Student Staff

The Rose Institute stresses a high level of interaction between student Research Assistants, faculty, and staff. With an emphasis on student 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.
Note: When available, a student’s LinkedIn account can be accessed by clicking on the name.

Anna D.Y. Short PO’24, Student Manager

Anna is from Mercer Island, Washington, and is majoring in Economics and Politics at Pomona College. In high school, her interest in politics and policy led her to join the student senate and to take her first economics class, which would lead her to pursue the subject further in college. While learning virtually, she served as part of the ASPC Covid-19 student advisory committee and has since enjoyed getting to know the 5C community better in person. At the Rose, she wrote an article for the Inland Empire Outlook and also worked on the California Competitiveness, Kosmont, and Video Voter 2022 projects. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to hip-hop, keeping up with international politics, and playing basketball.

Grace Hong ’24, Associate Student Manager

Grace is from Arcadia, California, and is a PPE and Government dual major. Her interest in government started after competing on the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” team in high school, where she recognized the importance of civic participation. She also learned more about the roles of state and local government in her time interning at Townsend Public Affairs. At the Rose, she has worked on the City of Vernon project, the Kosmont project, and the Video Voter 2022 series. On campus, Grace is also an APAM mentor and CARE fellow. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, painting, and obsessing over cute cats. Grace spent the fall 2022 semester off-campus in the Washington, D.C. program.


Marshall A. Bessey ’23

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 ’23

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 V. Mantle ’23

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 ’23

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 G. Simionas ’23

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 W. Stevens ’23

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.

Nathan K. Tran PO’23

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.

Nikhil Agarwal ’24

Nikhil Agarwal is a sophomore at CMC majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. As an international student who has never lived in the US before, he hopes that at the Rose, he will learn, not only the everyday political issues that dominate state and local politics in California but also the founding philosophy of the country that has shaped the Constitution and the American political system as a whole. In his first year at the Institute, Nikhil helped code the Sinclair poll and has written an article for the Inland Empire Outlook. Nikhil is very passionate about sports, and on weekends you can find him playing tennis, working out in the gym, or awake at 5 am watching Formula 1 races or Premier League matches (sometimes both at the same time!)

Liann C. Bielicki ’24

Liann is from Castro Valley, California, and is dual-majoring in Government and Data Science. Her interest in state and local government arose from her experiences with journalism and Mock Trial in high school. At CMC, Liann is a member of the Mock Trial Team and the Claremont Consulting Group, as well as a Handley Leadership Fellow for women in leadership development. At the Rose, she worked on the City Incorporation, Kosmont, and Video Voter 2022 projects. This summer, the Institute funded her participation in CMC’s Summer Research Program (SRP) with Professor Sinclair researching the application of a particular kind of sports betting game (football “pick’em”) to predict election and political outcomes. She spent the fall of 2022 semester studying in Scotland. In her free time, Liann enjoys reading, writing, and experimenting with gardening.

Helen A. Bovington ’24

Helen is from Helena, Montana (no relation) and is majoring in the 3-2 program; economics and electrical engineering. Helen’s interest in state and local politics started in high school when she paged at the Montana State Senate. The political issues she is most interested in are energy policy, sustainable local infrastructure development, and tribal politics on Montana’s seven reservations. This past summer, Helen participated in the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship at the Department of Energy. She researched the economic and political viability of energy storage projects being proposed to the DOE. Helen has also done research projects on the semiconductors supply chain and Montana state politics. At the Rose, she worked on the CA Competitiveness project, the Kosmont project, and Video Voter 2022.  Elsewhere on campus, Helen is a resident assistant.  Next semester, she will be focusing on filling out applications for engineering school. In her free time, you can find Helen exploring the outdoors, dancing, waiting for ski season, or working on her physics homework.

