The 2016 Iowa Project Fellows

Cristina OchoaCristina Ochoa
College Student, International Studies ‘15
Cristina Ochoa is a fourth year in the College, majoring in International Studies. As an International Studies major, for the past four years, Cristina has been studying the workings of the world, but has yet to study the local workings of the American political system. Never having been directly involved with political campaigns, Cristina is excited to get her foot in the door with the Iowa caucuses. During her time at the University of Chicago, Cristina has also been actively involved with the Organization of Latin American Students, as well as several educational organizations, working with ALMas, ACE Tech Charter High School, and UCIEP. Additionally, having some journalism experience with the Southside Weekly, Cristina is most excited to put her investigative and reporting skills to the test, working with ABC in Des Moines over the summer. Most of all, an Iowa-born native herself, Cristina is excited to show the other Iowa Project Fellows that although there may be more corn than people in Iowa, the sweetness level of both is simply unparalleled anywhere else.

Maggie Loughran

Maggie Loughran
College Student, Political Science ‘18
Maggie is a first year Political Science major from Westchester, New York. Her interest in government led her to intern for a local legislator’s reelection campaign during high school, where she immersed herself in grassroots politics. Maggie was first introduced to journalism during her senior year of high school, when she created a current events blog to stimulate intellectual curiosity and political awareness among her classmates. She has been writing for the news section of the Maroon, UChicago’s student newspaper, since entering the College in the fall. Maggie is currently involved in the Catholic Students Association and also enjoys doing yoga on campus. She is excited to be on the frontlines of the 2016 presidential election and is thrilled by the opportunity to work for CNN.

Anya Akca

Asya Akca
College Student, Political Science ‘18
Asya is a first year Political Science major in the College. She was born in Istanbul, Turkey, lived in Austria, and then moved to Louisville, Kentucky for the remainder of her education prior to college. She had the opportunity to experience the McConnell-Grimes campaign in Kentucky, which solidified her desire to work more closely on a large-scale campaign this summer. Her interest in politics was first sparked by the diverse perspectives that were brought up during her family discussions, and thus she has also developed a great interest in international politics. On campus, she has been actively involved as a member of the Model U.N. Team, and a Class of 2018 representative on Student Government. With her great passion for gender equality and women’s issues, she has been working on a proposal to get more influential women of UChicago honored on our campus, in the form of public art and monuments.

Adam B

Adam Biesman
College Student
Adam Biesman grew up in Nashville, Tennessee where he attended Montgomery Bell Academy. In high school, Adam was the captain of his policy debate team and was the manager of the sports broadcasting program. Adam is now a first year student at the University of Chicago. He currently serves on the executive board of College Republicans and on the Chicago Style Committee at the Institute of Politics. Adam is also the team lead for a project between the Sports Business Club and Green Economics Group with the goal of making Chicago sports venues more environmentally friendly.


Elazar M Chertow
College Student, History ‘18
Elazar is a first-year History major at the college, hailing from San Francisco, CA. His interest in politics and public service dates back to 2003, when his dad brought him to a John Edwards campaign event. Although the Edwards campaign did not quite work out, ever since, he has been inspired and eager to work in the realm of public service. An avid West Wing fan and a member of the Track and Field team here on campus, Elazar is excited for the opportunity to be an Iowa Project fellow, and cannot wait to get on the ground to understand the workings of local politics in the the hawkeye state.


Calvin F Cottrell
College Student, International Studies ‘18
Calvin Cottrell is a first year student from Weston, Wisconsin, majoring in international studies and gender/sexuality studies. Calvin first became interested in politics due to Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, because of its power to mobilize first time voters around the issues that intimately effect their communities. In high school, Calvin was an avid participant in Mock Trial, Speech, and Future Business Leaders of America. Calvin also served as a Senate Page in Washington, D.C where he worked for the United States Democratic Senate Caucus. His love for politics and advocacy have carried over into his career at the University of Chicago. He is a Team Captain in Moot Court, where he argues mock federal cases and in the Socio-Economic Diversity Alliance, where he helps organize the campus community around issues of economic inequality. Calvin is excited to participate in the Iowa Project because he wants to be part of a generation of young progressives fighting for diversity, inclusion, and smart policy.

