Meet our student bloggers:
Shelli Grogg is interning at Triangle Community Foundation this summer as one of their Shannon St. John Fellows. In addition to getting her MPA she is pursuing a Certificate in Health Disparities at UNC during her time in graduate school. She graduated from James Madison University with a double major in Justice Studies and Public Policy & Administration, as well as a minor in Nonprofit Studies. She is largely interested in Nonprofit Management, Public Health, and Cross-Sector Collaborations.
Alex Jones is an intern with Girls on the Run of the Triangle, a local nonprofit which inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. She earned her B.A. in Spanish and Political Science and Minors in International Business and Latin American Studies from the University of Delaware in 2015. Prior to entering the MPA program, Alex worked as a Collegiate Leadership Consultant for Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. In addition to her MPA, she is pursuing a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. Alex is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for youth leadership development with the Carolina MPA community!
Tara Nattress is an intern with the NC Department of Environmental Quality. She earned a BA in Political Science with minors in Social and Economic Justice and Classical Humanities from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2016. She is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina who is interested in the State and local government’s role in environmental and utility service provision and regulation.
Toney Thompson is an intern with the Town of Chapel Hill. He earned a BA in Public Policy from Duke University. Toney did political organizing and served in AmeriCorps before attending UNC’s MPA program. He is interested in local government management and public policy.
Eli Valsing is an intern with the town of Pine Knoll Shores, located on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, where she will work in the supervision of the town manager. Projects include groundwater quality measurement, parks and recreation survey and analysis, permitting software development, and visual preference ordinances. Prior to beginning the MPA@UNC online degree, Eli worked in the College of Design at NC State University and as a professional stage manager. Her undergraduate degree is in theater and English from the University of Massachusetts.
Martin Yeager is a dual-degree student in public administration and city and regional planning, and the president of the ICMA chapter at UNC. His studies focus on housing and community development, as well as city and county management, exploring the role of local government in advancing all residents. Originally from Louisville (KY), Martin graduated from Knox College in Galesburg (IL) with a bachelor’s degree in History and International Relations, and moved to Durham in 2012. Before joining the MPA program, he served as a caretaker in a group home for adults with autism, where he trained residents in life and vocational skills.
Heather Curry is interning with the Public School Forum of North Carolina in Raleigh, NC. She earned her BA in Political Science from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA. Heather was a 2009 Teach For America-Eastern North Carolina corps member in Bertie County and worked for the local Smart Start partnership in Rocky Mount before starting the MPA program.
Ellis Johnson II is a dual-degree master’s candidate in public administration and city and regional planning. Ellis is a local government generalist with an interest in how communities address inequality, especially as they manage economic development. After graduating from Michigan State in 2011, Ellis served as an Americorps Teaching Fellow with the nonprofit Citizen Schools, where he taught in an expanded learning time program and recruited, trained, and supported volunteer teachers. After Americorps, Ellis worked for three years at the NC School of Science and Mathematics where he worked residentially with students and taught leadership, public speaking, and financial planning. When not studying, Ellis enjoys photography, binge-watching Netflix, and playing with his dog, Fitz.
Adora Thayer is an intern with the Town of Zebulon, Town Manager’s Office. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in History, magna cum laude, from the University of South Carolina Aiken in 2014. Prior to entering the MPA program, she gained eight years of working experience in bankruptcy law and the federal court system. In addition to her MPA, she is pursuing a Minor in Public Policy. She is interested in strategic planning, human resource development, and city and county management.
Ashley Tucker is an intern with the City of Rocky Mount, Manager’s Office. She earned a BA in Psychology from Winston-Salem State University. Prior to entering the MPA program, Ashley served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Rocky Mount-Edgecombe Community Development Corporation. She is a dual-degree candidate with the UNC Department of City & Regional Planning.
Lindsay Carter works for the City of Albemarle, N.C. where she has held a variety of increasingly responsible positions in the finance department over the past six years. She graduated summa cum laude from the Western Carolina University Honors College in 2009 with a BS.Ed. in English as well as extensive experience in writing tutoring and in undergraduate publications, both as an editor and a writer. In addition to her work with the city, she volunteers on the local United Way board and coordinates the city’s United Way campaigns and blood drives. Lindsay plans to continue her work in local government in management or economic development with an ongoing commitment to volunteerism and community engagement.
Olivia Hammill is an intern with Granville County. She earned a BA in Political Science with a second major in Peace, War, and Defense and a minor in History from UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to entering the MPA program, Olivia worked in undergraduate admissions. She is interested in strategic communications and city and county management.
