SPI Participants [R-W]

2016 SPI Participants [R-W]

Alphabetical by last name.

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Olivia RamboOlivia Rambo

Olivia Rambo is a student who grew up in Norman. She studies Urban Studies and Sociology at Stanford University, where she is involved with Stanford in Government and Stanford Women in Politics. She enjoys hot yoga, spending time with her vizsla, reading short stories and participating in local politics. In the future, Olivia hopes to work in city government or be a professor.


Trent RatterreeTrent Ratterree

Twitter: @trent_ratterree

Hello! I am Trent Ratterree and I am in my first year of the MPA program at the University of Central Oklahoma. I am originally from Weatherford, OK and I came to live in the metro after going to the University of Oklahoma as a walk-on tight end on the football team. My experiences working with youth in group homes, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, and as a Legislative Assistant in the Oklahoma House of Representatives have instilled in me a great passion for public policy. My policy interests lie in budgeting and social inequality. 


Daniela RosalesDani Rosales

Hi! I’m Dani Rosales, a fat, femme, queer, immigrant of color, and I would say that those identities are at the forefront of who I am as a person. This fall I will be a junior at the University of Tulsa, where I study sociology and women & gender studies. I am a member of Pride, Society for Gender Equality, Hispanic Student Association, and Association of Black Collegians at TU, and I am currently the Mission Impact intern at the YWCA Tulsa. When I’m not absurdly busy, I can be found in a cuddle puddle with my puppy and my fiancé. 


Dylan RumseyDylan Rumsey

Hello! My name is Dylan Rumsey and I live in Claremore, Oklahoma. I graduated from Claremore High School in 2013 and I am now pursuing a B.A. in Public Administration with emphases in Management, Public Affairs, and Research and Analysis at Rogers State University. I am a member of the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature, an active volunteer with the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, and alumnus of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. After my time at RSU, I plan to pursue an M.A. in Community Development or a law degree. I am greatly interested in writing, the arts, and social and economic equity. I am incredibly excited for the thought provoking conversations to be had at SPI!


Rebekah RussellRebekah Russell

My name is Rebekah Russell and I grew up in Holdenville, Oklahoma. I am a senior at the University of Oklahoma pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Information Studies with minors in English, Spanish, and Political Science. I am looking forward to wrapping up my time at OU as a Mcnair Scholar, and will begin my undergraduate research project this fall. I am interested in voting reform, eGovernment, privacy reform, Internet linguistics, education reform, the open-source movement, Internet activism, and the impact of social media on politics. I applied to the Summer Policy Institute because I am interested in learning more about OPI itself, public policy, and how best I can apply myself to bring about meaningful policy changes, especially in Oklahoma. 


Carmen SanderCarmen Sander

I am Carmen Sander. I was born and raised in northwest Oklahoma. I grew up in Seiling, Oklahoma and after high school, attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University. I majored in Biology with minor studies in Chemistry and am now finishing my Masters Degree to be a Physician Associate. I have signed with the Physician Manpower Training Commission in Oklahoma and am excited to return to rural Oklahoma for medical practice when I graduate. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking and eating, being outside, making music, and drinking coffee. My political interests include healthcare and education. 


Preston ShatwellPreston Shatwell

Twitter: @PrestonShatwell

I’m in my third year at Rogers State University, seeking a Public Affairs degree. After a corporate marketing internship at 17, I thought I’d do private sector business marketing, but personal development led me to realize my passion for social advocacy, human rights, and policy. Now, I want to use the professional skills I’ve gained from leading over 3 marketing departments to be an asset to progressive movements, social action groups, and my under-served peers. I’m the current Lieutenant Governor for the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature, a founding revitalizing member and Education Chair for Tulsa Young Democrats, a proud feminist and member of Women Lead OK, an active and vocal member of LGBTQ+ organizations like Human Rights Campaign, and am incredibly excited to become an OK Summer Policy Institute Alumni. I look forward to learning new ways of researching policy, advocating legislation and movements, and using the resources gained from the incredible people at OK Policy Institute to serve all groups of people.


Amy_SmithAmy Smith

Twitter: @mrsozric

Amy Smith is a student in the Master of Arts in Disability Studies program at CUNY School for Professional Studies.  She graduated from Partners in Policymaking, an advocate training program, in 2014 and was the mentor for the class of 2016.   Amy attended the Institute of Special Education Advocacy clinic hosted by the Oklahoma Disability Law Center in 2015, and is a member of the Society for Disability Studies and the SDS Student Caucus.  This past spring she served as a volunteer research analyst for the DHS Citizen Advisory Panel on Disability Issues.  She lives in Ada and tweets @mrsozric.


Tracey StarwaltTracey Starwalt

Twitter: @family_junction

My name is Tracey Starwalt and I am from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I received my Associate in Science, Public Service degree in 2014. I am a 2014 graduate of the N.E.W. Leadership program at The Carl Albert Center, University of Oklahoma. I am currently working towards my Bachelor’s degree in humanities. In April of 2016 I started a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma City called The Family Junction. The nonprofit is a one-year family mentorship program that aims to teach financial sustainability to Oklahoma’s married, working poor families. Family is very important to me and I want to be a voice for Oklahoma’s disadvantaged families and have a hand in making the policies that affect them.


