Meet Our American Politics Fellows


Ethan Abner

Ethan, a junior at the College of William and Mary, hails from a small town in South Florida. He is currently pursuing an International Relations degree with a possibility of minoring in Russian Area Studies. Before transferring to the college his sophomore year he was in the United States Marine Corps. Although he originally intended to become a military police officer, he was selected for a special duty assignment working as part of the security company responsible for protection of the presidential helicopters. Throughout five years of service he had the opportunity to travel and work on five continents, be on the periphery of numerous political summits (G8, G20), and play an integral role in the conduct of presidential travel. He left the Marine Corps in 2013 with numerous awards and commendations. In the summer of 2014, he took advantage of the school’s study abroad opportunities and spent six weeks in Russia studying the Russian language intensively. He is currently interested in domestic issues concerning veterans, health policy, and debate on foreign policy in the house and senate. When he’s not facing the rigors of college life he enjoys being outdoors, exercising, jamming out to Dave Matthews Band and watching the Washington Nationals (throw away they’re opportunity at a World Series win.) He’s enthusiastically looking forward to the opportunities that await him in the nation’s capital.

Michael Amrhine

I was born and raised in Fredericksburg, VA where I attended two years of private school followed by eleven years of public school. At Courtland High School, I was involved in various sports including football, varsity basketball, varsity cross country, and varsity track, and was a captain of the track and cross country teams. I was the Treasurer for the National Honor Society from 2012-2013, and was in French Honor Society. I volunteered regularly throughout high school at my church serving weekly dinners to the needy, which is similar to the volunteer work I do at W&M Campus Kitchen. I volunteered at my local library, and assisted in coaching kids’ recreational basketball teams. On campus, I’m part of the Delta Chi fraternity, and am applying to be a personal trainer. Fitness has always been a passion of mine, and I am a die-hard fan of all Baltimore sports. I am planning to major in government, and attend law school after I graduate. Additionally, I’ve traveled to England, France, Greece and Turkey, and am taking Spanish classes as part of a plan to study abroad in Argentina next school year. 

Josh Aurand

Josh Aurand is from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and he is currently a sophomore at The College of William & Mary. He’s a Latin American Studies major who plans to add a major in Public Policy, and combining his academic focus on the Latino experience in America with knowledge of the political system he currently imagines himself working in a field related to immigration policy or foreign policy towards Latin America.  This summer, Josh did Monroe research on Argentine poet Juan Gelman, learning a lot about the volatile 20th century history of Argentina, leftist artistic responses to looming authoritarianism and human rights abuses, and the loneliness that was reading poetry by himself for hours every day.  Josh hopes to be a personal trainer at the Rec and a Writing Resources Center Consultant next semester, but has noticed that at any given time his present is rarely anything like what he expected his future to be.  On campus right now, Josh is active in Take Back the Tap, a campaign of the Student Environmental Action Coalition focused on reducing plastic water bottle usage and promoting tap water alternatives, as well as the Tae Kwan Do and Badminton Clubs – he always has some energy to exercise away his stress.  He also runs and works out semi-regularly, enjoys deep conversation, loses himself in music, draws and writes poetry, and tries to keep up with lots of friends, all in a futile battle to constantly self-improve and make the day last longer than 24 hours.

Kendall Bailey

Kendall Bailey is a sophomore at the College of William and Mary and is double majoring in International Relations and French and Francophone Studies. She was born in Kendall, Miami, and now lives with her parents in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Kendall transferred to the college after her freshman year from Virginia Tech. On campus, she is a member of club volleyball, International Relations Club, Pi Delta Phi french honors fraternity, and Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She has worked as an interpreter for French and Spanish families, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Over winter break she will be doing research on immigration in Arizona/Mexico through the BorderLinks program. She plans to pursue a career with the state department working with immigration reform or national security. Kendall has a passion for travel and foreign languages, and hopes to travel frequently in her lifetime to expand her language base.

JD Birks

JD Birks is a sophomore at the College of William & Mary from Northern Virginia.  He is currently pursuing a degree in business, but he is also interested in economics, public policy, government, English, history, philosophy, Chinese, computer science, biology, physics, and any other subject the College has to offer. JD is focused on trying to make the biggest impact on the world as possible, and hasn’t decided if that can best be accomplished by pursuing a career in business, politics, government, or non-profits.  On campus, JD can be found tutoring with Project Phoenix and the College Partnership for Kids or working to advance pragmatic policy with a student organization he co-founded called Students for Effective Policy.  He is looking forward to gaining an insight on the workings of the American political system through the DCSI program.

