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Graduates 2011

Like many of their predecessors, members of the class of 2011 received recognition.  Susannah M. Gibbs (Biology) received the Russell M. Story Prize for Public Policy Analysis and The Cecil Short Memorial Prize in Music. Michael O'Shea (Politics) received a Fulbright Grant to study park Equity in Montreal, Canada. He was also a City Hall Fellow finalist in San Francisco. Michael was elected by his Pomona peers as Class Day Speaker. Mary Padden (Sociology and French), was selected to be an Oakland Teaching Fellow, and she received The Phyllis Johnson Memorial Prize in French. Chelsea Muir (Politics) was recognized with the Dole, Kinney Prize in Creative Writing. The Ted Gleason Award went to Amarillys Rodriguez (Politics). And Chad Horsford (Sociology) received a Senior Service Award. Chris McGuire (Politics) was a finalist for the Herbert Scoville, Jr. Peace Fellowship.

Below is a profile of each senior and his or her academic internship and research thesis. Of note, PPA seniors contributed approximately 3,430.75 hours of service for academic credit. This amount includes two students who interned in Washington, D.C. and contributed approximately 400 hours each rather than the 216 hours that on-campus students contribute.

Lizette Ceja, Sociology/PPA (Pitzer), interned with the Mexican American Defense and Education al Fund (MALDEF) in the Office of the Western Regional Counsel in the organization's Los Angeles National Headquarters Regional Office.  Lizette worked for four attorneys while with MALDEF. She conducted research on anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona, conducted interviews with potential clients, drafted talking points and power point s for both Arizona's SB1070 and the DREAM Act. Lizette also attended a California Policy Institute conference on community policing during her time with MALDEF. Lizette's thesis is titled Éramos lideres, no nomas de nuestra casa, Éramos líderes de la comunidad": Women organizing for a better community in the city of Mariposa.

Susannah Gibbs, Biology/PPA, interned with AIDS project Los Angeles (APLA) in the Case Management Services Department in downtown Los Angeles. Through the Client Contact Program Susannah regularly reassessed and updated client needs and made referrals to alternative types of case management while working with a wide variety of clients. As a senior volunteer, she trained other interns and volunteers from regional and distant colleges and universities.  Susannah's thesis Buying Time: An NGO/Government Partnership to Increase Access to HIV Treatment in Rural Areas of Tanzania is based on her research and fieldwork in Tanzania. This summer Susannah will return to Tanzania to continue her work. In the fall, Susannah will attend Johns Hopkins School of Public Health to study in the area of Maternal and Reproductive Health.

Chad Horsford, Sociology/PPA, interned with the Labor Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles. Chad assisted their staff with a variety of projects including public outreach for the Bus Riders Union. Chad also worked on legislative projects for the Labor Community Strategy Center and assisted project leads with information dissemination.  Chad's thesis is Engage This: Christianity and Community Organizing in Pomona, CA. Chad will volunteer this summer in Pomona and apply to graduate school in Urban Planning next year.

Charlotte Huang began the semester as a Chemistry/PPA student and interned with the Claremont Unified School District in the Nutritional Food Services Division. She worked with elementary and secondary students towards improving nutritional literacy. She also worked in the garden and biology classrooms at San Antonio High School.  Charlotte decided to double major in Chemistry and Biology and so she did not complete a senior thesis.

Chris McGuire, Politics/PPA, interned with the Department of State's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of Multilateral Nuclear Security Affairs in Washington, D.C. This is a highly selective internship.

Chris supported the work of four foreign affairs officers, five physical scientists and also senior State Department Officials such as the ISN bureau's Acting Assistant Secretary, the Department's Under Secretary for Arms Control, and International Security, the President's Senior Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation and others. Chris drafted and coordinated cables to diplomatic posts, memorandums to State Department officials and prepared officials for meetings. He also mentored two newer interns. Chris's thesis is Neutralizing Nuclear Leaks: Efforts to Secure the World's Supply of Fissle Material. Chris will work next year with Mckinsey & Company in New York.

Chelsea Muir, Politics/PPA, interned with Los Angeles County Neighborhood Legal Services, Workers' Rights. She interned with the Staff Attorney, primarily in the El Monte Office. Chelsea was responsible for assisting the unit in the representation of low-wage workers before the State Labor Commissioner. She prepared wage calculations and compared client records for accuracy in claims. Chelsea also interviewed clients, prepared criminal record expungement petitions, and other preparatory work. She also worked at the weekly Workers' Rights Clinic interviewing workers in need of assistance.  Here she also interviewed clients, drafted demand letters, and prepared employees for their unemployment hearings. Chelsea's thesis An Evaluation of Prevention through Deterrence came as a result of her internship experience.  Chelsea will now take some time to write. 

