Allouzi, Yousef
Policy Interests: Energy Policy, International Policy

After growing up in Texas, I am happy to say that I’ve been a proud Oregon transplant for nearly 15 years.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a BS in Economics and a minor in Philosophy.  I’m a licensed and practiced mediator in the state of Oregon and have experience working abroad in the country of Jordan.  I’ve spent over twelve years working in county and federal governments, the last ten being in the Department of Justice.  I love tackling the difficult problems that public policy presents and in my spare time enjoy reading, writing, and hiking.

Crawford, Tessa
Policy Interests: Rural Policy

I am from a small town in rural Northern California, in Mendocino County. My undergraduate education was at California College of the Arts where I studied painting and drawing. After graduating, I returned to Mendocino County to teach art to “at risk” youth. I worked with non-profits to promote arts education in my hometown. My training as a Doula, (a non-medical person who assists women during childbirth), motivated me to learn more about women’s health issues. After graduation, I intend to work with multiple sectors including local non-profits and policy makers, to promote vibrant rural communities!

My hobbies include playing board games, running, reading, and baking. Above all, in my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my rescue dog, Gemma.

Daniel, Allison
Policy Interests:
Environmental Policy

I was born in North Carolina, but I grew up moving around the U.S. and Western Europe as part of a military family. I am most recently from Huntsville, AL, where I completed a BS in Earth System Science with a focus on GIS and remote sensing. As an undergraduate, I interned with the NASA Develop National Program on three different projects that integrated NASA’s Earth-observing satellites into solutions provided for community concerns around the globe. This solidified my interest in policy and the important role it has in addressing environmental concerns both domestically and abroad. So, with a background in environmental science, I chose to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy with the hope of bridging the gap between science and policy. My current policy interests include sustainable development and natural resource management, as well as the involvement of community members in decision-making and the policy process. When I’m not studying, I like to make time for reading, exercising, and cooking!

DeFelice, Jessica
Policy Interests: Social Policy, Education Policy

After growing up in Connecticut and attending a small state school to obtain degrees in Political Science & Economics and a minor in Women’s Studies, I was excited to relocate to the west coast to pursue my MPP at Oregon State University. My experience in undergrad involved analyzing the barriers women face during their route to elective office in the United States for my Honors Thesis and interning at a nonprofit dedicated to improving opportunities for women and girls. I plan to continue this theme of work by focusing my studies in social and education policy. At OSU I love attending baseball and women’s basketball games and exploring the Pacific Northwest during breaks from school!

Degner, Rebekah E.
Policy Interests: Social Policy
 
I am proud to share that I am a native Oregonian. After spending most of my childhood at the base of Mt. Hood, I moved to the Willamette Valley in 2013 to attend Western Oregon University, where I earned a BS in Political Science, minoring in Sociology. My main policy interests reflect my desire to advocate for social justice. This aspiration stems from my own experiences being raised in a working-class household. From the training and experience I will gain as a graduate student at Oregon State University I hope to build a fulfilling career revolved around helping others over come socio-economic barriers.

 

Diaz, Alexa
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy and Transportation Policy

I was born and raised in Riverside, California. I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate student I studied abroad in Tanzania and Sweden where I solidified my passion for sustainability. After graduating, I served as an AmeriCorps member at Forth in Portland, OR where I assisted managing an electric car pilot project. In this position, I saw first hand the importance of transportation in underserved communities and importance of policy in transportation equity. At OSU, I am pursuing my MPP with a focus on transportation policy to research how sustainable transportation and new transportation can benefit all communities. In my spare time I enjoying being outdoors, cooking, and exploring new places. 

