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Current Students


Amorim, Mariana
Policy Interests: Gender and Equality Policies
Major Professor: Scott Akins, Sociology 
Internships: Sable House; Benton County, OR Sheriffs Department
Award: Graduate Internationalization Grant, Oregon State University  
Home Country: Brazil

I am Brazilian and I completed my undergraduate studies in Business at Federal University of Pernambuco. During this period, I dedicated myself to research in projects related to social movements, landless movement, cultural organization, meanings of work, and eco-feminism; I was also a volunteer in organizations that worked with oppressed women, theater of the oppressed, micro-credit, and social activism in Brazil. My country, and more specifically my state, suffers from high rates of violence against women, and this is one of the reasons I want to focus on gender and equality policies during the MPP program.

Arce, Rebecca
Policy Interests: Social/International Policy
Major Professor: Amy Below, Political Science 
Internship: City of Albany, Oregon; Community Outreach, Inc.

My greatest achievement was the birth of my son in 2009. Receiving my undergraduate degree in 2012 from Columbia College is a close second. Currently I live in Albany, Oregon with my little family while I attend the MPP program at OSU.

Before coming to Oregon I spent most of my free time working in community gardens, campaigning for state and local officials, and building Legos with my son. I also managed to intern for Senator Claire McCaskill. The issues that are close to me involve a wide range of topics from international relations to the environment. All these issue come back to the community and how we address social issues that affect minorities, health care, education, and corporate responsibility.

  Bene, Heather
Policy Interests: Social
Major Professor: Brent S. Steel, Political Science 
Internship: OSU Governmental Relations
Awards: Laurels Scholarship


Masuda, Yosuke
Policy Interests: 
 Environmental Policy
Major Professor: 
Edward Weber
Home Country: Japan

Berzins, Mik
Policy Interests: Environmental Policy
Major Professor:  

My public policy interests are based in environmental policy. For my undergraduate studies I attended the Ohio State University and majored in fisheries and wildlife biology, additionally, I was a student athlete as a member of the varsity men’s volleyball team. A desire to more directly mitigate societal impacts on the environment pushed my interests away from the biological science side of environmental studies and towards the policy side. Outside of academics I enjoy playing all kinds of sports, hiking, and pretending to be a chef.



Bragg, Mathew
Policy Interests: Environment and Energy
Major Professor:  Denise Lach, Sociology
Internship: Oregon Department of Energy

I grew up in Champaign, Illinois and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an undergraduate. While at Illinois I studied Atmospheric Science and conducted research on climate change impacts and adaptation in urban areas of the United States. This research sparked my interest in climate change policy, ultimately leading me to the MPP program here at Oregon State University. While at OSU I look forward to working on research projects in the areas of environmental and energy policy. In my free time I enjoy many outdoor activities like running, biking, skiing, and fishing. I am also an avid soccer player and fan.


Brainerd, Christopher
Policy Interests: Social
Major Professor:  Robert Sahr, Political Science

I grew up in Amherst, MA, a college town very similar to Corvallis in a lot of respects. I Graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2010 with a BA in economics, and spent the next several years growing more and more interested in issues of the way our values influence we talk about policy. My concentration here at OSU is social policy, and I hope to bring my background in economics together with my interest in language to address the effects and stigma associated with bankruptcy in the United States.




Bugden, Dylan
Policy Interests: 
Energy and Environment
Major Professor: Hilary Boudet, Sociology
Internship: National Socio-Economic Synthesis Center

My name is Dylan Bugden and I came to the MPP program from the University of Idaho, where I received my undergraduate degree in conservation social science. I am passionate about protecting natural resources and vulnerable communities from undue exploitation, and believe that the best way to do that is through direct and effective public policy.

My concentration here at OSU will be in energy and environmental policy. I am specifically interested in developing policy schemes which encourage and enforce environmentally responsible corporate behavior.


Campbell, Shannon
Policy Interests: 
Major Professor:  Mark Edwards, Sociology
Internship: Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services
Awards: Provost's Distinguished Graduate Fellowship

I was born in Illinois, but grew up in Montana and have considered myself a Montana girl ever since. I attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, where I received my degree in political science with a minor in history in 2009. While there, I did a legislative advocacy internship at Hesed House, one of Illinois' largest homeless shelters. I was the sole person in my little policy department at the time, and ended up researching and writing a legislative initiative with a statewide interest group. This experience, combined with my time at Hesed House getting to know the residents and staff, made clear to me what I really wanted to do with my life.

After Wheaton, I spent a year and a half working with gifts-in-kind at a rescue mission in Spokane/Coeur d'Alene, and then a year in Naperville, IL, having fun working as resident content and social media strategist at a graphic design/advertising firm.

I met my husband Chase my junior year at Wheaton, and we've been married for nearly three years now. We're both very happy to be back in the Northwest, and I'm looking forward to learning and growing in the MPP program at OSU! My plan is to concentrate in social policy, with a particular focus on poverty and homelessness, in the hopes of returning to nonprofit-based legislative advocacy work.



Chen, Zhe
Policy Interests: International Policy
Major Professor:  
Home Country: China

I’m Zhe Chen from China. I received my B.A. in English Language and Literature at Zhejiang University. I was drawn to MPP program at OSU because I want to pursue something new. I believe that Public Policy will give me a new perspective and skills to make a difference. My concentration here would be international policy.



