Back: Jon Garcia, William Janowski, Bryan Peláez, Daniel Gribble
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Auruba Al-Zibdeh was a junior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in law, values, and public policy. Auruba first gained government experience as an intern in Council Member Brenda Stardig’s Houston City Council office through the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP).
As a Leland Fellow, Auruba worked for Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. She researched issues and legislation such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, bills such as the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2015 and drafted constituent correspondence on an array of issues, congressional record statements, and newsletters for congressional colleagues. Auruba also organized press release information and attended briefings and hearings on child labor, climate change, refugees, US involvement abroad, and criminal justice reform.
Mary Davis graduated from the University of Houston in fall 2015 before participating in the Leland Fellows program. Her major was political science with a minor in business foundations. Mary first gained government experience as an intern in Council Member Michael Kubosh’s office through the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP).
As a Leland Fellow, Mary worked for Congressman Brian Babin. Her primary responsibility was constituent communications, which included writing letters to constituents on behalf of the Congressman and calling constituents to explain Congressman Babin’s point of view on issues. Mary’s written and verbal communication skills were improved immensely by this fellowship, and she is now very confident on the phone with all different types of people. Mary also created databases and researched a variety of topics for Congressman Babin’s staff.
Jon Garcia was a University of Houston senior majoring in political science with a minor in psychology. Jon gained public service experience through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP), working in State Representative Jessica Farrar’s district office in the fall 2015 semester. Additionally, Jon served as a field lead on the Sylvester Turner for Mayor Campaign.
Working in Congressman Rubén Hinojosa’s Office as a Leland Fellow, Jon was given several issues to cover, including the areas of higher education, the judiciary, the census, telecommunications, veteran’s healthcare, and immigration. Jon provided informative memos on briefings, hearings, and markups. Furthermore, he assisted staff with media assignments by revising op-eds and drafting press releases. Jon’s biggest accomplishment was an op-ed he wrote explaining the Congressman’s views on immigration policy. The op-ed, which was written just before the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the United States v. Texas immigration case, was published both in a local newspaper and on the national Spanish news network Univision.
Mariah Grayson was a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in computer application technology. Mariah first gained government experience as an intern in the City of Houston Controller’s Office through the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP). She went on to work for the Chris Brown for City Controller Campaign.
As a Leland Fellow, Mariah worked for Congressman Marc Veasey, who represents the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Her primary responsibilities included legislative research and constituent communications. In particular, her research for Congressman Veasey's role on the case over Texas’ voter ID laws increased her perspective of Texas’ leadership and how it affects the different types of voters when trying to implement the voter ID laws. She was also able to share the history of our nation’s capital with constituents from her hometown by leading dozens of Capitol tours.
Daniel Gribble was a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in laws, values, and policy.
As a Leland Fellow, Daniel worked for Congressman Ted Poe. His primary responsibilities included drafting extension of remarks (EORs) for the congressional record, constituent correspondence, giving tours of Capitol Hill, and conducting research. In particular, his extensive research on Christian persecution abroad exposed him to the widespread nature of religious persecution. Congressman Poe's advocacy on behalf of persecuted Christians in the House Foreign Affairs Committee broadened Daniel’s understanding as to the importance of congressional committees. Additionally, he enjoyed the opportunity to connect with constituents by sharing our nation’s history while leading numerous Capitol tours for visiting Houstonians.
Taylor Hicks was a senior at the University of Houston majoring in psychology and minoring in human family and developmental science.
As a Leland Fellow, Taylor had the opportunity of working in the office of Congressman Al Green. During her fellowship, Taylor’s main responsibilities were compiling and organizing the congressman’s daily materials for the Financial Services committee, completing co-sponsor forms, overseeing the office’s appropriations system, communicating messages between constituents and staffers, and conducting legislative research. She also led a veterans housing appropriations letter, to get other members of Congress to sign on as sponsors. Taylor also attended many briefings on the state of homelessness in America.
William Janowski was a senior at the University of Houston, majoring in political science with a minor in law, value, and policy. William first gained governmental experience as an intern in State Representative Jessica Farrar’s district office through the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP). From there, he furthered his legislative experience as a Hobby Fellow in Representative Farrar’s Capitol office during the 84th legislative session.
As a Leland Fellow, William worked for Congressman Gene Green. His primary responsibilities included attending committee hearings, staff briefings, legislative correspondence writing, and policy research. In particular, he researched cap and trade and carbon tax issues for the legislative assistant responsible for the Energy and Power Sub-committee. He was also interested in learning policy as it relates to the Port of Houston, in particular, the Water Resource Development act. William also helped draft letters to constituents and think tanks regarding legislative concerns.
Ana Montanez graduated from the University of Houston in fall 2016 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science.
As a Leland Fellow, Ana worked in the office of Congressman Henry Cuellar. She attended the hearings of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and helped the legislative staff by preparing the binders for the Congressman’s appropriations hearings and markups, as well as writing the floor cards. She also conducted research on energy and agriculture policy and worked closely with the press secretary drafting the monthly mailers, writing talking points and coordinating media interviews for the Congressman. In addition, Ana wrote constituent response letters on specific pieces of legislation and helped the staff assistant with the Capitol tours and flag requests.
Bryan Peláez was a senior at the University of Houston double majoring in psychology and political science. Bryan first gained government experience as an intern in Congressman John Culberson’s district office through the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP).
As a Leland Fellow, Bryan worked for Congressman Pete Olson. His primary responsibilities included drafting constituent communications and policy research. In particular, his research for Congressman Olson's work on the Energy and Commerce Committee broadened his perspective of Houston’s leadership as the nation’s energy capital and its impact in the global economy. He shared the history of our nation’s capital with visiting Houstonians by leading dozens of Capitol tours. In addition, Bryan was able to travel to various cities during his stay in D.C. and learned many things about the region.
Madelyn Wilson was a junior at the University of Houston double majoring in political science and public relations with a minor in national securities studies. Madelyn first gained government experiences as an intern with Outreach Strategists through the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP).
As a Leland Fellow, Madelyn worked for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Her primary responsibilities included writing memos on multiple briefings, organizing legislative binders for the Congresswoman, and assisting staff on floor statements. In particular, Madelyn wrote multiple floor statements on veteran affairs and benefits. Madelyn was the main liaison for the Congresswoman with appropriation submissions.