a completely new environment exploring a fascinating area of business. The SEC is an extremely important government agency because it implements and enforces policy to protect consumers in financial markets. This demographic includes almost all adults and even many minors. I am excited to come into this organization and make an immediate impact where I can. I want to use this internship as a stepping stone into the business world, where I plan bring a unique world view to whichever organization I dedicate myself to. My future career plans don’t include a particular job function or company, but I do plan on leading an organization that shares the same mission as myself. I want to advocate for others and bring positive change to overlooked communities. I hope to lead an organization that can do these things, and I believe the specifics will reveal themselves with time.
The job function I’ll be performing include both analytical and legal work. Through the Division of Enforcement, I’ll help bring litigation claims to companies and individuals violating SEC legislation. I will likely analyze financial statements and market trends, and also work closely with lawyers within the SEC. The details are still cloudy, but I know this will be the bulk of my work over the summer.