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Spring 2015 Scholars

Sarah Acree
Sarah Acree '15

Sarah Acree is a senior from Richmond, Virginia. She is majoring in Government, but is interested in a wide variety of fields post-graduation. She’s especially passionate about social justice, including LGBT issues, women’s issues, and education reform. She has taken Italian every semester since being at the college and would love to spend some time traveling around Europe after graduation. On campus, Sarah is the president of her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, is a member of the Student Alumni Council, and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. In her free time, Sarah frequents the Williamsburg farmers market, looks at Instagrams dedicated to cute animals, and goes on short adventures around the Williamsburg area. Sarah is so excited to have the opportunity to live and learn in DC next semester, and she can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store!

Alex Frey
Alex Frey '16

Alex Frey is currently a junior at the College who is pursuing a double major in History and Government. Hailing from Dunellen, New Jersey, Alex is excited to get an inside look at political life Washington. His studies have focused on American political and social history, contemporary politics, and international security. In the Spring of 2014, Alex was a research intern for the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, during which he produced a study on the changing role of the Army in US foreign policy.

Lillian Fu
Lillian Fu '16

Lillian Fu is a junior at the College of William and Mary, a Neuroscience and Government double major, hailing from the wonderfully quirky city of Richmond, Virginia. Lillian's life goal is to work to destigmatize the mentally and physically disabled, as well as advocate for them. This passion for disability rights stems from (and is annually rejuvenated by) her working at Camp Bruce McCoy, a summer camp for traumatic-brain-injured individuals hosted by the Brain Injury Association of Virginia. 

On campus, she is involved with Alpha Phi Omega, her hall council, Reformed University Fellowship, William and Larry: Students for Equal Protection under Virginia Law, as well as the William and Mary Center for Veteran's Engagement. She is also a research assistant in the Social Cognition Lab, and an employee at Mad About Chocolate. After a month in the Dominican Republic with the Mason School of Business' 2014 Social Entrepreneurship Program, Lillian fell in love with Latin American culture, and is currently working alongside the Artisan's Association of Higüerito to sustainably expand their business and strengthen their town. In the smidgens of free time she has, Lillian enjoys reading, learning to play guitar and sing at the same time, as well as laughing at any and all puns.

Jessie Gong
Zijie (Jessie) Gong '17

Zijie Gong is a sophomore pursuing a double major in International Relations and Psychology at the College of William and Mary. She is particularly interested in security issues, particularly of East Asia. She was born and raised in northeast China and currently is enjoying the second year in the US. Zijie, with expertise in singing and composition, is a musician owning a band in China. For the long term, she would like to pursue career as a lawyer or a politics-related media job. On campus, she is in PIPS E-internship and Amnesty International charter. Having a wide range of interests, she is also a member of Chinese Undergraduate Student Association and Tae Kwon Do club. She looks forward to spending a semester living and working in DC to explore more about her capabilities and strength by involving in such challenging program.

Daria Grastara
Daria Grastara '17

Daria Grastara is currently a sophomore from Hillsborough, New Jersey. She plans on majoring in Government and English and hopes to combine these two subjects by pursuing a career in the media. During her time at school, Daria is the Opinions Editor of The Flat Hat student newspaper, the social chair of Pointe Blank Dance Company, a Tribe Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and a member of her social sorority, Pi Beta Phi. This past summer, Daria had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Cambridge, England, where she fell in love with the culture, the people, and the sights. In her free time, Daria enjoys taking walks in Colonial Williamsburg, drinking Aroma’s tea, and watching Disney movies. After growing up right outside New York City, Daria can’t wait to explore a new city and experience all Washington DC has to offer!

Stef Laureano
Estefania Laureano '16

Estefania is currently a junior at the College of William and Mary from Dominican Republic. She is double majoring in International Relations and Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. On campus she is social chair for Delta Delta Delta and Vice President for Latin American Student Union. She has volunteered at the Center for Mongolian Studies in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This summer she studied abroad in Moscow, Russia and interned with the American Chamber of Commerce. She is looking forward to spending her time interning and studying in the nation’s capital.

Isabella Liu
Isabella Liu '15

Isabella Y. Liu is a senior at William & Mary majoring in International Relations with a concentration in Finance. Originally from Anqing, a small town in Eastern China, she has received education from China, Australia, and around Europe. During her past years at W&M, she has served on the executive board of the Public Policy Club, Consulting Club, as well as the senior class gift council. A global mind with continuing interests in international affairs and finance, she has gained experiences from various institutions around the world including the European Parliament, Deutsche Bank and Bloomberg. After graduation, she is interested in working in consulting or media communications in the United States or Asia. A devoted ballroom and flamenco dancer, she enjoys haute-couture fashion as well as watching European football leagues in her free time.

