Current Students

The Master of Arts in Policy Studies program defines itself as a community of people who believe policy can make a difference. Students engage in the academic pursuit of policy solutions in arenas, such as: environment, labor, education, health, human rights, technology, and local and state government.

Note on Graduate Student Representatives (GSR): GSRs facilitate mechanisms and spaces by which students in the program can contribute to discussions about the program and degree.  In this capacity they serve as a resource to other students and the program director.

GSR for the 2018-2019 cohort is Marjan Atashkhayer Didra.

Read about some of our dynamic Policy Studies graduate students, their educational backgrounds, and research interests.

2018 Cohort

Rechilda AllanRechilda M. Allan

Graduate Institution: Graduate School of Business, Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines)
Graduate Degree: MBA

Research Interests: Microfinance, economic development at the bottom of the pyramid, inclusive business development, coastal resource and MPA management, local governance issues, public-private sector partnership.

Snapshot: Richie is adept at wearing multiple hats, and so looks forward to overcoming the challenges of parenting a precocious toddler while working on her MAPS degree. She hopes to continue to the PhD program of Evans, bring everything she learned back to the Philippines and make a difference.

She loves to connect and listen to people, and is amazed at the friendliness of everyone she’s met since moving to Washington and settling in the Lake Forest Park neighborhood. She likes to explore the urban outdoors and with her child and a UPass, she has been exploring parks and playgrounds in cities on both sides of Lake Washington.

image of Teresa AllardTeresa Allard

Undergraduate Institution:  University of California, Santa Barbara
Undergraduate Degree: Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Protection, Conservation and Restoration of Wetlands, Environmental Laws, Policies and Regulations

Snapshot: Teresa has lived in Bothell, Washington since 1996.  She has worked as an environmental emergency responder, providing scientific and technical support during oil spill emergencies occurring along North America’s shorelines, rivers, and streambeds.  To date, she has worked on over thirty-seven oil spills, as well as participated in excess of fifty spill drills, exercises and training programs. 

After two decades of recording environmental injury, initiating cleanup, and monitoring the ecosystem throughout recovery, Teresa aspires to bring a unique perspective to the establishment of policies that will preserve our coastal marine habitat and wetlands through focused conservation and restoration programs.

image of Marjan  Atashkhayer-DidraMarjan  Atashkhayer Didra

Undergraduate Institution: University Of Washington BothellUndergraduate Degree: Gender Woman and Sexuality Studies

Research Interests: Immigrant women and their upward mobility after migrating to the USA, specifically Muslim Women. I would like to know if there are identifiable facts that can be either supported or eliminated through policy to make vocational advancements more accessible for immigrant women.

Snapshot: Marjan is an American citizen who was born and raised in Iran. She left Iran to pursue her education in the Philippines in 2003. After living in the Philippines for six years and finishing her Doctorate in Dental Medicine, she moved to Istanbul for almost a year. On September 2009 she was granted a green card and immigrated to the United States. Marjan has been involved with several non-profit organizations that aim to emancipate women in the developing world and works to reduce arrange marriages since she has been part of one back in Iran. Marjan is passionate about gender equality and believes that women of the Middle East such as Iran have been underrepresented through the eyes of the western media, therefore, she hopes to reassess this notion by being a voice and an active advocate for Women of Iran.

In her spare time, Marjan enjoys Yoga, Volunteer works and Traveling.

image of Saiwa S. Conejo-MoralesSaiwa S. Conejo-Morales

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Environmental Studies; Minor in Policy Studies

Research Interests: Law, environmental policy, international relationships, climate refugees, human rights

Snapshot: Saiwa grew up in Seattle and has developed a passion for environmental justice. Part of the inspiration for environmental justice comes from learning about the Cochabamba Water War. As a first generation student navigating college was a challenge. However, she was able to learn and persevere. Through Saiwa's undergraduate independent research on mycoremediation, the Debate Society of UWB and currently as Chair of Campus Events Board at the University of Washington Bothell for the second year, she has been able to find her voice and truth. She looks forward to learning more about politics and gain the skills so that one day she can work for the people in regards to environmental justice and equity. When Saiwa is not in school she likes hanging out with family, friends, staying active, eating food and meeting new people.

