Abbas, Qammar
Policy Interests: International Policy
Home Country: Pakistan
Award: Fulbright Scholar

I was born and raised in the scenic Kurram Valley in Northwest Pakistan. After receiving my MBA from the University of Peshawar, I worked as a Research Consultant for a year where I enumerated in a survey in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa the Tribal Areas and to assess the policy gaps between youth and policy makers in conflict affected areas. In 2014, I moved to Islamabad where I worked for a year as a Parliamentary Associate in the Speaker's Chamber at National Assembly Secretariat. I moved back to Kurram Agency in 2015 where I worked part time volunteering as an Admin Officer at a newly operational high school mostly working on renovation and reconstruction of the building and assisting the Managing Director in Curriculum Development and Counseling of children.
Meanwhile, I received a scholarship to pursue a master degree in Public Policy at Oregon State University. My policy interest is in International development. I am specifically interested in Post conflict reconstruction focusing on child labor, education, conflict management, sustainable development and sustainable livelihood in post conflict areas.
In my spare time I like to cook, go hiking, read history and literature and listen to classical Pakistani and Afghan music.

Allen, Solomon
Policy Interests:
Social Policy
Internship: Office of Representative Dan Rayfield

Born in Washington and living most of my life in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest is my home. I took a long path in completing my undergraduate degree in Political Science, beginning at Oregon State in 2008, taking a long hiatus to work and start a family, and finally returning to school and finishing my degree in June 2017. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college and I owe all of my success to the love and commitment of my family and friends who have, and continue to, support me through my journey.

With my professional life devoted to customer service, I have always been passionate about being attentive and responsive to the needs and concerns of others. With a deep desire to have a greater impact than promoting a company’s interests, the MPP program is the perfect fit to help me fine tune my knowledge and skills to pursue a career in the public sector and work to promote the interests of individuals rather than businesses. I am most interested in health care, education, and sustainability for the benefit of the working class and future generations.

Bishop, Dustin
Policy Interests: Social Policy

Having lived and learned in Oregon all my life, I consider the Pacific Northwest home. After graduating from Willamette University, where I focused my studies in economics and politics, I joined political campaigns and non-profits fighting for environmental protection and healthcare access. More recently, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a team of organizers assisting homecare workers in Oregon access health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Now as an MPP student I plan to hone my policy analysis skills and learn about effective decision-making in public policy. I am most interested in studying how social policy can best improve economic opportunity and address social inequities in health and well-being in our communities. As the beneficiary of tremendous opportunity, public service, for me, is a life-long journey to ensure everyone gets a shot at realizing their potential. Beyond my professional pursuits, I enjoy reading political history and biographies, movies, running, and exploring the outdoors with my partner.

Consedine, Meagan
Policy Interests: Social Policy

I am from Virginia, but have lived across the country, from Seattle to Alabama. I graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in government and international relations. Upon graduation, I served as a US Army logistics officer. After the Army, I worked in business operations and proposal management. Most recently I was a proposal manager for a large IT company, delivering services in support of state and local healthcare projects (Medicaid, CHIP, Immunization Registry). Public policy has had a very real and direct impact on my life – from my professional background as a leader in the United States Army for two deployments to Iraq, to my experience as a proposal manager for State Medicaid proposals, and including the intersection with my role as a mother and military spouse. I am excited for this opportunity to pursue a MPP at OSU. My goal is to develop knowledge in policy research, design, and implementation – and ultimately return to a career of public service.

My hobbies include cooking and enjoying the beautiful outdoors Oregon has to offer. I love spending time with my family (husband and two children) – which is where you will usually find me in my free time.

Daniel, Allison
Policy Interests:
Environmental Policy
Internship: Sustainable Northwest

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
Internship: OSU Search Advocate Program

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
Award: Oregon Transportation Fellow
Internship: Oregon Legislative Policy Research Office

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. 

Francis, Michelle
Policy Interest:
Rural and Health Policy

I was born in Louisiana; however, I really consider myself an Oregonian since I have been here for 30 years, with a few other states mixed in. I graduated from Portland State University with a BS in Public Health; and have stayed in Portland, Oregon to work with non-profits. My focus in my professional life has been on health issues concerning the elderly, homelessness, and underserved communities; as well as working to eliminate the stigma around mental health and HIV/AIDS diagnosis. My MPP path will hopefully take me into a career of creating and co-creating policy to better serve people who have very little voice regarding their healthcare.

The picture attached is me climbing Mt Saint Helens, and that’s why I call the PNW my home, you can’t get this in Louisiana.

