Student Advisory Board

Members of the Student Advisory Board (SAB) work in tandem with the staff and the Board of Advisors to plan programming and carry out the mission of the Institute. The SAB meets at the IOP house every Friday from 4 - 5p.

Applications to join the 2017/18 Student Advisory Board will open in mid January 2017.

Please contact Conor McDonough, Senior Chair, at ctmcdonough@uchicago.edu with any questions and for more information about how to get involved in the SAB.

The 2016/17 Student Advisory Board

George Adames-Diaz (Junior Chair) | AB'18
George is a third year in the college, originally from Augusta, Georgia. A Geography and Public Policy double major, George is interested in studying issues of urban education through a geographic lens. Last year, George served as the Civic Engagement Chair, and led a committee dedicated to connecting students to opportunities for interacting with the community and developing leadership skills. Outside of the IOP, he is a cohort facilitator for OMSA's Emerging Minds Project, and sits on the board of campusCATALYST, an organization that allows students to work as pro bono consultants for local nonprofits. The summer after his first year, George participated in Summer Links and was an intern at the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund. During the summer of 2016, George interned at the US Department of State in Washington, D.C. This year, George is excited to continue working towards making the IOP a more inclusive and representative environment for all students. 

Adam Biesman (Fellows Chair) | AB'18
Adam is a third year in the College and he is majoring in Statistics. Adam has been actively involved with the IOP. His commitments have ranged from serving on the Chicago Style Committee to the board of College Republicans, the former Events Chair, and the current Fellows of the Student Advisory Board. This summer, Adam interned at Deep Root Analytics, a big data television marketing firm in DC. When Adam is not at the Institute of Politics, he has been active in sports broadcasting, baseball statistics, and Hillel. In his spare time, Adam loves sports and hopes to one day be the general manager of a major league baseball team.

Conor McDonough (Senior Chair) | AB'17
Conor is a fourth year in the college studying Economics from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. At the IOP, Conor has greatly enjoyed his role in helping to shape and execute IOP events as the Speaker Series Intern and more recently as the Junior Co-Chair of the Student Advisory Board. During the summers, Conor has interned with Senator Durbin’s office, ASGK Public Strategies, and most recently with BNP Paribas. On campus, Conor is involved in the Model United Nations community, having served on the Executive Committee for Model United Nations of the University of Chicago (MUNUC). This year, Conor is excited to continue strengthening the IOP Student Association and to increase pathways for student engagement at the IOP.

Shae Omonijo (Civic Engagement Chair) | AB'18
Shae is a third year Political Science and Public Policy double major from Baltimore, Maryland. When she participated in ChicagoBound, an IOP and UCSC co-sponsored pre-orientation program, she was inspired by the various communities she met across Chicago coming together to solve tough problems. She became more involved at the IOP through The Gate, where she writes about issues facing the African and African-American community. Before coming to the IOP, Shae served as the Undergraduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees and Co-President of the African and Caribbean Students Association.  Shae has worked for the Governor of Maryland where she focused on economic reform and federal grant opportunities for communities in Maryland. This summer, she conducted research at the Center for African Studies at Harvard University. Outside of the IOP, Shae enjoys working at the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights and writing in her spare time.

Alex Sarabia (Graduate Student Chair) | MPP '17
Alex is a second year master of public policy candidate at the Harris School studying economic policy and municipal finance. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Alex was first inspired by politics through an internship in his hometown mayor’s office. A graduate of Boston College, he was selected for a public policy fellowship by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, where he worked as a speechwriter and press aide for U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro. At the IOP, Alex was a Fellow’s Ambassador and is now encouraging graduate students to explore the possibilities of public service. In his free time, Alex enjoys watching Spurs basketball, reading The Economist, and traveling to new places.

Liz Stark (Communications Chair) | AB'17
Liz is a fourth year Political Science and Gender Studies double-major with a passion for political communication, journalism, and public engagement. This summer, Liz interned with the ABC News Pennsylvania Avenue Unit in Washington, DC, covering the White House, Congress, and 2016 presidential election. Previously, Liz worked for the White House Office of Communications and MSNBC's "Morning Joe," as well as externed for POLITICO. On campus, Liz was the IOP Events Intern during her second year and a news anchor for Maroon TV, the college's only student-run news network. In addition to serving a second term as the IOP Communications Chair, Liz is also currently the co-Editor-in-Chief of The Gate and a member of the Women in Public Service Program. These experiences have instilled in Liz a lifelong dedication to upholding journalistic integrity and supporting women in the fields of politics, journalism, and public service.

Baxter Stein (Events Chair) | AB'18
Baxter is a third-year in the College majoring in Public Policy with interests in politics, policy, science, and technology. He is from Westport, Connecticut and has interned for both the campaign and office of his Congressman, Jim Himes (D-CT). This summer, Baxter worked in Washington, DC as a Summer Fellow for Blue Engine Message and Media, a strategic communications firm with political, corporate, and non-profit clients. He also interned for POLITICO during the IOP’s trek to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Baxter has been involved in all aspects of the IOP serving as a Fellows Ambassador for Senators Bill Bradley and Mark Udall as well as a member of the Maroon Veterans Alliance Executive Board. Last year Baxter joined the IOP’s Events Team as the Speaker Series Intern and is excited to continue on as the Events Chair of the Student Advisory Board.

Ala Tineh (Career Development Chair) | AB'17
Ala is a fourth year Economics major and Statistics minor from the suburbs of Chicago. Growing up as a first-generation Palestinian-American, she first discovered her interest in politics while watching Al-Jazeera and other media outlets with her family and later as an intern in Prague with Forum 2000, a foundation dedicated to the principles of democracy.  At the IOP, Ala has previously been involved as an Events Ambassador and participated in a trek to Springfield. On campus, Ala is President of the Muslim Students Association, a team lead for Google’s Community Leaders Program, and a research assistant for the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism. Previously, she has worked as a research assistant at the University of Chicago Hospitals and participated in the Clinton Global Initiative-University. As the Career Development Chair, she is excited to create meaningful opportunities that help students build a fulfilling career in public service.

Kaan Ulgen (Campus Community Outreach Chair) | AB'17
Kaan is a fourth year Political Science major. As a native of Turkey, a country with a vibrant political culture but a flawed democracy, Kaan is passionate about  the development of democracies, comparative electoral politics, and international relations. He has previously worked on a campaign in his country’s first presidential election, for the Turkish Business and Industry Association Washington Representative Office, and for the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C.. On campus, he is the president of the Turkish Students Association, founded the British Parliamentary Debating Union, and has been an active member of the UChicago Political Union. He has recently co-founded a website that provides data based political analysis of Turkish politics. This year he is excited to once again working to continue improving IOP's engagement with the campus community and finishing his B.A. thesis on why established parties are losing votes shares in advanced democracies.