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. At the Rose, she wrote an article for the Spring 2023 Special Housing edition of the Inland Empire Outlook and also helped lead the California Competitiveness project, while also contributing to the Kosmont and Video Voter Guide 2022 projects. Elsewhere on campus, she is a student fellow at the Open Academy and an editor of the Claremont Journal of Law and Public Policy. In her free time, she enjoys playing basketball with friends and reading.

Grace Hong ’24, Associate Student Manager

Grace is from Arcadia, California, and is a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (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 through her time interning at Townsend Public Affairs and spent the fall of 2022 at the Department of Commerce through the DC program. At the Rose, she has worked on the City of Vernon project, helped analyze housing element letters, and drafted a backgrounder for the Video Voter 2022 series. On campus, Grace is also a mentor for the Asian Pacific American Mentorship Program (APAM) and vice president of the Pre-Law Society. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis and painting.

Nikhil Agarwal ’24, Student Development Manager

Nikhil Agarwal is a senior at CMC from Singapore majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.  At the Rose he has served as project manager of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF) project, written for the Inland Empire Outlookand is currently the Student Development Manager.  He also serves as the president of the CMC chapter of The Alexander Hamilton Society, and is vice-president of the CMC chapter of the AEI Executive Council. 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 tennis, Formula 1 races, or Premier League matches!


Liann C. Bielicki ’24, New Hire Manager

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. In the summer of 2022, 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 in Scotland. In her free time, Liann enjoys reading, writing, and experimenting with gardening.

Catherine Murphy ’24

Catherine, from Pleasanton, California, is a senior 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. She is also interested in U.S. national security policy, Latin American politics, and education reform. At the Rose, Catherine has worked on the Miller-Rose Initiative Database, the Video Voter Guide 2022 project, alumni outreach, and planning for the Rose’s 50th Anniversary celebration. She has been credited for working on the Top-two Election System research paper with Professor Sinclair.  This past summer, Catherine interned on Capitol Hill in Washington DC for California Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-14).  Outside of the Rose, Catherine is captain of the CMS Women’s Lacrosse team, and in her free time, she likes to go to the beach, try new baking recipes, and listen to true crime podcasts. She spent her fall 2022 semester studying in Spain.

Pieter van Wingerden ’24

Pieter is a 2023 Truman Scholar and a senior at Claremont McKenna College, studying government and Asian studies. He hails from Edmonds, WA, and is interested in political, economic, and military issues in the Indo-Pacific. At the Rose, he has worked on redistricting and data visualization projects. He is concurrently the President of the CMC chapter of the AEI Executive Council and Vice-President of the Alexander Hamilton Society. He is also a left-handed pitcher for the CMS baseball team and a staff writer for the Claremont Independent. He is an alumnus of the Project 2049 Institute, the Department of Defense, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. In the future, Pieter hopes to work in the foreign policy or national security space.


George B. Ashford ’25

George is a dual PPE and Public Policy major and is proud to call Takoma Park, Maryland home. As a research assistant, he has produced a comprehensive report of Inland Empire municipal American Rescue Plan Fiscal Recovery Fund spending, helped gather data for the Kosmont Cost of Doing Business Survey, created GIS maps of new legislative districts for presentation at a National League of Cities conference, and led a team examining points of friction between state and local government on housing policy. 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, interned in the DC office of US Rep. Jamie Raskin and with the Bipartisan Policy Center. He currently serves as  Chief Operating Officer 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 majoring in Economics with a sequence in Data Science.  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. She is taking a leave of absence this fall 2023 semester to work in Washington, DC.