Han, HyeSu
Policy Interests: International Policy
Home Country: Korea

I am from Seoul, Korea and moved to Corvallis in 2016. Prior to joining MPP program, I worked in the higher education sector in academic and student affairs for four years and two years in the international development field. For a year in Nepal, I led the library project and trained librarians and teachers on library management, storytelling, and self-directed learning. I received Bachelor’s Arts in Sociology at the Stony Brook University in 2011 with minor in Business Administration and Political Science. I enjoy outdoor activities, traveling, singing and playing the piano, and watching dramas. I also like to interact with people from different culture and enjoy learning new languages!

Horton, Robert
Policy Interests:  Collaborative Governance, Economic and Social Policy

I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and moved to the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon in the Summer of 2017.   I have worked in the fire service my entire adult life serving in various roles, ranks, and responsibilities over my 18 year career.  I earned a bachelor of public administration degree from Nevada State College with a minor in business management.  I have a master of public administration degree from the University of Oklahoma with a concentration in public management.  I am excited to return to graduate school to hone in on specific work related to public policy.  My research interests include taking a behaviorally informed approach to the implementation of public policy particularly in the domain of community engagement, preparedness, and resiliency in regards to emergencies and disasters.  I am excited to join the great students and faculty at Oregon State University.  Ultimately, my goal is to earn a PhD to further the body of knowledge in public policy and contribute to community well being in a much different manner than I do today.

Hui, Deeann
Policy Interests:
Technology, Data Analytics

Originally from Omaha, NE, my educational background is in Sports Sciences and Adapted Physical Education.  For the past 18 years, I have been planning activities at two senior living communities.  I have worked with a wide range of seniors, from independent to late-stage dementia.  Despite my love of working with seniors, I am also motivated by a passion for public service and a desire to learn about the policy process---what it takes to develop, to advocate for, and to implement good policy. Currently living in the Silicon Valley, where technological advances (everything from social media to artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles) develop faster than policy, I am focusing on “technology and policy” through a concentration in data analytics.

Inman, Cassy
Policy Interests: Health Policy, Social Policy
Internship: Wilson Elementary School, Corvallis, Oregon

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. 

Irwin, Shelley
Policy Interests:
Social and Rural policy

I was born and raised in the city and suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah. I completed my Bachelor’s degree from OSU-Cascades in 2006 in Human Development and Family Sciences: Human Services, after taking a 10 year break from school upon completion of my Associate’s degree in 1995.  My main focus area in human development was education and early childhood supports.  I began my new career in service to children and families after I was hired at one of my practicum sites. I spent the better part of the following 10 years providing health and development screenings to children 0-5.  In 2016, I started in my current role at a collective impact backbone organization called Better Together. The systems change work I am immersed in at Better Together was the catalyst to my desire to learn more about policy and to learn and understand the systems in play in order to develop ways to support systems change (specifically in education) to a more equitable model. I live in and work with rural areas and am also interested in the intersection of social and rural policy.

Currently, I manage a 10 member multiple site AmeriCorps VISTA project in Central Oregon, focused on improving education outcomes for families living in poverty.  I am also a facilitator for a consortium of youth serving non-profits and am the manager for Central Oregon’s regional volunteer connector-Volunteer Central Oregon.

In my free time, I am exploring the back roads and forests of the northwest with my husband Jeff and my daughter Cydnee, or floating the river in Bend.

Johnson, Ian
Policy Interests:
Rural Health Policy

I grew up west of Portland, Oregon in the small town of Banks.  After completing High School I briefly attended Portland Community College where I worked with the local student government and engaged in both state and national lobbying for accessible higher education. The focus of my studies was primarily oriented towards prerequisite work for pre-nursing/physician assistant studies.

I enlisted in 2003 as an army medic and deployed to Iraq shortly after completing my medical training.  I worked for over a year as an infantry and convoy medic in central and northern Iraq.  Upon my return to the United States I discovered that my replacement unit in Iraq was staffed with 80% of their medic personnel.  As an experienced combat medic, I sought and received permission to return back to Iraq with several other medics so as to improve medical support to our troops.  I served nearly another year in Northern Iraq, assisting with convoy operations, local patrols and humanitarian medical missions to local communities.  Having completed my enlistment contract, and with the desire to further my education, I left active duty and transferred to the Army Reserve.  In this role I served as a mentor for many pre-deployment medics and travelled to Belize on a medical support mission to underserved Mayan communities.

