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Graduates 2013


Below is a profile of each senior and his or her academic internship, senior thesis, and latest post-graduation plans. 

Rachel Bollens, Biology/PPA, interned with Saath, a South Asian Public Health Organization. Saath primarily focuses on cancer prevention; it began by addressing breast cancer, but is now continuing outreach and addressing tobacco use as well.  Rachel worked on creating policy briefs for the company and other public relations materials.  Rachel spent the Spring semester in Nepal studying Nepali.  Her thesis was titled “Divine Dentifrice or Dental Disaster?: How to Address Culturally Specific Tobacco Use Among South Asian Immigrants.”


Cati Crawford, Neuroscience/PPA, interned with the Childhood Obesity Research Center at the University of Southern California.  The Childhood Obesity Research Center at USC is the results of a collaborative effort between USC and the Children’s Hospital of LA.  The Research Center strives to maintain and further build their position as one of the nation’s leading research teams addressing childhood obesity.  As an intern at the Research Center, Cati organized project outreach and assisted with other administrative tasks. Cati studied abroad in Spain during the spring of her junior year.  Cati’s thesis was titled “Overcoming a Weighty Problem: Defining a Policy Strategy Against Obesity.” Cati received the the Russell M. Story  Prize in Public Policy Analysis for her undergraduate work anad thesis and Neuroscience Honors for her thesis. After graduation Cati will be working for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Scientific Program Analyst within their Human Genomes Research Unit. 


Sophia Geffens, Special Major in Health Policy/PPA, interned with East Valley Community Health Center in the HIV Outreach Department.  The Outreach Department at East Valley creates, implements, and monitors prevention strategies to improve the health of low-income and underserved individuals.  Sophia worked as an HIV testing counselor (she became certified the summer prior to her internship).  In addition to performing HIV testing, Sophia taught STD classes at many locations throughout the Inland Valley.  In her junior year, Sophia studied healthcare issues related to HIV/AIDS in Botswana.  Sophia’s thesis was titled “Paying for Positives: The Leverage and Limitation of Pay-for-Performance Measures in Mobile HIV Testing.”


Courtney Hamilton, Politics/PPA, interned at the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership.   The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership is composed of businesses, cities, school districts, and non-profits in the surrounding area.  The partnership offers marketing, business, and public policy advocacy to its members.  Courtney reported feeling very well integrated into the organization and her tasks included organizing election information, planning legislative committee meetings, writing press releases and advocacy letters, and conducting policy research.   In her junior year Courtney studied abroad in Spain.   Her thesis was titled “An Impossible Feat: How the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Was Passed and Why.”


Jasmine Johnson (Scripps College), Politics/PPA, interned with the LA United School District in the Office of Data and Accountability.  Jasmine is interested in educational policy and studied in South Africa last spring.  Jasmine’s thesis was on education policy as well, titled “Started from the Bottom ... and We are Still Here: A Longitudinal Study African American Student Performance in San Bernardino County”


Alice Mirlesse (Claremont McKenna College), Anthropology/PPA, interned with Pomona Self-Help Center, a Neighborhood Legal Service that provides free legal information for the East District of Los Angeles.  At the Pomona SelfHelp Center, Alice assisted litigants in filling out court papers in Family Law, Small Claims, and Housing Law.  She was able to interact daily with attorneys in the office and became very interested in legal aid work.  In her junior year Alice studied abroad in Berlin.  Alice’s thesis was titled “Identity on Trial: The Gabrielino Tongva Quest for Federal Recognition.”


Thomas Mooney-Meyers, Politics/PPA, interned with the City of Claremont in the City Manager’s Office.  The City Manager’s Office runs municipal affairs for the city of Claremont, manages other city departments, and handles public relations for the city of Claremont.   During his internship, Thomas researched municipal affairs, wrote memos for the major and various council members, assisted in event planning and execution, and interacted with staff outside of the City Manager’s office.  Thomas’ thesis was titled “The Future of Re-Development: Blight Removal Funding in the post RDA Era.”


Julia Neaves, Economics/PPA, interned with Claremont Unified School District in the Business Services Department.  The Business Services Department is responsible for managing the district financial resources including school bonds, facilities, human resources, and payroll.  As an intern, Julia rotated between the main business services office and the human resource office.  Her primary tasks included summarizing and evaluating financial policies, building financial documents, checking and balancing invoices, and assisting the district in transitioning to a new health insurance provider.  Continuing her interest in educational policy, Julia focused on school attendance for her thesis, titled “Desperately Seeking Attendance: What Can School Districts Do?” Julia received the Cecil Short Memorial Prize in Music. After graduation she will move to Chicago, IL to work as a Scholar Coach for the Schuler Scholar Program.  The Schuler Scholar Program is a non-profit, private foundation based in the northern suburbs ofChicago.  The program prepares under-resourced, high potential students to succeed at the most competitive private colleges and universities.  Julia will work directly with scholars in one-on-one and in group settings, managing about 10-15 scholars.

Courtney Powers, Science, Technology, and Society/PPA, interned for the Children’s Defense Fund in Los Angeles.  The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that works to lift children out of poverty and ensure their access to health care and quality education.  At the CDF, Courtney worked as a health policy intern on a $1 million grant from Medicaid to increase enrollment of eligible, uninsured children in LA & SD school districts.  Though the organization is not very large, it is a well established non-profit with a lot of resources.  Courtney felt supported as an intern and appreciated how she was able to contribute, in a tangible manner, to the organization’s goals.  Courtney was a Truman Scholar Finalist in the spring of her junior year, adn the recipient of the Dwight L. Ryerson Memorial Pre-Medical Award and the Senior Service Award. After graduation Courtney will work at the Mathematica Policy Research Center in DC as a program associate.  Her thesis was titled “Brown Bag Politics: How Low-Income Children are Affected by Changes to the National School Lunch Program.”

Steven Sanders, Environmental Analysis Policy/PPA, completed his internship, with the Coalition for Clean Air (Center for Science, Policy, and Outcomes), in his junior year as part of the Semester in D.C. program.  He also studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa.  Steven’s thesis was titled “Ethics of Population Politics: Sustainability Gone Awry?”

Howie Vogt, Politics/PPA, interned with the Bureau of Land Management in Moreno Valley, CA.  The Bureau of Land Management is a multiple-use agency that promotes recreation, conservation, and energy development in public lands.  Most of Howie’s responsibilities lay in the communications and outreach division of the Bureau.   Howie is interested in land use issues, which motivated his thesis, titled “The Swarming Panopticon: Drones, Privacy, and the National Security State.”