Sixteen students at Princeton University have been selected to join the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI), which funds graduate fellowships and undergraduate summer internships within federal government agencies. Open to all, the 2023 cohort has representatives from seven Princeton majors and joins a community of 130 SINSI fellows.
Established in 2006, SINSI encourages, supports, and prepares high-achieving students to pursue careers in the federal government, in both international and domestic agencies. The initiative aims to provide the professional skills and direct experience needed to succeed in the public policy arena. SINSIs have served in over 40 U.S. government entities — and the list is growing.
Four students were selected for the SINSI graduate program, during which they will complete a two-year Master in Public Affairs with a full scholarship for tuition and living expenses at the Princeton School of Policy and International Affairs, and two years of paid fellowship rotations with executive branch departments or agencies.
Twelve students were selected for the SINSI internship program, which awards fully funded, 8- to 10-week summer internships.
“Once again, we had a spectacular group of candidates, deeply committed to service here and in their home communities”, said SINSI co-directors Frederick Barton and Kathryn Lunney. “They bring great value to the federal government and its citizens.”
2023 SINSI Graduate Scholars
Ella Gantman ‘23, of Washington, D.C., is concentrating in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and pursuing a certificate in Spanish. Gantman was elected Phi Beta Kappa in fall 2022, was the recipient of the 2020-21 Alberto Santos-Dumont Prize for Innovation, and is the 2022 James D. Zirin ’61 and Marlene Hess Scholar in the Nation’s Service. Gantman’s public service works toward racial equity, both by reimagining the carceral system and by expanding access to the ballot. During the summer of 2022, Gantman interned at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section, where she supported attorneys in statewide redistricting cases. During the summer of 2021, she interned at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Columbia, where she worked directly with clients and trial attorneys to prepare legal defenses. During summer 2020, she was a legislative intern for U.S. Congressman Ami Bera, where she worked on various portfolios including foreign policy, nonproliferation, civil rights, and health policy. That summer she also co-founded The Poll Hero Project, which mobilized more than 37,000 young people to work as election workers during the 2020 election. On campus, Gantman is a goalkeeper on the varsity women’s soccer team and was selected for the 2022 Academic All-Ivy team. She also is a lead supervisor at TigerCall at Princeton’s Annual Giving Office and a proud member of the Cannon Dial Elm Club.
Morgan Lonergan ‘23 MPA/JD ’29, of Prince George’s County, Maryland, studies in Princeton’s Department of Economics. Lonergan has worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as a congressional intern, for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance’s democracy assessment unit in Stockholm, and for the Southern New York State Division of the United Nations Association. She spent fall 2022 studying abroad at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Her other experiences include work on COVID-19 mitigation and relief efforts with local restaurants and community organizations in Queens, New York, as well as geographic information system research with Princeton’s Council on Science and Technology.
At Princeton, Lonergan has been involved with the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality + Cultural Understanding and with the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, where her research focused on the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. She is a recipient of the 2020-21 Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and the 2022 Peer Leader Award for Intergroup Dialogue. She is interested in working in development policy, particularly on the growth of small and medium enterprises in developing countries.
Rooya Rahin ’23 MPA ’27, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is a senior in the Department of Politics, receiving certificates in the Program in Latin American Studies and the Program in History and the Practice of Diplomacy. She was a 2019 John C. Bogle Fellow and interned as a summer policy intern at Hunger Free Colorado as part of her fellowship. She also interned at the World Wildlife Fund in 2021 as a markets intern, supported by Princeton RISE, a Pace Center fellowship focused on racial justice. In 2022, she worked for the federal government as an intern, in an office that utilized her research and language skills. Rahin was a finalist for the 2022 Rhodes Scholarship.
Rahin has strong research experience, including her Junior Paper, “Trust in Reconciliation: Examining the Effects of Political Violence on Institutional Trust,” which was presented at Princeton Research Day, and her upcoming senior thesis, which analyzes the effects of first-person narratives on out-group attitudes toward refugees. She was also a research assistant for Senior Research Scholar Andrew Reynolds.
In addition to her academic abilities, Rahin serves as the chair of the editorial board and the financial stipend program director at The Daily Princetonian. She also serves as co-president of Songline Slam Poetry, as a head fellow for the Scholars Institute Fellows Program, and was a two-time community action leader.
