Student Staff

The Rose Institute stresses a high level of interaction between student Research Assistants, faculty, and staff. In student’s research in areas relating to state and local government, students and faculty work side by side. Students receive guidance and instruction from professors, fellows, and research associates experienced in the operations of both the public and private sectors. While every student has experience working with faculty members and senior staff on an individual basis, the Rose Institute student staff is overseen by senior student managers.

Melissa J. Muller’18,  Student Manager 2017-2018

Melissa is from Pleasanton, California, majoring in Government. She found her love of public policy by competing on her high school competitive civics team and is thrilled to be working with the Rose Institute this year. As Content Manager, Melissa enjoys managing the website and creating infographics. She also works on the Primary Elections Database and collects data for the Kosmont Cost of Doing Business Survey. In her free time, find her practicing her German, playing tennis, and scoping out restaurants around Claremont. Melissa spent summer of 2014 as a Legislative Affairs Intern at the California Governor’s Office in Sacramento. She participated in the DC Internship Program during the summer and fall of 2016.

Ellen I. Lempres’18, Associate Student Manager 2017-2018

Ellen is from Berkeley, California, majoring in government at CMC. Ellen spent her freshman year of college at George Washington University in Washington, DC.  While at GW, she interned at several political organizations as well as at C-SPAN. After gaining experience in DC, Ellen decided to make the move back to California to study government at Claremont McKenna. She is very excited to be able to continue pursuing her political interest at the Rose and CMC.  Outside of the Rose, Ellen can be found enjoying the California sun.

Wesley W. Edwards’18

Wes is from Denver, Colorado, pursuing a degree in Philosophy and Public Affairs. At the Rose Institute, Wes works on the California Terrorism project documenting the history of terrorism in the state, as well as researches statewide propositions for the Video Voter project. On campus he is a member of the CMC Forum, Claremont Art Council and Claremont Captures Volunteer Photography Club. Wesley spent most of 2016 abroad, studying photography in Prague and then working for Young in Prison in Cape Town, South Africa where he assisted in music therapy in Pollsmoor prison.

Katherine R. Hill’18, New Hire Projects Manager 2017-2018

Katie is from the great Seattle area, majoring in Government. Throughout high school, she represented classmates in student government, worked on local campaigns, and was a member of her school’s Junior Statesmen of America chapter. Katie has worked on the American Community Survey, Southern California Almanac, and Three Strikes Projects. Outside of the Rose and classes, she can be found playing for the CMS lacrosse team and rooting for her hometown Hawks. Katie spent the summer of 2015 as an intern at the Washington Policy Center in Seattle and was abroad during the fall 2016 semester.

Shaneli N. Jain’18

Shaneli is from La Cañada, California, majoring in Science & Management. Her passion for government originated in high school where she consistently participated in student government and served as the Student Body President. She enjoys traveling with her family, and in her free time, you can find her running, dancing, or eating chocolate. Over the summer, Shaneli worked as a healthcare analyst for Senator Dianne Feinstein in Washington D.C. Shaneli will be spending a whole year studying in Oxford. She plans to pursue health policy and attend medical school.

Brian A. Landeros’18

Brian is from Phoenix, Arizona, majoring in Science & Management. In high school, he was involved with a variety of clubs and played for the varsity football and baseball teams. Prior to working at the Rose, he served as a fellow for the Fred Duval for Governor of Arizona campaign. You can find him speeding around campus on his longboard, jamming out to Chillstep during long study sessions, or getting never-ending seconds at Collins Dining Hall. Brian worked as a Summer Analyst at Aspiration Investments, a LA-based company at the intersection of finance and technology.  He spent the fall 2016 semester studying abroad in Granada, Spain.

Shivani P. Pandya’18, Data/Tech Manager

Shivani is from Sugar Land, Texas, pursuing a dual-major in Government and History. At the Rose, Shivani manages ArcGIS training and projects, as well as fills others tech needs. On campus, Shivani runs a podcast called Free Food (for Thought). In her free time, Shivani enjoys watching her beloved Packers win, reading books about World War II, and watching anything created by Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin. She spent the summer of 2016 interning for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.

Caroline C. Peck’18

Caroline is from Carlsbad, California, interested in studying Government at CMC. At the Rose Institute, she has researched demographic data through the Southern California Almanac and published a paper on primary elections. On campus she is involved in the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College Senate, and when she is not studying, Caroline is watching her favorite movies and making mac and cheese.


