Class Entering 2010-2011
Kelly Whitener is currently a 4E at Georgetown and works for the Senate Committee on Finance, managing the Medicaid, CHIP, and prevention and wellness portfolios. As an undergraduate, Kelly studied psychology and Spanish at the University of Michigan and worked with children with special needs. In 2002, Kelly joined the Peace Corps, serving for three years in Ecuador as an urban youth development volunteer. Her time in the Peace Corps sparked an interest in policy. Upon her return to the US, Kelly studied public health policy at UCLA while working as a case manager in community mental health clinics. After completing her graduate work, Kelly was selected as a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow which brought her to Washington, DC. Since moving to Washington, Kelly has continued to focus her work on improving the health of low-income children and families.
Katie graduated from the University of Virginia in 2007 with a BA in Foreign Affairs and a minor in Global Cultures and Commerce. While at UVA, Katie participated in an international relations and human rights study abroad program in Geneva, Switzerland. After graduating, Katie joined the U.S. Peace Corps as an Environment Volunteer in Madagascar. She spent her first year in Madagascar working largely with subsistence farmers to improve agricultural techniques, but her service was interrupted when a coup d'état forced the suspension of the Peace Corps program. A few months later she was selected to return to Madagascar and reopen the Peace Corps program. Once back in Madagascar, Katie spent a year working in cooperation with an American NGO to improve the functionality of a small community-based forest management association, develop an environmental education program and improve an ecotourism project and forest restoration project. Katie then extended her service for six months to work with a local Malagasy NGO as a supervisor for their environment projects and for a women's and children's rights project. Katie is fluent in Malagasy and intends to pursue a career in international human rights.
Justin's passion for public interest law stems from his Christian faith and the clear biblical teachings to "do justice and love mercy" (Micah 6:8). Justin graduated from Gordon College in 2007 with a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies and a minor in foreign languages (Spanish and Koine Greek). Prior to law school, Justin worked in the Outreach Department of Grace Chapel in Lexington, MA, where he supported the work of Grace's 80+ global and regional ministry partners and helped coordinate over two dozen domestic and international service projects. Justin also worked as a paralegal for the Law Offices of Jeffrey B. Rubin in Boston, MA, a firm specializing in criminal defense and immigration law.There, he worked closely with the predominantly Spanish-speaking clientele to prepare applications for permanent residency, naturalization, asylum, and withholding/cancellation of removal. Justin hopes to explore many areas of public interest law while at Georgetown, especially international human rights, immigration, and criminal law.Whatever Justin finds himself working, he is grateful to be learning a practical way to put his faith into action. He also knows that he could not accomplish any of this without the support of his incredible wife, Lauren, whom he joyfully married on June 4, 2011.
Rebecca grew up in New York City and received a degree in the interdisciplinary Science in Society Program from Wesleyan University.While at Wesleyan, Rebecca spent her summers interning at Planned Parenthood and the Innocence Project.This work catalyzed her commitment to addressing the health disparities experienced by underserved communities and led her to Georgetown Law. After graduating from Wesleyan in 2008, Rebecca moved back to NYC and spent two years working as a paralegal at the law firm, Morvillo Abramowitz. More recently, she contributed to research for "Stress and Justice in the South Bronx," an epidemiological study looking at the impact of parental criminal justice system involvement on children's mental health. This summer, Rebecca spent an incredible month in rural India learning about community-based primary health care.
Jennesa is committed to economic justice and is especially interested in how government can better serve the most marginalized and address rising economic inequality. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 2008 with an Honors Major in Political Science and Honors Minor in Sociology & Anthropology. Jennesa is the Director of an innovative program to intervene in the spread of gun violence across New York State, modeled on CeaseFire Chicago. She has worked for the Majority Counsel of the New York State Senate, where she assisted Chief Counsel in legislative, public policy, and litigation. Jennesa also traveled to Georgia and Florida as a staff member on Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign. More recently, she helped to elect Eric Schneiderman as New York's Attorney General.In the run-up to Health Care reform, she helped start a national advocacy organization (with Georgetown Law PILS graduates!), "Young Invincibles." While at Swarthmore College, Jennesa spearheaded successful campaigns for responsible consumer practices. In 2005, in response to the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, she helped found the Genocide Intervention Network. She also published a paper entitled "From Fraud to Responsibility: A discourse analysis of the speeches of two Presidents in their quest to implement welfare reform."