Catherine Murphy ’24

Catherine, from Pleasanton, California, is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations.  Her passion for politics and government stemmed from her dad always listening to National Public Radio and reading the Economist. She became interested in state politics after researching California’s primary elections with CMC Professor Andrew Sinclair. At the Rose, Catherine has worked on the Miller-Rose Initiative Database, and the Video voter 2022 project, and has been credited for working on Professor Sinclair’s Top-two Election System research paper.  Outside of the Rose, Catherine plays on the CMS Women’s Lacrosse team, and in her free time, she likes to go to the beach, make hell-thrown pottery, and watch Marvel movies. She spent her fall 2022 semester studying in Spain.

Pieter van Wingerden ’24

Pieter is from Hong Kong and a junior at CMC studying government. He has worked on several redistricting and data visualization projects, like Kosmont, at the Rose and is concurrently the President of the Claremont Dutch Society, a left-handed pitcher for the CMS baseball team, and a member of the Asia Experts Forum. Previously, he was an intern at the Project 2049 Institute and the Arthur A. Adams Fellow in International Strategic Studies, where he researched national security apparatuses in Hong Kong. Most recently, Pieter was named the recipient of the prestigious Truman Scholarship for 2023. In his free time, Pieter can be found re-watching Homeland, throwing baseballs at Arce Field, or enjoying double espressos. Pieter is hoping to pursue a career in law.

George B. Ashford ’25

George is proud to call Takoma Park, Maryland home, and has yet to declare a major at CMC. As a research assistant, he has produced a comprehensive report of Inland Empire municipal American Rescue Plan Fiscal Recovery Fund spending, gathered data for the Kosmont Cost of Doing Business Survey, and created GIS maps of new legislative districts for presentation at a National League of Cities conference. Before working at the Rose, George pursued his passion for local government as the Chair of the Takoma Park Youth City Council and as a Communications Assistant for Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. He has worked on campaigns including that of Senator Gary Peters and President Joe Biden in Michigan and interned in the DC office of US Rep. Jamie Raskin. He currently serves as a Collegiate Director of Policy at GENup, advocating for pro-student education reform at the state and national levels. In his spare time, George loves arguing about tax policy, backpacking, skiing, and otherwise enjoying the outdoors.

Audrey Donahue ’25

Audrey Donahue, from Seattle, WA, is dual majoring in Neuroscience and Public Policy at CMC.  Audrey joined the Rose Institute in the Fall of 2021.  During the academic ’20-’21 school year, Audrey took a gap year and worked at Amazon in Seattle in a recruiting role for Human Resources. While living in Seattle, she became interested in local political issues surrounding people experiencing homelessness. She is passionate to continue learning about these issues while working at the Rose. In high school, she became interested in state and local government by participating in several non-profit organizations and serving as a Global Scholar for Water 1st International. Outside of the Rose, Audrey plays on the CMS lacrosse team, loves to ski, and cooks.  She spent four years in high school working at a cooking school.

Cary A. Dornier PZ ’25

Cary is from Greenwich, Connecticut, and is majoring in Political Studies, with an emphasis on International Politics, at Pitzer College. During his high school years in San Diego, California, he became politically active by working for congressional and presidential campaigns. This past summer, Cary served as an intern at the First Selectman’s Office of the Town of Greenwich, where he was tasked with developing an electric vehicle charging policy, exposing him to the inner workings of policy-making at the local level. During the Summer of 2021, Cary interned at the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security where he conducted a trend analysis project focusing on extremist groups and affiliations. On campus, he has assisted Professor Busch with research concerning the 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike and the subsequent Reagan administration response. He is interested in studying homeland security policy at the state level and getting to know all the great people at the Rose. Outside of academics, Cary enjoys playing tennis, re-watching presidential debates, and catching up on political dramas.

Jack J. Gladson ’25

Jack is from Park City, Utah, and is majoring in Public Policy. His interest in state and local policy began when he got the opportunity to lobby for healthcare coverage expansions with state legislators. He also enjoyed analyzing policy perspectives and competing at tournaments as the captain of his high school’s speech and debate team. At the Rose, Jack is looking forward to conducting research related to crime and justice. On campus, he is a member of CMC Advocates. In his free time, Jack likes to ski and create digital art.


