Policy Initiatives

Spring 2023 Cohort

Legal Policy Initiative

Vincent Kurniawidjaja

Lead, Second Year

Majors: Intended Political Economy and Music

Minor: Public Policy

Hi! I’m Vincent, a second year studying political economy, music, and public policy originally from Arcadia, California. My academic interests include labor issues, public policy concerning Asian American affairs, and music history. For fun, I enjoy reading about art, cooking, drinking Cran-Pineapple juice, and walking around with friends!

Email me: vkjaja@berkeley.edu

Atman Mohanty

Editor, Third Year

Major: Economics and Operations Research and Management Science

Hi, my name is Atman and I’m a Junior studying Economics and ORMS. When I’m not doing schoolwork, you can find me playing volleyball, watching tv, or obsessively checking the bus schedule to optimize my route home 🙂

Email me: atmanm@berkeley.edu

Vittoria Barrone

Publications, Second Year

Majors: Film

Hello! My name is Vittoria and I’m a current sophomore majoring in film. I am very excited to be a Research Associate and Publications Member for the Student Policy Institute. A bit about me is that I was born and raised in LA and have 6 other siblings! I additionally love to get involved on campus; I most recently served as the Fundraising Chair for my Law Fraternity. For the future, I hope to continue my studies in law school, focusing on intellectual property Law.

Email me: Vittoriab@berkeley.edu

Lucero Sanchez-Zamora

Research Associate, Fourth Year

Majors: Legal Studies

Minor: Public Policy

Hello. I’m a fourth-year Legal Studies major with a minor in Public Policy. I’m originally from Visalia, CA! I’m interested in laws and policies regarding immigration. Two of my career aspirations are to practice immigration law and become a professor. In my free time, I like to go to the gym, hike and watch romantic comedies.

Email me: sanchez01@berkeley.edu

Manish Ahanya

Research Associate, Thrid Year

Majors: Political Science and Legal Studies

Minor: Public Policy

My name is Manish Ahanya and I am a third year Political Science student trying to double major in Legal Studies. I am very interested in the field of Public Policy and the impacts that it can have. In my free time, I love to cook different foods but I have a passion for making pizzas.

Email me: manish_ahanya@berkeley.edu

Parker Deocampo

Research Associate, Fourth Year

Majors: Economics

Hello, my name is Parker. I am a senior studying Economics from Napa, CA, interested in the effects of economic policy on individual behavior and development metrics. I am excited to begin work on our policy initiative to better understand how the policy surrounding workers in the gig economy affects workers on an individual level, as well as the firms that employ them.

Email me: parkerdeo@berkeley.edu

Spencer Jung

Research Associate, First Year

Majors: Economics and Political Science

Minor: Public Policy

Hi! I’m a freshman at UC Berkeley intending to major in either Economics or Political Science. I’m originally from Los Angeles and I like to surf in the summer.

Email me: spencerjung17@berkeley.edu

Labor Policy Initiative

Dulce López Cruz

Lead, Fourth Year

Major: Political Economy

Minor: Public Policy

Hello all! My name is Dulce and I am studying political economy and public policy. My research interests include economic growth, poverty, and inequality. I was born and raised in San Francisco but am Guatemalan at heart. In my spare time, I love to go on hikes with my dog, play soccer, and play chess.

Email me: dulcelopezcruz@berkeley.edu

David Cheng

Editor, Third Year

Major: Political Science

Minors: Public Policy

I’m a third-year poli sci major (minoring in public policy) who’s always scouring social media for the latest news. I enjoy studying contemporary political issues, and hope to be able to make an actual impact on policymaking through the Student Policy Institute. I actually find it fun to research and read, which has made some classes feel easier than they should be. I’m so excited to be able to work with others who share an interest in studying and analyzing policies that affect everyday people.

Email me: chengdavid0813@berkeley.edu

Alejandra Gil

Publications, Fourth Year

Majors: Ethnic Studies and Legal Studies

Minor: Public Policy

Hi! Im Alejandra, a first-generation student from San Pablo, California. I am double majoring in Legal Studies and Ethnic Studies and minoring in Public Policy. I am hoping to build a career around Labor Policy.

Email me: alejandra.gil399@berkeley.edu

William Cooke

Research Associate, Fourth Year

Major: Political Science

Minor: History

Hey! I’m Will Cooke. I’m a fourth-year student from Turlock, California majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. I’ve been a sports reporter at The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s student-run newspaper, for nearly four years now and have covered Cal men’s soccer, baseball and women’s basketball. As a political science student and aspiring public interest lawyer, I’m interested in how the law can be used to both serve the least among us and shape how we see each other and the world.

Email me: william.cooke@berkeley.edu

Leslie Reider

Research Associate, Fourth Year

Major: Political Science

Minor: Public Policy & Conservation and Resource Studies

My name is Leslie Reider and I am a fourth year from Temecula, CA. I am majoring in political science and minoring in public policy and Conservation and Resource Studies. I’m interested in serving disadvantaged communities through policy research and implementation. I am excited to research and unpack union protective policies that are crucial for worker’s rights this semester. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and attending concerts!

Email me: lesliereider@berkeley.edu

Noor Hassan

Research Associate, Third Year

Major: Political Science

Minor: Public Policy

I am a junior studying Political Science and Public Policy on a pre-law track. I spent this past summer interning at an immigration law firm.

Email me: noor.hasan@berkeley.edu

Public Health Policy Initiative

Jenifer Lopez Osorio

Lead, Fourth Year

Major: Legal Studies

Minors: Public Policy

First-generation, undocumented student of color are core identities that I hold dearest to me and ones that allow me to the work I do, with integrity, compassion and equity. I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico in a small village where I lived for three years until I moved to Mexico City. My mom and dad both made the decision of emigrating to the United States to acquire an economically sustainable future for their kids. I arrived in this country at the age of nine, starting third grade and ensuring I stayed on track. College was subconsciously always on my mind, though I had to idea what it would entail. As the oldest of seven, my goals have been intertwined with the love I have for my family. In 2013, my dad got deported for domestic violence, and my mom became a single mother of five at the time. This forced me to become an even greater role model, and I had many responsibilities at home and school. However, my desire for education allowed me to always keep my head high up. Through adversities, I learned what hard work looks like. Throughout high school I was involved with local organizations doing direct advocacy for many issues personal to me. Now as a Berkeley student, I have been exposed to an array of issues and have been given the opportunity to work on issues affecting the communities of different backgrounds. I plan to stay on the public policy spectrum and work on projects that address the housing crisis and educational inequity in socio-economically disadvantaged communities and use my educational and tools in order to best serve these communities.

Email me: jenifer.lopez@berkeley.edu

Sejal Sahu

Lead, Freshman Year

Majors: Political Economy

Minor: Public Policy

My name is Sejal Sahu and I’m a political economy major and public policy minor from the Bay Area. I’m interested in health economics and have some experience with legislative research. I love to play the piano, I’m learning how to crochet, and I love going on walks around Berkeley. Excited to be a part of the team!

Email me: sejalsahu02@berkeley.edu

Nehal Sindhu

Editor, Second Year

Major: Data Science and Public Health

Email me: nehalsindhu@berkeley.edu

Hasti Mofidi

Publications, Fourth Year

Major: Public Health

Minor: Public Policy

My name is Hasti Mofidi, I am a 4th year studying Public Health and Public Policy and I’m interested in pursuing a joint MHP/MD or joint MPP/MD program in the future. I also really hope to work in the health policy sector after getting my degree. I am particularly interested in women’s, youth, and maternal health. I hope to dedicate my career to working towards health equity through the intersection of medicine and policy work.

Email me: mofidihasti@berkeley.edu

Caitlin Gu

Research Associate, Second Year

Major: MCB

Minor: Public Policy

I am a UC Berkeley student studying MCB and Public Policy, driven by my interest in healthcare and medicine. My past experiences have inspired my passion for improving healthcare accessibility and introduced me to opportunities to work on important initiatives. I look forward to using my education and experiences to bring about positive change in the field and contribute to the advancement of medical innovation.

Email me: caitlingu@berkeley.edu

Lindsey Duncan

Research Associate, Second Year

Majors: English and Sociology

Intended Minor: Politics, Philosophy, and Law

Hi! I’m Lindsey, a second-year English and sociology from Sacramento, CA. I’m passionate about social justice and advocacy, particularly concerning gender equity. I’m involved in a number of organizations on campus fighting to ensure civil liberties and civil rights for everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or any demographic identities. I plan to attend law school in the future, concentrating my studies on social justice as much as I can and eventually becoming a practicing attorney. This is my second semester working in the public health research initiative, and I’m interested in exploring sex and gender disparities in healthcare.

Email me: lindseyduncan@berkeley.edu

Trisha Devchoudhury

Research Associate, First Year

Majors: MCB and Public Health

Hello! My name is Trisha Devchoudhury, and I’m currently a first-year undergrad student, pursuing a double major in Public Health and Molecular and Cell Biology (Neurobiology emphasis). In my free time, I love reading, hiking, and exploring new places and foods!

Email me: trishad@berkeley.edu

Debby Wen

Research Associate, Third Year

Majors: Public Health

Intended Minor: Public Policy

Hi! My name is Debby Wen, I grew up in the Bay Area and I’m a 3rd year public health major with a minor in public policy.