Aparna is from Greenville, South Carolina and graduated from Duke University in 2005. While at Duke, she interned at the Legal Aid Society in Asheville, North Carolina, where she helped Domestic Violence victims represent themselves in court. She spent a summer in Cape Town, South Africa, teaching a speech and debate workshop to kids in the township of Phillipe. For the past few years Aparna has been working in the Office of Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, where she served as a Legislative Assistant for health care, women's issues, education, immigration and Social Security. She advised her boss during the historic health care reform debate, helping the Congresswoman focus her legislative efforts on women's health. Aparna wrote legislation to provide legal protections for victims of sexual assault in the military, which passed in the House of Representatives. Aparna has also worked in the Office of Senator Barbara Mikulski, and the health policy office of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, chaired by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Aparna took a break from Capitol Hill to serve as a field organizer during Obama presidential campaign in North Dakota and Wisconsin. Aparna is interested in women's issues, poverty, health care and human rights. She hopes to use her law degree to continue public policy work in one or more of these areas.
Clare grew up in Berkeley, California with her mother and three younger brothers. She graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a degree in Political Science. As an undergraduate at UCLA, Clare participated in Project BRITE (Bruins Reforming Incarceration Through Education), where she tutored young inmates at Juvenile Probation Camp Vernon Kilpatrick. She also assisted a public policy professor at UCLA in her research on the prevalence and proliferation of youth gangs in Los Angeles. Until recently, Clare was working with the Beat Within where she led creative writing workshops in juvenile halls and edited workshop pieces for the Beat Within's weekly publication - a magazine composed of the most prominent workshop pieces, which circulated throughout many California juvenile halls. Last year, Clare spent time volunteering at a juvenile detention facility in Cusco, Peru. Clare's passion for justice and a desire to affect systemic change to the juvenile justice system has led Clare to Georgetown Law.
Lee grew up in New York City and graduated from Yale University with a dual degree in English and Ethnicity, Race and Migration. Before starting law school, Lee worked as a journalist and documentary filmmaker for numerous media outlets including PBS, MSNBC and Newsweek. She has covered presidential elections, the war in Iraq, the debate over healthcare, and immigration. Her film, "Someone Else's War," recently aired on PBS, and documented the stories of Filipino contractors employed by the U.S. military in Iraq. Lee has also worked closely with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, a non-profit that helps Iraqi refugees to apply for asylum. In 2009, she traveled with the group to Jordan, and produced several short films about their clients which are now used for trainings and fundraising. Lee's interests include immigration, labor and civil rights law. She lives with her husband Danny and her daughter Maya in Capitol Hill.
Class Entering 2012-2013
Fawah N. Akwo
Fawah grew up with five siblings and countless cousins in the coastal town of Limbe, Cameroon, in west Central Africa. In 2004, she moved to the United States to enroll at MIT and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. While at MIT, Fawah co-founded and won both a Baker fellowship and an MIT-Microsoft iCampus grant for OpenCameroon: iREACT (Internet Resources Equipping Africans for College and Technology), a program where she trained high school students and local NGO staff in Cameroon on how to leverage Internet technologies for learning. After college, Fawah worked as a Software Engineer at Oracle, where she developed customer relationship management (CRM) web applications. During her time in Silicon Valley, she founded schoolpikin.org, a crowd-funding website to enable youth in developing countries to organize and garner support for service projects in their communities. Fawah maintains an active interest in international development and in public sector reform. She is especially interested in platforms that combine legal theory with technology to foster public sector transparency and accountability, and protect free speech on social media. At Georgetown Law, Fawah plans to explore international human rights, women's rights and cyberlaw.
