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19 June 2019

The Robert Strauss Center is very pleased to announce the acceptance of nine undergraduate students to its 2019 – 2020 class of  Brumley Next Generation Scholars. The program’s new class comprises an impressive group of undergraduate students drawn from schools and departments across UT campus. 

The scholars program consists of two core components.  First, the students will take a 3-credit research training and professional development course, taught in the fall of 2019 by Dr. Michael Mosser and Dr. Stephanie Holmsten. This course is designed to introduce students to policy work, including skills in policy research, analysis, and writing. Students will be trained on designing research strategies and proposals, conducting policy analysis, writing resumes and statements of purpose, crafting op-eds and blog posts, and planning for the steps in their career development. Second, in the spring semester, the Next Generation Scholars will work closely with Dr. Mosser and Dr. Holmsten on a collaborative policy research project and report.

Involving undergraduates in international affairs and civic engagement early in their career is a vital part of the Strauss Center’s mission to prepare the next generation of leaders to help develop solutions to the most pressing public policy challenges.

Meet the 2019 – 2020 Brumley Next Generation Scholars:

Jay Anand is a fourth-year student majoring in Accounting, Plan II, and History. His work experience has primarily consisted of team-based projects, creating new initiatives, and helping Austin communities. His interest in volunteering led to him co-founding The Language Campaign, a nonprofit that pairs UT students with English as second language students in Austin to facilitate language exchange and mentorship. On campus, he is also involved with the Texas Blazers, a men’s service organization, and Consult Your Community, an organization that allows college students to use their skills to help local organizations.  Jay is looking forward to the Brumley Next Generation Scholars program to research the experiences of Mexican and Latin American adolescents in the United States. After graduation, he plans to complete a graduate degree in Education Policy or Non-Profit Management and pursue a career in education equity.

Audrey Balliette is a third-year student studying Plan II, Middle Eastern Studies, and Arabic via UT’s Flagship Program. Audrey’s interest in public policy and international relations developed through her experiences working with refugees, both locally in Austin, and abroad in Athens, Greece, during the Syrian refugee crisis. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she has volunteered as a mentor to a middle school refugee student and has served as a student leader in Texas 4000 for Cancer. After graduation, Audrey plans to complete a capstone year abroad in Meknes, Morocco, and later to pursue a joint J.D./M.A. in international relations. Her ultimate goal is to work in the field of immigration policy and humanitarian law, and she hopes to use her experience as a Brumley NextGen Scholar to help equip her to achieve these goals.

Luis Garcia is a third-year student pursuing degrees in International Relations & Global Studies, Government, and Economics, along with a minor in Business. At UT Austin, Luis is involved with the Hispanic Business Student Association and serves as the Community Liaison for the Central American Student Association. He also participated in the Austin City Hall Fellowship, where, alongside his cohort, he developed the foundation for a campus-based, community-serving Language Lab to help improve language accessibility in the city of Austin. Luis has previously worked at the River City Youth Foundation as a mentor and tutor to the youth of Dove Springs. Luis enjoys and finds purpose in working with underprivileged youth and attempting to advance their educational aspirations. Luis has also interned at the Equal Justice Center, a non-profit law firm in Austin. Upon graduation, Luis plans to attend law school and clerk for a federal court. His career interests lie within the fields surrounding law, policy, and international diplomacy. He hopes to use his time as a Brumley Next Generation Scholar to further research and explore policy solutions at the intersection of international migration and development in Latin America.   

Parth Gupta is a senior at UT Austin studying Computational Engineering and Plan II Honors with a minor in Government. During his time at UT Austin, he has fostered an interest in public policy and national security, particularly related to intelligence and cyber security. His professional experiences have furthered his fascination with these subjects. From 2018-2019, Parth was an Undergraduate Fellow with the Clements Center for National Security. He has previously interned with a congressional campaign and a Texas state representative. During the Spring 2020 semester, Parth will participate in the Archer Fellowship in Washington, D.C. Beyond national security, Parth has enjoyed a breadth of experiences through UT Austin. During his sophomore year, he participated in Projects with Underserved Communities, helping build a kitchen for a community garden in Jocotenango, Guatemala. As a recipient of the inaugural President’s Award for Global Learning, Parth traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia, in summer 2019 to conduct maternal healthcare research. He has been involved with Texas Rotaract, the Society of Plan II Engineers, Camp Texas, and the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) Camp. Post-graduation, Parth hopes to pursue a career in government and national security. 