Kathleen Song ’23 MPA ’27 hails from Orange County, California, and will graduate from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University. Song, the 2023 Terrence A. Elkes Graduate Scholar in the Nation’s Service, was elected to the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society and selected as a national scholar for Tau Beta Pi, as well as a recipient for the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2019. During her undergraduate career, Song has worked as a research assistant for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change where she reviewed and fact-checked the manuscript “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” before it was published in 2019. In summer 2022, she interned at the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, as a legal research intern in the Environmental Enforcement Section. Song has also volunteered with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby where she organized for bipartisan carbon pricing legislation and conducted research with Princeton University’s Urban Nexus Lab, the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, and the Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, through which she co-authored a paper on modeling air pollution in the western United States. On campus, Song is heavily involved in interfaith dialogue initiatives, including the Religious Life Council, the Veritas Forum, and the Rose Castle Society. She is a proud member of the Episcopal Church at Princeton.
2023 SINSI Interns
Kareena Bhakta ’24, from Irvine, California, is concentrating in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and pursuing a certificate in the Program in Technology and Society. Bhakta, the Class of 2023 James D. Zirin ’61 and Marlene Hess Scholar in the Nation’s Service, is interested in civil rights, criminal justice, and considering public policy through the lens of racial equity. In summer 2021, she worked with the Princeton Civil Rights Commission to research reparations programs around the country and conducted a racial equity impact assessment on the issue of allowing marijuana dispensaries in the municipality. In summer 2022, she interned with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender in Essex County where she worked under the System Navigation Division to help connect clients to social services. Both of those internships were supported by the Pace Center for Civic Engagement through their RISE and Bogle fellowships, respectively. On campus, Bhakta is the editor for the review section of the Princeton Legal Journal, co-head editor of the newsletter section at The Daily Princetonian, a member of the Princeton Debate Panel, and an ambassador for the Whig-Cliosophic Society.
Luke Chan ‘24, of Manhasset, New York, a politics concentrator pursuing certificates in Spanish and the Program in History and the Practice of Diplomacy is a Class of 2023 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service. He is passionate about leading teams to serve underrepresented communities, furthering his understanding of U.S. law and government, and researching U.S.-Latin America relations. In summer 2021, Chan interned at the Partnership for Public Service, where he worked with federal employees across the country to develop their leadership skills. He also worked with the Korean American Grassroots Conference and advocated on Capitol Hill for policy affecting the Asian American population. In summer 2020, Chan was awarded a John C. Bogle ‘51 Fellowship in Civic Service and led a project at his local Economic Opportunity Council to serve over 65 underprivileged youth, connecting with his councilwoman and community partners to provide better access to educational and financial support. Prior to Princeton, Chan developed an interest for politics and public service by actively serving and fundraising for a rural community in Bolivia, founding an English class. On campus, Chan has been a member of the Princeton Debate Panel, Service Focus, and Old NasSoul.
Xander de los Reyes ’24, of Orange County, California, is concentrating in the Department of Politics and pursuing a certificate in the Program in Values and Public Life. The Class of 2023 Frank C. Carlucci ’52 Scholar, de los Reyes is most interested in the nexus of Americans’ civil liberties, technology, and policing. His independent research currently focuses on Fourth Amendment rights, the jurisprudence of privacy, and the third-party doctrine. As a member of Princeton’s third transfer cohort, he holds an associate degree in psychology, summa cum laude, from Saddleback College in Southern California. Prior to college, de los Reyes served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2012 to 2017. He was a close quarters battle team leader, infantry squad leader, raid leader, and helicopter rope suspension technique master. In summer 2022, he served as a senior fellow with the Warrior Scholar Project, a nonprofit organization that runs “academic bootcamps” for enlisted veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. In the summer of 2021, de los Reyes was a course fellow for the Freshman Scholars Institute, a University initiative focused on incoming first-generation and low-income Princeton students. He is the president of the Princeton Transfer Association, a fellow in the Writing Center, a member of the Politics Undergraduate Committee, a guest blogger for the Office of Admissions, a transfer mentor, and a writer for the Princeton Legal Journal.