Adina is pursuing a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy degree at Georgetown.She is devoted to helping refugees claim and gain their rights and strengthening the international refugee system's capacity to provide refugees with meaningful protection. Adina spent a year in Cairo, Egypt as a Fulbright scholar providing legal aid to refugees who had fled from Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia through The Resettlement Legal Aid Project. Adina has interned at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, assisting Haitians, Cubans and others seeking safety through legal status in the Caribbean, and most recently at Asylum Access Ecuador, advocating for Colombian and other refugees at the policy-level. Adina is also interested in international law and is a Global Law Scholar at Georgetown. She graduated magna cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis with a dual B.A. in International Area Studies and Urban Studies. She is from Bethesda, Maryland and enjoys traveling, yoga, painting, hiking, and laughing with family and friends.
Rachel F. Cicurel
Rachel Cicurel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in June 2010. She spent her senior year at Medill as an investigative journalist for the Medill Innocence Project, and helped uncover overwhelming evidence of innocence in the case of a prisoner from a Chicago housing project who was wrongfully convicted of double homicide and sentenced to life without parole shortly after his 15th birthday. She also worked with three other students to expose juror recantations in the case of Texas death row inmate Henry "Hank" Skinner, whose case was heard by the Supreme Court of the United States in October 2010. Since graduating from Northwestern, she has spent two years at the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP) in DC and has been involved in working to correct a 7 co-defendant wrongful conviction surrounding an infamous DC murder which occurred in 1984.
Jim grew up in New Jersey with his parents and younger brother, and graduated from Duke University with a degree in economics. While at Duke, he facilitated discussions and retreats with the Center for Race Relations, and directed Project BUILD, a community service program that introduces freshmen to each other and to the Durham community. After college, Jim worked on the policy staff of then-Gov. Jon Corzine's re-election campaign, focusing on education policy and economic issues. After the campaign, he took a job at Educational Testing Service, analyzing test data for reliability, validity, and fairness. Wanting to advocate more directly for equity in America's education system, Jim left ETS to join the staff of The Education Trust, a non-profit research and advocacy group whose mission is closing achievement gaps and promoting high achievement for all students. Among other issues, he is concerned about mounting student loan debt and the increasingly unaffordable price of higher education, and hopes to use his Georgetown education to help address this. When not working, Jim enjoys cooking and culinary adventures of all kinds.
Hannah Gordon grew up on Long Island, New York. She graduated with honors from Cornell University with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations. For her senior honors thesis, she researched the impact of policy and legal precedent on women's pensions. As an undergraduate, she was the president of the Industrial and Labor Relations Women's Caucus and brought speakers and programming to campus to address gender issues in the workplace. As president of the Women's Caucus, she also coordinated fundraising events for the local women's opportunity center. Hannah spent a semester interning at the National Women's Political Caucus, a group that provides support for political candidates who advocate for women's rights. After college, Hannah continued to pursue her interest in gender equality while working at the Feminist Majority Foundation, a non-profit feminist organization. At the Feminist Majority Foundation, Hannah worked on various women's equality issues, such as reproductive rights and equal pay. She intends to pursue a career as an employment and women's rights lawyer, focusing on employment discrimination.
Chayla C. Jackson
Chayla C. Jackson graduated with high honors with a B.A. in African American Studies from University of Maryland, College Park and is an alumnae of the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program. While in college, Chayla served on the University Student Judiciary and interned for the Honorable Senator Nathaniel Exum in the Maryland General Assembly where she testified before the Finance Committee on two worker's compensation bills. She was also involved in the University of Maryland college chapter of NAACP, and it was her work with them that introduced her to the prison industrial complex and school-to-prison pipeline.Passionate about motivating youth to educate themselves and mentorship as a prevention mechanism against the school-to-prison pipeline, Chayla became involved in mentoring programs. She coordinated a weekly mentoring program throughout the year for girls ages 7 to 18 in her hometown and organized a spring semester Saturday Freedom School, modeled after the freedom schools of the Civil Rights Movement, for local 7th graders.Both programs used culture and history to educate and empower youth. After graduation, Chayla became involved in the Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. and currently, sits on the Board of Directors for Community Outreach Services, Inc., helping them fulfill their mission as a human services non-profit aimed at helping adult and juveniles in the criminal justice system successfully reintegrate into the community. This summer Chayla will be interning with Judge Arthur L. Burnett, Sr. researching social policy issues. Chayla is interested in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and civil rights.
