The Rose Institute welcomes the following students to the Rose Institute Alumni Society upon their graduation on May 13, 2023. We hope their time with us has enriched their lives and we send them off with the confidence that they, in turn, will enrich the lives of others.
Here are excerpts from their farewell messages (from Rose Review Spring 2023), what they have accomplished during their tenure at the Institute, some of their plans, and their profiles as undergrads.
Marshall A. Bessey (Government/History)
“It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the Rose Institute to my Claremont McKenna experience. Claremont McKenna has not always been the best experience for me, but I always felt at home at the Rose Institute. The Rose has changed the way I view politics and government, and it has changed the way I think generally.”
Marshall wrote a white paper on Proposition 13, based on his new hire project. Marshall also did research work on the following projects: the Inland Empire at a Glance, City incorporation (Vernon); Kosmont Cost of Doing Business, housing, and the 50th Anniversary database. He led the Miller-Rose Initiative Database project, the Ontario City Services project, and the Video Voter Guide projects in 2020 and 2022. Additionally, he was also part of the Communications and Media Strategy team and was a research assistant to faculty advisor Emily Pears in the research on state identification. Marshall plans to work on Capitol Hill for two years before applying to law school. He will start off as a staff assistant with Congressman Ken Calvert in June.
Marshall is from Darien, Connecticut, and he is dual-majoring in Government and History. During the summer of 2021, Marshall participated in the CMC’s Summer Research Program (SRP) and researched Islamic legal history under Professor Ferguson’s supervision. In the fall 2021 semester, he was off-campus working for Congressman Scott Fitzgerald under CMC’s Washington program. This past summer, the Institute supported Marshall’s internship with the D.C. Office of Congressman Ken Calvert. At the Rose, Marshall has published an independent white paper on Proposition 13, provided information on Proposition 15 for Video Voter, worked on the Inland Empire at a Glance project, managed a project with the City of Ontario, and is currently the student lead for the Video Voter 2022 project. Elsewhere on campus, Marshall is an interviewer for the Free Food For Thought Podcast. During his free time, Marshall enjoys golfing, playing squash, and watching college football.
Daniela Corona (Government)
“I can draw a direct line from the moment I was hired at the Rose to the moment I solidified my post-graduate plans. I was hired in the midst of the pandemic and formed a close bond with my new hire cohort that got me through a rough year. I never thought I would fall in love with research.”
Danny led a group of student researchers on a survey project for Professor Sinclair. She led the tech team with her skill in creating maps — instrumental for visualizations in projects such as the Inland Empire Outlook, Inland Empire at a Glance, and the California Competitive project. Danny also contributed to the new hire training program by providing workshops on quantitative analysis. She will attend American University Law School next fall.
Danny is from Half Moon Bay, California, and is majoring in Government with a Data Science Sequence. Her interest in government stems from her high school experience in city government as a school representative. In Spring 2021, she worked in a government affairs firm while on the Washington DC program and as a summer research assistant for Professor Andrew Sinclair looking at state executive reorganization and reform. At the Rose, she worked on the Inland Empire at a Glance project and continued to work with Professor Sinclair. She also led new hire training on quantitative analysis and provided maps for an Inland Empire Outlook article in Fall 2021. On campus, her other commitments include being a resident assistant and playing on the rugby team (when not working, you can usually find her on the rugby field wearing uniform #2, tackling her teammates, and throwing a perfect line-out).
Desmond Mantle (cum laude, PPE honors + Government with a sequence in Computer Science) Phi Beta Kappa
“I am particularly grateful for the way in which the Rose has managed to be a microcosm of CMC’s broader commitment to free speech and open dialogue across political differences. I always learn a great deal from those with whom I disagree, and my peers at the Rose were no exception. Thank you for an experience that gave me the opportunity to conduct interesting research, learn best practices for data collection and analysis, and work alongside some of the most impressive people I have ever met.”