image of Robin GreenRobin Green

Undergrad Institute: University of Washington Bothell
Undergrad Degree: Society, Ethics, & Human Behavior

Research Interests: education policy reform, high school curriculum efficacy & reform, veterans affairs, psycho-social & economic outcomes of families of active duty & veteran family members

Snapshot: Robin is a graduate student in the UW Bothell Masters of Policy Studies program. Robin has 10 years experience working in health care in areas ranging from pediatrics, orthopedics, and cardiology. He also has experiencing working with high school students in a Title VIII school's special education department. With his personal interests in seeing young people live happy, healthy lives and obtain a meaningful education, Robin hopes to work within the educational and political systems to bring about the change he wants to see.

image of Kim WansooWansoo Kim

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Community Psychology

Research Interests: Immigration policy

Snapshot: Wansoo Kim is an international from South Korea. He has lived 7 years in Washington. Being one of the international students, he realized that we need to improve immigration policies that help not only the international students but also to solve the problem of certain policies’ side effects. While he was working at CIE (Center of International Education) as an international student ambassador, he learned some immigration policies in the United States through participating immigration events and helped other international students in University of Washington, Bothell. For example, he participated UW lobby day training with student government in UWB where we were aiming to reduce the price of tuition and establish affordable childcare for students who are parents in UWB. That naturally became his interests.

In his spare or extra time, Wansoo loves to make beats for their team rapper as a hobby.

image of Kyra LaughlinKyra Laughlin

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and Society, Ethics & Human Behavior

Research Interests: Prevention, support and response efforts/policies pertaining to sexual assault and relationship violence within higher education; trauma-informed pedagogy; institutional betrayal as it relates to survivors of sexual and relationship violence; (dis)ability and accessibility; and developing policy through a “healing-centered engagement” approach

Snapshot: Since November 2016, Kyra has organized around sexual and relationship violence (SRV). In her role as a vocal advocate and activist, she has worked with 100+ survivors on campus and also identifies as a SRV victim-survivor herself. Her work has included developing a comprehensive resource guide for SRV survivors at UWB,  founding the university’s first student club centered around SRV, facilitating trainings on campus, designing an SRV resources Canvas page which some faculty have added to their course pages and serving as a Communications Intern for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, among other projects. Understanding SRV is inextricably linked to other systems of oppression (e.g racism, ableism, colonialism, cisgenderism, heterosexism, etc.), it’s critical we center the needs of marginalized communities so that all survivors are able to heal and to pursue justice (or not) in the ways that are meaningful and safest to them.

image of Yani LiuYani Liu

Undergraduate Institution: Michigan State University 
Undergraduate Degree: Economics

Research Interests: Gender Equity, Human Rights, Public Relationship, International Relations between US and Asian countries, Policies that impact Women and Children

Snapshot: Yani is an international student from China and studied in US already five years. She is a class of 2017 graduate of the Economics, Bachelor of Arts Degree at the Michigan State University. For Yani, study in US is difficult but it’s worth the effort. She faced a lot, different language, different learning patterns, culture differences and different life style between East and West. But she enjoys overcoming all difficulties and wants to improve herself more. Yani has also traveled to London, UK for MSU study abroad program: Economics of Law and Public Policy - Summer 2015-2016, which is the experience that sparked her interest in policies. She decided to learn more about policies that not only affect economics but also influence other significant matters, like human rights, immigrants, education and environment. So in the autumn of 2018, Yani will begin graduate school at UW Bothell in the Master of Arts in Policy Studies program. Afterwards, she hopes to continue her doctor’s degree with public relations program and she also hopes to pursue a future career in PR at a Fortune 500 company. 

image of Elaine MontesElaine Montes

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Law, Economics, and Public Policy; Community Psychology; and Global Studies.
Minor: Business Administration, Human Rights

Research Interests: Homeland security policy focusing on cyber-security, and human-trafficking. Locally interested in developing current research with the Department of Traffic that handles tolls and urban design of highways.