Freitas, Anna
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy

Growing up in Santa Cruz, California, a town known for stunning beaches and forests as well as organic agriculture, laid the foundation for my interest in how agriculture impacts human health and the environment. Classes in biology, rhetoric, and horticulture, also revealed a fascinating, complex dynamic between the scientific and sociopolitical aspects of agrienvironmental issues, and inspired me to pursue a multidisciplinary course of study at Willamette University. In December 2015, I received two bachelors degrees in Biology and Environmental & Earth Sciences (social science focus), through which I furthered my understanding of biology, environmental sciences, agriculture, and policy. Although I greatly enjoy plant ecology and restoration, I realized that I needed a graduate program in public policy in order to work toward answers to the many questions I have about environmental policy and how to incorporate science into policy.

Gonzalez, Veronica
Policy Interests:
Rural Policy; Social Policy
Awards: 2016 International Comparative Rural Policy Studies Summer Institute

I am from the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area in California. I graduated summa cum laude from Saint Mary's College of California with a B.S. in Social Psychology. With a passion for research methods and food politics, and a desire to utilize my skills in an applicable way, I decided to pursue a Masters degree in Public Policy, where I hope to specialize in Rural/Social Policy. During my undergraduate years, I worked as a research assistant and spearheaded several quantitative and qualitative projects. I also took part in various activities related to food policy; I participated in food desert immersion trips, worked on Fair Trade committees, volunteered in school gardens, head-started a farm-to-table education project to promote conscious consumer behavior, and contributed to educational conferences on the food industry at elementary schools. At OSU, I hope to investigate the links between food security, health education, and preventable disease. My interests outside of school include watching political documentaries and playing acoustic guitar.

Gray, Daniel
Policy Interests: Education, Environmental and Energy Policy.

After growing up here in Corvallis, Oregon, a long trail led me back. My bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Oregon left me looking for a career field that I felt would still focus on thoughtful deliberation but have more of a direct impact on society. After flirting with the idea of law school, I moved to Japan where I taught English for two years and became interested in education policy. When I moved back to the U.S. I interned at the Oregon legislature, which only increased my interest in policymaking. Public policy to me is a perfect combination that engages with theories of government and societal values, but can also directly impact and improve people’s lives. In my free time I enjoy playing board games with friends, cycling, and camping.

 

 

Gunther, Stephen
Policy Interests:
Energy Policy

I was born and raised on Long Island, NY but after receiving my BA in Political Science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, I decided to move to our nation’s capital. During my five years in DC I worked with several trade associations related to renewable energy and then at a consulting firm. While there, I primarily supported the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through strategic communications services for voluntary programs related to energy efficiency and other climate protection initiatives. OSU’s strong focus on energy policy makes it a perfect fit for my interests and it doesn’t hurt that Corvallis is in striking distance of some great surf and rock climbing spots.

Inman, Cassy
Policy Interests: 
Health Policy, Social Policy

I was raised in Santa Cruz, a seaside town on the central coast of California where I received my BA in comparative politics from the University of California.

After university, a personal passion for nutrition and well-being led me to a career in marketing for the Natural Products Industry.  I took a deep dive into the function of food and supplementation for balancing wellness, working in public relations and communications for some of America’s leading nutrition companies.  I relocated to Corvallis, Oregon in 2009.

I hope to parlay my customer care and advocacy skills into successful health and nutrition policy. When I am not on campus you’ll likely find me in the fitness studio practicing the Nia Technique, (a barefoot cardio fusion dance), or watching sci-fi with my husband and young son. 

Johnson, Jennifer (Jenna)
Policy Interests:
International & Social Policy

I am a native Los Angeleno, but I spent most of younger days in the Willamette Valley and Ashland areas. I have spent the last four years in Germany, where I work in Special Education for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA). I received my undergrad in Sociology from Arizona State University, and I recently completed my Masters of Social Work with the University of Southern California. My most recent internship involved working with USC Telehealth, providing virtual psychotherapy for
under-served populations throughout California. I have also worked as a domestic violence advocate. I am passionate about women's issues, equal rights and international social policy. I enjoy working in macro environments, I feel directing my efforts towards creating strong public policies is a worthwhile endeavor.