For his new hire project, Desmond tackled the research on Concealed Carry which turned into an article in the Inland Empire Outlook (Fall 2023). He contributed to the Sinclair survey, Tongva project, and CA Competitiveness. Desmond led the Institute training team and the 2022 Kosmont Cost of Doing Survey. He served as the 2022-2023 Associate Student Manager. In the immediate short term, Desmond will be working on an archaeological dig in Sicily for the summer. After that, he will be attending Stanford Law School with an intended focus on digital privacy law.
Desmond is from Pasadena, California, pursuing a dual PPE and Government major and Computer Science sequence. He has been interested in state and local politics all his life, culminating in an Appel Fellowship project involving in-depth research on the social, and particularly racial, implications of state firearms laws in the Western United States. At the Rose, Desmond studied the effects of California’s gun laws, which he presented at the SCCUR in 2021. He also researched the possibility of federal recognition for the Tongva people of Los Angeles, was involved in the CA Competitiveness project, and helped design the training program for New Hires. Aside from serving as Associate Student Manager for AY 2022-2023, he worked on the Video Voter Guide and led the Kosmont project. In his free time, Desmond enjoys editing grammar errors on Wikipedia, using his General Class license to communicate via ham radio, and hiking, particularly at his local landfill.
Tara N. Mehra (magna cum laude, PPE honors/Government, Phi Beta Kappa) Government Department Award for the Outstanding Major
“Joining the Rose Institute was unequivocally the best decision I made at CMC. Since joining as a first-year, I have had the chance to develop a toolkit of data-driven research and writing skills that make me well-equipped to tackle meaningful policy questions. Perhaps more important, the Rose has been my home base at CMC.”
Tara served as Associate Student Manager for AY2022-2023. Before she stepped into that role, she has researched and written several articles on Federalism: Immigration Policy, Marijuana Legalization, Affordable Care Act, Environment, Covid-19 and the CARES Act, and Immigration in the 2020 Presidential Election. Tara also did the research and presented two propositions for the Video Voter Guide of 2020. She was part of the team that worked on the Inland Empire at a Glance, the redistricting Conference and the California Competitiveness projects. In the summer of 2021, Tara assisted Professor Shanna Rose do research for her book on the political history of minimum wage. Tara was the principal researcher on the City Incorporation/Vernon project. She will be working with Deloitte in LA.
Tara is from Bellevue, Washington, and is majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. She developed an interest in American constitutional law and government after participating in the national “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” competition in high school. She further cultivated her interests through her summer involvements, which include the Appel Fellowship, working as a Research Assistant for Professor Shanna Rose, and interning with a company that develops continuing legal education content. Tara participated in CMC’s Washington Program, during which she embraced her passion for research as an intern with the Brookings Institution. At the Rose, she worked on the Federalism project, Video Voter 2020, and Inland Empire at a Glance, and served as project manager for the Redistricting project. Tara spent the fall 2021 semester off-campus in the Washington, D.C. program. Upon her return to campus, Tara was involved in the CA Competitiveness project and led a team that looked at city incorporation before she was named Associate Student Manager.
Sarah Simionas (cum laude PPE honors in Legal Studies)
“Working at the Rose has brought me a brilliant community, invaluable experience, and a rich understanding of state and local government. Our projects taught me how to find the answers to hard questions and in turn, taught me how to ask better questions myself.”
While at the Rose, Sarah primarily worked with Professor Fortner on several of his research for which she has been cited as co-author. She was also a member of the team that did research on Redistricting. Sarah wrote an article on Covid 19 and Higher Education for the Inland Empire Outlook in Spring 2021; Sinclair survey; Sarah headed the Communications team promoting two big projects: the Video Voter Guide of 2022 and Election Polls by Professor Sinclair. Sarah will be working in Los Angeles.
Sarah is from San Jose, CA, and majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a Legal Studies sequence. Before joining the Rose, she explored her passion for government research as a Research Fellow for the CMC Policy Lab in the summer of 2020, researching congressional spending practices under the guidance of Professor Courser. During the summer of 2021, she worked with Professor Lincoln through CMC’s Summer Research Program to research U.S. firm lobbying practices. At the Rose, she worked on the Redistricting team, and the Communications team, and has written an article for the Inland Empire Outlook. She worked with Professor Michael Fortner to look at the role of crime in the New York mayoral election outcome. She was credited as co-author, with Professor Fortner, of an article for “Divided We Fall.” Outside of Rose, Sarah works for SOURCE Nonprofit Consulting and ASCMC’s Events Committee.