Since leaving active duty I have worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs. Initially working as a Health Technician; I have also worked as an Audiology Technician and Clerical Lead. I  now serve as the Administrative Supervisor for two coastal clinics on the Southern Oregon coast. I have experience in a number of roles as a medical administrator, and I am comfortable working with the public and medical professionals.  Since beginning my work with the VA, I have also volunteered extensively with local police, emergency management and veterans services.  My primary focus has always centered around veterans, health, education and community resilience.

I am married to my beautiful wife Michelle. She works as a Veterinary Technician and has recently completed the Oregon State Master Gardener course. We  frequently foster kittens for the local animal shelter and share an interest in both reading and gardening. Both of us have engaged with community disaster planning and generally love spending time hiking, kayaking and playing board games with friends.

I completed my associates degree at Portland Community College, received my Bachelors in Health Science at Pacific University and have a Graduate Certificate in Public Health from Oregon State University.  I have also worked part-time as a Teaching Assistant for Pacific Universities Health Science program since my graduation from that program.  I am currently working on my Masters degree in Public Policy at Oregon State University while advancing my career in federal service.  My intention is to focus on the application of rural health policy.

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.

Kanzig, Erin
Policy Interests:
Environmental and Social Policy
Internship: Our Climate

I grew up in the beautiful little town of Sisters, OR, then attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where I graduated with a BA in Sociology and Environmental Studies. After graduating I moved to Detroit, MI for a year long volunteer program, where I worked at a homeless shelter for young women. Falling in love with Detroit, I became involved in the social organizing community and lived through some tremendously controversial policy decisions that heightened my desire to increase my skills to effectively shape equitable policies. After six years of living in the Midwest, I decided to move closer to home and pursue an MPP. I am particularly interested in environmental justice and the relationship between government agencies/policies and community-based organizing.

Beyond school, my interests include backpacking, biking, handwork of all sorts, reading, and baking.

King, Jasmine
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy, Health Policy, Social Policy

I was born and raised in San Diego, CA and have not lived anywhere other than southern California, until now! I quickly fell in love with nature and all things environment from an early age through all of my exploration around San Diego, especially the beaches. Hiking, being outdoors, and exploring new places is one of my biggest passions. It took a while, but I cultivated this in my undergraduate education. After stumbling through & failing the pre-med track for 1.5 years, I focused my studies on Environmental Science and Sociology, and graduated with the two degrees in June 2017 from UC Irvine. Throughout my undergraduate career, I held multiple positions on campus centered on diversity and empowering students. And, in my post-graduate employment, I worked as a resource counselor for adults with developmental disabilities. Given my experience working with minority and disadvantaged populations, I became very passionate about Environmental Justice. I applied to graduate school for Environmental Science, but was encouraged to pursue Public Policy in the midst of the process. In retrospect, it made a lot of sense to study public policy to affect these issues, so here I am! I'm excited to continue the work to bring more justice into the Environmental Science/Environmental Health field. In my spare free time, I'll probably be at home being a homebody & watching tv/movies, cooking/baking something new, or exploring Oregon as much as I can!

  Koutnik, Charles Zachary
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy
Internship: Oregon Department of Forestry

Kuschel, Bethany
Policy Interests:
Social and Health Care Policy

I was born in Florida but moved to Oregon in my teens. Currently I live in Bend, Oregon with my husband and our two daughters.

My early work experience in the Restaurant & Hospitality industry allowed me to realize early on that I wanted to work with people.

Later, my experience as a Life Enrichment Director at an Assisted Living Facility brought an awareness of my desire to work with seniors and help them reduce the barriers that they face accessing the services they need for improved quality of life.

I received my BS from OSU Cascades Campus in Bend, Oregon. An internship during my undergrad introduced me to policy analysis, which lit my path on fire.

I hope to use my passion for working with people and my education in public policy to actualize a career where I can improve and enact policy that not only increases access to programs for seniors but improves the quality of their life as well.

Lade, Andy
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy
Internship: Oregon Department of Transportation, Office of Civil Rights

I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. I had been a full-time educator before coming to OSU and still teach part-time at LBCC. I teach earth science and related fields. I received my bachelor’s degree in Communication from Tulane University and my master’s in Geoscience from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. My interests include environmentalism, cartography, geoscience education, environmental communication, and music.

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.

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.

Larmer, Zoe Marie
Policy Interests: Social Policy
Internship: Oregon Department of Education

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
Internship: Sea Grant Natural Resource Fellow
Award: NSF NRT Fellow

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.