Snapshot: Washington raised, first-generation student. Currently studying Japanese, however can execute a fun conversation in, Spanish, French, and Korean. Animal caretaker of four, also loves to play the violin and improve her piano skills to pass the time by. If you’re open to have a conversation about human rights, she is delighted to share her previous research project regarding North Korean defectors and the Chinese Repatriation during her time in Washington, D.C. and Seoul, South Korea. Elaine is always open to have a conversation about social inequity over a serious competitive match of Overwatch. If you’re on campus come and swing by the Student Success Center where she can help you find an internship abroad that suits your academic interests.

image of Alexandra PortilloAlexandra Portillo

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington, Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Double Major in Law, Economics, and Public Policy / Global Studies

Research Interests: International Human Rights, minority representation, women’s rights

Snapshot: Born in Texas but raised in the PNW, Alexandra’s Mexican-American culture has influenced her research interests within policy and advocacy. Her research will focus on human rights violations as well as the actions communities and countries can take to reform. After finishing her interdisciplinary undergrad from UW Bothell, Alexandra wanted to further her education through the Policy Studies program at Bothell. Her future goal is to work for international NGOs as a policy analyst. While in this MPS program, she will be interning for a local non-profit and making time to travel around the world.

image of Anjelica RiceAnjelica Rice

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Law, economics, and Public Policy; minor in Criminal justice from University of Washington Tacoma

Research Interests: Higher Education, and Criminal Justice Reform

Snapshot: Anjelica Rice is a class of 2018 graduate of the Law, Economics, and Public Policy Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a minor in Criminal Justice, at the University of Washington Bothell and University of Washington Tacoma respectively. Currently, she serves as the Vice President of Federal Affairs for the Washington Students Association actively working towards establishing a more affordable, accessible and quality system of higher education for all students. Anjelica has a passion for law and policy and hopes to pursue a future in policy centered around criminal justice refom.

image of Amanda SandovalAmanda Sandoval

Undergraduate institution:  University of Washington Seattle
Undergraduate Degree: BA in International studies, emphasis on human rights, law, state, and society.

Research interests: Social Justice reform, International law, Human rights, social and political policies that impact women, immigrants and refugees.

Snapshot: Amanda has lived in the PNW all her life, after high school she joined the Air Force Reserves and still currently serves at JBLM doing info control/logistics in Air transportation.  She attended the University of Washington Seattle campus for undergrad where she focused on human rights and humanitarian aide.  Currently she works as a community organizer for Senator Rebecca Saldaña; this has given her a chance to see how local politics works as well as given her more insight as to local issues and what policies we as a state need to work on. She hopes to work in several different sectors, nonprofit, private, government, and military.

image of Dustin WoodsideDustin Woodside

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior
Minor: Human Rights

Research Interests: Welfare, affordable housing, Child Protective Services, Department of Social and Health Services, foster care, poverty, and human rights. With these topics, the purpose of the research is to advocate policies that are equitable, and promote social justice so families and their children have a better chance to get through their hardships.

Snapshot: Dustin Woodside is a born and raised Washingtonian, and first in his family attending graduate school. Throughout his undergraduate career, Dustin has been to Jamaica teaching and assisting in primary schools. Dustin was also an psychosocial intake specialist at a refugee center in South Africa. There he determined the level of vulnerability of each client, and gave appropriate aid based on their needs such as food, grants, rent money, and much more. Throughout his undergraduate career, Dustin was focused on ways we could promote equity and social justice through a human rights approach. Dustin is currently working with children with severe trauma as a behavior specialist. Dustin helps his clients with coping skills, social skills, behavior issues, and client safety using an approach called Therapeutic Crisis Intervention. Dustin's goal with a masters in policy studies is to find a career in policy advocacy for a nonprofit that fights for equity and social justice. 

image of Olivia WrightOlivia Wright

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Society, Ethics & Human Behavior; Minor in Human Rights; Associate in Arts & Sciences Degree from Bellevue College

Research Interests: Issues of access and opportunity; specifically, the inequitable allocation of state and federal resources to our marginalized communities

