We would like to announce the 59th class of Coro Fellows in Public Affairs, one of the longest running leadership development programs in the nation.

Bridget Bones
University of California, Berkeley — B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies

Bridget comes to Los Angeles after spending the summer in New Orleans with the Urban Leaders Fellowship. There, she worked as a grant writer for a local nonprofit and researched criminal justice reform. A California native, Bridget joined Teach for America after graduation. She taught high school science in rural Arkansas, and spent her summers completing professional fellowships with the Arkansas Office for Education Policy and the Mississippi Center for Justice. In the future, Bridget hopes to work as an education attorney and advocate for special education students and their families.

Haley E. Broder
University of California, Berkeley — B.A. American Studies

At Berkeley, Haley championed sustainability planning and sexual violence policy as an ASUC senator. Elected to represent 37,000 students, she spearheaded the campus sexual violence movement, secured thousands of dollars in grants, testified for local and state governments, and managed a staff of 30. After studying indigenous peace politics in Costa Rica, gender dynamics in Istanbul, food nationalism in Italy, and regionalism in Spain, Haley advocated for just sustainable transitions and human rights at COP21. She has worked on refugee camps in Greece and organized local political campaigns, demonstrating her commitment to social justice both at home and abroad.

Michael Ervin
University of California, Riverside — B.A. Political Science and International Affairs

At UCR, Michael discovered his passion for service and building community. As president of College Democrats, he helped usher in Riverside’s red-to-blue switch in 2012. He was twice elected as vice president of his student government with record-breaking turnout. During his tenure, he led student efforts to open a food pantry and created the UC’s first solar-powered bike share program. Through his work in rural Uganda and UCR’s Leadership Pathway Program, Michael embraced the philosophy of ‘servant leadership’. He plans to continue his advocacy work in the political arena.

Maribel Garcia Ochoa
University of California, Los Angeles — B.A. Political Science & Philosophy

Maribel’s involvement includes music education advocacy at the GRAMMY Museum, internships in University Advancement, and outreach through UCLA Admission. She is passionate about philanthropy and community engagement and aspires to harness her multilingual abilities and experience to build connections across ethnic, social, and financial boundaries. Maribel was the Stewardship Chair for the Student Giving Committee, achieving Congressional recognition for service-mindedness. Maribel championed for health and wellness as a fitness instructor and represented UCLA at the statewide UC Fitness Conference. She worked for the Los Angeles District Attorney, is a UCLA Law Fellow, and plans to attend law school.

George Hakopiants
University of California, San Diego — B.A. Political Science

George’s longtime passion for international relations, and addressing domestic issues such as discrepancies in civic and economic power in the United States, led him to pursue a degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. During his undergraduate career, George took part in an internship on Capitol Hill for Senator Harry Reid, and worked to promote increased civic participation on campus after returning from Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, George served as Executive Director of the American Hellenic Council, where he advocated directly to members of Congress on issues concerning the Eastern Mediterranean. George aims to serve his country as a diplomat in the Foreign Services.

Tori Kanhayuwa
California State University, Long Beach — B.A. International Studies

At the center of Tori’s core is service and devotion to the community. Throughout her college career Tori served as a board member of the American Red Cross Club at CSULB and later joined the organization as a Response and Recovery member. As a Disaster Cycle Services member Tori was amongst the first in her program to promote to Disaster Action Team Lead and assisted in installing over 1,700 free smoke alarms in vulnerable communities. She displayed her commitment to alleviate human suffering by responding to several high-profile disasters nationwide and leading the recovery efforts on the grounds. Having worked mainly in the non-profit sector, Tori hopes to gain experience and insight from other sectors and continue her journey in emergency management.

Maria T. Khan
University of California, Irvine — B.A International Studies

Maria’s passion for developmental work lead her to travel with Semester at Sea and visit nonprofits in Russia, Portugal, Morocco, Brazil and Cuba. As part of a research-led nonprofit initiative, she created food sovereignty starter guides for teachers in impoverished communities. To learn more about conflict resolution, Maria attended the Olive Tree Initiative trip to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the region. After her return, she wrote an honors thesis to explore the role agricultural NGOs can play in territorial disputes. Maria intends to contribute to environmental peace-building and sustainable development while working with an intergovernmental organization.

Bobby Kobara
University of California, Santa Barbara — B.A. Sociology

Bobby has developed a passionate desire for social justice through exploring innovative strategies and leadership. He combined his undergraduate work in sociology at UCSB with a series of internships. He worked for the Gang Reduction Youth Development program in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office. Bobby refined his understanding of measuring social change and his research and campaign development skills at Pro-Social Consulting. Recently he worked at Participant Media on their “He Named Me Malala” campaign for girls’ education and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition’s fight for juvenile justice reform. Bobby seeks to understand the effective forms of leadership that advance social justice.

Hannah Levien
Marist College — B.A. Political Science & Spanish

Hannah’s interest in the political process compelled her to pursue professional opportunities with a state senator, a super PAC, and the Office of the Vice President. To supplement these experiences, she focused her senior thesis on civic engagement and Latin American studies to complete her double major in Spanish and Political Science. These experiences prompted Hannah to serve a term with AmeriCorps as a bilingual literacy tutor. During that time, she created a partnership between her AmeriCorps program and Refugee Services of Texas, bringing in-home ESL lessons to Middle Eastern females. Hannah aspires to continue to serve communities of need with a focus on education equality and immigration reform.

Adam Mohabbat
University of California, Berkeley — B.A. Political Economy

At Berkeley, Adam’s passion for effective policy changes to his campus drove him to serve as an ASUC senator, serving as chairman of the Finance Committee. His desire to understand the inner workings of public institutions and their influencers led him to legislative work at the Embassy of Afghanistan, constituent services at the office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and public affairs at a Spanish pharmaceutical company. Most recently working as an associate at Politico Pro, he assisted in the strategic expansion from Washington to other capitals of influence and is keenly interested in the intersections of politics and business.

Tanya Ortiz
University of California, Los Angeles — B.A. Political Science

Tanya’s relationship to public service is founded on the notion of paying it forward. She counseled at-risk youth through UCLA UniCamp, an organization of which she is a product, with programming focused on anti-bullying and increased literacy. In the office’s inaugural year, she served as financial director under the transfer student representative, advocating for the institutionalization of programs catering to the diverse transfer student population. Through JusticeCorps, she helped low-income, self-represented litigants navigate the justice system. Tanya wishes to pursue a career in urban planning with the hope of affecting positive change in underserved communities through viable, conscious development.

Dana R. Vanderford
University of Texas at Austin — B.A. English

During her time at the University of Texas at Austin, Dana focused her studies on culturally responsive pedagogy and practicum that centered around improving educational equity in public schools. Dana joined Teach for America in New Orleans where she taught sophomore-level English in a large, struggling high school. She taught in her placement school for three years where she developed a comprehensive health initiative focused around running and founded the Advanced Placement program at her school. Dana plans to work to reform systems of education to empower young people and their families with the ultimate goal of improving access and equity within communities.