Kathryn G. Ridenour’18

Kate is from the greater Chicago area, dual majoring in Government and Economics. At the Rose Kate manages a project examining campaign finance in California legislature elections and works on the Miller-Rose Initiative Database. Outside of her Rose work, Kate serves on the Executive Board for CMC’s Model UN team, is Director General for this year’s McKennaMUN conference, and works on the student run podcast Free Food (for Thought). She intends to pursue a law degree and a career in public policy, focusing on campaign finance reform and lobbying regulation. Kate spent summer of 2016 in Washington D.C. working for Polaris on the Global Programs team.

Lindsay B. Burton’19

Lindsay, from the local area of Redlands, is at CMC pursuing a dual major in Government and International Relations.  She leads the Terrorism Project and assists on the Crime Funnel Project.  Outside the Rose, Lindsay is an Army ROTC cadet and the It’s On Us Campaign White House Student Advisor to the states of California and Hawaii. She hopes to become an Intelligence Officer in the Army.


Nicholas R. Fedorochko’19

Nick is from Bridgewater, New Jersey, planning to dual major in Economics and Government. At the Rose Institute, Nick manages a project on campaign finance, researches fiscal policy, and co-manages the design team. Outside of the Rose he is involved with Mock Trial and the Lowe Institute. He spent the summer doing communications and policy research on a congressional campaign in New Jersey. Nick also plays the upright bass, loves to ski, and is a major coffee geek.

Charles Harris’19

Charlie is from Davis, California, majoring in Government. Charlie’s interest in politics stems from his belief that government can be a positive force in people’s lives. He had the chance to spend last summer interning in the office of State Senator Lois Wolk where he learned a lot about how things actually get done in state politics. Charlie hopes to take his experience with state government and use it to be an effective research assistant at the Rose. In his free time, Charlie enjoys being a CMS cross country and track and field athlete, spending inordinate amounts of time in the dining halls, and doing The New York Times crossword puzzle.

Alec M. Lopata’19

Alec is afrom Deerfield, Illinois (just think Chicago, it is easier!), majoring in Government. At the Rose, Alec is the Video Voter Project Manager and is also working on developing an index to predict  California congressional results. In high school, Alec worked on two local campaigns — for State Senate and US Congress, and in his State Senator’s district office. He also loved being part of his high school fencing team.  When he is  procrastinating on his work, you will find him re-watching West Wing, playing FIFA with friends, or trying to find the best food around the 5Cs.  Last summer, he worked on Hillary Clinton’s fundraising team for her presidential campaign.

Bryn C. Miller’19

Bryn is from Sudbury, Massachusetts planning to major in International Relations with a focus on Spanish and Arabic. She is interested in increasing the accessibility of information about politics and the news. On campus, she is the news editor for the CMC Forum, plans events for the Class of 2019, and is a journalism fellow at the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies. When she’s not working, you’ll probably find her at the Scripps pool.

Richard C. Wiltshire-Gordon’19, Content Manager

Skip is from Wilmette, Illinois, pursuing a dual major in Government and History. Skip spent last summer working for a lobbyist in Chicago, advocating permeable pavement and green infrastructure at the municipal and state levels. At the Rose, Skip heads the Content team and works on the California Voting Rights Act project. In addition to the Rose, Skip works for the Free Food (for Thought) podcast, interviewing Ath speakers and Alumni. He also helps teach music theory to underprivileged youth through Uncommon Good. In his spare time, Skip can be found reading the New York Times, listening to political podcasts, and tossing a frisbee.

Melia M. Wong’19

Melia is from Seattle, Washington who has a passion for constitutional law and follows the 2016 presidential election very closely. She plans to major in Government and Music. On campus, she writes for the political publication Claremont Radius and participates in student government. In her free time, she plays the piano, attends dinners at the Atheneaum, and reads anything she can get her hands on.


Zachary R. Wong’19, Kosmont Project Manager 2016-2017

Zach is from Chicago, IL.  He is interested in majoring in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at CMC.  He is interested in voter education and making politics accessible to everyone, especially millennials.  Outside the Rose, Zach is an avid cyclist and photographer and a member of the Model UN team and Free Food (for Thought) podcast. He is spending summer 2017 in New Zealand.