MattMatthew A Foldi
College Student, Political Science, '18
Matthew is a first year Political Science major. He has worked on over 20 campaigns in 10 states from coast to coast, from Board of Education to Congress to Governor to President. He has been featured in The Huffington Post, Politico, The Jerusalem Post, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and conservative media outlets across Maryland. He is also the founder of the blog At UChicago, Matthew is a first year representative to the Executive Board of College Republicans, social media director for both UChicago Friends of Israel and the Maroon Veterans Alliance, and a proud brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.

MaxMax M Freedman
College Student, Political Science, ‘18
Max is a first year Political Science major. Max’s interest in politics was cemented while he attended high school in New Hampshire where he observed hard-fought campaigns every cycle, and where he was Student Council President. After high school, Max worked in the United States Senate focusing on armed services and foreign affairs issues. At UChicago, Max is involved with the Institute of Politics, and is an elected member of Jannotta House Council and Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons East Hall Council. This summer, Max is very excited to be a part of IOP’s Iowa Project, and to gain first hand campaign experience and a better understanding of grassroots politics.


Kennedy B Green
College Student, Political Science '18
Long before she arrived on the academically and politically inspired campus of The University of Chicago, Kennedy Green was aware that she wanted to be an instrument for well-intended societal and political growth. In 2005 she organized a food drive in support of the LA Food Bank, and then followed this trend of social justice by co-founding an environmental advocacy club in Middle School. In addition, her exemplary history as Ambassador and Gold Award winning Girl Scout and membership on the University’s Mock Trial team has taught Kennedy to always be working towards substantial and positive change. The hope of continuing down that road has allowed Kennedy to embrace higher education as a tool for understanding, to use her love for languages as a foundation for building alliances, and to foster her passion for team endeavors that lead to a common goal. Today, Kennedy is proud to be part of the IOP’s Iowa Project Fellowship; she couldn’t be more excited to contribute to the efforts of this incredibly smart and talented coalition of students who will be making waves in the Hawkeye State this summer.

MikiaMikia Manley
Harris School, MPP ‘16
Mikia is a first year MPP student at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. At Harris, Mikia serves as Vice Chair of Women in Public Policy and Events Co-Chair of Team Harris, an organization that handles outreach to prospective and admitted Harris students. She is also a staff writer for the Chicago Policy Review, where she focuses on child and family policy, is a member of the Community Action Bureau, a group focused on advocating for real policy change in Chicago, and sits on the Center for Policy Entrepreneurship Student Advisory Board. When not focusing on school and her extracurricular activities, Mikia works part-time as a Communications Assistant for the Harris School and as an intern for the Chicago Public Schools Department of Student Assessment. Before moving to Chicago, Mikia attended Harvard University and worked at the Massachusetts State House. Motivated by her passion to improve people's lives through meaningful policy change, Mikia has decided to pursue political campaign work, with the belief that getting the right people elected will help advance her policy goals. She is incredibly excited to be headed to Iowa this summer and can't wait to get to work finding for the next United States president.

BrendanBrendan M McGuire
College Student, History '16
Brendan is a third year History major. His major focus is on Race and Class relations in modern America. Hailing from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, Brendan has always had a deep interest in politics and public service. Since arriving at the University, Brendan has engaged with several organizations seeking to better the Chicago area. He's very proud of his work at the local non-profit Chicago Votes, an organization at which he worked on an ultimately successful campaign to pass legislation creating online voter registration in Illinois. Brendan also works with the Neighborhood Schools Program and GEAR UP, tutoring local high school students in a variety of subjects and providing college prep. In Autumn of 2014, Brendan had the honor of serving as a Fellows Ambassador to Institute of Politics Fellow Steve Schmidt. When not hard at work in the Reg or serving the community, Brendan can be found playing croquet with the Society of Lawn Sports Enthusiasts (of which he is Chief Enthusiast) or bonding with his brothers in Delta Upsilon.


Samantha Slaton
College Student, Sociology ‘16
Samantha is a third year Sociology major and Human Rights minor. Some of her earliest memories include voting in a mock presidential election at her elementary school in 1999 and accompanying her mother to the polls a few weeks later. Having grown up in various parts of the country, Samantha has a passion for connecting with and serving people. She is currently a Co-Coordinator for the UChicago cohort of Peer Health Exchange. She manages over 100 volunteers to ensure that over 60 health workshops are taught to 9th graders in Southside Chicago every Thursday and Friday. Samantha interned last summer in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Department of Homeland Security. She claims to have been bitten by "The DC Bug" during her time at the Department, and plans to work on a campaign that will one day lead her back to Washington.