Snapshot: Olivia is a 19-year-old northwest native. Her love for policy was born at age 15, when given the opportunity to canvass for a bipartisan campaign running in the 31st district, here in Washington State. She then spent two years attending Bellevue College, as well as competing in Financial Statement Analysis on their collegiate DECA team, where she placed as an international finalist both years. Through her undergraduate studies, Olivia has cultivated a passion for advocacy. She is currently the public policy assistant at the Alzheimer’s Association, Washington State and Northern Idaho Chapter. Olivia also volunteers her time to early intervention for children on the autism spectrum. In her down time, you’re most likely to find her taking photographs, with cameras old and new! 

image of Mudasir ZubairMudasir Zubair

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell campus
Undergraduate Degrees: Media and Communications, Science Technology and Society

Research Interests: Tech and Society relationships, especially in areas of entertainment, arts, gaming, and in developing technologies like VR

Snapshot: Graduating from undergrad in Summer 2018, Mudasir is eldest of three brothers and is the first person in his family's youngest generation to go to Grad School.  Living in the Seattle area for fifteen years, Mudasir was involved in the development of  UW Bothell's art journal as their marketer and editor.  Mudasir has also gotten experience working as a Social Media manager and content creator for technical and industrial companies.  His hobbies include digital painting, analyzing movies, and reading.  Mudasir strongly beleievs that best ways to tackle life's challenges are to blend critical and creative thinking, and draw upon different ideas, views, and experiences.

2017 Cohort

image of Asiya Abdul-AlimAsiya Abdul-Alim

Undergraduate Institution: Seattle Central College
Undergraduate Degree: Applied Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Global disparities in healthcare and foreign healthcare policies and procedures

Snapshot: Asiya is a Brooklyn, New York native who has lived in Seattle for the past 17 years. A single mother of a spirited preteen, she has dedicated a huge portion of her time working with women and children who have been victimized by domestic violence and homeless individuals who suffer from mental illness and chemical dependency.

She has worked in the healthcare field for over 10 years in some of Washington’s top medical facilities. This has made her passionate about being instrumental in creating public policy, which addresses disparities as it pertains to healthcare; to expand on this passion she'd also like to examine healthcare policies and procedures abroad.

In her spare time Asiya enjoys singing at local open mics and traveling.

image of Hussain AltamimiHussain Altamimi

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Law, Economics, and Public Policy; minor in Human Rights

Research Interests: Healthcare policy, primarily revolving around the improvement and further development of the Affordable Care Act; international relations, primarily relating to the Middle East and use of American drone strikes and their resulting effects in the region

Snapshot: Hussain Altamimi is a born and raised Washingtonian and the son of two Iraqi refugees. Growing up Hussain originally intended on pursuing a career in the tech field like his father, however a trip to Iraq in 2008 changed his career goals when he experienced first-hand the effects of government policy. Realizing his dreams would lie in government, Hussain has spent his early adulthood preparing for a career in government service, volunteering for State Senator Monica Stonier's campaign in 2012 and later interning for Congresswoman DelBene and later Senator Patty Murray's Seattle office. 

image of Jean BalbonJean Balbon

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell, De La Salle College of St. Benilde
Undergraduate Degree: Global Studies, Consular and Diplomatic Affairs (no degree)

Research Interests: Financial policy, foreign policy, and historical determinism

Snapshot: Jean came to this country with $30 in his pocket. 8 years later, he made that 30 dollars to..... 300 dollars! MADNESS! Yet that's a couple hundred percentage higher than if you invested in the US stock market indices (hence, just bet on Jean!).

Jean advocates for taxing the world's ultra-rich, free from loop holes, and accountability for the country's financial miscalculations in the past. He disfavors the 1% and their direct/indirect participation in manipulating and influencing economies. He disfavors their role in increasing shaky loans and feeding market speculation. Jean just wants a level playing field of opportunities for everyone.

Equipped with his personal and professional experience, he wants to decrease the US' increasing gap in wealth disparity and the economy's recession and depression cycles by implementing fundamental monetary and institutional reforms.