Cameron Stevens (cum laude, Economics honors + PPE honors; George Blair Award for state and local government)
“The Rose Institute exposed and nurtured my interest in public policy and directed it towards issues that truly mattered to the nearby SoCal community, and I look forward to continuing my civic involvement as a new LA resident after graduation.”
A sophomore hire, Cameron quickly earned his way to being Student Manager for 2022-2023. He did a superb job working with Professor Fortner: NY Mayoral; Fortner: “Divided We Fall”; was a member of the team that worked on the Ontario services project. Cameron also led the Kosmont project and CA Competitiveness and led the whole student team as the student manager for AY2022-2023. He will be working with Keyser Marston in Los Angeles where he interned last summer.
Cameron is from Park City, Utah, and is majoring in Economics and PPE, with a Data Science sequence. In high school, he became interested in state and local government by participating in debates and volunteering for the ACLU of Utah. At the Rose, Cameron served as Student Manager for AY2022-2023. He is engaged in quantitative and qualitative analysis and focuses on new issues facing Californian communities from the Coronavirus and economic recession. He has worked with Professor Michael Fortner on a study of New York’s mayoral election outcome, contributed to the research for an article for “Divided We Fall,” and most recently, on a handbook on urban politics. He also worked on the Ontario project, Kosmont Cost of Doing Business study, and is the lead for the California Competitiveness projects. Outside of school and work, Cameron enjoys skiing, surfing, hiking, and spending time in nature.
“Through it all, I’ve learned countless lessons, found irreplaceable friends, and made unforgettable memories. I’ll miss the Rose workroom more than any other spot at the 5Cs, and I’ll cherish my time here more than any other experience in my undergraduate career.”
Nathan who is from Pomona College, worked on the Miller-Rose Initiative Database, Inland Empire at a Glance, did research for a white paper on Covid -19 mask and vaccine mandates, and helped write a white paper on Federalism with Professor Busch. He served as editor of the Rose Review in the Spring of 2022, while he was the Communication manager. Nathan assisted Professor Shanna Rose do research on the political history of minimum wage: Federalism; He also researched and presented on the Video Voter Guide 2020; His most challenging role was that of New Hire Manager for the biggest new hire class in 2022. He then moved on as a member of the training team, worked on the Rose alumni database, and as a member of the housing projects team. Nathan intends to spend a few years working as a labor organizer – most likely for a healthcare union on the East Coast – before going on to pursue either a Master of Public Policy or a Juris Doctor.
Proudly hailing from Tracy, California, Nathan majors in Politics and minors in History at Pomona College. As the Rose Institute’s New Hire Manager, Nathan was responsible for recruiting and mentoring the next generation of Rose researchers. Before this role, he spent two years expanding Rose’s digital presence as its Communications Manager, along with contributing to the Video Voter 2020 series, the COVID-19 Federalism project, and the Fiscal Analysis team. Outside of the Rose, Nathan oversees government affairs and candidate recruitment for the San Joaquin County Democratic Party. He also spent the past summer as a comparative politics researcher in Denmark and as a union organizer via the UC Berkeley Labor Center. Whenever he is not obsessing over California politics, Nathan loves going on long walks, planning adventures with his friends, and watching adorable K-dramas with his parents.
We also want to recognize and thank former Rose Institute students who also graduated this year:
Miriam Farah (cum laude, Public Policy/History honors with a sequence in Gender and Sexuality Studies; Phi Alpha Theta (History); Recipient: Elbaz Family Post-Graduate Fellowship (National Award); History Department Award for the Outstanding Senior Thesis; Best Thesis in Gender Studies.
Camille Hermosillo (Media Studies/Government)