Email me: debbywen@berkeley.edu

Education Policy Initiative

Tallan Haghighatgou

Lead, Fourth Year

Majors: Economics

I am particularly interested in promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal system, and I aspire to use my voice to protect and advocate for vulnerable members of our society.

Email me: tallanhaghi@berkeley.edu

Anna DeBettencourt

Lead, Third Year

Major: Political Science and Intended Legal Studies

Minors: Public Policy and Global Public Health

¡Hello! I’m Anna, one of the co-Initiative Leads for SPIB’s Education research team. I’m a third year at Cal majoring in Political Science and minoring in Public Policy and Global Public Health. Policy research is an academic passion of mine, and (hopefully) my future career path as well, so I’m looking forward to getting started this semester!

Email me: annadebett@berkeley.edu

Aleeza Adnan

Editor, Third Year

Majors: English

Minor: Public Policy

I am a third-year at UC Berkeley studying English and Public Policy. I am interested in researching human rights issues and policy initiatives, especially ones that affect racial and ethnic minorities. I also enjoy reading and writing poetry. In the future, I hope to pursue a J.D.

Email me: aleezaadnan@berkeley.edu

Kailen Grottel-Brown

Publications, Second Year

Majors: Political Science and Economics

Hello! My name is Kailen and I am a second-year undergraduate student studying political science and economics, with a minor in public policy. I spend most of my time serving as one of the Senators at the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) and volunteering by fundraising and building homes for Cal Habitat for Humanity. I also serve as a board member for Educate a Child for Change (ECCO), a nonprofit organization aimed at ensuring students have the opportunity to all equally pursue an education. Outside of his extracurriculars and academic obligations, I’m either on the courts playing tennis, taking a bike ride with friends to the Berkeley marina, or spending too much money on Chipotle.

Email me: kailen.brown@berkeley.edu

Madeline Roorda

Research Associate, Second Year

Majors: Political Science

Minor: Public Policy

Hi! My name is Madeline and I am a second-year student from Alameda, CA. I’m interested in how public policy can be utilized as a tool to solve issues associated with income inequality and affordable housing, particularly in the Bay Area. Outside of academics, I enjoy playing music and going on runs in the Berkeley hills.

Email me: mroorda@berkeley.edu

Jordan Ta

Research Associate, Fourth Year

Majors: Data Science

Minor: Public Policy

I am a senior transfer student studying Data Science with a minor in public policy. I am from Southern California located in the San Fernando Valley, where I grew up my entire life. My personal interests include playing Magic the Gathering and watching Smash Bros Ultimate. I would however like to learn more about rock climbing as a few gyms opened near campus, or table tennis as my dad loves the sport. A fun fact about me is that I have never broken a bone.

Email me: jordanta@berkeley.edu

Harleen Dhillon

Research Associate, First Year

Major: Economics

Minor: Public Policy

Hi! My name is Harleen Kaur Dhillon. I am currently a first year studying Economics and pursuing a minor in public policy. With SPIB I work as a research associate for the education initiative. I aspire to have a career in medicine and work towards leveraging health policies aimed at uplifting marginalized communities. My passions lie at the intersection of law and medicine and outside of SPIB I work as a deputy director for the UC Berkeley ASUC and the finance and government chair for the Jakara Movement. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis and hanging out with my friends.

Email me: hdhillon0706@berkeley.edu

Advocacy Policy Initiative

Stephanie Quinones

Editor, Second Year

Major: Political Science

Minor: Public Policy and Philosophy

My name is Stephanie Quinones and I am originally from the Central Valley. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a second year majoring in Political Science and minoring in Philosophy and Public Policy.

Email me: stequinonesg@berkeley.edu

Napasorn (Ploy) Sripungwiwat

Publications, Second Year

Majors: Environmental Economics and Policy

Minor: History and Public Policy

5″2 lactose intolerant who loves eating milk and cheese. EEP major. Eating is love eating is life.

Email me: napasorn@berkeley.edu

Christopher Ojeda

Research Associate, Third Year

Majors: Political Science

Minor: Public Policy

I am third-year transfer student from Thousand Oaks, CA. I am majoring in Political Science with a minor in Public Policy. At Berkeley, I am the secretary of the Alexander Hamilton Society and on the Action Committee of the Latin American Leadership Society. At home I am co-chairing an exhibit on Indigenous people in the Ventura County

Email me: chrisojeda02@gmail.com

Hannah Lee

Research Associate, Third Year

Majors: Political Economy

Minor: Public Policy

I’m Hannah, a senior studying Political Economy and minoring in Public Policy. I’m interested in issues involving consumer finance, the wealth disparity between racial/ethnic groups in the U.S., immigration law, higher education, and women empowerment. This is my first semester in SPIB and as a Research Associate, I’m excited to work on the advocacy project and to better understand the issue.

Email me: hannah.mihyun.lee@berkeley.edu

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