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Fall 2018 Scholars

Yasmin Abusaif
Yasmin Abusaif '19
Yasmin is a rising senior majoring in Government at William & Mary. She is an avid human rights activist and has served on the executive board of William & Mary’s Amnesty International Club and Middle Eastern Student Association. She is passionate about promoting refugees awareness, and is currently the head of the AI Refugee Committee. She also works as a Coding Intern for a statehood project on Palestine for the Institute for William & Mary’s Theory and Practice of International Relations. She is a VSFS intern for the US Embassy in Libya and will be interning with the  Public Defenders Service of DC this summer. She hopes to earn a degree in International and Criminal Law following graduation and believes the Study in DC program is a wonderful step towards that goal. 
Katie Baldewin
Katie Baldewin '18
Katie is a senior from Fullerton, California majoring in Government at the College. Throughout her time at W&M, Katie has been an active member of Young Democrats and VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood. In 2016, she was a recipient of the J. Stewart Dunn Civil Liberties Fellowship to fund her internship with the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. Back home, she’s worked on a handful of campaigns for state and federal office in the Los Angeles area, and currently serves as a Delegate to the California Democratic Party. In 2017, she spent a year away from W&M with the California State Senate, and hopes to ultimately return to California politics after spending some time in Washington, DC. Katie’s policy interests include election policy and reproductive justice, and her hobbies include soaking up the sun and reading articles about the midterms on FiveThirtyEight.
Emily Bernhard
Emily Bernhard '20
Emily is a rising junior from Potomac, Maryland and is majoring in Government.  She hopes to pursue a career in public policy or law and is interested in political activism. Emily has worked for three political campaigns and interned for Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin. She is particularly passionate about campaign finance reform, gun control, immigration, and criminal justice reform. She is hoping that the DC Semester Program will give her further insight into how political decisions are made and how to most effectively influence public policy. 
Andrew Bookbinder
Andrew Bookbinder '19
Andrew is a rising senior at William & Mary majoring in Government. He has spent extensive time overseas, having lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Chengdu, and Beijing, in addition to living in Washington, DC, and now Arlington, Virginia. Andrew serves as a member on the William & Mary Undergraduate Student Conduct Council, plays for and serves on the executive board of the William & Mary club rugby team, and serves on the executive board of the William & Mary Amnesty International Chapter. Since he turned 16, Andrew has worked both overseas and in Washington, DC doing foreign policy, finance, and international law work. He greatly enjoys recreational scuba diving, hiking, and is an avid reader of both science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.
Penina Cohen
Penina Cohen '20
Penina is a rising Junior from San Antonio, Texas and currently living in Fairfax, Virginia. She is a Government major minoring in Accounting. The daughter of an Air Force Colonel, Penina has lived in six states and gone to nine different schools if you include William & Mary. She is currently interning for the non-profit TechSoup through the William & Mary Peace and Conflict Studies Program. She is also an active member in the International Relations Club at William & Mary. Penina’s main academic interests include United States and international politics, game theory, the study of non-state actors, and international law.
Patrick Dean
Patrick Dean '19
Patrick is a rising senior and he is from Gainesville, Virginia.  Patrick is majoring in History, a subject about which he has been passionate since he was a young child.  He attended two summer seminars at William & Mary’s National Institute for American History and Democracy while still in high school. He is a member of the William & Mary Neurodiversity Club and Nerf Club, and wrote for the Botetourt Squat, a campus satirical paper, his freshman year.  Patrick also has a strong interest in US politics, sports, and Star Wars.  He is looking forward to the semester in DC so that he can learn more about how policy at the federal level is made and gain practical work experience during his internship.
Will Goncher
Will Goncher '19
Will is a rising senior from Palo Alto, California who is majoring in Government and History. If you have ever been asked if you are registered to vote in Williamsburg, there is a good chance that it was by Will, as he has worked registering voters at the College during both the 2016 presidential and 2017 gubernatorial elections. Will is especially interested in the issues of criminal justice reform, voting rights, privacy rights, and gun reform. He is excited to take his passion for policy and politics to an internship in DC this coming semester. In his free time, Will enjoys exploring the outdoors, reading non-fiction books on topics ranging from Waterloo to mass incarceration, and playing video games.
RJ Hewitt
RJ Hewitt '21
RJ is a rising sophomore from Richmond, VA majoring in Public Policy. RJ currently is an intern at the Office of Admissions as a Multicultural Recruitment Intern. He is also a member of the Black Student Organization on campus, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He has a strong passion for international politics, civil rights and educational policy, and is excited to experience what Washington, DC has to offer. In his free time, RJ enjoys playing keyboard, saxophone and networking. 