Bruno G. Youn’19

Bruno is a Government and Mathematics major who hopes to balance out his political knowledge by working at the Rose.  A local boy from Seal Beach, California, Bruno is a former Economic major who was converted to be a Government major by John Pitney’s Government 20 Honors class. On campus, he is also a consultant for SOURCE Non-profit Consulting and writes for the Claremont Radius. Last Summer, Bruno worked with a local county supervisorial campaign and an autism research institute. In the nanoseconds of free time Bruno is afforded each day, he enjoys lurking Reddit, listening to ’80s Swedish metal, and obsessively checking Politico. His favorite food is homemade Calabrese Pasta (pasta, balsamic onions, preserved tomatoes, pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese).

Rachel S. Alaynick’20

Rachel is from Los Angeles majoring in Economics. She has helped write state laws regarding education policy, developed her own technology, worked closely with various nonprofits, and watched all nine seasons of The Office… three times through! After growing up watching The Colbert Report and The Daily Show — a wise parenting move — she became interested in the role of government. She looks forward to honing her research skills and gaining a comprehensive understanding of state and local government at the Rose. In her free time, you can find her enjoying a good book/movie, hiking, attempting to earn her skydiving license, watching stand-up comedy, or going for a 4th run through of The Office.

Sophia S. Helland’20

Sophia is from Claremont, California, planning to major in Government. She discovered a love for politics and government through many years of speech and debate and a variety of leadership positions on her high school campus. She is very excited to have the opportunity to explore these interests at the Rose and is looking forward to learning more about the local government she grew up with. She hopes to be able to make a positive impact on her community through her work here. In her spare time, she loves dancing, reading, watching movies, discussing politics, and playing with her pet bunny.

Zenaida M. Huerta’20

Zenaida is from Whittier, California who is pursuing a dual major in Government and Media Studies. In high school she was an intern for California State Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon and, since August 2015, worked as a student organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign. At 17-years old, she was elected as the youngest delegate from California to the Democratic National Convention for Bernie Sanders. In her free time, she enjoys reading about art history, watching Game of Thrones, and drinking anything caffeinated at the Motley.

Joseph G. Noss’20

Joe is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Joe is interested in studying anything related to political science, hoping to major in Government. While in high school, Joe was extremely involved in Model United Nations, travelling with his team internationally. In his free time, Joe is a member of the CMC Model UN team and the coffee club. Otherwise, Joe can be found drinking coffee, reading the news, and making films. Joe hopes to bring his Canadian frame of reference and amiability to the Rose, while also absorbing knowledge about the workings of American state and local government.

Leon Ren’20, Kosmont Assistant Project Manager 2017-2018

Leon intends to major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He hails from Sunnyvale, California, where he participated in the city’s Teen Advisory Committee and was a Student Attorney at Santa Clara County Peer Court. Outside of the Rose, Leon is involved with Mock Trial and ASCMC. In his spare time, Leon enjoys cooking, photography, playing ping-pong, trying to play badminton, and reading political news.


Nicholas Sage’20

Nick is from Seattle, Washington, and is planning to study government at Claremont McKenna. Nick has worked in research in the past, and is excited to further his research at the Rose. Nick worked as a curator for the civic startup ActiveGiver, which is working on a crowd-funding style campaign finance platform. He researched many issues on the local, state, and federal level and had the opportunity to represent the company in front of local and state politicians from across the country at the 2016 National Convention of State Legislators in Chicago. He also worked as an intern at the Harry S. Truman Library in Missouri where he did historical research on his great-grandfather’s friendship with Truman during the First World War. In addition to working at the Rose, Nick also writes for Claremont Radius, the school’s only bipartisan publication. He is also an avid fan of the Hamilton soundtrack and a mediocre ukulele player.

Melanie L. Wolfe’20

Leaving the East Coast for the West, Melanie comes to Claremont McKenna from sunny South Florida. Her previous political experience includes interning in the office of Congresswoman Lois Frankel and working for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 field operation in Palm Beach County. As a freshman, Melanie hopes to explore Southern California and get involved in a range of activities and service initiatives across the 5C’s. She plans on majoring in Government and can always be found listening to political podcasts, following the 2016 election, or baking in Janie’s kitchen. At the Rose, Melanie is excited to begin her training and eventually contribute to research projects making California government more transparent to its residents.