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.

Benjamin J. McAnally ’21
Student Manager 2020-2021

Ben is from Ashland, Oregon and is majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He became interested in state and local government through coordinating a mentoring program to promote educational equality at a local charter school, Kids Unlimited Academy, and through teaching a U.S. citizenship class in high school. At the Rose, Ben has completed research into the opioid epidemic through analysis of California’s CURES database, provided information on California initiatives through Video Voter, and managed the Kosmont Survey. He returned from a semester abroad serving as the policy director and dialogue facilitator for the congressional campaign of Rose alum Aditya Pai ’13. In his free time, Ben enjoys creative writing, mock trial, and ballroom dance.

Jacob S. Leischner ’21
Associate Student Manager 2020-2021

Jake is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, pursuing a dual major in Government and International Relations. Jake discovered his interest in politics from his involvement in high school Speech & Debate but tailored his interest to local politics through his internship on an Albuquerque mayoral campaign. He is especially interested in criminal justice and education reform. Jake is also involved in CMC’s Model UN and debate teams. When he’s not working at the Rose, Jake is napping, listening to Serial, or binge-watching Survivor.


Rachel S. Alaynick ’20

Rachel is from Los Angeles majoring in Government. As a California native and persistent political junkie, she spent much of high school lobbying in the state capital and working with various groups on education policy reforms. Since coming to college, she has maintained her interest in education policy and government, leading her to conduct legal research for an international human rights NGO, spend 2 months researching populism in New Zealand (during their very cold winter season), and write political satire. She attributes her interest in government to her parents’ wise decision to watch so much of The Colbert Report and The Daily Show during her childhood. At the Rose, she’s worked on the Kosmont Cost of Doing Business Survey, the Terrorism Database Project, the Crime Project with Professor Bessette, and has managed the Redistricting Project. Rachel served as Associate Student Manager for AY2019-2020. In her free time, you can find her laughing too loudly at stand-up comedy, reading a Simon Rich book, or doing only arm day at the gym.

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.


Sophia S. Helland ’20

Sophia is from Claremont, California, and is majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) with a dual major in economics and a sequence in public policy analysis. At the Rose, Sophia has researched California tribal courts, county election officials, time served in local jails, and campaign finance. She also managed the Competitive Districts project and wrote an article for the Inland Empire Outlook. She served as Student Manager for AY2019-2020. Elsewhere on-campus, she has served as a research assistant for the Policy Lab and a Harrison Fellow at the Salvatori Center. In her spare time, she loves listening to podcasts on just about anything and re-watching Parks and Recreation.


Joseph G. Noss ’20

Joe is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Joe is interested in studying anything related to political science, pursuing a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). While in high school, Joe was extremely involved in Model United Nations, traveling 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. Over his four years at CMC, he has worked on a wide variety of projects, working on things like Kosmont. Joe was the project manager for the first ever ILG video project and has also published a study on the effects of Proposition 47 on the criminal justice system. Joe also played a role on the technical side of the past Inland Empire Vision conferences.

Nicholas Sage ’20, New Hire Manager

From Seattle, Washington, Nick is a senior History and Government dual major at Claremont McKenna College. Nick has worked in a number of positions related to local, state, and federal government. In the summer of 2018, he worked as a policy intern for the Center for Children and Youth Justice–a non-profit based in Seattle that focuses on reforming Washington State’s juvenile justice, education, and child welfare systems. He participated in the CMC Washington Program in the Fall of 2018, working in the office of Senator Patty Murray. The following summer he returned to the Senate as a communications intern for the Democratic staff on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Nick also embraces his inner historian, conducting research for his senior thesis in the Churchill Archives at the University of Cambridge in August of 2019 and working as a researcher for German history Professor Jonathan Petropoulos. At the Rose Institute, Nick has worked on a variety of projects, including the Inland Empire Outlook, the California Voting Rights project, Redistricting, and ILG video voter. He is now grooming the next generation of Rosies as the Institute’s New Hire Manager.

Zane G. Tolchinsky ’20

Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, Zane is a fourth-year student at Claremont McKenna and is pursuing a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), with a sequence in Public Policy. He found his passion for politics through his schoolwork and experience in community organizing, including within the mentally-impaired community. At the Rose Institute, Zane has worked on a variety of projects, including Paramount and the ILG video series.  Outside of the Rose Institute, Zane co-founded a podcast: The Laymen. He is also a member of the Boxing Club. In his free time, Zane enjoys cooking, reading, and drinking coffee.