Lavado, Angela
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy
Home Country: Colombia
Award: Oregon Summer Fellow
Internship: Oregon Department of State Lands

I was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, a city where you first learn to dance that to walk. I graduated from the National University of Colombia with a bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering. After my graduation, I worked as a research assistant for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) for four years. Specifically, I worked for the Decision and Policy Analysis research area, where I carried out analysis of the impacts of climate change on agriculture, vulnerability analysis and formulation of policy recommendations for decision making, in the Andean and Amazon regions.

My career goal is to develop research strategies to understand and resolve environmental conflicts between land use and hydrological systems, towards the sustainable development of developing economies. To achieve this goal, I am doing my master's degree in Public Policy that allows me to understand the role of public policy in the environmental context, how to bridge the gap between science and policies, and how to support the decision-making process and promoted effective policies to solve environmental conflicts.

Mazhinyan, Arpine
Policy Interest: Social Policy
Award: Fulbright Scholar
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.

McCollister, Malia
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy

Since living in Oregon from the age of 5, I consider myself a native Oregonian. I grew up in the Willamette Valley in the middle of wine country before relocating to Portland to attend Reed College where I graduated with the first interdisciplinary Environmental Studies/History degree. My thesis was about the Klamath River Basin and how white settlers impacted the native ecology and Native American communities in the region. Becoming really passionate about environmental issues led me to pursuing a BS from Portland State University in Environmental Science and Management. Learning more about the management side sparked my interest in environmental policy as a way for me to bring my knowledge of history and science together to help shape more comprehensive policy. I am especially interested in marine policy as it relates to climate change and Native American communities, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. When I'm not studying I like to read, bake things, and garden.

Milovanovic, Dina
Policy Interest: International policy
Internship: NGO New Social Initiative, Kosovo
Home Country: Serbia

Growing up in a post-conflict region led me to reconsider notions of nations, cultures and most importantly, policies that guide our livings. This led me to explore the study of Ethnology and Anthropology, both in undergrad and graduate studies, at University of Belgrade, Serbia. In 2015 my work was acknowledged with “Borivoje Drobnjakovic” award, for the best MA thesis in the field of Ethnology and Anthropology. In the meantime, from 2013 I engaged in work with civil society organizations in Kosovo, with the mandate to promote human rights, foster inter-community dialog and build democracy. Most of my work focused on qualitative research, on subjects of human rights, communities, social inclusion, politics, public policy and the importance of socio-cultural aspects of policymaking. I authored and co-authored over ten publications. Currently, I'm engaged with an organization New Social Initiative as a development manager, with a responsibility to develop projects in line with the organizational strategy. 

In future I strive to contribute to intergovernmental efforts to assist post-conflict and developing countries in policy development, focusing on mainstreaming of local cultures and contexts. That motivated me to enroll in the OSU MPP program, hoping to gain skills and knowledge that would bring my capacities to a higher level.

Moline, Heather
Policy Interests:
Environmental Policy
Internship: Sustainable Northwest

I’m a communications-savvy systems thinker with environmental training, global experience, and a penchant for management. Undergraduate concentrations in journalism and economics somehow led me to a two-year volunteer program at a popular education center in Nicaragua, where I became passionate about voluntary simplicity, international relations, and cross-cultural collective action. I became hooked on public policy when I found my way into environmental policy and education for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. My policy interests include collaborative governance, social-cognitive theory, environmental justice, behavioral and energy economics, and the food-water-energy nexus. You may someday find me in a city or county sustainability/resilience office or in an interdisciplinary PhD program. I am enjoying working with Dr. Hilary Boudet on an NSF-funded “Girls Learning Environment, Energy, and Math” (GLEEM) grant. For fun, I love rainy day hikes, Latin and Irish music and dance, and dogs. More at

Monyhan, Jordan
Policy Interests:
International Policy, Energy Policy

I was born in Colorado but spent most of my childhood in rural Pennsylvania and Maryland. I graduated from Clemson University in 2010 with a BA in Political Science, and immediately began a career as an officer in the US Navy. After serving the last ten years in the military, I’ve been fortunate to live all over the world and visit over 40 countries before I was 30. Through this, I saw the importance and impact of policy at all levels from local to international. I am now in the process of making a career change because I want to have the opportunity to be more directly involved in the policymaking process. I am interested in how to develop effective energy policy at an international level, specifically with green house gas emissions and the advancement of environmentally friendly technology.

In my free time, I love traveling, playing sports, cooking, studying languages, and spending time exploring new places with my partner.