Sydney Eck ’24, from Denver, a Class of 2023 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service, is concentrating in economics and pursuing certificates in the Program in Linguistics and the Program in Cognitive Science. Her academic interests include health and family economics as well as musicology — specifically, the overlap between music and language cognition. Eck is a 2020-21 and 2021-22 recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence. Before matriculating her freshman year, Eck was a participant in the Novogratz Bridge Year Program in India where she worked at Shikshantar Andolan, developing vocational education tools and organizing large-scale sustainability events. In the summer of 2021, Eck was an intern in Sen. John Hickenlooper’s inaugural intern cohort. As a legislative intern, Eck worked on issues related to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. She researched and analyzed content from the Trump administration’s Space Policy Directives and compiled talking points for the senator, which were used in hearings on space situational awareness. In the summer of 2022, Eck returned to Capitol Hill to work in the office of Rep. Ed Perlmutter, where she developed a bill proposal on aerospace supply chain resilience resulting in the congressman’s co-sponsorship. On campus, Eck is co-head editor of the features section at The Daily Princetonian, an officer in the Princeton Glee Club, and a peer academic advisor.
Faraaz Godil ‘24, from Sacramento, California, is concentrating in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and is pursuing certificates in Spanish and the Program in Latin American Studies. A 2023 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service, his interests include international development, violence and security, and their intersections with migration. During summer 2022, Godil was an Oscar S. Straus II Fellow in Criminal Justice, working in the Immigrant Protection Unit at New York Legal Assistance Group. As an intern at a legal aid organization, Godil assisted attorneys on a variety of cases, including asylum claims, deportation defenses, and adjustment of status cases. During summer 2021, Godil worked with The Resource Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to connect charitable donations from foundations to local organizations across the Americas. On campus, he is president of Muslim Advocates for Social Justice and is involved with a variety of campus groups including Princeton University Nonprofit Consulting, Service Focus, and Naacho Dance Company.
Ethan Magistro '24, from Morristown, New Jersey, is concentrating in philosophy in the political philosophy track, while pursuing certificates in history and the practice of diplomacy and environmental studies. The Class of 2023 Andrea Echikson ’80 and Tom A. Bernstein Scholar, he seeks to expand our current theories of international relations and security studies into space and hopes to shape how humanity uses and develops outer space, both now and in the future. Magistro is interested in working on the civilian side of government, specifically on space security, law, and commerce. Magistro has previously worked on issues relating to weapons of mass destruction, space policy and ethics, and the history of political thought. He has published papers on several of the above topics, including a piece he co-authored with Christopher Chyba, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences and International Affairs, for War on the Rocks, advising the Biden administration to include the president’s science advisor on the National Security Council’s Principals Committee. Magistro is a member of the Space Generation Advisory Council, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that enables young civil servants and professionals to shape space policy. At Princeton, he is the president of the Human Values Forum, editor of the Princeton Legal Journal, and a residential college advisor for Butler College.
Grace Morris ’24, from Montclair, New Jersey, is concentrating in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and pursuing a certificate in the Program in African American Studies. The 2023 Gilbert S. Omenn ’61 and Martha A. Darling MPA ’70 Scholar, she is passionate about creating equity-focused policies to level the economic playing field for institutionally discriminated against groups. During summer 2022, Morris interned for of Sen. Cory Booker’s office. While there, she worked to identify equity gaps in current Senate immigration and agricultural policies, advocated for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s passage, and participated in legislative protests against the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. These experiences, along with her legislative internship in summer 2021 with Rep. Andy Kim’s office, illustrated to her that incorporating intersectional frameworks into policy decisions are essential for effective cooperation and legislative action. She was also a 2021 Schaeffer Fellow in Government Service. On campus, Morris was the student manager for Princeton women’s rugby in their inaugural varsity season this fall. She also sings with the Princeton University Glee Club and the Princeton Tigressions and is a member of the Black Student Union.
Brandon McNeely ’24, currently living in Delran, New Jersey, is concentrating in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and pursuing a certificate in the Program in American Studies. McNeely is interested in studying the ways race, ethnicity, and discrimination influence U.S. public policy. McNeely is a 2020-21 recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and the 2022 Gilbert S. Omenn ’61 and Martha A. Darling MPA ’70 Scholar. McNeely was on leave from Princeton during 2022. He will return in January and join the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative 2023 intern cohort. He spent his year off working in aviation and traveling. This time away from academics has inspired his burgeoning interests in aviation, maritime trade, and transportation policy. Before his gap year, McNeely organized a tutoring program in partnership with the Young Scholars’ Institute of Trenton. During the pandemic, he received a grant from the Pace Center for Civic Engagement to build websites for underfunded schools and organizations. In summer 2021, he worked with at-risk youth as an intern at Alto Perú in Lima, Perú. On campus, he is a member of the Princeton University Band, was elected to the SPIA Undergraduate Student Advisory Council, participated in the Pace Center for Civic Engagement’s Service Focus program, was a member of the Pre-Law Society, and has worked as an ambassador for the International Internship Program.