Cochran, Aaron
Policy Interests: Science & Technology Policy
Major Professor: 

I was born in Natchitoches, LA and spent most of my life growing up in Menomonie, WI. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stout with a B.S. in Applied Science, concentrating in Nanotechnology. My interests in Policy are diverse, but primarily centered around the dangers and costs of scientific illiteracy and science denial.







Davidson, Ian
Policy Interests: Energy and Transportation Policy
Major Professor:  Sally Duncan, Oregon Policy Analysis Laboratory
Internship: Oregon Department of Energy

I was born and raised in Federal Way, WA, a suburb to the south of Seattle, WA. I took advantage of a program called "Running Start," which allowed me to attend a local community college for my junior and senior year of high school, fulfilling my high school and collegiate requirements. With an AA in hand, I continued my studies at BYU, in Provo, UT. History became my major field of study, but after my first year at BYU I took a two year hiatus to go on a proselytizing mission in southern Brazil. History provided a backdrop of context for the world and its workings. After much deliberation I decided Public Policy would be best suited for me. I am interested in Energy and Transportation policy along with the idea of collaboration among differing parties to achieve the best possible policies for the community as a whole.


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Dorkenou, Kwami
Policy Interests: 
Major Professor:  David Bernell, Political Science
Awards: Fulbright Scholar (Togo) 

I am from Togo (West Africa) and I have an Electrical Engineering background. After my graduation I worked a few months with an environmental NGO before joining the department of energy of my country. My work as a research analyst allowed me to engage with professionals from diverse background (public, private, non-profit, Law, Economics, Business, environment), and showed me how complex is the issue of energy, namely its access in rural areas and with regard to the current constraints such as climate change and environmental sustainability. Thus my willingness to gain the necessary skills to engage productively in the discussion.


Dunn, Zachary
Policy Interests: International Development
Major Professor:
Elizabeth Schroeder, Economics
Internship: International Development Exchange
Awards: Laurels Scholarship 2013-14, Boren Fellowship for International Research

I was born in Corvallis, Oregon and grew up nearby in Albany. After high school I attended Oregon State University and received my B.S. in ecological engineering with a minor in peace studies. As an undergraduate student I was a volunteer for Engineers Without Borders USA, a humanitarian organization that partners with low-income communities around the world to help meet basic human needs. As a member of EWB-USA I traveled to western Kenya to work on a clean water project in a village called Lela. The experience got me hooked on international development. I was later accepted to the Master of Public Policy program at OSU for graduate study.


Eckstein, Jeremy
Policy Interests: Energy
Major Professor: Vijay Satyal, Oregon Department of Energy
Awards: Laurels Scholarship

I was born in Cologne, Germany and moved to study in California when I was 18. After finishing my studies at the University of California Santa Cruz, I moved to San Francisco and worked with the Elections Department there for several years; implementing local, state and national elections. Through working at the local elections department I learned about international elections projects. The work caught my attention, and I began working internationally. I had the privilege to be part of events like the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the first-post conflict-elections in Liberia, the rebuilding of the electoral and democratic system in Bangladesh, and was a part of the many aspects of implementing the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Process. I also had the opportunity to work on election processes in Nepal, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, El Salvador, Venezuela, Georgia, Montenegro, Albania and Serbia.

Now that the travel has worn me down, I'm looking forward to getting into local energy issues.



Gantla, Snehalatha
Policy Interests: Sustainability and Agriculture/Food Policy
Major Professor: Larry Lev, Applied Economics
Internship: Student Sustainability Initiative
Awards: Transatlantic Students Symposium Fellowship; Laurels Scholarship

I was born in a small town in Southeast India and moved to the Chicago suburbs when I was 11. Until my move to Oregon to attend grad school, I spent all of my time in the Midwest, except for a brief stint in New York City for a summer. I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I studied Sociology and English. After graduating in 2010, I spent two years working at a litigation firm in Chicago and realized law school was a terrible idea. Looking back, I would have to say my interest in policy really grew when I was working on my Sociology major completion. But it was during the last year that my interest became more geared towards sustainability and agriculture/food policy. Specifically, I'm interested in localized food systems in the context of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. When choosing Oregon State the main influencing factors were that the program placed a strong emphasis on community and social progress and the state of Oregon has mountains and forests.

Gaustad, Brittany V.
Policy Interests: International Environmental Policy

I am from Onalaska, Wisconsin. I completed my B.S. in Psychology with a Child Youth Care minor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. As an undergraduate, I founded and led a student group, S.P.E.A.K., that focused on community outreach and local environmental issues. I interned at Bluff Country Family Resources, a center that supports families afflicted with domestic abuse. In particular, I worked with the Child Programs Coordinator to organize educational activities and provide family support services. I also worked as an environmental educator in Colorado.

During my free time, I like to draw and paint. I enjoy exploring and adventuring outdoors to find beautiful views and wildlife.

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Grandolfo, Joseph
Policy Interests: Rural/Food Policy
Major Professor: Nancy Rosenberger, Anthropology 
Internship: League of Women Voters
Awards: International Comparative Rural Policy Studies Fellowship




Gwin, Sara
Policy Interests: Social
Awards: Laurels Scholarship 

I grew up in Salem, Oregon and came to OSU on a lost Civil War bet. As hard as it was to be a Duck fan attending OSU, I ended up really liking the campus and the community and decided not to transfer. I received a B.S. in Women Studies with minors in Sociology and Psychology. While I would have loved to go into a graduate program in Women Studies, I was drawn to Public Policy because it would give me a new skill set and a different perspective for addressing social problems. I originally wanted to attend a graduate program in a big city far away from small town Oregon, but the MPP program here was far too impressive to pass up. I plan to concentrate in Social Policy with a focus on health policy, particularly as it affects women.