Dylan Campbell

Dylan Campbell is a sophomore at The College of William and Mary from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is an intended Government and Economics double major and he wants to focus on voting behavior and macroeconomics. Dylan is considering a law degree or a master’s degree in political science after graduation. He is a member of the William and Mary Young Democrats and he works for Steer Clear, a safe-ride program that provides reliable and free transportation for students on weekend nights. In his free time, Dylan likes to support Tribe Athletics and run races around campus.

Mitchell Croom

Mitchell Croom was born and raised in Yorktown, Virginia and is currently a sophomore and 1693 Scholar at the College of William & Mary. He hopes to earn a master’s degree through William & Mary’s Jefferson Program in Public Policy, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Government with a minor in Mathematics. Mitchell enjoys staying involved with a variety of groups on campus, including the debate team, the Student Assembly, and several student publications. Mitchell serves as Secretary of Operations for the W&M Debate Team, a member of the Admissions Policy Advisory Committee, and an associate editor for both The Monitor (the student journal of international relations) and the William & Mary Policy Review (the student journal of public policy). The past two summers, Mitchell interned at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, first in the Aerodynamic Systems Analysis Branch and then in the Office of Governmental Affairs. Mitchell currently interns with the Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) at William & Mary, and with the US Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis, Virginia. In his spare time, Mitchell enjoys keeping up with Roll Call and SCOTUSblog, reading books about history, and going to the beach. His interests include politics and public policy, law, civil rights, and international relations, and he hopes to attend law school and one day work for his country in Washington.

William Kast

William Ayers Kast is a current sophomore at the College of William and Mary. Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, he is currently pursuing a major in Government and possibly a minor in Public Policy. He is an active brother of the Gamma Chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and an avid competitor in intramural athletics. Having lived so close to Washington, D.C., where his father is a government affairs executive, William has grown up around politics, so it only seems natural that he would one day pursue a career in it. Having previously interned with the Maryland Governor O’Malley’s State Stat program, he is currently interested in working in or around a political campaign or with a lobbying firm or non-profit. He hopes to spend the summer exploring one of these fields and gaining valuable experience.

Bel Kelly-Russo

Bel Kelly-Russo grew up in Northern Virginia and is currently a freshman at the College, where she is pursuing a double major in Government and Environmental Policy. On campus she is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, Young Democrats and Common Sense Action. This past September she represented the Student Environmental Action Coalition at the People’s Climate March in New York City. She also serves as her Hall Council Representative in the Green and Gold Village. Bel previously has been an intern at the Environmental Protection Agency and a fellow for John Foust for Congress. After graduation, Bel hopes to attend law school.

Sahil Mehrotra

Sahil is a freshman at The College of William & Mary from Bridgewater, NJ. He plans to double major in both Government and Computer Science. In addition to his classes, he is a Computer Science intern at the Social Networks and Political Psychology Lab (SNaPP Lab) at William and Mary. There, his current project works on analyzing tweets about politics from 2009 to track online political discussion. He is also involved in William & Mary Young Democrats, Virginia21, and intramural sports. Sahil is excited to be a part of the DC Summer Institute and looks forward to a productive summer.

Jimmy Moore

Jimmy Moore is a freshman at the College of William and Mary. He was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia, the “Star City of the South.” Prior to his arrival on campus, Jimmy worked with several organizations at his high school, and won a statewide public speaking contest. Now that he’s a member of the Tribe, Jimmy is involved with Tribe4Tomorrow, a student philanthropy organization focused on undergraduate giving. He is also excited to become a Tribe Ambassador this spring. Jimmy hopes to major in Public Policy and either attend law school and become a United States District Attorney or become a member of federal law enforcement. In his spare time, Jimmy enjoys spending time with friends, exploring Colonial Williamsburg, and watching The West Wing on Netflix. 

Johnathan Nowakowski

Johnathan Nowakowski is a sophomore at the College and is a Government major. He is from the Chicagoland area. Last summer, Johnathan interned in both Congressman Peter Roskam and Senator Mark Kirk’s district offices. On campus, he is a member of the Spotswood Society and participates in the College Republicans and the debate team. He loves traveling, everything political, and is a huge movie buff. Johnathan is looking forward to living in D.C. and learning more about American politics.

