Partnership Interns

The Equity Implemented interns receive training, experience, and mentoring while working on the Equity Implemented Partnership. Interns work collaboratively with the EIP research team to help write research reports, policy briefs, provide literature reviews, analyze data, create graphics and other visual displays of research findings, and assist in program evaluations.

Spring 2019

Sarah Carmona

Sarah Carmona is a third year undergraduate student studying both Ethics & Public Policy and Political Science. After graduation in May of 2020 Sarah plans to attend graduate school for Criminology.  Sarah's interests lie in the racial disparities seen between students in the school district and is most interested in how these differences affect both their academic achievement and future in general.

Nicole Bennett

Nicole Bennett is a third year undergraduate student majoring in both Criminology and Spanish with a minor in Sociology. Her interest in the Equity Implemented Partnership were sparked after taking Dr. Bruch's Social Inequalities course in the Spring of 2018 and she decided to join the partnership in the Spring of 2019. Working with the partnership has further developed her interests of social justice and racial disparities in both the legal system and within schools. After graduation in May 2020 she plans to pursue a law degree to practice criminal law and continue studying inequalities within the legal system.

Nicole Nucaro

Nicole Nucaro is a junior majoring in Ethics and Public Policy and Interdepartmental Studies with a certificate in Resilience and Trauma Informed Perspectives. She first joined the Equity Implemented Partnership during her first year at Iowa. Outside of school, Nicole is involved in the Conversation Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Lecture Committee, is an undergraduate Teaching Assistant and a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Johnson County. After graduation, Nicole hopes to attend Law School and pursue a career in international law.  She has enjoyed her experience at the PPC because it's allowed her to learn valuable research skills, study inequalities within schools and engage in important conversations about public policy initiatives. 

Jocelyn Roof

Jocelyn Roof is a second year undergraduate majoring in Sociology and Political Science. She first became interested in the Equity Implemented Partnership when she took Dr. Bruch's class Big Ideas: Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America, but she has always been interested in social justice and education policy. Jocelyn has served as the Governmental Relations Chair in the University of Iowa Student Government, co-led undergraduate voter registration and political engagement efforts, and served as a resident assistant for incoming students in Currier Hall. In the future she plans to attend graduate school, with the hopes of continuing research on social and education policy and inequality.

Skye Sperry

Skye Sperry (she/her/hers) is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa majoring in Neuroscience, with a minor in English and a certificate in Sustainability. She was in Dr. Sarah Bruch's Big Ideas: Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in Americacourse her first semester at the university which sparked her interest in creating more equitable learning opportunities, starting in her own community. Working for this internship has ignited her interest in environmental justice. Skye plans on pursuing a Masters in Conservation and Public Policy, and plans on taking what she learns from the Equity Implemented Partnership to create sustainable, equitable environments.

Fall 2018

Fenner

Emily Fenneris from Grinnell, Iowa and is in her third year of undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa. She will graduate in 2020 with a B.A. in Ethics and Public Policy and minors in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies and Social Justice. Post-graduation plans include either law school or a Masters in Public Policy. Emily believes in social justice and is excited to get to work on combating racial inequities in education in Iowa City. In her words, "Creating an equitable learning environment that works for every student is absolutely critical and I look forward to helping do just that! I hope that this internship will help prepare me for future political endeavors and further develop the critical analysis skills needed for a career in the legal field."

Moore

Machaella Moore is anticipated to graduate in May of 2020 with majors in Ethics and Public Policy and Sociology.  Machaella’sresearch interest is racial and socioeconomic inequalities in the education system.  In the future, she hopes to use her knowledge in politics and sociology to write policies that help to address these issues and improve her community.  During her internship at the PPC, Machaellahopes to help enforce equity in the Iowa City school district via school profiles that show each school’s survey results in a number of categories. Through these results, Iowa City schools will be able to see where they are succeeding and what needs improvement.  She hopes to create social change within the community and feels her time at the PPC will be a stepping stone to this dream. Machaellais an external event coordinator for her sorority and was a dancer for 14 years prior to coming to college.