David S. Mitchell
David was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After college, he worked on a failed gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts and then moved to Washington, DC. This first stint in the nation's capital lasted nearly four years, spent mostly as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). He handled health care and Social Security issues for the senator and worked on the landmark health reform law that passed in 2010. Over the last two years, David studied domestic policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he earned a Master's degree in Public Affairs. While a student at Princeton, David co-wrote a report on urban education reform for the National Association of State Boards of Education and co-produced a documentary short on education financing in rural Georgia. Over the years, David has held internships with Salon.com, the Office of Management and Budget, the New Democrat Network, and the National Association of Community Health Centers. He once held a temporary job as a pre-market tester of children's toys. He is passionate about enhancing social mobility in the U.S., particularly through health, education, and tax policy, and hopes one day to help craft legislation in these areas.
Whiquitta Tobar grew up in Blytheville, Arkansas and graduated from Alabama A&M University with a degree in Political Science. As an undergraduate at Alabama A&M, Whiquitta interned with the Madison County Commissioner's office, helping inmates secure jobs upon release. She also volunteered at various domestic violence shelters. Her activities during undergrad influenced her interest in prison reform, women's rights, and labor law. Her passion for justice has led her to Georgetown Law. Whiquitta enjoys yoga, playing basketball, and mentoring adolescent youth.
Class Entering 2013-2014
Marion came to Georgetown Law interested in the state's role in regulating gender, sexuality and family. After getting her B.A from Georgetown in 2010, she joined the Peace Corps where she partnered with the National Ecuadorian Red Cross to engage with topics of HIV, gender identity, sexuality and sex worker's rights. During her time in Ecuador, she was able to witness how collective organizing and law can work hand in hand as tools of social and political change. Most recently, Marion worked at the Philadelphia Women's center where she served as an advocate and counselor for patients seeking abortions and other reproductive health needs. As a result of her experiences with LGBTQ communities and sexual and reproductive healthcare, Marion hopes to contribute to ensuring access to basic resources and protections to those who have consistently been denied them.
Quinn came to Georgetown Law after spending nearly four years working on Capitol Hill.She served as a Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Susan A. Davis and was the lead staffer on issues including early, secondary and higher education, women's health, refugee assistance, immigration, and foreign affairs. She also has political experience, having worked on the campaign trail as a field and volunteer coordinator. Quinn graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a joint concentration (double major) in Government and East Asian Studies, spending summers teaching English in China and Vietnam. She immigrated to the US at age six and grew up in San Diego. In her free time, she enjoys cooking ethnic food and discovering new restaurants.
Tahir Duckett serves as the National Young Worker Coordinator at the AFL-CIO. He directs the AFL-CIO's engagement with and development of young workers both inside and outside of the labor movement. From 2007 to 2013, he worked as the Deputy National Field Director at Working America, where he helped manage and maintain all aspects of a grassroots effort that has organized over 3 million workers. He also led Working America's efforts around staff recruitment and diversity. Prior to serving at Working America, he worked as the Field Director for the Democratic Party of Georgia, where he helped managed field campaigns for two of the most competitive congressional races in the country, and as Canvass Director for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. on their fundraising project with the Democratic National Committee. He was raised in Atlanta and received a B.A. in Religion and Political Science from Emory University. In his few moments away from labor organizing, he spends his time playing and following soccer and trying new techniques in the kitchen.