Katherine A. Jackson ’25, Media Strategies & Communications Coordinator

Katherine Jackson is from Oakland, California. She is majoring in Government at Claremont McKenna College. Katherine’s interest in government stems from several courses she took on government and politics and participation in political clubs in high school, including the Junior State of America, IGNITE, and Bay Area Student Activists. Katherine also attended the Close Up program. Her passion for politics grew even more while interning at Congressman Eric Swalwell’s District Office. Katherine enjoys long walks, photography, time with her family, and playing with her two dogs.


Katherine S. Lanzalotto ’25

Katherine is from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and is studying Government and Economics. She became interested in politics when she ran voter registration initiatives in her high school and community. Katherine is passionate about varying government issues but finds interest in drug policy and voter initiatives. Outside of the Rose, Katherine is on the Model United Nations team, where she serves as the 2022 MckennaMUN secretary general. She also works as President of GenUp Claremont, a 5C club, and traveled as an Appel Fellow this summer. You will probably find Katherine studying around campus or solving the daily crossword puzzle in her free time.


Ryan A.T. Lenney ’25

Ryan is from Mission Viejo, California, and is majoring in Public Policy and International Relations. He developed an interest in state and local government through his work on housing and homelessness policy in Orange County. At the Rose, Ryan has written an article for the Inland Empire Outlook publication and a report on the city of Ontario’s permitting processes. He has also worked on the Kosmont project and a study on the city of Vernon. In his free time, Ryan enjoys surfing, rock climbing, astrophotography, and a good road trip with friends.


Jemma S. Nazarali ’25

Jemma is from Summit, New Jersey, and is a prospective PPE and Economics dual major. She first developed an interest in public policy in high school while working on Tom Malinowski’s congressional campaign, and cultivated this passion in the summer of 2022 through her work as a research assistant at the CMC Policy Lab. Her summer fellowship with the Keck Center for International Relations, during which she researched the effect of fast fashion on the labor forces of low-income countries, further developed her interest in political economy. At the Rose, Jemma hopes to research the equity impacts of California’s criminal justice system and housing policies.


Andrea Y. Santillan-Galindo ’25

Andrea Santillan is from Lee Vining, California a small town in the Eastern Sierra. She plans on majoring in Government with a sequence in Chicano/Latinx studies. Andrea got interested in state and local government after lobbying at the Capital for the Citizens Climate Lobby and doing some field work in Claremont and Pomona for her Government class. She looks forward to having a closer look at the many processes and challenges the state faces during the electoral process, and learning how to conduct thorough research using data extraction & analysis techniques. Andrea really enjoys solving puzzles with her brothers and walking around her hometown during sunset to get good pictures of the orange sky.

Noah B. Swanson ’25

Noah is from Los Angeles, California, and is majoring in Economics and Government. His interest in local and state government arose through discussions with peers and teachers and is centered around citizen-driven public policy. Previously, Noah worked at Westhook Capital, an L.A based private equity firm, and during the summer of ’22 interned for the Milken Institute, an economic think tank in D.C. At CMC, Noah is currently a first-year guide (FYG) and is working as a research assistant for Professor Fortner. At the Rose, he is excited to research economic and criminal-justice public policy. In his free time, you can find Noah going to CMS Trivia every Thursday, skiing, cooking, or watching the Dodgers.

Nolan Windham ’25

Nolan is from Los Angeles, California, pursuing a major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a sequence in Computer Science. Nolan’s interest in state and local government is rooted in his passion for effective public policy and his experience in competitive speech and debate. At the Rose, Nolan is conducting meaningful research using sophisticated data extraction & analysis techniques. Nolan is also a member of P-ai and the Debate Union. In his free time, Nolan enjoys working on a variety of creative projects.