Erin Morris
Erin Morris '16

Erin Morris is a junior at the College majoring in Government with a minor in Process Management & Consulting. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, MN, she graduated from the Blake School. Erin is excited to return to DC after spending the summer of 2014 there interning for TallyVoting, an electronic voting machine start-up. She is especially excited about the program theme, hoping to learn and experience all that social media has to offer to the political sphere. On campus, Erin is an active member of her sorority, Tri Delta, and the Associate Features Editor for the Virginia Informer. When she has free time, she enjoys marathoning The Office on Netflix and taking Buzzfeed quizzes.

Minu Nagashunmugam
Minu Nagashunmugam '16

Minu Nagashunmugam is currently a junior at the College, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Government with a minor in Public Health, motivated by her interests in health care and public policy. On campus, she is involved as a Tribe Ambassador, research assistant in the Social Cognition lab, and an intern in Alumni Engagement. She is also a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, and TriDelta’s delegate to the Panhellenic Council. This past summer, she went abroad with William and Mary to Prague and volunteered as an Orientation Aide. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, watching Netflix and spending time with her sisters. She is looking forward to this opportunity in Washington as one to explore and broaden her interests.

Maizie Nelson
Maizie Nelson '16

Maizie Nelson is a junior at the College of William & Mary from Alexandria, Virginia. She is pursing a history and environmental policy double major, and is interested in the intersection of policy, business, and law as it relates to energy. On campus, she is on the executive board of Chi Omega and involved in Health Peer Outreach Educators. Additionally, she enjoys working with local elementary students at Matthew Whaley. Last summer, Maizie spent most of her time studying abroad in India learning about issues related to globalization and rapid development. She looks forward to spending the semester in Washington enjoying all our nation's capital has to offer.

Ryson Owens
Ryson Owens '15

Ryson Owens is a senior at the College of William and Mary, pursuing a degree in Government. Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Ryson enjoys playing guitar, exploring the wilderness, and coding. After spending time in Nashville, Tennessee interning at a booking agency, Ryson decided that the music business wasn't for him. Now back on the east coast, he is looking forward to learning how social media shapes political experiences and influences campaigns. 

Ana Roa Arrazola
Ana Roa Arrazola '15

Ana Roa Arrazola is a senior in the College majoring in Government. Ana was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, but has lived in different areas of South America and the U.S. She spent this past summer studying German in Berlin, as she is fascinated with German history and culture. She decided to become a Government major after interning in Congress for Rep. Jim McDermott and the U.S Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. She enjoys writing on contemporary topics like the future of the EU and current affairs that don't get enough media coverage. She is passionate about the future of higher education and finding ways to bridge the socio-economic divide, as she was directly affected by it and has successfully transformed the challenge into the guiding compass of her career. She considers Lean In, The Poisonwood Bible, Life of Pi and One Hundred Years of Solitude to have an immense influence in her life. On her free time she enjoys reading lifestyle blogs from around the world, writing poetry and watching Premier League games on the weekend. She is excited to spend Spring in Washington, DC, experience the city's live jazz scene and more importantly eager to learn about the world of media and politics!

Jessie Walthall
Jessie Walthall '16

Jessie Walthall is a junior majoring in Public Policy at The College of William & Mary. She is from Fredericksburg, Virginia, where she was constantly surrounded by people who fostered her love of government, politics, and arguing for what is right. Since attending William & Mary, she has become particularly interested in education policy and currently works with related topics as a research assistant in the Government Department. She is indescribably excited to be a part of the dynamic, relevant world of D.C. next semester and hopes to truly contribute to the important decisions made there in the coming years. Jessie serves as Philanthropy Chair for the Gamma Psi Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, works with the Center for Student Diversity as a Peer Educator, and loves playing tennis and fiddle tunes whenever she gets the chance. Her confidence that anything is possible can consistently be found in her belief that the Washington Redskins will, in fact, win their next football game.   

Karyne Williams
Karyne Williams '16

Karyne Williams is a junior at the College of William and Mary, pursuing a degree in Psychology and Government. As a native of Prince William County, she is excited to return to the familiar metro area. While living and working in DC, she hopes to explore the methodology behind polling analysis and how social media is becoming an important tool in determining election outcomes. Outside of classes, Karyne is involved with the William and Mary chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network. Through these groups she volunteers in the community, helps register voters, and helps engage and educate the community on pressing issues in public policy. She is also active in psychological research and is a research assistant in the Social Cognition Lab. After graduation, Karyne aspires to one day work in the DC area as a leadership analyst or a government research analyst.

JJ Willroy
JJ Wilroy '15

JJ is a junior pursuing a major in Public Policy and a minor in Computer Science. On campus, he plays and travels with the club tennis team, along with working at the College's tennis center for the past four years.  JJ was born in Germany and spent his early childhood all over Europe, before moving to Williamsburg for junior high and high school. He studied at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands over the summer of 2013, and looks forward to studying in a major city once again. JJ enjoys learning about all aspects of public policy, and am particularly passionate about privacy and related human rights matters.