Nathan Ritchie

Nathan Ritchie is currently a junior at the College of William and Mary studying Government and Accounting. He is from Suffolk, Virginia. Always having an interest and passion for politics, Nathan has spent his past summers volunteering for campaigns and then interning with Congressman Randy Forbes' district office. On campus, Nathan is on the leadership of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and the College Republicans. He is looking forward to experiencing the nation's capital and seeing the political process up close. Nathan's other interests include food/cooking, rooting for the Washington Redskins, and a good story.

Ming Seigel

Ming Siegel is a Junior at the College of William & Mary and is majoring in a self-designed major called Constitutional Theory and History.  Although she was originally from Long Island, New York, she currently resides in Williamsburg, Virginia. She is an active member of the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and works as a Student Office Assistant in the Registrar’s Office. Her volunteer activities include Community Partnership for Adult Learners, where she tutors English to non-native speakers, and the Global Friends Program. This past summer she toured Amsterdam and studied in Copenhagen with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad.  Following the DIS program Ming was an advisor for the Keio/W&M Cross Cultural Collaboration.  She enjoys reading, traveling, fashion and food.  After graduation, Ming hopes to continue traveling, explore a career in research or academia and eventually attend graduate school.

Michael Silvidi

Michael Silvidi is a sophomore at William & Mary from Muncie, Indiana pursuing a double major in Government and Chinese Studies. During the summer of 2014 he worked as a geocoder for AidData, a research consortium that aims to improve the transparency of development finance information. On campus, Michael assists Professor Maurits van der Veen of the Government department with research on international development in Nepal, and continues to work with AidData part time. His academic interests are in development, international security, and East Asian politics. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, keeping up to date on current events, and participating in as many intramural sports as possible. Michael is looking forward to studying in D.C. and learning about potential career options.

Cora Stern

Cora Stern is a sophomore at the College and is originally from Arlington, VA.  She is pursuing a major in International Relations with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. On campus, she is involved in the William and Mary Ultimate Frisbee Club and is the Officer of Communications for Hillel. Cora has a passion for the Middle East and is planning to go abroad to continue her studies of Arabic. She hopes to work to dissolve barriers between Muslims and Jews by providing education to combat misrepresentation and ignorance in order to foster a culture of understanding and respectful discourse. Cora enjoys playing the violin as a member of the Appalachian Music Ensemble, traveling, playing with her dog, and spending time with family and friends. Cora looks forward to setting aside her lifeguard tube for the summer and experiencing everything the DC Summer Institute has to offer. 

Nathan Thomas

Nathan is a rising senior from Nashville Tennessee with a double major in government and history.  His academic interests include: American politics, European and American history, foreign affairs, and environmental policy.  Though he visited DC as a kid, it has been a more than few years since he spent time in the nation’s capital.  This summer he looks forward to really seeing what the city has to offer as place to live and work. He hopes to expand his perspectives on the policymaking process and to better understand the partisan climate particularly how it may affect American standing in the international community.  Outside of the classroom, Nathan is a member of William and Mary’s track and cross-country teams. He currently serves as secretary of the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), through which he has taken part in a number of service projects in the Williamsburg community.  In addition to running and school his interests include reading, outdoor activities, music, and travel.

Jen Vogl
Jen Vogl

Jennifer Vogl is a current junior at the College of William & Mary pursuing a double major in international relations and economics. Hailing from outside the Twin Cities in Minnesota, she is excited to spend this upcoming summer in DC studying and working, having enjoyed the city as a tourist. On campus, she is involved with the International Relations Club and its Model UN team as well as the Shotokan Karate club as a 5 kyu. Jennifer loves travelling and learning languages, particularly French and Modern Standard Arabic and some of its dialects. She has studied abroad in two locations: Rabat, Morocco and Lille, France. She hopes that studying political science abroad will translate into a more well-rounded perspective of policy, both foreign and domestic, at the American Politics Institute. In her free time, she loves following her Minnesota Vikings and the Twins, but more often than not they make her sad.

Warner, A
Andrew Warner

Andrew Warner is a junior at the College and is double majoring in International Relations and Economics. He originally hails from the town of Pelham, NY, right outside of New York City. On campus, Andrew is an active member of the W&M International Relations Club, having been a director for multiple conferences and a member of the secretariat for last year’s W&M Middle School Model UN Conference, as well as having been a delegate at six collegiate model UN conferences thus far. Andrew is also an active member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity and a reviewer for the Monitor Journal of International Studies. Andrew is particularly interested in the Middle East and spent last summer improving his Arabic language skills by studying abroad in Amman, Jordan. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys hanging out with friends and watching new movies and TV shows.

Harrison Reiff