Lagouit, Ennada
Policy Interests
: Social and International policy
Internship: Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs
Awards: 2013 Coca Cola Scholarship, 2015- 2017 Fulbright Scholarship
Home Country: Morocco

I’ve spent the biggest part of my life in Casablanca, Morocco where I graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor in Industrial Engineering. Before coming to Oregon, I worked in the Kerosene and pipe manufacturing sectors. Without my experience in North African based factories I wouldn’t be feeling as strongly as I do, that my need to impact policy in developing countries far outweighs my desire to use my engineering degree.

As an MPP student at OSU, I hope to direct my passion for problem solving towards public issues. My policy interests are diverse but mostly centered around social and labor policy in the Middle East and North Africa. I am interested in understanding how constraints on female work conditions and opportunities are compound by institutional and religious norms operating within the region.

Langer, Rebecca J.
Policy Interests: Energy policy

I am originally from a small town in Minnesota but have come to love and embrace the West Coast over the last 10 years. I completed my undergraduate degree in International Affairs at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR then spent the next two years working in Strasbourg, France and Brussels, Belgium. For the past three years I have been working for a non-profit solar installer in Oakland, CA and further developing my passion for sustainability and social justice. I am incredibly excited to begin this new chapter in my life and look forward to answering questions around sustainable energy systems, political analysis and effective policy making. I also can’t wait to find the best mountain biking trails and the fastest way to the mountains in the winter while living in Corvallis.

Larmer, Zoe Marie
Policy Interests: Social Policy

I am originally from Colorado, but have spent the last eight years in Oregon. I received my B.A. from Willamette University in Women’s and Gender Studies in 2012. I spent the following four years working for the Oregon State Legislature in the Committee Services office, primarily staffing the Senate and House Rules committees.  I am particularly interested in policy issues surrounding affordable housing and education equity. I hope to use the skills I gain through the MPP program to address the growing disparity of resources in these areas. 

Laufer, Adrian
Policy Interests:
Environmental and Marine Policy

As a native Californian, the coast has always played an integral role in my life. I spent much of my childhood on beaches near the San Fransisco Bay, and then ventured to Southern California to study Environmental Policy at University of Redlands. I found my calling when I joined a marine mammal research group and began conducting surveys in the Southern California Bight. This research took me to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and Monterrey, and eventually landed me a summer internship with Earthwatch.

I am now beginning the next chapter of my life as a graduate student at OSU! My history with marine research has inspired me to pursue a career in marine conservation policy, so that I can actively work to protect this valuable ecosystem. Over the next two years I hope to increase my knowledge of marine policy, and learn how to translate scientific research into effective policies.

May, Morgan
Policy Interests:
Law and Crime Policy

I was born and raised just north of Berkeley, California where I lived until my junior year of high school.  I then took the California High School Proficiency Exam and moved to Eugene, Oregon.  I attended Lane Community College and then University of Oregon, with a major in sociology and a minor in computer information technology.

I have 10 years of experience working in government as an administrative assistant - in a few cities around Oregon, including the Astoria Police Department - and am now with the Oregon Judicial Department in Salem, Oregon.  I am excited to be in OSU's MPP program and about the possibility of advancing in my career in government.

I live with my partner, Michelle, and our many pets.

Mazhinyan, Arpine
Policy Interest: Social Policy
Home Country: Armenia

I was born and raised in Yerevan- capital city of Armenia. I graduated from Yerevan State University with Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Master's degree in Conflict Studies.

Prior to coming to the US, I was working with Monitoring and Evaluation section of UNICEF Armenia. Being part of the organization which shapes policies in the sphere of child rights protection both on the country and global levels, I had a unique chance to be inside the hub of result-oriented decision making processes. This experiences added great value in my professional and personal development, however, first and foremost, it helped me to reveal the gaps and drawbacks in my competences. I realized the need of academic education in Public Policy which will allow me to have the broader and complete vision of the picture. 

I am especially interested in Social Policy specialization as I am planning to examine poverty reduction policies. I believe that OSU can help me develop my theory and action plan for change.