Melanie L. Wolfe ’20

Melanie is a graduating senior majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). Born and raised in South Florida, Melanie found her passion for politics while field organizing with the Florida Democratic Party leading up to the 2016 election. At the Rose, Melanie has most recently worked on the Institute of Local Government video series, consulted on the budding Public Finance project, and written articles for the Inland Empire Outlook on California charter school reform and rent control in Los Angeles. At Claremont McKenna, Melanie is also an RA at the Senior Apartments, helps run the student-led Free Food for Thought podcast, and serves as a representative on the Academic Affairs Committee of the CMC Board of Trustees. Melanie can usually be found catching up on readings at the Motley Coffeehouse, working on her thesis at Poppa, or enjoying the Southern California sun.

KAtherine AdelmanKatherine P. Adelman ’21

Katherine is from San Antonio, Texas, studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). From a young age, Katherine has been invested in the local politics of her hometown, attending meetings with many civic leaders to gain perspective on the inner workings of city government. Studying abroad in Hong Kong in the fall of 2019, she learned how united political movements impact local governance.  Katherine is excited to transfer these experiences into her Rose work this semester, that includes working on a public finance project, and being on the communications team.


Elena I. Castellanos ’21

Elena is from Hawthorne, CA, studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). She has always been invested in civic engagement projects around her community and Claremont. In Claremont, Elena leads a group called College Knowledge that supports school-wide programs focused on increasing college attendance. Elena’s time at the Rose has strengthened her understanding of local and state politics, especially within the context of Redistricting. Also, having availed of a chance to take an Adobe InDesign workshop last summer, Elena has been training others at the Rose to use the program. Elsewhere on-campus, Elena can be seen picking up a Coconut Crème Bowl of Soul at the Motley, nerding out over the latest redistricting news for her research at the Rose Institute, or attempting to stay on the beat during spin at Roberts. Elena loves listening to political podcasts, re-watching West Wing episodes, and yelping her next food adventure.

Sevion D.J. DaCosta ’21

Sevion is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sevion is currently a PPE major, with a legal studies sequence, and an RDS BA Scholar. At CMC Sevion is President and CFO of the Mock Trial Club, was selected as an Appel Fellow in 2018, is a member of Black Student Affairs and CMS Christian Athletes. This past summer Sevion worked as an Investigative Intern at the Public Defenders Service in Washington, DC. and was on the tech team. This year Sevion is working on the Rose Miller Initiative Database and Fiscal Analysis. Outside of school and the Rose, Sevion loves to spend time with his family and friends, workout, read, cheer on the New England Patriots, and meet new people.

  William P. Frankel ’21

Will is a Junior from Shaker Heights, Ohio majoring in Public Policy. He spent the summer of 2019 in Washington, DC as a Government Affairs Intern at Internet Association, a trade association that represents Google, Facebook, Twitter, and dozens of other tech companies. Fall semester 2019, he participated in CMC’s Silicon Valley Program as a Trust & Safety Intern at Quizlet, an e-learning website used by two-thirds of American high schoolers. His Rose experience includes work on single-payer healthcare, Proposition 64, the pension crisis, and the Video Voter series. Outside the Rose, Will is a member of CMC Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and an analyst for the Claremont Consulting Group. As you may have guessed from reading his peers’ bios, he also likes The West Wing.

Anna E. Green ’21

Anna is a junior from Fairfield, CT pursuing a major in Government. After spending the fall interning at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., she is excited to bring some new research skills back to her work at the Rose Institute. Anna has contributed to the Miller-Rose Initiative, California Almanac, and is now the project manager for Inland Empire at a Glance. At CMC, Anna is also a tour guide in the Office of Admission and an interviewer for the Free Food for Thought podcast. In her free time, Anna loves exploring Southern California, struggling to complete the New York Times crossword, and looking for the best coffee in Claremont.


Johnson Lin ’21, Tech Manager

Johnson is from Portland, Oregon and is majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a Data Science Sequence. At the Rose, Johnson is currently staffed as the Tech Manager and a research assistant on the Miller-Rose Database. In the past, he’s worked on projects such as True Time Served, ILG Videos, as well as collaborated with Professor Bessette on a literature review for the Bureau of Justice. Outside of the Rose, Johnson is involved in CMC Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault, the Asian-Pacific-American Mentoring Group, and ASCMC, where he is serving his third consecutive year as Class President. In his free time, you can find Johnson shooting hoops at Roberts, laughing at memes, and grimacing at his blisters from rock climbing.

Naseem Nazari ’21

Hailing from Claremont, California, Naseem Nazari, a PPE major at CMC, traveled long and far to work at the Rose Institute. Naseem’s interest in state and local government piqued as she listened to NPR on long car rides with her sister, and realized the power that politics/ politicians bestow in enacting lasting and purposeful change. Serving on the board of a local non-profit dedicated to education in high school, she is especially passionate about educational equality and is hoping to do research pertaining to this field while working at the Rose. During her free time, you can catch Naseem playing ping pong in Stark, listening to podcasts, or playing with her incredibly adorable puppy, Jooni. Naseem spent the fall semester (2019) in Madrid, Spain.