Cary A. Dornier PZ ’25

Cary is from Greenwich, Connecticut, and is majoring in Political Studies at Pitzer College. Having spent his last two high school years in San Diego, California, his family is now moving there permanently this fall. Cary is particularly interested in national and homeland security issues, having discovered his affinity for the discipline after interning at the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness during Summer 2021. On campus, he has assisted Professor Busch with research concerning the 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike and the subsequent Reagan administration response. At the Rose, he continued his work with Professor Busch while also working on the Kosmont and California City Management Foundation (CCMF) projects. Along with his studies this semester, Cary will be interning at the District Office of Congressman Pete Aguilar (CA-33) where he will work on constituent affairs casework and glean additional practical experience in state and local politics. Cary loves playing tennis, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

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 Philosophy, Politics, 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. At the Rose, she researched and wrote an article on opioid harm reduction for the Spring 2023 edition of the Inland Empire Outlook. Outside of the Rose, Katherine is on the Model United Nations team, where she serves as the 2022 McKenna MUN 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.  She is off to Tuscany (Siena, Italy) for the fall 2023 semester.

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, a report on the city of Ontario’s permitting processes, and a statewide report on cities’ Housing Elements. He has also worked on the Kosmont project, the state identities 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 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. Jemma has also pursued an interest in criminal and civil justice through work at Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab. At the Rose, Jemma has written an article for the Inland Empire Outlook and worked on the Housing Project, Kosmont, and minimum wage research. Outside of the Rose, Jemma works for the Policy Lab, the CWPD, and as an Advocate.

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 Windham is a student at Claremont McKenna College pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a Sequence in Data Science. Nolan’s interest in state and local government is rooted in his passion for effective public policy. He has interdisciplinary experience in the fields of technology, politics, and economics. At the Rose, Nolan is conducting research using sophisticated data extraction & analysis techniques. 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. Jada spent summer 2023 as a research assistant to Professor Michael Fortner where she wrote a report on how race, region, and party shaped the framing of crack cocaine in the 99th Congress. This semester, she is looking forward to taking on a greater role in the Rose’s housing policy project and diving into the nuanced solutions to the California housing crisis.

 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 dual major who was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. He became interested in state and local government through Speech and Debate, as well as internships with Colorado State Rep. Judy Amabile and Governor Jared Polis. 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 with a view of the ocean, and exploring nature. In addition to working at the Rose, Sam competes for CMC’s Model United Nations team, works as a program assistant at the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, and is a teaching assistant for Professor Lincoln and Professor Fernholz in the Robert Day School. He spent the summer of 2023 working as a Risk Analysis and Surveillance Intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. 

Sanskriti S. Kumar ’26

Sanskriti is from Stamford, Connecticut, and is dual majoring in Government and Economics. In high school, 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, two areas of interest at the Rose. In her first year at the Institute, Sanskriti worked on the Kosmont and the California City Management Foundation projects. Outside of the Rose, Sanskriti is a tour guide on campus and is a trip leader with Outdoor Initiative. In her free time, Sanskriti loves to watch soccer, hike, or go on a long drive.


Chad B. McElroy ’26

Chad McElroy is a sophomore 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. Last fall, Chad focused his new hire project on unserialized firearms, or “ghost guns,” and their proliferation throughout California. In the spring, Chad worked on the California City Management Foundation project, the Kosmont Cost of Doing Business Survey, and worked with Professor Shanna Rose on her upcoming book. In his free time, Chad enjoys riding his bike, going to baseball games, (re)watching Star Wars, and keeping up with everything related to aerospace and space policymaking.


Ryan S. Shakiba ’26

Ryan Shakiba is a sophomore 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.


Helen A. Bovington ’24

Helen is from Helena, Montana, and is majoring in the 3-2 program; economics and electrical engineering. She just finished three years studying economics at CMC and is now transferring to Columbia to finish her undergraduate degree in 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. Helen has spent her summers studying the intersection of economics, politics, and electrical engineering in various internships and fellowships. At the Rose, she worked on the CA Competitiveness project, the 50th Anniversary Planning Team, the Kosmont project, and Video Voter Guide 2022.  Elsewhere on campus, Helen was a resident assistant. In her free time, you can find Helen exploring the outdoors, dancing, waiting for ski season, or working on her physics homework.