Meagan McDougall is an intern with the Chatham Economic Development Corporation, a local non-profit working out of and for Chatham county. She earned BA’s in Public Policy and African-American Studies from the University of Virginia. Meagan participated in a variety of on-campus service organizations during her time at UVa immediately prior to entering the MPA program.
Joe Maugeri is an intern with the Financial and Business Services Division of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. He graduated with a BA in Economics and Spanish from Wake Forest University in 2012. Prior to entering the MPA program, Joe served as a Teach For America Corps Member in Detroit, MI, where he taught high school mathematics.
Alexander Vazquez is an intern with the City of Durham’s Office of the City Manager. He earned a BA in Public Policy and Spanish from Duke University in 2011. Prior to pursuing his Master of Public Administration, Alexander gained valuable experience conducting program evaluations as a Research Assistant at MDRC, a social policy research organization in New York City.
Clara Von Ins lives and works in Santa Barbara California. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in education. She currently works with the American Red Cross and as an AmeriCorps member and volunteer with several community organizations. Clara plans to pursue a career in the nonprofit industry.
Paige Waltz is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech, where she studied Interior Design and Political Science. This summer, she will be working for the Committee on House Administration for the US House of Representatives. Having grown up in the DC suburbs, Paige hopes to return to the DC area to work for the federal government upon graduation.
Mike Silver is an assistant district attorney at the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office. He earned his BS in elementary education from North Carolina A&T State University and his JD from North Carolina Central University School of Law. Mike is a Governor McCrory appointee to the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission, board member on the Forsyth County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, and has been named most likely to “Leave Major Footprints in the City” by the Winston-Salem Journal.
Lena Geraghty is an intern with the Alameda Free Library in Alameda, CA. She earned a BA in Italian Literature and a minor in Political Science at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Lena has worked as a legal assistant for a San Francisco Bay Area wage-and-hour class action law firm representing employees while pursuing her MPA.
Brittany Clark is an intern with the nonprofit, Community Action Opportunities in Asheville, NC. She earned a BA in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Computer Science from Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. Brittany is a dual-degree student with the UNC-CH School of Social Work. She was an Americorps Volunteer with The Phoenix of New Orleans and worked in several nonprofit organizations prior to joining the MPA Program.
Kasey El-Chayeb is an intern with the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, part of US Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. She earned BA’s in Journalism and Mass Communication and Political Science from UNC Chapel Hill. Kasey was a public relations assistant for Comma, LLC. and has done a variety of other communication work.
Joseph Beasley is an intern for the Cities of Concord and Kannapolis, Managers’ Offices. He graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Spanish from NC State University. Prior to entering the MPA Program Joseph was a Constituent Services Intern and a Communications Fellow in the Office of North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue.
Rafael Baptista is an intern with the Catawba County, Manager’s Office. He earned a BA in Politics and Spanish from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He was the University’s 2012 Senior Key Recipient for Outstanding Service to the University and received the 2012 Office of Admission Franklin D. Meyer Student Ambassador Award. Rafael also blogs for the Emerging Local Government Leaders and Careers in Government websites.
Brittany Bennett is an intern with the Person County, N.C. Manager’s Office. She earned a BS in Anthropology and Human Biology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Immediately prior to joining the MPA program Brittany served as a Corps Member with City Year, Inc. in Columbia, SC.
Ashley Brown is an intern with the Town of Carrboro, N.C. Manager’s Office. She earned her BA in Journalism and History from Indiana University-Bloomington. Ashley was an Americorps member and the Nonprofit and Volunteer Programs Manager with the nonprofit Hands on Nashville in Nashville, TN. She is a dual-degree student with the School of Information and Library Science.
Nick Byrne is an intern with the Security – Corporate Services Division of SAS Institute in Cary, N.C. He earned his BA with distinction in Political Science and Geography from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the MPA program Nick served as Special Assistant to the N.C. State Treasurer. He is a dual-degree student with the School of Law.
Megan Dale is an intern with the Carolina Women’s Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her BA, summa cum laude, in History and English Literature from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Megan participated in a variety of volunteer activities while attending UTC.
Deepti Panjabi is an Education Pioneer Fellow with the Boston, MA Public School System. She earned her BA in Public Policy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Deepti served as an Americorps Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools of New York. Immediately prior to joining the MPA program she worked for the New York City Department of Education.