Meghan Murphy
College Student, Political Science ‘15
A Massachusetts native and a proud Chicagoan, Meaghan is a fourth year Political Science major with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her academic work focuses on issues of migration, race, gender, and social exclusion in France and the United States. She is currently Deputy Editor of the South Side Weekly, a nonprofit newsprint magazine based out of UofC, which covers South Side arts, politics, and issues of public interest. For the Weekly, Meaghan is in charge of writer development, editor training, and special events, and has written several features on immigration, city and state politics, education, and religion. She has previously worked for Chicago Public Media/WBEZ and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. On campus, Meaghan is an active member of the Women in Public Service Project at the IOP, a former intern with jU Chicago and the Institute for the Next Jewish Future, and a dancer and choreographer with the Organization of Latin American Students Cultural Show.

AlecAlexander Goodwin
College Student, Economics ‘17
Alec Goodwin is a second year economics major from Toronto, Canada.  The Iowa Project is especially exciting for him because it gives him the opportunity to explore two of his major interests: journalism and politics. Even though he isn’t from the US, Alec has always been interested in American politics – the subject was one of the major reasons he wanted to come to college here. Alec fulfills his interest in journalism through work an editor for the News section at the Chicago Maroon, the University of Chicago’s student newspaper. He is strongly interested in data-driven reporting, which is augmented by his mathematical and statistical skills.

DakeDake Kang
College Student, History and Mathematics ‘16
Dake, a rising fourth year majoring in History and Mathematics, is an aspiring investigative and data journalist interested in education, global issues, and of course, politics. He first got his start in journalism at CNN, where he interned as an editorial producer on national and international news. Last winter, Dakereported for the Times of India, the largest English language newspaper in the world, where he wrote dozens of stories, including several that landed on the front page. Back in Chicago, Dake is a tutor at Donoghue Elementary for the Neighborhoods Schools Program and an urban politics research assistant. In Iowa, Dake is eager to build on his journalism experience by reporting on American politics for the first time, in a part of America he hasn't seen before.


Darrian Robinson
College Student, Public Policy and Environmental Studies ‘16
Darrian is a third year majoring in Public policy and Environmental studies. She came to the University of Chicago in 2012 from her hometown of Brooklyn, NY. Darrian was first introduced to politics in 8th grade when she volunteered for a local State Assembly campaign in Brooklyn. Since then, she has interned on two other local campaigns and at the White House: Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Most recently, she has accepted an offer as an Iowa Project Field Fellow with the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics in order to further enhance her passion for politics, public policy, and public service. She is excited to help the political community engage the nation an exciting 2016 presidential campaign kick-off in Iowa this summer!


Henry Hahn
College Student, Economics and Philosophy ‘18
Henry is a first year in the College hoping to major in either Economics or Philosophy (potentially a double major if time permits!). Growing up in Los Angeles, California, he has been well-exposed to the world of film and media for as long as he can remember, which is likely what first prompted him to pick up his mom’s DV-tape camera in the 3rd grade to set out on the endeavor of making a short film with some of his closest friends. Since then, he has taken numerous client-jobs as an independent editor, worked as an editing assistant on an independent horror film that screened at ComicCon, produced several PSAs and shorts that have won awards at various student film festivals around the country, and worked as a film instructor and project leader at the Harvard-Westlake Summer Film Program. In his senior year of high school, however, he shifted his focus to working in broadcast journalism. Previously acting as the managing editor of multimedia at his school’s online news publication, where he won two gold circle awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, he now works as a staff reporter for the Maroon TV at UChicago and hopes to take on a leadership position there next year. He is tremendously excited at the opportunity to spend this summer turning his journalistic emphasis towards U.S. Politics - a longtime fascination and recreational interest, but something he considers himself to have limited professional experience in.

MayaMaya Kliger
The College, Political Science and History ‘18
Maya Kliger is a first year in the college from Chappaqua, New York, majoring in political science and history. Her interest in journalism and politics began on a local level, as editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper and as an intern for Congresswoman Nita Lowey. On campus, Maya is Communications Director for the University of Chicago Democrats.