Swinton

Zoe Swinton plans to graduate in May 2020 from the University of Iowa with degrees in anthropology, ethics & public policy, and psychology. Her interest in significant disparities within schools led her to working on the Equity Implemented Project with Dr. Sarah Bruch. She is undecided about her future plans, but would like to continue her education either in graduate school or law school.

Summer 2018

Summer interns in the Equity Implemented Partnership with the Iowa City Schools showcased their research July 25that 13thannual UI Summer Undergraduate Research Conference.  The conference is a culmination of the students' summer undergraduate research experiences at the UI. Since participants present their work to the university research community, the event serves as an important professional development opportunity for students preparing for careers in research, policy or practice.

Interns Starr Davis and Andrea Lynch with Tessa Heeren
Dean and Andie

My name is Andrea Lynch and I am a junior at the University of Iowa studying Journalism & Mass Communication and International Relations. Over the summer I have worked as a team member on the Equity Implemented Partnership with the ICCSDand University of Iowa Public Policy Center. My focus was on the outcome of varying levels of teacher diversity on students' experience of the school environment. I am so thankful that I was able to participate in this amazing research opportunity.  

Starr Davis with poster

Starr Davis: This summer, I got the opportunity to be a part of two research projects . The first project focused on “Can Teacher Diversity close racial and disciplinary gaps in the Iowa City School District” This research goal is to inform the district of the severity of the racial disparities in the Iowa City Community School District and provide recommendations to effectively  increase teacher diversity to combat these disparities.  The second research project questioned whether growth mindset affected Black students in the Iowa City School District.  This summer I was able to be conduct research with a team that was hardworking, diligent, and determined. This experience enhanced me in ways that I could never imagined such as writing literature reviews, data entry, ANOVA, multivariate regression, constructing two posters, not missing the Campbus, and going to sleep early so that I can get up and start my day at 8:00. Finally, working under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Bruch was a rewarding experience. I loved sharing or bragging who my mentor was during the program and what she meant to me. Her guidance this summer was appreciated. She was not only a mentor but a positive role.

Paul and Conrad

Conrad Kim (right): Working on the Equity Implemented Partnership with Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), I had a chance to explore my academic interests. Also, it was interesting to see how our research can impact the decision-making process in the ICCSD. All the generous supports and training that I received for this internship reminded me of the importance of sharing what I have with others.

Logan Drake

Logan Drake is a senior at the University of Iowa studying Economics, Philosophy, and Ethics and Public Policy. This summer he has worked as a team member on the Equity Implemented Partnership with the Iowa City Community School District and the Public Policy Center. He focused on the effects of teachers’ implicit bias on student achievement and the effectiveness of training programs to reduce these effects. He has enjoyed the entire experience, especially talking to in-service teachers about implicit bias and student success at SURC. 

2017 to 2018

Equity Implemented Interns at State Capitol (April 2018)

ICRU interns presenting a poster

Rachel MallerIt was a great experience presenting our research at the Capitol and sharing the importance of the Equity Implemented Partnership. This opportunity skilled us with how to make an effective academic poster, how to communicate our research, and ways to engage in discussion with policy makers and student researchers. We were encouraged to share the influence research has had on our future goals and advocate the importance of undergraduate research. I appreciated being able to publicly share the community impact of the partnership and why equity should be a priority for educational policy.  

Kaelynn Heidberg: Research in the Capitol was a great place to present research for the first time! There were so many accomplished students there to talk with and discuss diverse research topics. The Iowa legislators that we talked to were interested in our evaluation of the ICCSDprofessional development programs, they asked us a lot of questions and I hope that we showed them that the University of Iowa is a great resource for information on education policies in the future.

Tristan Schmidt

Tristan Schmidt (he/him/his) is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in African-American Studies, and pursuing certificates in Cultural Competence and Social Science Analytics.  He is the Director of Academic Affairs for the UI Student Government and President of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity. "I joined Dr. Bruch and her time at the Public Policy Center because the workthat was being done was vital to the success of the community and for moving forward. The work I did felt special to me because I was helping out with educational policy and education work which I find to be so vital. Dr. Bruch has helped me understand how vital educational policy and research is to creating more equitable and just systems for the benefit of society. It has also showed that this is the path I want to go down for my career in the future which will, hopefully, be Macro-level Social Work and Social Policy."

