Spring 2017 Interns

Ivan Rodriguez and Nicole Nucaro
Interns Irvin Rodriguez and Nicole Nucaro presented at the annual Research in the Capitol event, hosted by the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), on Tuesday, March 28. More information about Research in the Capitol is available here


Rodriguez and Nucaro presented a poster on the research partnership with the Iowa City Community School District. View the poster here



Rachel Maller

Rachel Maller photo
Rachel Maller is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa with a major in sociology and double minor in communication studies and philosophy. She joined the project in Spring 2017 due to her passion of fighting for social justice and critically examining social structures that may perpetuate systematic inequalities. She has worked with youth for the last 10 years as a babysitter, day care worker and summer camp counselor at Horace Mann’s Before and After School Program. Her love for education and youth inspires her to advocate for equitable school experiences in the Iowa City Community School District. She plans to continue her internship opportunity with the Public Policy Center over the summer. She is graduating in December 2017 and plans to have a career in public policy, advocacy or social services. She hopes to create powerful social change with the insights and education she has received and to shake up the status quo.

Meredith McCaffrey
Meredith McCaffrey is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa majoring in political science, as well as ethics and public policy with a concentration in sociology. In addition to her academic focus, she fostered a deeper interest in educational policy, school climate and equity after working as an assistant teacher in a preschool near campus. After she enrolled in Sarah Bruch’s Social Inequality and Big Ideas: Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America course, she became further inspired to pursue an opportunity to work directly with educational policy through an internship with the Public Policy Center. After graduation, she hopes to join the Teach for America Organization to further her involvement with public education and student experience.


Nicole Nucaro

Nicole Nucaro
Nicole Nucaro is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa with a double major in business management and social work. She is a member of the University Honors Program and is a 2016 Presidential Scholar. She was a student in Sarah Bruch’s Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America course first semester which sparked her interest in studying inequalities within education. Her goal over the course of the next three years is to take advantage of all the opportunities to get involved at Iowa, learn as much possible about social justice issues and discover how she can make difference. She hopes to study abroad, get involved in student organizations and eventually get accepted into law school.

"I loved interning at the PPC because I got the opportunity to explore my academic interests, learn research techniques and relate what I was learning in the classroom to real world situations."