Najam, Rafiuddin
Policy Interest: Social Policy, Higher Education Policy
Award: Fulbright Scholarship
Home Country: Afghanistan

I was born and raised in eastern Afghanistan which is well-known for its natural green landscapes. I received my undergraduate B.A in Public Policy and Administration from Kabul University and leadership diploma from Institute for Leadership Development and a member of Young Leader Forum-Kabul (YLF-FES 2017-18) cohort. Meanwhile, actively contributed with youth lead-organization toward youth and women empowerment, as well as an education advocate to make changes happen.
Recently, I was working with Administrative Office of the President (AOP)-Afghanistan, where I had a chance to engage with presidential tasks and high-level decision-making, actively contributed and completed; Development budget expenditure mechanism review, development of reporting mechanisms for governmental ministries, HR information analysis for 21 governmental ministries, and launching of Gender Responsive Budgeting project. I will be pursuing my graduate studies (master’s degree) at OSU with specialization on Higher Education Policy through Fulbright scholarship.
Investment on Human Capital guarantees the dynamic progress of Communities Development.  

Noone, Harry
Policy Interest: International Policy, Crime and Policy

I was born and raised on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, before moving to Ashland, OR while in high school. I attended Southern Oregon University where I earned a degree in Political Science in 2016. I gained experience conducting research as an undergraduate when I designed and implemented a study which measures public attitudes towards whistleblowers in government. I aim to pursue this area of scholarship further as I find it can help us understand the ethics, objectives, and impacts of public policy in a variety of contexts in a meaningful and concise way. I’m also interested in US foreign policy, globalization, American criminal justice, and conflict resolution. Prior to enrolling at Oregon State, I worked in numerous national parks and forests in California building and maintaining hiking trails and completed a full term of AmeriCorps national service. I am a big fan of baseball and hockey, classic films, and reading political history.

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!

Ostapiej, Julia
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy, Energy Policy
Internship: Oregon Water Resources Department

I received my undergraduate degree from UC Davis in International Relations. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I accepted a position with AmeriCorps VISTA and dedicated a year of full-time national service to help a low-income community in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I worked at the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education as a liaison between environmental student groups and the campus staff. After completing my AmeriCorps service, I accepted a five-month fellowship position with the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C. The organization works closely with the federal government to develop strong leaders, modernize management systems, and inspire talented individuals to enter federal service. I assisted the education and outreach team with special projects that included research, development, and implementation. After completing the fellowship, I was offered a position at the International Baccalaureate with their research department. I assisted the IB research department for 3 years before deciding to pursue a graduate degree in Public Policy.

I’m pursuing the Master of Public Policy as the next step in my career to improve my analytical skills and develop greater expertise in data collection, analysis, and program evaluation. My research interests focus on environmental policy and how governments plan to combat climate change.


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

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 (  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.

Sibley, Cody
Policy Interests:
Education policy, civic engagement
Internship: Oregon Department of Education

I was born and raised in the heart of Cajun country in Opelousas, Louisiana. After graduating from Louisiana State University in political communication, I chose to travel more than 2,000 miles across the country to pursue my MPP, focusing particularly about how our education system impacts our political discourse.

I like to balance my school life with excursions across Oregon's diverse landscape. After all, where else can you explore a beach, a rainforest, and a desert in the same day?

Steinhebel, Michelle
Policy Interests:
Social policy, rural policy

I am from Lebanon, Oregon, where I was also elected to serve on City Council in November 2018. I have my associate’s degree from Linn-Benton Community College, and I earned my BA in Liberal Arts (Political Science) from Oregon State University in 2009. I started back at OSU in 2018 in pursuit of my master’s in public policy. I have worked for a graduate health professions university since 2011, where I am now the public affairs manager for the Oregon campus. I also work on the university’s government relations team. I hope to pair my master’s degree with my career, in addition to my volunteer work as a city councilor.

Outside of school and work, I have two young children who I am raising with my husband, Jon. They keep us pretty busy. We enjoy camping and discovering new-to-us places throughout the Pacific Northwest.

  Gregory Stelmach
Policy Interests: Energy Policy
Internship: Corvallis Sustainability Coalition

Ward, Alicia
Policy Interests:
Social Policy, Health Policy

I was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. After high school, I moved to Monterey, California to complete my Bachelor's degree in Human Communication with a concentration in Pre-Law. I spent one semester of my undergraduate education studying internatonal politics and learning Spanish in San Sebastian, Spain. Upon returning to California, I began interning in the district office of Senator William Monning and honed my passion for policy and local government. After graduating from California State Unversity, Monterey Bay Summa Cum Laude, I came straight to Oregon State to continue my pursuit of education and make my goals of changing the world possible. In addition to studying policy, my hobbies include sailing, snowboarding, hiking and spending time with my two dogs.


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.

  Yaites, Regine
Policy Interests: Social Policy
Internship: Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission