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Graduates 2009

Like many of their predecessors, members of the PPA Class of 2009 earned honors and recognition. Caroline Flynn (PPA/Politics) and Emily Tamanaha (PPA/Economics) graduated cum Laude. Emily also received The Russell M. Story Prize for Public Policy Analysis. Mackenzie Grieman (PPA/Chemistry) and Michelle Pham (PPA/Politics) received The Bessie Reiner Dill Award. Jonathan Peterson earned a Fulbright Grant. 

Below is a profile of each senior and his or her academic internship and research thesis.

Jorge “Nico” Anwandter, PPA/Politics, interned with L.A. County Neighborhood Legal Services. Nico assisted self-represented litigants answer unlawful detainer complaints, and complete legal paperwork in the area of family law. He explained court process and procedures and legal terminology so that clients understood issues in their cases. Nico also assisted with the training of new volunteers. Nico’s internship led directly to his academic thesis, Redesigning Legal Services in the Digital Age, as his observations that client services offered could be greatly enhanced with access to technology. Nico will pursue employment as a paralegal next year before applying to law school.

Sarah Buchman, PPA/Chemistry, interned with the County of Los Angeles Public Health, Office of Women’s Health. Sarah researched and wrote articles for the monthly community partner communication, Health Note. The first article highlighted the disparities in health treatment of minorities and the second article was about the risk factors, prevention and demographics of lung cancer. She also contributed to thePrevention Matters newsletter for the OWH. Sara was instrumental in the production of a complete protocol binder for the Mobile Clinic Outreach program. Sara thesis, The Qualitative and Quantitative Implications of an Inadequate Diagnostic Test for Lyme Disease Patients investigates the costs, physical, emotional and monetary, of misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease Sara plans to attend medical school at either McGill, Georgetown, or George Washington.

Maggie Canby, PPA/Biology, (Scripps), interned with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Immunization Program. Maggie worked within the Advocacy, Evaluation, and Promotion (AEP) unit. Maggie conducted extensive research for the AEP unit and its partners on the issue of increasing rates of Personal Belief Exemptions, which lead to decreasing immunization coverage levels. This research supported her thesis, the Return of the Plagues: The Science and Politics of Immunization and the Affect of Personal Belief Exemptions on Preventing the Plagues in the Twenty-First Century. After graduation Maggie plans to relocate to Washington, D.C. to work before attending graduate school.

Samuel Cook, PPA/Biology, interned with both the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement for the City of San Francisco and the City of Claremont Human Services Department. Sam’s research and projects for both of institutions centered on Health Care Education and Advocacy. Sam’s thesis, The California Budget Crisis and How It Affected Plans for Health Care Reform reflects his interest in this area.

Rebecca Dale, PPA/ Politics, History, interned with EcoSecurities, a locally located world-wide developer and supplier of emission reductions. Becky authored the companies’ weekly legislative updates which reflected her knowledge and research of the carbon markets world-wide, climate change policy, and EcoSecurities. In her thesis, Fueling Underdevelopment: A Global Perspective on U.S. Biofuels PolicyBecky examines the implications of U.S. biofuels policies for the developing world. Becky has taken a position as an Energy Analyst with Southern California Edison.

Caroline Flynn, PPA/Politics, interned with the House of Ruth whose mission is to advocate for and assist women and children victimized by domestic violence. After completing a state mandated forty-hour training, Caroline had a broad range of responsibilities. She worked as a Shelter Advocate, accompanied clients to court, and assisted in the residential facility. Caroline’s thesis, The Road to Equality? Candidate Selection Strategies for Political Parties in the U.K. focuses on the two separate strategies identified to increase representation of women in the world’s legislatures. After graduation Caroline plans to work in a law office before applying to law school.

Zuleika Godinez, PPA/Politics, interned with Uncommon Good, a Claremont non-profit that connects school-age mentees to community mentors. Zuleika conducted extensive statistical research regarding poverty, drop-out rates, and detentions for surrounding communities, counties of Los Angeles, and California. Additionally Zuleika conducted researched and wrote two small-sized grant proposals. Zuleika also spent time “in the field” working with the Uncommon Good Family Services Coordinator. Zuleika’s academic thesis Voices of Resistance: The Day Labor Movement in Southern California compared two distinct day-labor sites in Pomona and Rancho Cucamonga. Zuleika will work in northern California before deciding about graduate school.