Ruilin Li
Ruilin Li '20
Ruilin is a rising junior from Chengdu, China. He is double majoring Government and Economics. Apart from conducting Monroe research on the interactions between politics and finance, he has worked as a research assistant at AidData. He is a Student Ambassador and Interviewer for the Admission Office, and also the philanthropy chairman of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. In his free time, he enjoys photography, swimming, and rock climbing. During the DC Semester, he is looking forward to expanding his knowledge of citizenship, and to experiencing the capital as a local.
Julianne McFarland
Julianne McFarland '21
Julianne is a rising sophomore at William & Mary, where she intends to major in Government or Public Policy. She hopes to do policy work after graduation, and is interested in how citizens can best mobilize to affect changes in government policy. She is from Baltimore, Maryland, where she is actively involved in local government. At William & Mary, she plays banjo in the Appalachian Music Ensemble and is a member of the Club Tennis Team. While in DC, she hopes to learn more about what it means to be an active citizen and is excited to explore all of the historic sights that the city has to offer. 
Margueritte Norton
Margueritte Norton '19
Margueritte is a rising senior from Asheville, North Carolina. She is pursuing an Organizational Behvaior major and a minor in Management and Organizational Leadership. Last spring she studied in Sevilla, Spain where she grew to appreciate the international component to business and citizenship studies. On campus Margueritte enjoys interacting with potential students through her work as a Tribe Ambassador and a Tour Guide. In her free time, she loves spending time with friends, hiking, trying new restaurants, and traveling to new places. Margueritte can’t wait to be back in Washington for the Fall semester. 
Daphne Pettaway
Daphne Pettaway '19
Daphne is a junior at The College of William & Mary and was born in Brooklyn, New York but spent the majority of her life in Mililani, Hawaii. She started her higher education journey at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona before transferring to William & Mary where she will earn her B.A. in Government. She is particularly interested in international relations and social justice and plans to attend law school following the completion of her undergraduate studies. During her time in college, Daphne was nominated and accepted into the International Scholar Laureate Program and had the opportunity to spend a summer in South Africa as part of a delegation of students from around the world. This opportunity gave her insights into the current political climate and ongoing cultural issues facing the nation. She is eager to explore DC for the first time and looks forward to the experience she will gain in her field of interest. She hopes that the DC Semester Program will help her to be more informed about the realities of the world as well as make the connections necessary to pursue her goal of having a positive impact on society. In her free time, Daphne enjoys reading, hiking, and going to the beach.
Jade Song
Jade Song '19
Jade is originally from Beijing, she has lived in China, Europe, and the US. Jade is a rising senior studying International Relations and Economics at the College of William & Mary. She is planning to study law after graduation. Jade is passionate about minority rights and sustainable development. She was a fellow member of the Weingartner Initiative on Deliberative Democracy, and she did research on the topic of the unaccompanied immigrant minors. Jade also volunteered to teach at the autistic organization and the primary school for migrant workers. She is currently working for the International Development Law Organization as an intern. Jade sincerely hopes that she can contribute to promoting social justice, equality, and freedom in developing countries.
Raadhika Tandon
Raadhika Tandon '20
Raadhika is a rising junior from Sydney, Australia, residing in Malvern, Pennsylvania and majoring in International Relations at the College. On campus, she is very involved with IR Club – aside from staffing conferences and travelling on the competitive model UN circuit, she also served as the media director for WMIDMUN XVI this past February. Raadhika is also a member of the South Asian Student Association and has interned with her local representative from the Pennsylvania government. In her spare time, she likes to play and listen to music, do artistic things, travel, and play with any available puppy. She hopes to one day work for the Australian foreign service or as an ambassador to the United Nations. As a DC scholar, Raadhika is incredibly excited to immerse herself in every opportunity the city has to offer!
Yunjie Zhang
Yunjie Zhang '20
Yunjie is a rising junior from Shenyang, China.  He is a double major in International Relations and Global Studies, with a concentration in East Asian Studies.  His interest lies in political and cultural history in East Asia, and he has been learning Japanese since high school.  Last summer he went to a history seminar hosted by Akita International University and learned Japanese pre-modern history while travelling in Japan.  At William & Mary, he is involved in the Chinese Student Organization and Japanese Cultural Association, and is also a community member of the Japanese Language House.  As a DC scholar, he is especially interested in the study of citizenship and public interest systematically, as well as getting his first internship experience.