Shanda McCune, Chemistry/PPA, interned with Uncommon Good, a non-profit in Claremont. Shanda spearheaded a large number of projects for Uncommon Good's work with a green jobs training grant through the California Clean Energy Commission, called the Clean Energy Workforce Training Program. Shanda created a community -based outreach plan to increase retrofit demand, created a step-by-step resource guide in various clean energy and retrofit incentive programs, and supported and implemented the work of the Green Energy Team, a newly formed group of trained, certified graduates of the Program.  Shanda's thesis is titledMoney is Power and Mining is Money: Policy on the Trade of Minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Impacts on Mining on the Local Region.

Rosie Newman, Economics/PPA, interned with The San Gabriel Valley Partnership. Rosie worked with the Director of Public Policy and researched and synthesized reports on various public policy topics and bills on which the Partnership was considering taking a position. She prepared a Legislative Reportcard for the Partnership as well. She also wrote letters and press releases for the Partnership. Rosie's thesis, Impact Investing: A Case of the Grasssroots Business Fund merges her practical experiences in internships with her economics academic work. Rosie will work for the consulting firm of Semler Brossy Consulting Group in Los Angeles next year.

Michael O'Shea, Politics/PPA, interned with The Trust for Public Land in both their Chicago and Los Angeles office. Michael conducted field and office research during both internships. He prepared surveys, conducted background research, and interviewed residents about potential community projects. Michael also attended a housing and transportation summit organized by the Los Angeles Mayor's office. Michael also trained other interns while at The Trust for Public Land.

Michael's thesis is a direct response to his internship and titled, Community Engagement in Urban Public Park Development: A Case Study of Chicago's Bloomingdale Trail.  Michael has received a Fulbright Grant to study parks in Montreal.

Mary Padden, Sociology/PPA, interned with Bright Prospect in Pomona, CA. Mary had a variety of experiences at Bright Prospect. One of the most far-reaching projects that Mary did was institutional policy research on scholarship displacement at colleges that Bright Prospect students attend. Mary surveyed over 40 financial aid offices to determine the impact of policies in the financial aid of students who receive outside scholarships. Mary shared her findings with the National Scholarship Providers Association, and the report will also be shared with the College Access Foundation of California.    Her research can be used as a basis for advocacy on a policy level to make scholarship policies more favorable to students, particularly low-income students. Mary's thesis is titled, The AVID Program and Teacher Collaboration: How AVID Fosters a Caring Environment and the Factors that Limit It.  Mary will be working for Oakland Unified next year in Special Education. She was awarded an Oakland Teaching Fellowship.

Jackie Pomeroy, Politics/PPA, interned with the office of Los Angeles School Board member Tamar Galatzan in Los Angeles. Jackie was known in the office to be a skilled researcher. She developed a data base of parent leaders in the community that Board Member Galatzan represents in an effort to increase parent engagement. Jackie contributed regularly to Board Member Galatzan's website and prepared briefing materials for board meetings. Jackie's thesis, which related directly to her internship experience,  is Public School Choice: A Case Study of the Portfolio Management Model in LAUSD. Jackie will be in the Master's in Public Policy Program at USC's School of Policy Planning and Development next fall.

Amarillys Rodriguez, Politics/PPA, interned with Uncommon Good in Claremont. She worked on programs with the green jobs training grant. Amarillys conducted research for the grant, and for potential employers. She created reports detailing cost benefit and public policy benefits to efficiency weatherization which were used in marketing materials to employers. Amaryllis's thesis is A Continuum of Solutions": Wrap-around services, Promise Neighborhoods and Education as Anti-Poverty Policy.  Amarillys will be working as a member of Public Allies Connecticut, a ten month Americorp program and transitioning to non-profit work in September. She plans to attend graduate school in public policy or non-profit management in the future.

Natalie Sacks, Psychology/PPA (Scripps), interned with Educational Consultant Jack Mills in Claremont. Natalie participated in a full range of activities through Dr. Mills' consulting practice. She was involved in evaluating best practices at Sycamore Elementary School through observation and she coded/analyzed parent and teacher comments. She transcribed interviews of college students in conjunction with a Minority Access to Research Careers project at Cal State Northridge.

Natalie's thesis is The Impact of Social Competence on Academic Achievement and Implications for Federal Policy.

Natalie has been accepted for a Teach for America position next fall.

Joe Witte, Psychology/PPA interned with the Los Angeles Unified School District in the Office of Data and Accountability. He worked with Dr. Katherine Hayes, Program Evaluation and Research coordinator. Joe worked with district staff to create parent friendly materials for their School Report card. He contributed to the document with his writing skills and policy analysis ideas. Joe also attended staff meetings and community meetings as part of this project. Joe's thesis is titled Bias Attribution, the False Consensus Effect, and Deliberation: A Political Psychology Perspective on American Democracy.

Joe will work for a year and then apply to graduate school.