Hickman, Rose
Policy Interests:
Social and Rural Policy
Major Professor:  Bruce Weber, Applied Economics
Awards: International Comparative Rural Policy Studies Fellowship
Internship: Community Action Partnership of Oregon

I am originally from San Diego, CA but spent my High School years in Sacramento, CA. I received my Bachelors degree in International Relations and Latin American studies at George Washington University in Washington, DC. During my Junior year I studied abroad in Ecuador and Oaxaca, Mexico, where I conducted research on identity and immigration in rural African diaspora communities.

Upon graduating I moved to Seattle, WA where I served as an AmeriCorps member in a diverse High School. I've also worked in Seattle as a program manager for a high school drop-out prevention mentoring program, a case manager for homeless youth, and finally as a manager for an international exchange company. I was attracted to the OSU MPP program because of it's unique focus on Rural policy and it's emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and diverse research methods.

My research interests include poverty alleviation and sustainable community development in rural areas. I am currently interested in program evaluation and methods for ensuring that policies are formulated and implemented to build the capacity of local communities and provide the best possible outcomes for vulnerable populations.



Hughes, Jack
Policy Interests:
Environmental, Rural Policy

I grew up on a farm in Illinois that my family has owned for generations. I first left the cornfields to attend DePaul University in Chicago. Since then I've worked mostly for non-profits in various positions. In 2007, I joined the Montnana Conservation Corps based out of Kalispell. I spent my summers living outdoors and doing trail maintenance, habitat restoration, historical renovation, and community service projects. In my final position, I coordinated project logistics, developed region-wide and crew specific trainings, conducted field visits, and designed educational lessons for field crews. I loved working for an organization that challenged both my physical endurance and professional skills.

After five seasons with the MCC, I decided that I wanted to be more involved in strengthening communities and the environment. This led me to the MPP at Oregon State. I am interested in studying collaborative governance in rural communities



Ivlieva, Anastasiia
Policy Interests: International Policy
Home Country: Ukraine

I was born and raised in Ukraine. I received my undergraduate degree in Economics in 2013 and decided to continue my studies at OSU. I chose MPP program because of the unique combination of different disciplines and research opportunities. I am interested in studying policies of international organizations regarding developing countries. I am very excited to be a part of this program and I hope to make a contribution to its academic community.


Janssen, Kyle
Policy Interests: Social
Major Professor: Mark Edwards, Sociology 
Internship: Community Outreach, Inc., Corvallis, Oregon 
Awards: Laurels Scholarship; International Comparative Rural Policy Studies Fellowship

I was born in Pocatello, Idaho, and lived there until I moved to La Grande, Oregon to study journalism and run track at Eastern Oregon University. I graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts, concentrating on journalism with minors in sociology and communications. After graduating, I served two years as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member at The Idaho Foodbank in Boise, Idaho. My work included the up-build and oversight of a statewide children’s nutrition program, as well as research and implementation of an education program on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. My research interests include poverty, particularly the cycle of poverty, food insecurity, and public health.


Jones, Alisha
Policy Interests: Crime/Social Policy

I was born and raised in Oregon. I lived in Bend for most of my life and jumped at the chance to move to the Oregon Valley as I wanted to experience the rain rather than shoveling snow all winter. I moved to Independence, Oregon and began my first year of college in 2009. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 2013.

During my studies I worked in Public Safety and interned with Yamhill County Parole and Probation office. During my internship I started to notice how difficult it was to help offenders in Oregon as they left the system. Recidivism was a term that became extremely well known to me. My senior year at Western I began to contemplate different policy concerns about recidivism and eventually found my way to the OSU Public Policy program. I am very excited to be a part of the OSU community and am looking forward to the next two years.



Karakushi, Alida
Policy Interests: 
Social Policy
Major Professor:  
Awards: Fulbright Scholar (Albania) 

Alida Karakushi is a Fulbright scholar from Albania currently pursuing a master's degree in Public Policy at Oregon State University. Alida holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of New York in Tirana. She regularly contributes articles on current social and political issues to the Tirana Observer, Gazeta, and Gazeta Idea. Her blog "The Art of Living" has given a voice to those in Albania who consider the conventional media's role too circumscribed by business and political interests.



Kelly, Anna
Policy Interests: 
Environmental Policy
Major Professor:  

I am from Colorado, and received my bachelor's degree at Colorado State University in Sociology in 2008. In my undergraduate education I worked mostly on issues of criminal justice and on the measurement of sustainability indicators. I moved to Seoul, South Korea after graduation. I volunteered in sustainable development and permaculture in Mexico, and worked for a brewery that produced the only microbrews for all of the city of Patzcuaro. OSU attracted me because of the strength of the faculty and the previous graduates. My work in Mexico and Korea made me really interested in both waste and water policy issues around sustainable development in both rural and high-density urban areas.



