Seven students worked as interns during the summer of 2017:
- Three students – Pearis Bellamy, Janee Harris and Aubria Myers – were part of the UI Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP).
- One student – Austin Adams – was part of the Iowa Center for Research for Undergraduates Program (ICRU).
- Three students – Sean Finn, Kaelynn Heiberg and Rachel Maller – were part of the Social and Education Policy Research Program’s internship program.
Austin is a senior at the University of Iowa triple-majoring in political science, economics and ethics and public policy – minoring in philosophy.
During his time as an undergraduate, he has pursued his interests in policymaking and public service through both his studies and his out-of-class work. While here, he has conducted research on racial disparities in the State of Iowa’s County Jail System, worked on a team of researchers to study effective political communication on Twitter, and studied Policy Diffusion Theory in the context of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. He served for two years as the President of the Hawkeye Optimist Chapter, a service-based organization which serves the disadvantaged youth of Iowa City. He has also held positions on the executive board of Delta Lambda Phi and the University of Iowa Service Council. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Adams will pursue a master’s degree in public policy.
Pearis Bellamy is a senior psychology major and leadership studies minor from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. This summer, she is a research fellow with the Summer Research Opportunities Program at University of Iowa and is working with Sarah Bruch in the Public Policy Center. After she graduates from Hampton University, she would like to pursue her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and be a marriage and family counselor.
"I truly enjoyed my time working with Dr. Sarah Bruch in the Public Policy Center. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much about research and the Iowa City Community School District. I really appreciated the guidance of Dr. Bruch and Tessa Heeren as well as the opportunities they provided us with to engage with the community. I am so grateful for this opportunity and encourage other students participate in this internship."
Sean Finn is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa pursuing degrees in economics and ethics and public policy. His interest in policy and its relationship with social justice and equity, especially for marginalized communities, guided him towards Sarah Bruch's work with the Public Policy Center. After graduation, he hopes to continue and strengthen his advocacy work and pursue a Master of Public Policy degree.
Janee Harris is a fourth-year undergraduate student attending the historically black college of Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana. Harris is a double major in criminal justice and psychology. This summer, she is a part of the 2017 Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) working alongside Sarah Burch and Public Policy Center colleagues. Bruch’s current Equity Project has furthered Harris' interest in identifying racial disparities within society and has opened her eyes to racial issues that stem from secondary education as well. Upon graduation, Harris aspires to receive her master’s degree in criminology and use her knowledge to attack pressing societal issues through law enforcement.
“My experience working under the mentorship Dr. Sarah Bruch and Tessa Herren in the university’s Public Policy Center was a chapter in my academic career I will never forget. They’ve helped me so much in gaining insight towards my own potential research aspirations after working on the Iowa City Community School District Equity Project. I encourage any students who need help recognizing their future plans after undergrad, these two accomplished women will put you on the right path to success. Also, I admire that without pressure, Dr. Bruch and Tessa’s charisma motivates you to want to indulge in research!”
Kaelynn Heiberg will be a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa this fall. She is pursuing majors in sociology and ethics and public policy. During her internship, Heiberg is interested in learning how policy is created, and how it can create positive changes in the community. She will complete an Honors thesis project in the subject area of implicit bias and cultural competency in the classroom, and her experiences with Bruch will be foundational in exploring these interests in the fall.
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 continued 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.
Aubria Myers is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, who is a participant in the Summer Research Opportunities Program. She is a double major in sociology: criminology, law and deviance and communication: public relations. This is her first time participating in any formal research project, but she values the topic due to personal educational experiences. After graduating in May 2018 she plans to pursue an M.A. in any topic that pertains to community development - the specific one still being unknown.
“So far working in the PPC has been a one of a kind experience. Everyone here is so nice, and working on the Equity Implemented Project with Sarah and Tessa has helped me shape my future plans.”