Joseph Zhong ’25

Joseph is from Elkhorn, Nebraska, and is pursuing a dual major in Public Policy and Economics. He got his start in the policy realm through nonprofits and advocacy in sustainability. From the nonprofit sector, Joseph quickly moved into the public financing of sustainable infrastructure at the Nebraska State Treasury, California State Treasurer’s Office, and the North American Development Bank. His water policy interest drew him to the Rose Institute, where he hopes to explore the multi-level issue of intelligent water management policy. Outside the Rose Institute, Joseph is an Economic Journalist for the Lowe Institute, looking at manufacturing reshoring trends, and a Research Assistant at the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, analyzing the effect of foreign aid and democratization. Sometimes, Joseph is spotted giving tours to prospective CMC students. In his free time, Joseph loves to read books that challenge his beliefs, hike with friends, and watch the sunsets. In Spring 2023, Joseph is participating in CMC’s Washington Program as an intern for Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Jada I. Cook ’26

Jada Cook is from Porter Ranch, California. She intends to major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Claremont McKenna College. Her interest in state and local government developed through efforts she led in her high school, her community, and across the U.S. to increase voter registration and voter education, as part of the national, nonpartisan initiative When We All Vote. She also has a passion for research in the area of healthcare reform. At the Rose, Jada looks forward to honing her writing skills, utilizing new research programs and techniques, and engaging in civil discourse on a variety of issues related to state and local government. Jada is a dancer, who has performed and competed in many styles, including contemporary, jazz, pom, and hip-hop.

 Richard B. Cordero ’26

Richard is from Los Angeles, California, and is pursuing a major in History. He first developed his interest in government over many car rides home with his mom playing talk radio. In high school, Richard worked as a campaign intern for L.A. City Councilman John Lee’s first campaign. Following that, he worked as campaign staff for Congressman Mike Garcia’s campaigns and did a stint as an intern in Garcia’s congressional field office. At the Rose, he is interested in researching gun policy, judicial elections, and district competitiveness. In his free time, Richard enjoys hiking, shooting, painting, and trying to keep up with campaigning.


Samuel N. Johnson-Saeger ’26

Sam is an Economics and International Relations major who was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. He became interested in state and local government through Speech and Debate, as well as subsequent internships with a state legislator and the Governor of Colorado. Now, he is interested in learning about the relationship between institutional reforms and policy outcomes and hopes to hone his quantitative and qualitative research skills at the Rose. He loves hiking, reading excessively long fantasy books, and traveling to explore nature in different states and countries. In addition to working at the Rose, Sam competes for CMC’s Model United Nations team, conducts research for the CMC Policy Lab and American Enterprise Institute on the impact of changes in vote access on voter turnout, and works as a program assistant at the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies.

Sanskriti S. Kumar ’26

Sanskriti is from Stamford, Connecticut, and is pursuing a dual major in Government and History. Sanskriti developed an interest in local government by working with local legislators to draft an allergy bill and working on local campaigns, where she learned directly about housing and education policy. At the Rose, Sanskriti hopes to develop her quantitative research skills and learn more about the Inland Empire Region. In her free time, Sanskriti enjoys spending time outdoors and with her family.


Chad B. McElroy ’26

Chad McElroy is a freshman at CMC studying Government. Hailing from Concord, California, Chad pursued his passion for public service as an Election Poll worker in his home county of Contra Costa, worked with the staff of his local House Representative Mark DeSaulnier, and attended CA Boys State 2021. Chad hopes to further investigate topics such as firearms legislation and the voter dynamics at the Rose. In his free time, Chad enjoys riding his bike, going to baseball games, (re)watching Star Wars, and keeping up with everything related to NASA and space exploration.


Ryan S. Shakiba ’26

Ryan Shakiba is a freshman at Claremont McKenna College who is planning on majoring in both Data Science and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). He has been interested in politics and government since he was young, being fascinated with the history of the executive branch of the national government, and as time went on, he also found the structure of federalism in the United States to be intriguing, which led him to take in interest in the features of local government as well, which is what led him to want to join the Rose Institute. He is most excited to learn about how state and local governments affect economic development and is looking forward to doing research in those areas. Being from San Diego, California, he loves the ocean and hiking, as well as tennis and running, but his favorite thing to do is to learn.