Nandeeni K. Patel ’21

Nandeeni Patel is from Murrieta, California and is planning on dual majoring in Government and History. Throughout high school, all of her experiences have pulled her towards a path founded in policy reform and public service. Specifically, having been the State President of the California Association of Student Councils and President of the Murrieta Youth Advisory Committee, Nandeeni found an interest in research-based advocacy catered to state and local education policy. She is looking forward to learning from the Rose Institute and getting a deeper understanding of the works of federalism. In her free time, you can catch her drinking V8 Spicy Hot, watching reality TV, or seriously struggling in the back of the only studio at Hot Yoga Claremont. Nandeeni is participating in the Washington, DC program for Fall 2019.

David Almaraz-Roman ’22

David hails from Whittier, California, and he intends to major in Government. In high school, David pursued his love for government by interning for Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon. At the Rose, David hopes to research education policy and fiscal analysis. His passion for education has been shaped by his time teaching code to elementary students, mentoring at-risk high school students, and organizing ‘Operation College’ to support underrepresented minorities through college applications. At CMC, he serves as the chief operating officer for the ASCMC, a tour guide for the Admissions Office, and as dorm president for Becket Hall. David enjoys early morning workouts at Roberts and the warm cookies at Collins.


Calder B. Altman ’22

Calder is from New Orleans, Louisiana, and is majoring in Philosophy. Calder’s interest in government stems from his belief that government can ultimately be a force for good. Before arriving at Claremont McKenna, he interned at the Louisiana State Senate, worked on a gubernatorial campaign, and co-organized a series of community forums centered around race and equity. Calder is particularly interested in understanding the philosophical foundations of the American government and how our government might evolve. At the Rose Institute, Calder has worked on the comparative study for the City of Paramount, Competitive Districts, Fiscal Analysis, and Redistricting projects. Around campus, he is also a member of the CMC’s Model United Nations team, plays with the Claremont Colleges’ frisbee team, and is a chef at The Claremont Culinary Institute. In his free time, he loves to cook and hike.


Maria Gutierrez-Vera ’22, Communications Manager

Maria is a first-generation American from Whittier, California studying Public Policy and Literature. Her interest in law and politics stems from the two summers she spent as a legal intern, as well as from campaigns she’s worked on in her hometown. Maria runs the Rose Communications team and works on the Inland Empire Outlook, True Time Served, and Rose Playbook. She enjoys doing research that makes politics and policy more accessible to all Californians. Maria also works as a consultant at the Center for Writing and Public Discourse, and is a member of the Claremont Government Society. In her free time, you can find her journaling, drinking coffee at The Motley, or re-watching episodes of The West Wing.


Maya Ghosh ’22

Maya hails from Dallas, Texas, and is hoping to major in Environment, Economics, and Politics. She developed a passion for politics due to her intense love for reading the Economist and listening to the podcast Deep State Radio. In high school, she pursued this passion by leading her school’s Political Action Club and environmental group, and by interning for Colin Allred’s congressional campaign. At CMC she also works for the Roberts Environmental Center, Mock Trial, The Forum and the Athenaeum’s kitchen staff. In her spare time she enjoys running, backpacking, road-tripping and watching football.


Nandini Jayaram ’22

Nandini is from Bettendorf, Iowa and is majoring in Economics with Sequences in Financial Economics and Data Science. In high school, Nandini was an active member of the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC), where she and 23 members across the state drafted and pursued bills through the Iowa state legislature. Nandini also interned for U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack, which sparked her interest in learning more about local campaigns. At the Rose, her experience includes managing the Fiscal Analysis project, analyzing Census data for the Paramount project, and is a member of the communications team. In her free time, you can find Nandini singing, spending time with friends, and enjoying coffee.

Gait W. Nairn ’22

Gait is from the central valley of Northern California. As a high school student, Gait garnered an interest in politics through his debate and mock trial teams. Participating in American Legion Boys State allowed Gait to explore the opportunities and complexities of state and local government on a hands-on level. At the Rose Institute, Gait is acquiring valuable skills in policy research, specifically looking at the dichotomy between the vast interests of California, such as working closely with Professor Miller as Project Manager on the Miller Rose Initiative Database. On-campus, Gait is an attorney on the CMC Mock Trial team. In his free time, Gait plays Spikeball, spends far too much time watching Netflix, and enjoys cooking for his friends.

Nohl Montgomery Patterson ’22

Nohl Patterson, from Concord, California is a sophomore who is pursuing a degree in International Relations and Economics with a Computer Science sequence.  His interests lie in blame attribution and public policy and have had experience working with survey data and analysis. He cannot wait to begin to apply these skills and learn from the Rose Institute. Elsewhere on campus Nohl runs track for CMS, works at Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies and is a Jack Stark Security Studies Fellow.  He also enjoys reading and hiking.


Robin M. Peterson ’22

Robin is from Boulder, Colorado, majoring in Government. In high school, she worked on registering her peers to vote and working with local legislators on laws surrounding voting rights for ex-felons. At the Rose, Robin hopes to pursue research on policy related to gun control or sustainability. Outside of the Rose, she enjoys annotating her pocket Constitution, pole vaulting, and re-watching Madam Secretary. If she’s not struggling with Introductory Arabic, she’s either serving in uniform as an ROTC Cadet or trying to catch up on sleep.


Henry Alden Schulz ’22

Henry Schulz is a New York City native studying Government with an Ethics Sequence. His new hire project last semester examined the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s unsheltered homeless outreach programs in the City of LA. Specifically, he argued that its unique governing structure limited its ability to house homeless individuals efficiently. In addition to working at the Rose, Henry is on the Gould Center’s student advisory board. In his free time, he enjoys listening to Hacks on Tap with David Axelrod, doing the New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle, and playing pick-up basketball at Roberts.


Jensen Oliver Berg Steady ’22

Jensen is from Santa Barbara, California and is pursuing a degree in Government and Economics.  He has worked in a variety of local government positions and found his passion for politics in his local Youth Council and volunteering on a major campaign. At the Rose, he hopes to learn about and is particularly interested in, local governments, homelessness, and the housing crisis. On-campus, he also works as a writing consultant at the Center for Writing PD. In his free time, you can catch Jensen biking, playing board games, or enjoying a good book.


Adhitya Venkatraman ’22, Design Manager

Adhitya is from San Jose, California and plans to major in Economics and Computer Science. He gained an interest in politics from a healthy combination of the Daily Show and speech and debate. At the Rose, Adhitya has worked on the Redistricting Project, the Crime Project with Professor Bessette, the California Almanac, the Inland Empire Outlook, and manages the Design Team. This past summer, he worked at an international NGO that prevents torture in prisons. Outside the Rose, Adhitya is involved with SOURCE Nonprofit Consulting and the Free Food for Thought Podcast. In his free time, you can find him baking, wearing beanies in 100° weather, and failing to perform magic tricks—usually all at once.


Phillip D. Williams ’22

Felipe is an Inland Empire native from Fontana, California majoring in Government with a Public Policy sequence. At the Rose, he has worked on research projects focused on public policy in California. Passionate about politics and local governance, Felipe served as the co-chairman of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council for his hometown and was involved in efforts to increase teenage engagement with civic affairs. On-campus, he serves on the board of the Claremont Government Society and is an ROTC cadet. His free time consists of hiking, reading, obsessively binge-watching The West Wing, consuming copious amounts of In-N-Out hamburgers, and spending time with friends and family.


Marshall Arthur Bessey ’23

Marshall is from Darien, Connecticut and plans to major in Government and History. During high school, Marshall gained an interest in politics through the Forum discussion group and the School for Ethics and Global Leadership. At the Rose, Marshall is excited to engage in fiscal analysis and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between local, state, and federal politics. During his free time, Marshall enjoys golfing, playing squash, and watching college football.


Camille Hermosillo ’23

Camille is from Jurupa Valley, CA in the Inland Empire and a first-generation Government major. In high school, she served as a court interpreter in the Jurupa Unified School District’s Youth Court, was an active leader in Riverside County’s Second District Youth Advisory Council, and also served as the chair of the Youth Advisory Board on the California Association of Youth Courts.  There she developed a passion for restorative justice programs, education policy, and the juvenile justice system. During her time at the Rose, she hopes to work on research in education and criminal justice reform. In her spare time, Camille enjoys playing the guitar, singing, binging on Netflix shows, and spending time with her family and pets back at home.

Tara Nicole Mehra ’23

Tara is from Bellevue, Washington, and is hoping to major in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics or Government. In high school, she pursued her passion for politics and state government through interning on a state representative campaign and managing the debate department for the Pacific Northwest Junior State of America. She became specifically intrigued with constitutional law after participating in the national “We the People” competition. At Rose, she hopes to engage in federalism research and develop skills in fiscal analysis. When not in Rose’s workroom, you may find her working for SOURCE Nonprofit Consulting, sipping coffee at the hub, or baking cookies.

Dai-Khoa Nathaniel Khai Tran POM’23

A proud resident of Tracy, California, Nathan is planning to study Public Policy and History at Pomona College. Nathan’s passion for government started when he started interning for a city councilwoman during high school. Working on local politics made Nathan realize that every policy — good and bad, quiet and loud, municipal and national — can have huge effects on people’s daily lives. When he’s not studying or working alongside his fellow Rosies, you can probably find Nathan biking very slowly around Claremont, getting lost on a bus or train, or watching Parasite or The Dark Knight for the umpteenth time.