Joshua is from Staten Island, New York. He graduated with honors with a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. As an undergraduate, Joshua interned for former Senator Russ Feingold and focused on issues relating to health care. During his time at the University of Maryland Joshua also worked at the Richard J. Hungerford School where he assisted students with severe cognitive and physical disabilities. Upon graduating, Joshua entered Teach for America's 2010 Washington, D.C. Corps. As a Teach for America corps member, Joshua taught special education at Stanton Elementary, a DC Public School located in ward 8. Joshua began working at Stanton during the first year of a school turnaround process and was part of a team that made dramatic gains in student achievement and improved school culture.While teaching, Joshua earned a master's degree in special education from George Mason University. In 2012 Joshua became a Family Care Coordinator at Early Stages in the DC Public Schools Office of Special Education. In his role as Family Care Coordinator, Joshua supported families through the identification process for special education. These experiences on both the school and district level have helped shape Joshua's perspective on education, particularly his belief that not only do all children deserve a high quality education, but that the fulfillment of this ideal is within our society's reach. Joshua enters Georgetown Law hoping to focus on education law and policy, with a specific interest in improving the educational outcomes of students with disabilities growing up in poverty.
Claire graduated summa cum laude and with highest thesis honors from Tufts University in 2011, where she majored in History and minored in American Politics. Upon graduation, Claire worked for two years as an investigator at Brooklyn Defender Services in New York City, investigating cases ranging from alleged drug sales to homicide charges. One of her most memorable cases involved an alleged theft of fake eyelashes from a beauty parlor. Claire hopes to gain further experience in public defense while at Georgetown, especially in regard to women and juveniles.Claire became fascinated with public defense and legal representation as a high school "attorney" in her school's mock trial program. She parlayed that interest into an internship with The Defender Association in her hometown of Seattle in 2010, in which she created a database cataloguing incidences of police misconduct. In college, Claire was the director of equal justice and education programs for her school's chapter of The Roosevelt Institute, a politically progressive student-run policy organization. She also interned for the Constitution Project in Washington, D.C., a bipartisan legal think tank, drafting opinion pieces and researching policy issues. Claire is passionate about criminal justice and women's issues. Her honors thesis analyzed the gains and losses of the women's movement through the lens of gendered advertisements for tranquilizers and anti-psychotic drugs. She is the 2011 winner of the Russell E. Miller Prize in history. Claire spent 2009-10 as a visiting student at Pembroke College, Oxford University. She loves Shakespeare, cooking, and traveling, and she is a proud 2011 Boston Marathon finisher.
Hai Binh Nguyen
Hai Binh grew up in Ho Chi Minh City and Chicago and attended Stanford University in California. Following her passion for public service, Hai Binh worked as an aide to a Councilmember in Oakland, California, and served in one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the country. She then joined the Asian Pacific Environmental Network to support Chinese immigrants in fighting evictions and obtaining compensation for workers exposed to arsenic poisoning. The organization also succeeded in winning a landmark lawsuit against Chevron to prevent the refinery from expanding its plant to process crude and toxic oil. Most recently, Hai Binh coordinated leadership trainings for non-profit organizations and government agencies to incorporate a social justice framework into their programs. In this capacity, she also helped to form a historic voter mobilization effort in San Francisco that is still in operation today to increase the power of low income voters and voters of color. Hai Binh is committed to social and economic justice and plans to use her law degree to continue her work in marginalized communities to help provide a voice for those most vulnerable.
Prior to joining the Georgetown University Law Center, Amandeep worked for two years in Cairo, Egypt through the country's tumultuous political experiment with democracy. As a research assistant with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a local rights group, Amandeep carried out comparative legal and policy research to support various legislative and constitutional initiatives. His work included developing a long-term legal and policy blueprint for non-discrimination and authoring various legislative and constitutional proposals related to civil liberties and government accountability. He also provided research and support for an investigation into the killing of protestors at the infamous "Masapiro March" in 2011. In addition to his professional experiences, Amandeep was involved in multiple grassroots initiatives. These included Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment (OpAntiSH), an activist group that documents and responds to organized, mob sexual assaults at protest sites, as well as humanitarian assistance efforts for Syrian refugees in Cairo. Amandeep has appeared on Egyptian television and been published for his commentaries on political developments in the Middle East and South Asia. He has lived in Egypt, the Palestinian Territories and India, speaks five languages, and is an avid practitioner of Kundalini Yoga. Through participation in both the Public Interest Law Scholars program as well as the Global Law Scholars program, Amandeep intends to maintain an international social justice focus throughout his legal study at Georgetown University.