Moline, Heather
Policy Interests:
Environmental Policy

After graduating with concentrations in English writing, economics and Spanish in 2010, I volunteered for two years at a popular education center in Managua, Nicaragua, where I became passionate about voluntary simplicity, fair and direct trade, and cross-cultural collective action. I returned home to Oregon, recovered (mostly) from culture shock, then worked in international development and social services.

When planet Earth's interconnected natural systems became my lens for communicating international solidarity, I became interested in environmental policy, and began working for a faith-based environmental policy and education program. My policy interests include institutional sustainability assessments, social-cognitive theory implications on energy behavior change, and climate change adaptation and migration to water-rich regions. In the "me time" I make sure to fit in, I love exploring the Pacific Northwest biome, swimming in cold oceans, Latin and Irish dancing, singing and playing guitar, and adoring dogs.

Osipova, Polina
Policy Interests:
Environmental Policy
Home Country: Russia, United States

I was born in Russia and grew up in the San Diego area in California. I earned my undergraduate degree in Environmental Systems from UC San Diego and plan to focus on environmental policy at OSU. I have experience in working for environmental nonprofits and local government. Most recently, I worked as an outreach assistant for the City of San Rafael, where my time was divided between implementing zero waste projects and developing an outreach plan for a residential carbon reduction program. I am passionate about helping people connect to the natural world, and about finding solutions to complicated environmental problems, especially in the areas of climate change, waste, and land use. I am grateful to be a part of such a wonderful program and look forward to exploring Oregon's open spaces!

 

Raghoo, Pravesh
Policy Interests: Energy and Climate Change Policy
Home Country: Mauritius
Awards: Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship 2017

I come from Mauritius, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean with lot of beautiful beaches and delicious food.  I graduated with a bachelor degree in Chemical and Renewable Energy Engineering from the University of Mauritius (UoM) in 2015. After my graduation, I was accepted as a Project Manager /Research Assistant at the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at UoM to work on an EU-funded project entitled L3EAP (http://project-l3eap.eu).  Besides the technical aspect of energy engineering and management, under project L3EAP I got the opportunity to explore the political and social aspects of energy production, consumption and management which has spearheaded my interest to learn more on policy theories and processes focused mainly on energy and climate change issues.

At Oregon State University, I expect to deepen my knowledge in energy economics and policy, energy security and climate change adaptation and mitigation policy techniques - especially applied to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Salih, Latifa
Policy Interests:
Water Policy
Internship: Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) Program
Award: 2015 International Comparative Rural Policy Summer Institute

I'm from Denver/Fort Collins, Colorado by way of about 12 other U.S. states and 2 other countries. I love the Pacific Northwest though and hope to make the Seattle area my permanent home when my time at OSU comes to an end. I completed my BS in Environmental Science, with a minor in Geography, here at OSU. I'm interested in all aspects of natural resource policy and management, but I'm most interested in water resource policy. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and exploring with my little family.

 

Sandoval, Jonathan
Policy Interest:
Environmental Policy

I was born in San Antonio, Texas and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I went to Southwestern University, a small liberal arts school in Georgetown Texas, and received a BA in Environmental Studies. It was at Southwestern that my interest in policy first started due to the guidance of my adviser and the way the degree is structured. After graduating in December 2015 I spent the next six months interning for the City of Georgetown's Finance and Budget Department. It was a very rewarding experience and a good way to get experience in local government. Moving to Corvallis has been very exciting for me due to the distinct change in scenery from Texas. My hobbies include tennis, hiking, and playing board games.