Korejwa, Elise
Policy Interests: 
Science and Technology Policy
Major Professor:  

I was raised on the south coast of Massachusetts, where I also earned my B.S. in "Quantitative Public Policy Analysis." I immediately got involved in state policy, interning for the John Adams Innovation Institute of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Based on the quality of my contribution to the Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, I was hired the following year as the Program Research Analyst. However, I decided to set my sights higher, first by obtaining an M.S. in statistics and now by pursuing the Master's of Public Policy. I am currently interested in all aspects of science and technology policy, from innovation-based economic development, to research ethics, to the role of scientists in the policy process. What little free time I have, I spend hiking the beautiful Oregon landscape.



Kuletz, Ivan
Policy Interests: Environmental

I am a first-year public policy master’s student with a desire to investigate fisheries policy in Bristol Bay, Alaska. My policy interests have grown out of my undergraduate degree in Biology and Writing, my work as a field researcher, and the seven seasons I have spent as a commercial fishing deckhand in Bristol Bay. You can learn more at my website



Levering, Matt
Policy Interests: Science and Technology Policy

I was born in Palo Alto, California and raised in Salem, Oregon. My undergraduate education took place at Linfield College, just a short distance from Oregon State. I received a B.S. in Economics as well as a minor in French. My work there focused on salmon entrapment at Bonneville Dam and the human factors that have caused change in return rates. Recently, I have shifted my interests towards the field of behavioral economics.

During the past year, before I began the MPP program, I served as a literacy tutor in Santa Barbara through AmeriCorps. I would recommend this program to anyone that is looking for a way to give back to their country or community. It also gave me time to think about what the next step I wanted to make in my future education and career.

My interests outside of school include tennis, reading, being outdoors, cooking and being a soccer fan.


Liao, Shaoshan ("Ella")
Policy Interests: 
International Policy (economic/social)
Major Professor: Carol Tremblay, Economics
Home Country: China

I was born in Zhongshan, a small but beautiful city near Guangzhou and HongKong in China. My major was business administration when I was an undergraduate. After graduating from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, I worked for half a year in a branch of China Construction Bank. Then I decided to quit the job to do something more meaningful in my life. Going on further study in the U.S has always been a dream to me. The reason why I chose Oregon State University is that it has breathtaking landscapes around the campus and it provides a great academic platform where we can fully display our talents and make a difference. And I believe the MPP program will help me to achieve my career goal in public service. My policy interest is international policy. Specifically, I am fond of doing researches in international economic policies and social policies. I enjoy the life here in Corvallis and I am excited to experience different cultures.


Martins Marcos, Patrícia
Policy Interests: Science and Technology Policy, Public and Social Value of Science, History of Science, Technology and Innovation
Major Professor:  Brent Steel, Denise Lach
Award: Fulbright Fellow
Home Country: Portugal

I have a fairly mixed background that started with the completion of my undergraduate studies in History at the Universidade Nova of Lisbon. While attending the last year of undergraduate school, I started working as a researcher for the Contemporary History Institute at the Universidade Nova and analyzed data on the history of what is now the European Union. There, my work focused on the institutional ties the Portuguese dictatorship maintained with international institutions between 1945 and 1974 - I still cooperate with the Institute namely, in a project that proposes to carry out a Historical Observatory of Innovation.

I then moved to Denmark in 2007 and started my studies in a Master of Public Administration that specialized in EU Studies – University of Roskilde. Overall, I lived in Copenhagen for five years, and four of which I spent with the wonderfully cooperative and international EU Affairs team at Ramboll Management. We did a lot of public policy and program evaluation in a multitude of different areas for the European Commission, and on occasion, the Parliament as well. Having felt the need to further specialize, I decided to take up the challenge of moving again and applied for a Fulbright scholarship in the beginning of 2012. More and a year and a half later, the wait was over and I finally arrived here in Oregon, at the School of Public Policy. Here I hope to focus on the interlinks between science and society i.e. the role of scientists in policy, and a complex range of impacts that scientific development brings about in terms of the socio-economic and cultural status quo.


Masuda, Yosuke
Policy Interests: 
 Environmental Policy
Major Professor:
Edward Weber
Home Country: Japan

I was born and raised in Kumamoto, a rural part of Japan. I moved to Yokohama (a big city next to Tokyo) to attend Yokohama National University when I was 18. There I recieved my B.L.A. and Master of Environmental Managemnt. After graduating, I worked for an Environmental Consulting Company for a year, where I participated in Carbon Capture and Storage projects. Then, I went back to Yokohama National University for my PhD, but now I am taking a leave of absence to study in the MPP program.

In terms of research interests, when I was a master student in Japan, I focused on Biodiversity Offset policies (e.g., wetland mitigation policy or conservation banking). I am planning to continue this research here too.



Mathur, Shivani
Policy Interests: 
 International Policy, Energy Policy
Major Professor: 

Home Country: India

I grew up in Pune, India where I completed my undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering. The degree gave me a rigorous background in quantitative analysis and problem solving but I wanted to see its real time application in the development context. So I gained professional work experience in the development sector while keeping a focus on energy and environmental issues. I worked as a researcher at Auroville Energy Products for less than a year, where I was part of a team designing solar energy solutions for community transportation in villages. FurtherI worked as a researcher at the grassroot and policy level with Development Alternatives (DA), a 30 year old non-profit and research think tank in India working on sustainable development issues in rural India. It provided me an excellent opportunity to bring a practice to policy connect particularly in renewable energy while working with the community and policy makers for more than two years.

While my policy interests are varied I would like to focus on international development issues particularly of developing countries and also international energy issues particularly renewable energy.


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McGie, Darrell
Policy Interests: Energy
Major Professor:  David Bernell, Political Science
Internship: Oregon Department of Energy; City of Albany, Oregon




McKenna, Julia
Policy Interests: 
 Social Policy: homelessness, poverty, and LGBTQ+ rights.
Major Professor: 

Internship: Community Outreach, Inc.

I grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania. I graduated with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in Spanish from Penn State University in 2010. During my undergraduate studies I was most interested in classes that examined perspectives and experiences of women and racial minorities. I enjoyed being a part of the social psychology research process while completing my undergraduate thesis and during a summer internship at UC Santa Barbara. After graduating, I stayed in State College working as an AmeriCorps member with youth who were homeless, on juvenile probation, or placed through Children and Youth Services. Through working with the Centre County Youth Service Bureau (a private non-profit) and working with 17-21 year olds who were in difficult family, economic, social, and educational situations I became interested in public policy and social issues.

I came out to southern Oregon to visit my sister last summer and it felt like home. I enjoy the outdoors and team sports (basketball, soccer, rugby) as well as board and card games. I am happy to be back in school and can see myself being part of the research/ policy analyst branch of an organization with a cause I am passionate about.





Merritt, Joshua
Policy Interests: Energy

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. After a few years attending junior college in Santa Cruz,CA, I decided on mechanical engineering for my undergrad degree. I then transferred to Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) to complete my degree. Nearing graduation, I knew that I wanted to work in renewable energy, and had decided I wanted to pursue my masters in mechanical engineering with a focus on ocean wave energy here at Oregon State University.

After some self-reflection, I decided that while I love the technical side of renewable energy, I feel that I could make a greater impact from a policy and regulation standpoint, so I applied to the MPP here at OSU, and look forward to research topics related to renewables and energy policy. In my spare time, I love to play rugby. I play for the local men's team here in Corvallis and have been playing for over a decade now.

Miller, Alethia
Policy Interests: Social / Education
Major Professor:  Andrew Valls, Political Science
Internships: Oregon University System; Oregon Legislative Fellowship

While obtaining my Bachelor of Arts degree in politics from Willamette University, I was able to experience policy-making firsthand as a student commissioner for the Oregon Student Access Commission. As a commissioner, I helped allocate the largest state need-based grant in Oregon (the Oregon Opportunity Grant). I also had the opportunity to intern for Congressman Kurt Schrader in Salem, where I learned of the complexities in federal legislation and congressional districts.

During the summer and fall quarter, I assisted the Higher Education Coordinating Commission on the textbook affordability workgroup and the final report was issued to the legislature. Currently I am working full-time for the Oregon State Legislature, in committee services, while assisting the three education committees in both the House and Senate. In the future I would like to continue being a part of the policy process that benefits the social needs of citizens.


Miller, Stacey
Policy Interests: Environment
Major Professor:  Denise Lach, Sociology
Dual Degree: Marine Resource Management  

As a young child growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, I had dreams of swimming with dolphins and saving ocean inhabitants from the detrimental effects of human activities. This dream led to the pursuit of an undergraduate degree in environmental biology from Millersville University (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and a semester abroad with the School for Field Studies in Puerto San Carlos, Mexico.  During the field school, I experienced the intimate connection, dependency and respect in which individuals and fishing communities have with, on and for, their marine resources.  These experiences, along with the completion of a MS degree in Marine Resource Management from OSU, promoted a strong interest for investigating resource management problems from a multidisciplinary approach.

I began my career in fisheries as a fishery observer in the Bering Sea and now work as a fisheries biologist for NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center as the west coast groundfish stock assessment coordinator. I coordinate fishery research activities and our scientific peer review process, which require me to work closely with fishery scientists, social scientists, economists, and fishery managers.  Over the course of my career, I’ve realized that I’m not only a “fish head” but I also love understanding, thinking about, and researching the social and economic conditions which motivate human behavior, the incentives (sometimes perverse) created by well-intentioned public policies, and how scientific uncertainty affects decision-making and is translated into public policy.  I’m excited to join the MPP program to expand my understanding of environmental policy but even more importantly, I’m excited to learn the skills to make a difference in our ever changing world.



Moreno, Arlyn
Policy Interests: Social Policy 

I was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the USA at the age of 13. Adapting to the culture and learning English was not easy. I graduated from Oregon State University this past summer with an Honors Bachelor of Science. I did my undergraduate studies in BioResource Research. Having the opportunity to work at Oregon Social Learning Center, and being involved in social research is where my interest for Public Policy began. My concentration here at OSU is in Social Policy.



Murugesan, Sandeep
Policy Interests: Social
Major Professor:
Vic Tremblay, Economics
Internship: The Trakshashila Institute
Home Country: India

I am Sandeep and I was born and brought up in Coimbatore, India. I completed my undergraduate studies in Electronics and Communication Engineering. After graduating, I joined an IT conglomerate and worked as a systems engineer for about three years. During this time I developed a keen interest for economics and public policy. I joined OSU to pursue my academic interest and to interact, collaborate and work with people from diverse backgrounds. I aspire to be a policy researcher/analyst, ideally working in the public sector.


Murzeau, Claire
Policy Interests: International
Major Professor: 
Sarah Henderson, Political Science
Internship: City of Albany, Oregon
Home Country: France

I am French and was born in Paris, but grew up in various places in France, following my parents’ jobs. I obtained my B.S in Applied Foreign Languages at the Sorbonne University in Paris, with my major languages being English and German, and Swedish as a minor. I then moved to Aix-en-Provence, in South East France, where I earned my M.A in European Studies. This led me to do an internship at a consulting agency that mainly wrote grant proposals to obtain public funding, both from the French government and from the European Union. My focus was on small and medium business and their projects proposals for European funding. This sparked my interest for trade relations between the US and the EU and how it might affect such businesses.


Nguyena, Mai
Policy Interests: 
 Social/Educational Policy
Major Professor: 

Home Country: Vietnam

For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to help fix other people and their problems, voluntarily and involuntarily, from Vietnam to the U.S. Eventually I figured the best way to do that on a grand scheme is to get a degree in public policy. I like OSU's MPP program because given so many kind of problems in the world today, the program's advocacy for interdisciplinary training is timely, ambitious, and promising. That works well with my undergrad background in economics. During this first term in the program, I have my mind set on social/education policy because I think education fixes a lot of problems. But as the journey unfolds I might find something else that is more pressing and interesting.




Nguyen-Ventura, Jessica
Policy Interests: 
 Social Policy
Major Professor: 

Home Country: Japan

My family immigrated to the states when I was five. I grew up undocumented in North Portland and received permanent resident status in 2008 and my citizenship in 2011. Concurrently, I received a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Portland State University. After college, I worked with Basic Rights Oregon, a leading non-profit in Oregon for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender rights, and spent two session in the Oregon Legislature- once as an intern during college for Senator Ginny Burdick and then as Chief of Staff for State Representative Joseph Gallegos during the 2013 regular session.

My experiences as a person of color in Oregon have shaped not only my personal life but my professional career as well. I am mostly concern with policies that affect communities of color, issues of poverty, equity and equality, diversity & inclusion policies, higher education, labor economics, immigration policies as well as income inequality issues and LGBT issues. I want to focus my research so that it can contribute to the policy making process here in Oregon and in turn, contribute to my community.


O'Casey, Elizabeth 
Policy Interests: 
Rural Environmental Policy
Major Professor: Edward Weber, Political Science
Internship: National Park Service
Awards: International Comparative Rural Policy Scholarship

Growing up on a Christmas tree farm bordering a national park, I’ve seen instances of both tension and collaboration between rural communities and federal bodies. I hope to work on issues related to rural environmental policy for the purpose of increasing community resilience and park-community relations.

Prior to attending OSU, two jobs in particular impacted my current interests. The first was working in several rural Thai schools as a Peace Corps volunteer and the second job was working as an interpretive ranger in North Cascades National Park. In the Northern Thai villages, I encouraged students to grow beyond society’s projections for them and become regional leaders in the rural environmental movement. While at North Cascades, I witnessed tremendous dissonance between the park’s conservation policies and the community’s acceptance of these policies. This experience left me searching for ways to unite community-based resource management with federally-based resource management.

I’m thrilled to be a part of the MPP program at OSU. I chose Oregon State University’s MPP program for several reasons. OSU and the MPP program are active in rural communities around the state, working with natural resources management bodies and community stakeholders.


Osborne-Gowey, Jeremiah
Policy Interests: Science Technology and Policy Policy interests: science communication, environment, water, climate change
Major Professor: Brent S. Steel, Political Science 
Internship: American Fisheries Society

Jeremiah is an aquatic/landscape ecologist with over 15 years of Federal, State, educational and private and non-profit consulting experience throughout the Western United States. He has an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife and a Master of Science degree in Quantitative Fish Ecology, both from Oregon State University. While Jeremiah?s research has focused primarily on fish and aquatic communities, he has worked with a variety of organisms including amphibians, mollusks, ungulates, cougar and lynx, owls, songbirds, voles, plants and fungi. Consequently, he has conducted research in a variety of systems including terrestrial, aquatic (freshwater, marine, estuarine), arboreal, desert, sagebrush steppe, subalpine, coastal and montane, and with ubiquitous, sensitive, native and introduced species.

In recent years, Jeremiah has served as Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society - the world's largest and oldest organization dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of fisheries resources and aquatic ecosystems - developing policy briefs and advising legislators on the potential implications new legislation may have on aquatic ecosystems.

Jeremiah's interests are diverse and include statistics, ecology, behavioral interactions, community structure, impacts of introduced species, science communication and policy and the interplay between humans and the rest of the natural world. Personally, Jeremiah enjoys spending time with his family, friends and animals. Favorite activities include camping, backpacking, fishing, hunting, SCUBA diving, fly tying, traveling, photography, reading, gardening, geocaching, and homebrewing.


Roper, Daniel
Policy Interests: 
Environmental Policy

 I grew up in the Great Lakes region, and earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina in Asheville. After some years traveling around building and maintaining trails for the USFS and Park Service, I moved to Oregon to study agriculture and work on an organic produce farm. I chose the MPP program at OSU with an environmental policy concentration because I want to learn to think critically about environmental and natural resource issues. I'm especially interested in the sustainable management of western public lands, conflict resolution, and wildlands conservation.

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Ruiz, Larry
Policy Interests: Social/Health
Major Professor: Brent S. Steel, Political Science
Internship: City of Albany, Oregon

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Sherman, Anna
Policy Interests: Science and Technology Policy
Major Professor: Denise Lach, Sociology
Internship: Hewlett-Packard


Sherry, Seth
Policy Interests: 
 Rural Development, Resilience and Sustainability Policy
Major Professor: 

Awards: Laurels Scholarship

I received my B.S. from Oregon State University in 2009. Although my degree was in the college of Crop and Soil Science, I was able to focus my studies on the relationship between communities and agriculture, mainly focusing on international agricultural development. Previous to attending college, I spent 2 years in the Netherlands and Belgium, where I fortunate to spend much of my time with political and economic refugees from around the world. It was with there that I began to be aware of the many challenges and pitfalls associated with development.

In the years following my undergraduate training, I worked as an agronomist in multiple US states and many countries overseas. My work focused on research and development around plant nutrition and soil health. Before returning to Oregon in 2012, my wife, two children and I, spent 1.5 years in Zambia as I managed research projects with governments, universities, NGO’s and private farmers throughout the southern African region.

I am grateful to be home again, learning about development challenges in my own backyard. I’m excited to be a part of the School of Public Policy at OSU and to have the opportunity to further develop skills and knowledge around rural development, resilience and sustainability.


Shevtsova, Iana
Policy Interests: 
Environmental and International Policy
Home Country:

I was born in beautiful Ukraine. I received my bachelor degree in Economics at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. I am interested in sustainable development concept as well as in global partnership concerning environmental and international policies. Besides studying, I like hiking and watching football. Also I am a professional rhythmic gymnast and dancer.

I am very excited to be a part of MPP program. I am sure that I’ll have great two years at OSU.



Spaeth, Andrew
Policy Interests: 
Rural Policy
Major Professor:  Bruce Weber, Applied Economics
Sweet Home All Lands Collaborative; Corvallis (Oregon) Arts and Cultural Commission
International Comparative Rural Policy Fellowship

My interests in wilderness recreation, education, agriculture, and more broadly the environment led me to Bemidji State University, where I pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies and applied public policy. In 2010, I graduated and began working in the nonprofit sector in Saint Paul. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership is the flagship environmental nonprofit in the state, advocating on behalf of 80 member organizations and over 400,000 Minnesotans. In my role with the partnership, I worked on nonpartisan candidate education and legislative outreach. Concurrently, I served as the State Chair of the Minnesota State University Student Association, which represents over 70,000 students in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. As the chief spokesperson of the association, I advocated for accessible and affordable higher education at the campus, state, and federal levels.

In the spring of 2011 I left Minnesota on a series of adventures. The first excursion was an eighty day canoe trip from Lake Superior to Hudson's Bay, retracing 1300 miles of historic fur-trade routes across the boreal forest. After a brief reprise, I spent six weeks in the Commonwealth of Dominica, where I observed the development of that country's first comprehensive national energy policy and sustainable energy plan. I returned to the states and found myself skiing and working in northern California. Following a short winter, I moved to the San Juan Islands in Washington State and immersed myself in organic agriculture and the local food system.


Stevens, Katelyn
Policy Interests: Prison Education Policy
Major Professor: Michelle Inderbitzen, Sociology 
Benton County Sheriff's Office
Awards: OUS Chancellor's Award for International Study

I have resided in Oregon all my life, first in eastern Oregon and now in Corvallis. I received my undergraduate degree in Sociology with an option in Crime and Justice in the spring of 2012 from Oregon State University where I found my interest in public policy. My participation in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program gave me insights into an unseen world.

I am currently volunteering in a youth facility in Salem, Oregon where I am able to tutor high school students and co-teach a book club. I sought the Master of Public Policy because of my interest in prison education policy as I am passionate about the role and implementation of prison programs in the Oregon Penitentiary System as they relate to reduced recidivism rates. I believe the Master of Public Policy will grant me the knowledge and experience to affect positive change, through education programs, for the youth and inmates of Oregon prisons.

Theis, Bryan
Policy Interests: 
Law, Crime and Policy
Major Professor: Scott Akins
Awards: 2013-14 Laurels Scholarship

I was born in Portland, Oregon and attended Silverton Union High School. I enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served in various locations in the US and overseas. After my military service I attended Chemeketa Community College and earned my AAOT, AGS, and AS, then transferred to Western Oregon University where I earned a BS in Social Science and Political Science and an MA in Criminal Justice. I am currently interested in studying veteran incarceration and other social and political issues that influence veteran reintegration.

Timilsina, Dinesh
Policy Interests: 
International and Trade Policy
Home Country: Nepal

I was born and raised in the lap of Himalayas, Nepal. I spent my childhood playing all around rivers, forest, mountains and the paddy fields. I had done my under graduate in Development studies from Kathmandu University. I was involved in a research last year as a part of my final year project for the completion of my degree. It was really a great experience; going among the people, knowing their aspiration, stuck emotionally with their sorrow, all these cumulated to drive me crazy for the same sort of research based degree. But I was looking forward to join an international institute to continue my study and OSU come on my way! Public policy in OSU is really astonishing. I love this city, Corvallis and the people around. A bit familiar with web world, I have done professional training on web designing and PHP/my SQL. My policy major will be international policy and I am interested in trade relationship among the nations. Beside study, I love trekking, white river rafting, paragliding or say all sort of adventurous trips!

Tran, Trang Chau
Policy Interests: 
International and Social Policy
Home Country: Vietnam

I’m Trang Chau Tran. I was born and raised in Danang, an enchanting coastal and riverine city in the middle of Vietnam. I got my BA in International Studies and I spent most of my college years working on interesting and constructive community projects between local governments and NGOs like Doctors without Borders, Giving it back to children, Kaiser … Bit by bit, these experiences have shaped my concern on community, society, education and children issues. I made it to USA and OSU and MPP with a great excitement and I feel like being bewitched with the scene, people, program and especially my cohorts.


Tuttle, Ryan
Policy Interests: Energy and Environmental Policy
Major Professor: David Bernell, Political Science 
Internship: U.S. Department of Energy
Awards: Provost's Distinguished Graduate Fellowship

I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon. Growing up as a boy scout in the Willamette Valley gave me ample opportunities to fall in love with some of the countless national forests in this beautiful state, it also shaped my appreciation and understanding of healthy ecosystems. I received my Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

While I was at GU, I spent a semester in the rainforests of northeastern Australia and had my first foray into the world of research. I also took part in developing Gonzaga’s Climate Action Plan to achieve climate neutral emissions. My studies have provided me with an understanding of the interconnected nature of environmental, social, and political issues. After a summer interning with the Department of Energy in Washington D.C., I come to Oregon State focused on the nexus of Energy and Environmental Policy – particularly the role that policy plays in combatting the great issue of our age: Global Climate Change.

After four years in the deserts of Eastern Washington I take great joy in finally returning to the rain-drenched west side of the Cascades. You can often find me shamelessly plugging the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, openly bemoaning the mediocrity of my favorite baseball team (the Mariners), or jumping for joy / wallowing in despair at the result of the latest Beavers or Zags game.



Vincent, Jennica
Policy Interests: Social (Education) Policy
Major Professor: Andrew Valls, Political Science 
Internship: OSU Academic Success Center

I came to OSU to pursue an MPP with a focus on civic engagement in Higher Education. I have previously worked in Student Services at Washington State University while earning an M.Ed in Counseling Psychology, at the WSU Disability Resource Center while earning a B.S. in Psychology with minors in Sociology and in French. I found my passion for teaching while instructing applied Psychology at WSU, as an interim psychology instructor at Pullman High School, and while teaching English & American Culture in a public high school in Lognes, France, while living in Paris. I also found my passion for not-waitressing while waitressing. This also sparked my interest in advocating for worker-owned cooperatives.

I am focusing on how volunteering and participating in civic service can help students get more from the university experience, as well as the community and democratic impact of volunteerism. In addition to teaching, my interest for the future is to develop a framework for student/mentor-guided service-learning projects that could be adopted by land grant universities as a part of fulfilling their mission to serve the community and for the betterment of society.

Before Washington, I grew up in New Jersey. Since France, I have lived in Idaho, Washington, Ohio, Virginia, and now Oregon, where I would like to stay until I move to the Mediterranean, whenever that happens... I enjoy the sun, the sea, food, yoga, singing, animals, debates, manual labor, and satire.



Wigtil, Gabe
Policy Interests: 
 Environmental and International Policy

I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and attended the University of Arizona for my undergraduate degree, majoring in Environmental Science. After graduation, I traveled to Brighton, UK for six months where I volunteered for an environmental charity that focused on land, air, and noise pollution policy. Returning to Tucson, I worked for nearly four years at a small non-profit environmental protection organization. I researched local policies, tracked local legislation, performed community outreach, developed donor relations, collaborated with our partners, and helped out with the myriad other tasks facing every small non-profit. I am now interested in studying and developing professional skills in international environmental policy, focusing particularly on endangered species conservation and the illegal wildlife trade.

Outside of class, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our three dogs.


Whinnery, Jaynie Lynn
Policy Interests: International
Major Professor: Elizabeth Schroeder, Economics
Awards: 2012-13 Boren Fellowship for International Research
Dual Degree: M.S. in Environmental Engineering

Originally from Bay City, a small town on the Oregon Coast, I moved to Corvallis in 2002 to purse my undergraduate degree at OSU in mechanical engineering. After graduating I worked as an engineer at Hewlett-Packard for a few years and also began volunteering with Engineers Without Borders. During this time I became increasingly interested in returning to school to focus global access to water and sanitation. I began my graduate studies in environmental engineering to understand water treatment technology, but decided to also pursue an MPP because of the integral role of society, economics, and policy in international development. Currently I am most interested in the impact, ownership, and sustainability of global water and sanitation initiatives.

Yorth, Bunny
Policy Interests: 
 Social and International Policies
Major Professor:
Bryan Tilt, Anthropology
Home Country: Cambodia
Awards: USAID Scholar 

Bunny was born in Battambang province, Cambodia, where is home to the good, the bad and the ugly because these can be easily observed in this country. He did his undergraduate degree in law (Cambodia) and graduate degree in development studies (Vietnam and Switzerland). He has more than six-year working experience in the areas of advocacy, human rights, community development and natural resources.

In the last few years, however, Bunny was very much involved with higher work responsibilities, especially at UNDP, from which he could see complex relationships among citizens, government and non-state actors and also understand the necessity of policies in supporting their work as well as protecting the richness of social, cultural and natural resources in Cambodia. Therefore, he is now pursuing this master of public policy at Oregon State University, aiming to graduate with social and international policy skills.