Lindsey Meza and family

Lindsey Meza graduated from Iowa with a BA in Sociology. "I had a great experience working with Dr. Bruch on the Equity Implemented Partnership. I came into it with no prior experience conducting research and worried that I wouldn't have much to contribute. However, Dr. Bruch and the team helped me through the process, such as how to understand the data, how researchers code qualitative data, how to create useful visuals using Excel, and how to present data in understandable ways, all while working with a great team. I wish I had more semesters to continue with the project!"

Summer 2017

Austin Adams

Austin Adams (he/him/his) 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

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 Heerenas 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

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

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

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, Heibergis 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

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. Rachel also interned for the project in Spring 2017.

Aubria Myers

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.” 

2016 to 2017

Rachel Maller

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 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 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." 

Rhea Burns is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa with a major in Enterprise Leadership and a minor in Sociology. She was a student in Dr. Sarah Bruch’s Social Inequality course which inspired her to further her education regarding disparities and inequalities, especially within school systems. After graduation, Rhea plans to begin a graduate program to attain a Master of Business Administration degree. 

Ivan Rodriguez

Irvin Rodriguez is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa with a major in Sociology and Enterprise Leadership. Irvin was a student in Dr. Sarah Bruch’s Social Inequality and Big Ideas: Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America courses which initially spurred his interest in how inequality shapes society. Having no prior research experience, the internship offered by Dr. Bruch strongly influenced him and his future plans. Irvin plans to continue his internship opportunity with the Public Policy Center during the spring and after graduation, he plans pursue a career in the field of social work. "The time I’ve spent so far with the Public Policy Center has been invaluable. Having the chance to work in an environment like this has been awesome! This is a great opportunity to transfer what you've learned and apply it to something tangible and meaningful. I can certainly say I've learned a lot in my short time here. I highly recommend an experience like this to any student!"

Summer 2016

Justin Battle

Justin Battle is a psychology major at Virginia Commonwealth University, and participated in the Summer Research Opportunity Program at the University of Iowa in the summer of 2016. After graduation, Justin would like to have a career working as a guidance counselor in a middle or high school in a low income area, and eventually to become a principal. His passion is in helping children to explore their true potential and talents in education.

Alex Hylka

Alex Hylka is a recently graduated student from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He has a wide range of interests within the realm of public policy, with his most prominent being education. Prior to the summer of 2016, Alex had no previous experience doing research. His entrance into the Iowa Center for Undergraduate Research Program was initiated by Associate Professor Sarah Bruch while taking her Policy Matters course during his senior year. Following graduation, Alex has continued performing research with the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, and plans to return to Iowa in the coming year in order to pursue a Ph.D. in Schools, Culture, & Society. "I strongly believe that my time working with the Public Policy Center this summer was one of the most important and worthwhile experiences that I have had as an undergraduate. Being able to contribute to the meaningful work the Public Policy Center continues to do has been a great honor, and I would highly recommend a research internship experience such as this one to other undergraduate students."

2015 to 2016

HaYoung Jeong

HaYoung Jeong is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and a certificate in human rights. She is interested in using community-based research to improve social policy. She has previous research experience as a research fellow through the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates Fellowship program in the Department of Political Science at the University of Iowa. HaYoungis now a candidate for a Masters of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. During the project, HaYoungenjoyed learning about the unique process of social policy research and collaborating the work with a variety of members in the community. It was a meaningful experience for her to witness and participate in a research project that will bring a real-life change in the community.

Sana Naqvi

Sana Naqvi is a graduate from the University of Iowa with a bachelors degree in ethics and public policy and a certificate in human rights. She was a student in Sarah Bruch’s Social Inequality and Policy Matters classes, which sparked her interest in educational inequality. She has had previous research experience working on the National Registry of Exonerationswhile interning at the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. She is a future J.D. candidate looking to practice law in the field of human rights.  "Working as a research assistant has been an invaluable experience as it not only gave me the opportunity to work with professors and graduate students who have an incredible wealth of knowledge and understanding in the field of sociology, but also allowed me to further my own research skills in ways that I could not have learned just inside a classroom."