Asha Jain is currently a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin, pursing a major in Aerospace Engineering, Space Track, and two certificates, one in Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship and the other in Computational Engineering. In the spring of 2019, during her study abroad at Ecole Centrale Paris, Asha conducted research on planetary space law and its application to regulating space debris formation around other planets. She hopes to publish her research as a student article in the Journal of Space Law in the coming months. On campus, Asha works in a research lab engaged in humanoid robotics and is investigating robot navigation in crowds for her engineering honors thesis. Asha is a member of the Tau Beta Engineering Honors Society, and often volunteers with the group at Feed My People or Clean Shoal Creek events. In addition to world cultures and travel, Asha is passionate about innovation, space exploration, and how international policy shapes the two. Asha plans to attend graduate school in a dual masters/JD program to earn an upper degree in Aerospace Engineering and Law. 

 Paige Johnson is a rising senior studying International Relations and Global Studies with a specialization in International Security and Latin American Studies through the Liberal Arts Honors program. Paige has had the opportunity to work with the research organization Innovations for Peace and Development (IPD). With IPD, Paige works as a research affiliate and co-leader for the Latin American Audits team, where she and her colleagues utilize their translation skills and investigate corruption throughout Latin America. Sharing her passion for the Spanish language and bilingualism, Paige serves as the Outreach Coordinator for The Language Campaign. In her efforts to support the refugee and immigrant community, Paige has also worked as the Education and Outreach Intern for The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Legal and Educational Services and serves as the Development Coordinator for the Liberal Arts Refugee Alliance on campus. Her experience studying abroad in Queretaro, Mexico afforded her the opportunity to broaden her understanding of US/Mexico migration as she interned with the Centro de Apoyo Marista al Migrante (The Marista Migrant Support Center). As she returns to her studies, Paige looks forward to applying all of these unique experiences to her efforts in crafting comprehensive policy that is cognizant of the people it serves. In the future, she hopes to work with the Organization of American States and has considered pursuing a legal career.

Shyam Madhani is a rising sophomore at UT Austin where he is studying in the Plan II Honors program. In addition to majoring in Plan II, Shyam is expected to graduate with a B.S. in Communication and Leadership as well as a certificate in Environment and Sustainability. In the summer of 2018, Shyam interned with the Plano Mayor, Harry LaRosiliere. He has also served as a marketing intern at the technology training company Award Solutions. He is passionate about decreasing education inequality as well as mitigating climate change, and after his undergraduate studies he hopes to aide policy makers in order to make these goals a reality. In his free time, Shyam is active in many activities such as PlanTutoring, the UT Concert Chorale, the Campus Environmental Center, as well as going to the gym with friends. 

Liam Verses is a rising junior in both the Environmental Engineering and Plan II Honors programs. He is also pursuing a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Liam is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and has been named a Distinguished College Scholar in both the College of Liberal Arts and Cockrell School of Engineering. Prior to his freshman year, Liam worked as a staff writer for the American Conservation Coalition and the Conservatives for Environmental Reform PAC, both of which push for bipartisan involvement in environmental reform. Liam has worked at The Daily Texan as an opinion columnist and associate editor of opinion. While at The Texan, he frequently wrote about water issues, including hurricane preparedness, floodplain development, megadrought risk, dam regulation, and an integrated approach to Texas’ water management. Liam also wrote about national security issues, including the China Public Policy Center's funding and Confucius Institutes’ threat to academic freedom and intellectual property. Liam has also worked on the Tax Policy staff of the House Ways and Means Committee in Washington, DC, where he analyzed the solvency of a federal pension program and prepared findings for both Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee. Liam plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration and Master’s in Engineering, ideally in Environmental Science and Policy and Earth Resources Engineering. Ultimately, Liam would like to work at the nexus of environmental policy and national security, specifically relating to global water stresses and water scarcity. 

Rosaleen Xiong is a rising junior pursuing a degree in Computer Science and a certificate in Digital Arts and Media. Her primary academic and career interest is in applying her technical skills to her passion for service, particularly in the areas of civic engagement and the environment. After college, she plans to pursue a career in policy research or non-profit work using her knowledge of data science and programming.  

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