Summer 2012 Bloggers
Allie Moore is an intern with the Social Media Team at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland. She earned a BA in History, summa cum laude, from Beloit College. Allie is a dual-degree student with the School of Information and Library Science and an ESOPI2 Fellow. (ESOPI2 = Educating Stewards of the Public Information Infrastructure)
Mark Mallon is an intern with the City of Rocky Mount, Manager’s Office. He earned a BA in English and German, magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Mark served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Neuwied, Germany, a research assistant for the School of Government, and was a candidate for the Urbana City Council in Urbana, IL.
Ebony Perkins is an intern in the Public Relations, Media and Marketing Department for the City of Columbia, South Carolina. She earned a BS in Marketing from Claflin University. Ebony served as a research assistant with the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, an intern in the Office of Congressman James E. Clyburn, and president of Students in Free Enterprise at Claflin U.
Sana Khan is an intern with the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. She earned a BA in Political Science and History, with distinction, from UNC-Chapel Hill. Sana served as president of the Muslim Students Association at UNC-Chapel Hill and as a research assistant for the School of Government. She is the 2012 recipient of the Rothwell Scholarship.
Tim Reavis is an intern with the Orange County, Manager’s Office. He earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Arkansas. Tim is an Eagle Scout. He served as Senior Class President and worked as a case manager in a law firm prior to entering the MPA Program. Tim is a 2012 recipient of the Hayman-Howard-Wright Scholarship.
Summer 2011 Bloggers
Angel Banks is a summer intern with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She earned a BA in Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa. She has served as a research assistant for the School of Government and for the Center for Social and Behavioral Research at the University of Northern Iowa, as well as a summer fellow for the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.
Molly Boyle is a summer intern with Green Plus, a program of the Institute for Sustainable Development in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. She received a Monarch Scholarship to Old Dominion University and graduated with a BS in Psychology, summa cum laude. In 2008, she completed a summer study abroad program at the National University of Ireland- Galway. Molly has served as a research assistant at the School of Government.
August Caravalho is a summer intern with the City of Charlotte, Budget and Evaluation Office. He earned a BA in English and Political Science from the University of California, Davis. He has been a research assistant with the School of Government; management assistant with the City of Buena Park, California; and served an internship with the City of Davis, California. He is co-chair of the UNC Latino Graduate and Professional Student Organization.
Manal Khan is a summer intern with Wake County Department of Community Services in Raleigh, North Carolina. She earned a BA in Public Policy/International Studies, cum laude, from UNC-Chapel Hill where she served as program assistant for Carolina Navigators with the UNC Center for Global Initiatives. She was also a team member with a student consulting group for Durham Housing Authority. She is a UNC Public Service Scholar and was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
Stephen Moore is a summer intern with the North Carolina General Assembly, Speaker’s Office. He earned a BA in Biology and Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill. Moore has served as a legislative assistant in the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Federal Affairs and was vice president for governmental relations with the UNC Association of Student Governments.
Summer 2010 Bloggers
Barron Monroe is a summer intern with the US State Department in Shenyang, China. He earned a BA in History from Appalachian State University, where he served as vice president of the campus NAACP. He served as a cryptologic technician in the US Navy from 2003 to 2009 and as team leader for City Year, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan. Monroe is proficient in Chinese Mandarin.
Emily Portner is a summer intern with the Town of Chapel Hill, NC. She earned a BA in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has served as research assistant for the NC Local Government Commission, NC Office of the State Treasurer (2009-2010) and for the Campaign for Joe Hooe, Maryland House of Delegates (2006). She was also previously a program and policy intern for the Pima County Administrator’s Office in Tuscon, Arizona (2008 and 2009).
Safa Sajadi is a summer intern with the NC General Assembly, Program Evaluation Division. She earned a BA in political science and religious studies with University Honors from California State University Northridge. While there, she served as student body vice president and was president and founder of the Iranian Student Association. Sajadi has worked as a legislative aid for the California State Assembly and research assistant at the UNC School of Government.
Amy Strecker is a summer intern with Progress Energy, Corporate Communications Department. She earned a BA in English with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. Before entering the MPA program, Strecker was an English teacher with Teach for America in Warren County, NC. She also previously served as a research assistant with the Civic Education Consortium and the Marketing & Communications office at the UNC School of Government.
Jonathan Yeomans is serving a summer internship with Triangle J Council of Governments. He earned a BA in journalism and mass communication from UNC-Chapel Hill. Yeomans has been a reporter for The Robesonian Newspaper in Lumberton, NC and he was a reporter/editor for the S&A Cherokee in Cary, NC. He was also editor of the Cary Business Magazine.