Starr, Christopher
Policy Interests: Agricultural Biotechnology, Politics and Policy of Technological Change, Environmental Policy, Other Rural/Agricultural Issues

I was raised in the western suburbs of Portland, Oregon, which are influenced by the unusual culture of Portland, mainstream American culture, and conservative reactions against the culture of Portland. I was personally connected to people who held an extremely wide variety of basic values, beliefs, and worldviews, and placed a high level of importance on their values. I was strongly affected by this. I developed a specific interest in biotechnology. I went to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I obtained a B.S. in Biotechnology. While there, I worked on a research project that attempted to develop a middle ground position in the debate over agricultural biotechnology. I decided to pursue a career related to agricultural biotechnology, and obtained a M.S. in Molecular Plant Sciences from Washington State University. After being forced to reconsider my professional identity, I realized that the field of public policy was a better fit for my capabilities and interests. I hope to work on policy issues related to ongoing technological, economic, and cultural changes that affect the physical and social environments of rural areas, either in a U.S. or international development context.

Vazquez, Maria Dolores, MS, PhD
Policy Interests:
Food and Technology Policy
Home Country: Mexico

I was born in Mexico City but grew up in Chiapas and Sonora (farthest south and north of Mexico). I have a BS in Biotechnology, a MS in Crop Science, a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics and now I am a second year MPP as a re-entry student. I have 15 years of experience in agricultural research, working closely with several universities and agricultural institutes. My goal after finishing my master in Public Policy is to work for an international organization that works closely with different systems of governance around the world in the advising of best strategies to improve communities livelihoods by technology and agriculture . At the same time, I am aiming at continuing working in collaboration with academia and agricultural research centers.
 

Whelan, Patrick
Policy Interests:
Rural Policy, Policy Theory

I have come back to school late in life after managing a large municipality for many years. I invested my retirement portfolio into the creation of a nonprofit counseling center for at-risk youth and their families in one of the more poverty intensive areas of Central Oregon. I graduated from Oregon State University Cascades in Human Development and Family Sciences in 2015, and moved to Lebanon for my first year of graduate school in the College of Public Health. I suffered my second major heart attack August of 2016, and through significant introspection changed my graduate program to public policy. This is my third year of graduate school, and I feel like the College of Liberal Arts {MPP Program} it is a much better fit.

A large part of my education has involved plate tectonics, and policies surrounding the protection of vulnerable populations that will be affected by a catastrophic natural event, e.g. the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami. The more I understand about public policies and social research, better positions me to contribute to Oregon residents. I have absolutely no experience in GIS mapping or course work; however, I am hoping to keep up with the rest of my cohort, and use the tools from this course to map locations of Oregon’s most vulnerable residents in preparation to assist recovery efforts.

Widiyasari, Ika
Policy Interests:
Rural policy
Awards: 2015–2019 BPS-Statistics Scholarship, 2016–2017 USAID PRESTASI Scholarship
Home Country : Indonesia

I am originally from Java, but dedicate myself to work in Papua/West Papua Province, Indonesia. I received my undergraduate degree in Economic Statictics from the Government Institute of Statistics in Jakarta, Indonesia. After graduation, I worked at the BPS-Statistics Indonesia as government officer in Division of Development of Census and Survey Methodology. A year later, I moved to Papua Province, working in the same office but in a different division (Social Statistics Division). I was responsible for socio-economic data in Papua Province and often got many challenges in collecting data due to the geographical isolation. From my daily interactions with rural communites, I found myself interested in rural policy and received an opportunity to study rural policy at Oregon State University. Currently, I have moved to West Papua Province, but am still dealing with the same job in BPS-Statistics of West Papua Province.  

Yang, Ling
Policy Interest: Education Policy
Home Country: China

I was born and grew up in Hangzhou, a beautiful city with six million population near the coast of southeast China. Throughout my life, I’m always interested in people’s different cultural identities. My M.A. thesis was about American Jews and my volunteering experiences include six months at World’s Expo. After completing my M.A. in English Literature at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, I worked as a high school English teacher for two years and then moved to Oregon. I want to focus my research on the equity and diversity of education policies related to immigrants, and feel so lucky that the MPP program can provide me effective access to abundant research resources and methods. My personal interests are piano and learning foreign languages (currently Spanish).  Corvallis is a great place to stay and I do enjoy my life here!