Mackenzie Greiman, PPA/Chemistry, interned with the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit based in Claremont. While at the Non-GMO Project Mackenzie worked to further develop relationships with partnering organizations. Mackenzie also attended the Natural Products Expo in Boston representing the Non-GMO Project. Mackenzie’s academic thesis, Out of Evolutionary Control: An Analysis of the Approval Process for Genetically Engineered Crops, examined the processes and policies currently in place to regulate the commercialization of genetically engineered crops. Mackenzie has been accepted to the M.A. program in Climate and Society at Columbia.

Jennifer Han, PPA/Economics, interned with Jack Mills, PhD, Education Consultant. Jennifer assisted Dr. Mills with a project funded by the National Institute of Health-General Medical Sciences to look at underrepresented minorities in science. Jennifer transcribed interviews, analyzed CSUN Institutional Research historical trend data, and conducted a literature review of the research on mentoring programs in general and in the sciences. Jennifer’s thesis, Taming the Beast How: Pomona’s Charter Schools Tackle Charter School Accountability
examines charter school accountability within the political, economic, and social structures of two cases.

Melissa Hanna, PPA/Sociology, interned with Skatebook, an organization focused on the world of skateboarding. Melissa worked on many projects including market analysis, data analysis, hiring and supervising a data entry team, and coordinating projects for the producer of their broadly published coffee- table book, Skatebook. Melissa’s thesis, Intersections of Culture and Society on Urban Skateboarding Communities focused on her ethnographic analysis of urban skateboarding culture primarily in New York and Los Angeles. This August Melissa will present her senior thesis at Living Knowledge4 a conference in Belfast, Ireland. She then will intern at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center working on Organizational Development.

Lily Hitchner, PPA/Chemistry, interned with the East Valley Community Health Center where she conducted clinic policy research on best practices, managed patient cases in the Cervical and Breast Cancer Prevention Programs, and developed educational materials for the STD Prevention Program. Lily’s thesis, Cultural Blood, Organizational Blood, Life Blood: United States MSM Blood Donor Deferral Policy, does, among other things, describe options to the current MSM policy as proposed by various stakeholder groups and the process by which the FDA considers such policy alternatives. After graduation Lily will travel to Kenya for three months doing work on malaria and HIV field research, travel to Guatemala or Panama, and then return home to apply for medical school to enroll in 2011.

Lech Kaiel, PPA/Economics, interned with the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. While there Lech researched and created a Legislative Action Guide, implemented a survey of the San Gabriel Valley businesses, and provided public policy research on regional and state issues. Lech’s academic thesis The Braking Point: Congestion Necessitates Urban Transportation Policy Reform examined current flaws in American transportation policy and proposes policy solutions to correct these flaws. After graduation Lech will pursue a career in finance or business..

Michelle Pham, PPA/Politics, interned with Los Angeles County Neighborhood Legal Services in the Workers’ Rights Unit. Michelle assisted in the representation of low-wage workers before the State Labor Commissioner, conducted wage calculations for penalty claims, and conducted legal research on a specific wage claim case. Michelle’s thesis, Language Barriers in Access to Health Care: A Case Study of Los Angeles County’s Linguistic Competence evaluates how language barriers continue to present problems for patients seeking to access the health care system. Michelle will attend Columbia Law School in the fall.

Jonathan Peterson, PPA/Politics, interned in the offices of Los Angeles Unified School Board member Tamar Galatzan. Jonathan developed both a business and non-profit data-base. He wrote articles for the Board Members newsletter, and researched and wrote briefing papers for Board Member Galatzan on the District’s new Per-pupil Funding model, the World Languages Initiative, the Developer Fees Program and resolutions to support Congressional legislation. Jonathan’s thesis, Education Reform and Judicial Intervention: A Retrospective on Serrano vs. Priest and the Prospects for Educational Equity and Adequacy in California School Finance, presented the historical development of school finance in California, 1970 to present, and concluded by presenting policy proposals geared toward decentralizing the current system. Jonathan will spend next year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Venezuela.

Jennifer Rojas, PPA/Sociology, interned for Claremont Unified School District in the office of Secondary Education. Jennifer supported work for the Career and Technical Education program. She participated in grant writing, data collection, and designing informational material and mailers. Jennifer’s academic thesis, Segregating Communities: Private Institutions in Our Public System, explores the subtractive policies of a small outreach academic organization of an inner city school in greater Los Angeles. 

Emily Tamanaha, PPA/Economics, interned at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. While there, Emily conducted independent policy research around issues such as environmental regulations in the hospital industry and living wage issues. She attended and contributed to strategy meetings, planned events, and participated in educational outreach. Emily’s academic thesis, Business-Oriented Economic Development in Pomona, CA: Functional in Theory and Practice? examined the city’s chosen approach to economic development using theoretical framework. After graduation Emily will lead a group of students in community work in the City of Pomona and then intern with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at University of California, Riverside.