Jean Balbon for 2020!

image of Liza BergLiza Jade Berg

Undergraduate Institution: Western Washington University
Undergraduate Degree: Sociology; minor in Psychology

Research Interests: Public and Social policy to help improve policies concerning impoverished youth

Snapshot: Liza is native to Seattle and a first-generation college student. During her time as an undergraduate she found a love for learning leading to her desire to further her education. She has overcome many obstacles, throughout her life, that have led many to doubt her future. Due to her rough past, she has always been interested in working with children that are in and come from similar backgrounds as her. Her hope is to be able to make better policies for those who are facing poverty and those who feel the system has forgotten them. She is excited for the opportunity to attend the University of Washington Bothell Policy Studies program and where it may take her.

image of Nate BlanchardNate Blanchard

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Law, Economics, and Public Policy; minor in Human Rights; AA in Integrated Studies from Cascadia College

Research Interests: Climate Change, Higher Education, Criminal Justice Reform

Snapshot: Nate Blanchard is a class of 2017 graduate of the Law, Economics, and Public Policy Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a minor in Human Rights, at the University of Washington Bothell. Currently, he serves as the 2017-2018 Director of Government Relations in the Associated Students of the University of Washington Bothell. In the autumn of 2017, Nate will begin graduate school at UW Bothell in the Master of Arts in Policy Studies program. Afterwards, he hopes to attend UC Berkeley's school of law. Nate has a strong passion for law and politics, while also being a firm believer in progressive movements. He hopes to pursue a future career as a political consultant for campaign organization and strategy.

image of Matthew BuycoMatthew Boyco

Undergraduate Institution: Central Washington University
Undergraduate Degree: Sociology, Phi kappa Phi, Magna cum laude

Research Interests: Education policy: specifically how boys are falling behind in school; Crime policy; Family Policy: fatherlessness homes and that domestic violence usually involves both partners

Snapshot: Matthew Buyco was born in Seattle and went to Central Washington University for his bachelor's degree. He majored in sociology as he was always interested in social issues. He has a passion for helping people and wants to shed light on issues that are hardly ever talked about in society. He wants to be involved in the political process that can alleviate these problems. He is getting his master's degree at University of Washington Bothell in policy studies and is interested in education, family, and crime policy. He enjoys playing and watching sports in his free time and wants to work in a government agency.

image of Keith ClarkeKeith Tyrell Clarke

Undergraduate Institution: Chaminade University of Honolulu
Undergraduate Degree: Historical and Political Studies

Research Interests: Effect of Media on Low-income communities: Professional Diversity’s effect on Low-income Economic growth

Snapshot: Keith is a husband and father that hails from Florida, with 9 years of active duty service in the U.S Army. He is passionate about socio-economic issues pertaining to diverse communities, as well as being a devout sports fan (Bulls, Seminoles, Cubs, and Jaguars). He enjoys music, reading comics, and playing games with his beloved family, in his leisure time. He also loves movies, and thinks Coming to America is the greatest film ever made. His great inspirations are his wife, and his family. His influential public figures are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Pres. Franklin Roosevelt, Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, Muhammed Ali, Former Sec. Colin Powell, and Pres. Barak Obama.  Keith is new to the Pacific Northwest, but has hopes of becoming a socially impactful attorney in his new community.

image of Joren ClowersJoren Clowers

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Law, Economics, and Public Policy and American Ethnic Studies; minor in Human Rights

Research Interests: Law, Agriculture, Native Sovereignty, Criminal Justice

Snapshot: Joren has lived his formative years in the Seattle area, attending high school in Capitol Hill and eventually going to Western Washington University before finding UW Bothell. He graduated from UWB this past spring with a double major and minor. His hobbies include cooking, reading the newspapers, and watching Jeopardy! as frequently as possible. This school year he will be the Program Director for Bothell Youth Court, a restorative justice program serving local youth through a partnership between the City of Bothell and UW Bothell, as well as serving as the Government and Community Relations Student Assistant.

image of Hitoe EngelbrektHitoe Englebrekt

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Global Studies; minor in Education

Research Interests: Public policies that affect children, minorities, and underserved group of people negatively

Snapshot: Growing up in Japan as a daughter in a Japanese family, she was told by her father that academic advancement was not necessary, even a hindrance to her happiness evidenced by him naming her 一重Hitoe, “one layered,” or “simple one.” Believing his words as a submissive daughter constituted by the Japanese society and history, she ignored opportunities for education.

