We would like to announce the 60th class of Coro Fellows in Public Affairs, one of the longest running leadership development programs in the nation.

Michelle Ito
Occidental College – B.A. Politics

Michelle has worked for the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C. and for the Los Angeles Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein. She has conducted original research in Okinawa, Japan, which culminated in an honors thesis that explored the impact of theories of international relations and social movements on military base policies. Additionally, while at Occidental, Michelle launched a campus-wide social media campaign highlighting the diverse college experiences lived by students of color. She has also advanced public-private partnerships for the philanthropic sector at Southern California Grantmakers.

Jake Itzkowitz
McGill University – B.A. Political Science and Georgetown University Law Center – J.D.
Jake spent the past two and a half years as a litigation associate at Akin Gump. Prior to law school, he worked as campaign manager for Margaret Chin’s successful NYC Council race and then as her Chief of Staff, where he helped create the Chinatown Business Improvement District and advocated for funding for senior and low-income housing. He served as Student Society president at McGill University. After graduation, he worked  as a regional director for the 2008 Obama campaign, and on several other political campaigns.

Robert Jackson
University of California Los Angeles — B.A. African-American Studies

As a South Los Angeles native from a single parent household, Robert worked full-time supporting his family while also attending community college. In 2014, Robert transferred to UCLA, where he founded Bruins for Black Empowerment, a group that supports residents of Los Angeles to pursue employment or higher education. As a Student Ambassador with the Olive Tree Initiative, a university-based organization that promotes conflict analysis and resolution, he has taken trips to Israel and Palestine, which have helped shape his world views on conflict resolution.

Chance Kawar
Pitzer College – B.A. Political Studies
Chance has a passion for public policy and local government and has interned in a variety of political offices throughout California. In college, he was an active campus leader, serving as Senior Class president, chairman of the student programming board, and founding member of the Middle Eastern Student Association. As an openly gay man, Chance has been a committed advocate for equality issues, including volunteering for a transgender rights group in Ecuador and working for San Diego’s regional LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.

Jennifer Lesorogol
Pitzer College – B. A. Environmental Analysis and International & Intercultural Studies

Jennifer’s passion for social and environmental justice led her to design and implement two independent study projects exploring community-based conservation approaches in Kenya and Madagascar, investigating their impacts on rural communities and the environment. Using a mixed-methods research design and a critical theory analysis, she completed a senior thesis exploring the results of these two research projects. Jennifer aspires to address social justice and climate issues impacting communities, locally and globally, through creating positive, thoughtful, and impactful change.

Diana Raiselis
Northwestern University – B.A. in Communications (Theatre) & Certificate in Civic Engagement

Diana uses arts practice to enable civic participation and build more equitable and inclusive cities. She graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern, where she held leadership roles in student theater, practiced Asset-Based Community Development with 826CHI, and worked with LIFT-Evanston and Civic Education Project. After graduation, Diana worked in Steppenwolf Theater Company’s artistic office, freelanced as a director and producer with a focus on LGBTQ+ representation, and leveraged arts strategy in community organizing with Jewish Council on Urban Affairs.

Ezekiel Reed
University of Virginia – Political and Social Thought; Cognitive Science

Zeke’s academic interests range from sociology to urban planning and neuroscience. In his final year of college, Zeke completed an honors thesis on the different stakeholders shaping Detroit’s future. Zeke has also completed internships in urban design through UCLA’s CityLAB, advocacy and education through the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and holistic healthcare through the Los Angeles Veterans Administration. Zeke intends to pursue a career in academia studying community development and human consciousness from an interdisciplinary perspective. After Coro, Zeke hopes to pursue music with his band while producing socially useful knowledge on complex systems ranging from AI to gentrification.

Vaneshia Reed
Harvard College – B.A. History and Science

Vaneshia has committed to service both at home and abroad: mentoring immigrant youth in Boston, teaching street children in the Philippines, painting Hurricane Katrina victims’ porches, and building latrines in Bolivia. To explore policy, she participated in Public Policy and International Affairs, interned with Congressman Charles Rangel, and published foster care policy recommendations through the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. She spent the year after graduation in Salvador, Bahia, exploring how Brazilians understand and combat racism. Vaneshia aspires to utilize brain development research to inform policies and programming for underserved youth.  She is proficient in Spanish and Portuguese.

Pete Rodrigue
Kenyon College – B.A. Economics, Minor in Statistics

Pete graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Kenyon College and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. As a research analyst at the Brookings Institution, he authored data-rich reports on poverty and inequality. As an organizer and volunteer, he advocated for D.C. city government to divest its pension funds from fossil fuel companies, helped map lead contamination in the city water system, and worked with local leaders on affordable housing issues.

Chris Rudolph
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse – B.S. Political Science & Public Administration

Chris’ passion for politics led him to work as a campaign manager for a judge and later for county supervisors. He spent two years working for the La Crosse County Health and Human Services Department as a Justice Support Services Specialist, where he supervised criminal defendants and juveniles released into the community. While there, Chris secured grant funding to evaluate the racial bias and accuracy of a risk assessment tool used by his local judges in determining inmates’ suitability for pretrial release. Chris hopes to leverage his experiences in working to improve government systems.

Scott Schuler
New York University Tisch School of the Arts – B.F.A. for Film & T.V.

Scott is a producer/director, whose short-form series about digital privacy received success as part of the Independent Filmmaker Project’s Film Week & Screen Forward Labs. Scott has sought out projects that explore social issues, such as ‘Straight/Curve’ – a documentary about female body positivity. Scott has also trained with the NYCLU to become a community organizer and gained experience working with the campaign to Close Rikers & Build Communities. After Coro, Scott hopes to develop and standardize a bridge between scripted filmmaking and issue-based organizing.

Vivian Tejada
Bryant University — Bachelors of Economics: International Political Economy

Vivian is passionate about immigration reform, restorative justice and the progression of the inner-city. She has explored these topics through her writing, travel experiences and social advocacy. Vivian has conducted ethnographic and economic research in Chile, Argentina and Cuba. Additionally, she co-founded the Association of Latino Professionals and served on the Student Advisory Council at Bryant. Vivian also planned and executed the I Am an Immigrant Campaign, inclusive of a panel discussion and photo exhibit of immigrant students and prominent leaders.