Jacob A. TharpJacob A. Tharp

Jacob is a longtime resident of Norman where he lives with his husband, Tyler, and their hairless Sphynx cat, Carole.  After a brief stint living in Austin, Texas and an extended sabbatical from academic life, Jacob recently returned to Norman and the University of Oklahoma to complete his bachelor’s degree in Political Science with the intention of attending the OU College of Law in 2017.  Jacob is also the singer/songwriter of the Oklahoma band, Prettyboy, and continues to be an active member of the tight-knit Oklahoma music scene.


Betsy WallerBetsy Waller

Twitter: @betsygrace

My name is Betsy Waller. I am originally from Marlow, Oklahoma. Currently, I attend Oral Roberts University. I will be receiving my Bachelor of Science in International Community Development with a Business minor in May 2017. I am President of the ORU International Community Development club, and a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Student Advisory Board, ORU Honors Program, and Native American Student Alliance. I am also a member of the 2013 cohort of Gates Millennium Scholars. I am Chickasaw. My Native American heritage and involvement in the Native American community has contributed greatly to my desire to receive my Master’s in Public Health and work in Native American healthcare. In my spare time, I enjoy singing, working out, writing, and traveling.


Gracie WeiderhaftGracie Weiderhaft

I recently graduated from the University of Tulsa with an MA in Educational Studies. I also received a BA in German and Secondary Education from TU. I grew up in Rogers, Arkansas, but I have called Tulsa home for the past six years. While at TU I served as the president of the Society for Gender Equality and interned for the Center for Global Education and the YWCA. I am passionate about public education and social justice. I am also a proud cat mom who enjoys reading, bicycling, and long walks on the beach. 


Max WestMaxwell West

Twitter: @Waxx_mest

Hello, my name is Maxwell West and I am a junior at Rogers State University. I am majoring in Public Affairs with a focus in Public Administration and double minoring in Environmental and Honors Studies. I am also a member of organization at RSU such as OIL, SGA, and the Honors Program. Being the son of two public educators, I am very excited to learn about effective education policy as well as policy regarding criminal justice reform, poverty, and gender equality. I am also very excited for the opportunity to meet and learn from other intelligent, driven students like myself and network with them in ways that only SPI can provide.


Julia WestbrookJulia Westbrook

Julia Westbrook is a rising senior at the University of Tulsa, majoring in Political Science with a Certificate in International Studies. In the fall, she will study abroad with Semester at Sea. Julia is an Honors scholar, a Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge participant, as well as an active member of Hillel of Northeastern Oklahoma. Julia is currently completing an internship at Women in Recovery with the George Kaiser Family Foundation. She plans to serve with Teach for America after completing her undergraduate degree with the intent to attend law school afterword.


Malcolm WightmanMalcolm Wightman

Malcolm Wightman is a Sergeant with the Tulsa Police Department, where he has served for eleven years. He is currently assigned to the Internal Affairs Section of the police department. Malcolm is a Tulsa native who lived in Cleveland, Ohio for a decade. He holds three engineering degrees from Case Western Reserve University, a law degree from the University of Tulsa School of Law, and is a licensed attorney. Malcolm is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he pursued a Master’s of Public Administration. His areas of policy interest include criminal justice and government finance.


Kiva WilliamsKiva Williams

My name is Kiva Williams. I will begin my final year as a student at OU-Tulsa Master of Social Work program. I am employed at OKDHS as a Child Welfare specialist, working in the permanency planning department. My duties are to assist parents improve risk and behaviors that cause their children from being unsafe so the families may be placed back together. If behavioral changes of natural parents are not corrected, I assist children with finding new, safe homes. Outside of employment and school, I am a wife and a mother of two beautiful children. I have a nine year old son and a three year old daughter. I enjoy spending my free time spending time with my family, reading, and sleeping.


Sara WilliamsSara Williams

Sara Williams is a second year medical student at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. She graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Sara serves as the current president for the Medical Student Section of the Oklahoma State Medical Association and as the clinic coordinator for the Medical Students for Choice chapter on the Health Science Center campus. Her policy interest lies at the intersection of poverty, gender, and healthcare.


John WilliamsonJohn Williamson

Twitter: @jcwbigdawg

My name is John Williamson and I am a senior at Oklahoma Baptist University studying accounting. I have been involved in Delta Mu Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa, and the OBU Student Advisory Council. I have a passionate for serving my community through volunteer work at the Salvation Army and my local church. I desire to use my future accounting experience to make a positive difference when I run for state office. I am eager to continue to grow in my political knowledge to apply to my future career.


Giselle Willis CuauhtleGiselle Willis Cuauhtle

Twitter: @scheherazade__

My name is Giselle Willis Cuauhtle and I’m a senior Chinese Studies and Psychology double major at the University of Tulsa. I am also pursuing a Certificate in International Studies. My coursework has both infuriated me and inspired me to engage in public service, as has my mother’s work with the Hispanic community in Tulsa. I was a Resident Assistant at the first-year residence hall on campus and was Editor-in-Chief of TU’s student newspaper, The Collegian. I’d like to go into law or do psychological research that could benefit disenfranchised communities.


Laura WilsonLaura Wilson

Twitter: @LauraW625

Hello! My name is Laura Wilson, and I am a recent graduate of Oklahoma Christian University, although I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in psychology. After completing an internship with a medical organization in Guatemala, I became increasingly passionate about public health and the policies and socioeconomic factors that affect a community’s access to quality healthcare and education, especially among minority populations. This drove me to pursue a master’s in public health, which I will start in the fall of 2017 at the University of Michigan!

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