Now that Hitoe resides in Washington, she found herself in a predicament and felt unvalued and unwelcome in work society. To move out of this situation and pursue opportunities, she became a motivated student at the University of Washington Bothell where the true value of education was disclosed to her. The social and cultural systems that trapped her were revealed. She continues exorcizing her old mistaken beliefs and obstacles by being curious and compassionate to others.

image of Kaylee GallowayKaylee Galloway

Undergraduate Institution: Western Washington University
Undergraduate Degree: Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; minors in Energy Policy and Law, Diversity and Justice

Research Interests: Climate change, renewable energy, education (K-12 and postsecondary), and U.S. economic development

Snapshot: Kaylee grew up in the Snoqualmie Valley playing sports and attending Mount Si High School and Bellevue College. Her passion for government began in 10th grade when she served as a Page in the Washington State House. While at WWU, Kaylee was involved in student government and was elected Associated Students Vice President for Governmental Affairs to represent students at the local, state, and federal levels. After graduation, Kaylee interned for the Washington Business Alliance in Seattle before moving to Washington, DC. While in DC, she was a Running Start Star Fellow interning for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and was later promoted to full time Staff Assistant. Kaylee currently lives in Bellingham and works for Congresswoman Suzan DelBene as her Community Liaison for Whatcom and Skagit Counties. In her free time, Kaylee enjoys spending time with her family and friends, walking, running, hiking, and attending local community events and concerts.

image of Greg GreshGreg O. Gresh

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Law, Economics, and Public Policy and Global Studies

Research Interests: Land management's intersection with conservation; Environmental Stewardship Policy; Preventative Healthcare

Snapshot: Greg grew up in Pennsylvania and after being introduced to the natural sciences realized that he had an affinity for natural and wild places. This passion drove him from exploring the mountainous regions of the eastern U.S. to the Colorado Rocky Mountains while developing a better understanding of the impact of his pursuits and daily routines. The opportunity to move to Washington for higher education after his experience in the National Guard was a logical choice for his career progression. While studying the social sciences at UW Bothell, Greg explored the wild landscape of the Cascades and Olympic Mountains, further deepening his passion of these aesthetic locations. He is interested in identifying management concerns and addressing resource usage and access issues with a holistic approach that considers long-term environmental impacts, heritage preservation, and land rights and justice while promoting stewardship ideals and personal/firm accountability. He intends to promote his interest in holistic wellness through researching and addressing policy concerning systemic reform, stewardship awareness, preventative healthcare, and alternative energy promotion.

image of Laura LubashLaura Lubash

Undergraduate Institution: Seattle University
Undergraduate Degree: Math and French
Graduate Degree: Lesley University, MA in Education

Research Interests: human rights, poverty, homelessness, gender equity

Snapshot: Laura is a Washington native and a mother of three, with two children in college and one in high school. She has spent the last 20+ years as a public-school mathematics teacher and is returning to graduate school in order to pursue her interest in public policy. Laura spent a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Brooklyn, NY, established a free weekly community meal program at her church, and has been involved as a volunteer and advocate for local social service agencies throughout her life. She has always been passionate about social justice issues and is interested in developing sound public policy that addresses inequity in under-served and under-represented populations.

Graham MarmionGraham Marmion

Undergraduate Institution: Western Washington University
Undergraduate Degree: Economics; minors in Energy Policy and Political Science

Research Interests: Transportation Electrification, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Carbon Regulation

Snapshot: Graham is a Puget Sound local born and raised in Edmonds, WA. While studying at Western Washington University he discovered a passion for regulatory economics. Upon earning his degree, Graham began working as a Regulatory Analyst for Puget Sound Energy, where he is currently employed and engaged in research regarding pricing, load profiles, and Electric Vehicle programs.

Graham’s passion extends into policy advocacy as well. During his undergraduate studies, Graham directed the Representation & Engagement Programs offered by the Associated Students of WWU, which included incredibly successful voter registration drives. In his free time Graham enjoys rock climbing, tabletop games, and craft beer.

image of Jordan RobertsJordan Roberts

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior; AA through Running Start at Everett Community College

Research Interests: Education, Human Rights, Philosophy

Snapshot: Jordan is a 22 year old Washington native who was born and raised in the Lake Stevens area. As a recent graduate of UWB's Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior program, he is looking forward to taking this next step in his education in Policy Studies. His passion includes researching homeschooling and alternative education, and he hopes to use this degree to further influence the community and change the future of local education. When he is not at school, he can be found either working on car projects, or at the local martial arts studio.

image of Megan SampangMegan Sampang

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Health Studies; minor in Policy Studies

Research Interests: Healthcare Policy, Marginalized groups equal rights, Human trafficking, Income and wealth disparities affecting health outcomes

Snapshot: Megan recently graduated with a B.A. in Health Studies with a Minor in Policy Studies from the University of Washington Bothell. She recently participated in the Seafair Scholarship Program for Women where she was crowned as Seafair First Princess, along with winning multiple scholarships she will be utilizing towards her Master’s degree. Megan is active in the Filipino-American community through various associations. She primarily is focused on being an Advisory for the Northwest Filipino-American Student Alliance. Through her involvement in the Filipino-American community she is being mentored by the first Filipino-American, Asian-American woman, Velma Veloria, to hold a position in the Washington State House of Representatives for six terms.

image of Sarah SindelarSarah Sindelar

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Seattle, The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

Undergraduate Degree: Asian Studies

Research Interests: Early Childhood Education, Opportunity Disparity, Social Development and Diplomacy, Local Governance, Social Movements, Artist Economy

Snapshot: Sarah lives and works in Seattle. While working on her Bachelor’s degree, she became interested in social cultural studies, indigenous storytelling and resource equity. She cares about the production of community art, about the economy, and how people are going to have a safe place to sleep and make art. She would like to use her research to support direct providers that serve unacknowledged individuals and communities. Through this program, she can stay engaged, and improve her position to help, in the process of transforming public and private spaces for the enjoyment of shared experiences in equity.

image of Benjamin StudleyBenjamin Studley

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Community Psychology; minor in Education & Society

Research Interests: Government Policy surrounding Military transition and Veteran readjustment, Education in public schools, Government Appropriations, Leadership & Empowerment in Government

Snapshot: Ben grew up in the outskirts of Snohomish, Washington. Following high school, he served his country as a Chief Gunnersmate in the United States Navy from 1998-2014. Ben graduated from the University of Washington Bothell in 2016 and began working for the House of Representatives on a Wounded Warrior Fellowship.

As the 1st Congressional District Veteran’s liaison he continues on his path of service by providing his fellow Veterans with the resources and assistance they need to succeed. Ben believes in accountability and accessibility in order for the Federal Government to function at the highest possible level. Not all soldiers come back home broken, but we need to be there for the ones who do.

image of Sonyah TerrasonSonyah Terrason

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Health Studies (BA), Biological Sciences (BS)

Research Interests: She wants to reform public health (i.e. Medicaid extension across U.S. population), as she believes that each individual deserves access to basic health. Her research interests are in public health services and policy, Medicaid/Medicare, Affordable Care Act, private insurance health plans, medicine and social sciences.

Snapshot: Born in California and raised in the Puget Sound area, Sonyah at a very early age had determined her future career as a healthcare provider. In high school as part of her International Baccalaureate, she collaborated on an IRB-approved human subjects research at Virginia Mason Medical Center and UW Medical Center. Her extended essay (cumulative research paper) on correlation between human papillomavirus (HPV) and squamous cell carcinoma, earned her the 2012 World Schools Science Award. She has also assisted medical researchers in data gathering and analysis on human immunosuppressive virus (HIV) and skin cancers. In 2017, she graduated with dual degrees (BA/BS) from the University of Washington Bothell.

Sonyah enjoys photography, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.

image not availableSamantha Waehlte

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Law, Economics, & Public Policy; double minor in Business Administration and Human Rights

Research Interests: Homelessness, Prison System, Environment, Education, Disabilities, etc.

Snapshot: Samantha has lived in the PNW all her life. She has seen the social and political injustice in action in this state happen all too often. Her goal is to educate herself on how to shift the climate into something that promotes peace, happiness, equality, and love.

image of Jaren WalkerJaren Walker

Undergraduate Institution: Seattle Pacific University
Undergraduate Degree: Political Science and International Economics

Research Interests: Sustainable economic development, international affairs, and social/gender based equality policy and advocacy

Snapshot: Jaren moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to Blaine, Washington where she attended Blaine High School. Jaren’s love of politics began early on during a student ambassador trip to Fiji and proceeded to take her to 13 more countries exploring this new passion for governance. With an insatiable travel bug, Jaren headed to Seattle Pacific University where she double majored in Political Science and International Economics. While at university, Jaren was Vice President of the Political Union Club and a regular performer in the theater department. In addition, Jaren worked as a program lead for the Gender Based Violence Prevention team in the university’s security department teaching self-defense classes and developing programs to raise awareness and prevent gender based violence. Currently, Jaren works in the Office of Congresswoman Suzan DelBene as her District Scheduler and Staff Assistant. When she’s not working, Jaren loves cooking, hiking, yoga and enjoying Seattle’s theater performances.

image of Kanwal YousufKanwal Yousuf

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Global Studies

Research Interests: Policies that impact immigrant and low income communities

Snapshot: Kanwal is a first generation child and is the first in her family to go to college in the USA. She was raised in Detroit until she was 12 and feels fortunate to grow up in Seattle. She loves Seattle because of all the opportunities that was given to her and her family, which includes going to a good school and living in a beautiful environment. She has visited countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh and knows that it is a blessing to have clean air and water in Washington State. She has also traveled to Peru for a study abroad during her undergrad, which is the experience that sparked her interest in policies. During this experience, a well-known conservationist told her to go into policies to make a difference. She feels that from that day the world led her to the MAPS program.
strialized Agriculture, Food Waste

2016 Cohort

Jessica L. ColeJessica L. Cole

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington Bothell
Undergraduate Degree: Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior

Research Interests: Underserved populations of people in both K-12 and higher education, specifically how policy prohibits or allows for institutional supports of these populations, and the history and effects of domestic and international education policy

Snapshot: Jessica is a wife and mother of three children; Robert, Jocelyn, and Gavin. Her passion about access to education stems from her childhood and motherhood, and is fueled by her love for her children. Early on, through watching the public education system fail her brother and family repeatedly for 13 years, Jessica recognized how significant of a role that primary education plays in the individual’s life outcomes. After becoming a mother, she could see a similar story to that of her brother begin to unfold for her oldest son. While legislation states that every child should have equal access to a quality education, Jessica understands first-hand the inequities still present in our public schools. Through her studies in policy, she hopes to discover how policy advocacy and reform can allow our public schools to serve a broader range of learning styles and levels of functioning while nurturing each child’s passion and drive.

Jessica has a history as an advocate, leader, and community builder through her work in the Making School Accessible Project, the Parent Union, the Childcare Advisory Committee, and the Board of Trustees for the Clearwater School. 

Ryan JonesRyan Jones

Undergraduate Institution: The Evergreen State College
Undergraduate Degree: Sustainable Food Systems, minor area of emphasis in Organization Development

Research Interests: Sustainable urbanism, food systems, environmental policy, electoral reform, strategic planning

Snapshot: Ryan was born in Colorado and lived in various places around the Denver metropolitan area before moving to Olympia, Washington in 2012. After Graduating from The Evergreen State College in 2014, Ryan moved to Seattle to serve an AmeriCorps term with the King County Housing Authority. Since then he has been working in grocery stores and volunteering for political causes in the Seattle area.

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