Amber Fatima Rahman ‘24, from New York City, is concentrating in the Department of African American Studies on the race and public policy track and pursuing a minor in technology and society. Rahman is a 2020-21 recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and a 2023 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service. Her research focuses on assessing the uses of carceral and surveillance technologies within global systems of policing and incarceration. Rahman works in the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab. Her current project is investigating the use of ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection technology used by police in New Jersey. In summer 2022, she worked at the Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA) in Chicago to aid nonprofits and city agencies in strategic planning toward racial justice. Before joining CCA, she interned at the New York City Civic Engagement Commission, working with local faith communities to promote civic engagement and collaboration in response to systemic disinvestment. Rahman also worked with the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project in New York City to resist surveillance against marginalized communities. Rahman is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and a member of the Department of African American Studies Undergraduate Board of Advisors. She is a student organizer with Students for Prison Education, Abolition, and Reform and with the Princeton Committee on Palestine. She loves to embroider, eat good food with friends, and play badminton.
Zoe San Martin ‘24, from Miami, is concentrating in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs with a certificate in Chinese language and culture. San Martin is a Class of 2023 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service. She is fascinated by the intersection of international law and foreign policy, particularly concerning the future of U.S.-China relations. In the summer of 2021, San Martin interned at the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, where she worked alongside the Honorable Judge Alan Fine, crafting legal memoranda and aiding in resolving civil cases that had been open for decades. In the summer of 2022, San Martin interned with the Asia Division of the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative. Through the Rule of Law Initiative, she wrote internal reports on the evolving legal and political climate in the region, coordinated with international partners on the creation and dissemination of an anti-money laundering newsletter, and revised analysis for donor reports on projects concerning women and children’s rights, anti-money laundering, and counterterrorism financing. On campus, she serves as executive director of Princeton Model Congress, the oldest congressional debate conference in the nation, and competes on the Model United Nations and Mock Trial Teams. San Martin also works as a learning consultant with the McGraw Center for Teaching & Learning.
Isabella Shutt ‘24, from Vale, North Carolina, is concentrating in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and pursuing a certificate in the Department of African American Studies. She is a recipient of the 2020-21 Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence. The 2023 Frederick P. Hitz ’61 Scholar, she is interested in the social systems that facilitate and prohibit senses of belonging and democratic representation, with a focus on the welcoming of immigrants and refugees. This past summer, she participated in a faith-based internship through the Office of Religious Life, working for the Mobilization and Faith Relations Team at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to increase the reach of programming centered on cultural appreciation and productive conversation. Bringing her work home to rural North Carolina, she directed a vacation Bible school at her local church focused on welcoming neighbors and celebrating diversity. Shutt became interested in supporting immigrant communities after working as the outreach intern at Union Settlement, a social services nonprofit organization in East Harlem, New York, where she organized a COVID-19 vaccine information campaign and supported efforts reestablishing the uptake of the organization’s resources. On campus, Shutt is a peer academic advisor with Mathey College, an undergraduate leader and board member for Princeton Presbyterians, and chair of the Undergraduate Student Government Campus & Community Affairs.
Kathy Yang ‘24, from Syracuse, New York, is concentrating in computer science and pursuing certificates in the Program in Technology & Society and the Program in American Studies. A 2023 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service, she is interested in bridging the worlds of software and policymaking, particularly through the regulation of artificial intelligence and automated decision making. Her junior independent work seeks to reconcile legal and scientific definitions of causality in the context of disparate impact discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act. In the summer of 2022, Yang interned at the Solution Design Group of the global IT firm DataArt, where she worked on a breadth of enterprise projects in health care, finance, retail, and entertainment. In January of 2023, she will embark on the Silicon Valley TigerTrek to meet leading executives of major technology companies and learn their perspectives. On campus, Yang is a junior fellow for the Public Interest Technology cohort of the Service Focus program and a nonprofit liaison for the Princeton chapter of Hack4Impact — a student organization building sustainable software for nonprofit partners. She is also working with classmates to develop a web portal for Share My Meals, a local nonprofit that connects surplus meals to families in need. For recreation, Yang enjoys co-captaining Princeton’s Women’s Club Basketball team.
(Photo credit: Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy)