Our USF in DC Fellows Have Arrived


Congratulations to our USF in DC Spring 2018 cohort! They recently arrived in Washington, D.C., and have already attended the Women’s March, experienced a government shutdown, and explored the sights and sounds of our nation’s Capital.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.39.41 PM

Jose Esquer Romero, Finance ‘18

Jose is a Newmark Scholar and is interning with Senator Kamala Harris. He plans on using his time to build his knowledge on a variety of issues, including immigration, climate change/sustainability, and tax reform. During his time at D.C., Jose hopes to gain experience working on Capitol Hill and learn about the intersection of government and the business world. He believes that his time in D.C. will help shape his future educational and career goals.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.40.03 PM

Katie Chapman Pinto, Politics ‘19

Katie is a Politics major with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is a recipient of the Newmark Scholar award and interning for California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. As a member of the Saint Ignatius Institute, a University Scholar in the Honors College, and a Public Speaking Coach for the Rhetoric and Language Department, Katie has actively participated across vibrant intellectual communities throughout her time at USF.  Katie’s ideal world is one in which all social, economic, and political decisions are evaluated based upon the degree to which they work to advance collective human happiness, and she hopes to one-day push reality closer to this vision through a career in politics.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.40.12 PM

Brianna Marcus, Communication Studies ‘19

Brianna is a recipient of the Newmark Scholar award and will be interning with Planned Parenthood in their marketing department. She plans to use her internship to build on her knowledge of women’s health and education policies. During her time in D.C., Brianna hopes to gain experience in working in our nation’s capital and seeing first hand change with women’s health and rights and applying that experience in her last year back at USF and in San Francisco.

IMG_3627 (1)

Taylor Scott, International Studies ‘19

Tayler Scott is currently a third-year International Studies student with a minor in Asian Studies and a focus in culture, societies, and values. The previous semester she studied Global Korean Studies at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. While in Washington, Tayler is spending her time as an intern at the Women’s Foreign Policy Group to further her understanding of international relations and to broaden her network of female leaders in the field. This semester she hopes to spend her free time attending unique DC events, visiting monuments and museums, and trying out new restaurants.


Tyson Rhodes, Politics ‘19

Tyson is a Politics major with a minor in Legal Studies and will be interning with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He plans on using his time with the civil rights organization to learn about political advocacy and grassroots movements to help secure and protect the rights of communities of color. In particular, he is interested in how criminal justice and prison reform can be used to bring an end to a system that has disproportionately affected low-income people of color.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.40.37 PM

Gabriel Greschler, Politics ‘19

Gabriel is a Politics major with a minor in Journalism. He is interning at the Student Press Law Center, an organization that protects the First Amendment rights of student journalists. At USF, Gabriel is the News Editor of the Foghorn, which has given him the unique opportunity to connect his passion for journalism and public policy on campus. He intends to take advantage of his time in D.C., acquire new skills and knowledge, improve his writing, and use his time in DC to attend policymaking events and leverage networking connections in the nation’s Capitol.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.40.48 PM

Isabel Malcolmson, Economics ‘19

Isabel is a recipient of the Newmark Scholarship and will be the Sustainable Analyst Intern at Sustainable Capital Advisors. Through her internship, she hopes to explore her interests at the intersection of economics and the environment, and more specifically learn about financing sustainable infrastructure and clean energy projects. Isabel is excited to get hands-on experience working in the industry and move the marker on energy-efficient solutions to meet the development challenges of public and private sector.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.40.59 PM

Rosa Olascoaga Vidal, Politics ‘18

Rosa is a recipient of the Newmark Scholarship, majoring in Politics with a minor in Legal Studies and Chican@ and Latin@ Studies. This spring she will be interning for United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, she has a deep passion for immigration reform. Rosa hopes to gain knowledge on policy and advocacy through comprehensive immigration reform during her time in D.C. and advocate for underrepresented communities.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.41.09 PM

Jacqueline Garcia

Jacqueline is a Newmark Scholar as well as a recipient of the Betty L. Blakley scholarship. She will be interning at the National Immigration Forum and United We Dream. She hopes that her experience in D.C. will fuel her already potent passion for public policy for the years to come. She hopes to gain more hands-on experience in advocacy work, as well as gain perspective about the world outside of her progressive San Francisco bubble.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.41.33 PM

Claudette van Maarschalkerweerd

Claudette will be interning with the Office of Congressman Darrell Issa (R- CA). Her internship will be focused particularly towards the tasks of the House of Representatives Majority Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, as well as working with the Millennial Action Project, and Congress’ Future Caucus. An international student from Singapore and the Nederlands, Claudette is excited to be immersed in the political center of the world, engaging with issues usually reserved for her textbooks and essays.


On My First Year Of Grad School

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 2.13.11 PM

Jessica Lindquist, M.A., Public Affairs ’18

Last July I left my cushy job as an executive assistant at a financial technology company in Mid-Market to try something scary and exciting: graduate school.  I had been accepted into the Master of Public Affairs program at the University of San Francisco.  At my core, I knew it was time to take some risks and pursue the public policy career I had always dreamed about.

The first week of orientation was a whirlwind and admittedly I had a few moments of doubt, which I later realized is a classic stage of starting grad school. I found myself in a classroom of strangers feeling anxious about what the fall semester would bring. Yet, after a few weeks into the program, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I had adjusted to back to student life.

My favorite class of the semester was Applied American Politics taught by Professor Brian Weiner. Our small seminar provided us the space to have intense discussions, applying classic political literature to current events. The 2016 presidential campaign was a subject that we covered substantially in class and Professor Weiner wanted to afford us the opportunity to campaign in Nevada, the closest swing state to California. With a lot of time and coordination on his part, Professor Weiner was able to secure enough funding for anyone in the class who wanted to make the trip to Reno.

On an October afternoon I boarded a Greyhound bus with five of my classmates to persuade Nevadans to vote for the Hillary Clinton. Over the course of the weekend we door knocked in wet weather and unabashedly phone banked strangers. Many of the voters we spoke to were still undecided and it was insightful to talk through some of their concerns about the two candidates. Aside from the incredible campaign experience, the trip also turned my five classmates into five close friends. We spent time talking politics late into the night, swapped stories from the past, and discussed our dreams for the future. The bonds I made during the trip became even stronger when we were back in class.

A few weeks later on election night I watched in horror as Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania turned red. I woke up November 9th puffy eyed and feeling absolutely distraught. My only solace was knowing that later in the day I would go to class and be able to commiserate with my fellow classmates, who I knew were equally devastated about the election results. Together we tried to process the fact that Donald Trump would become the forty-fifth president of our country. In the days and weeks that followed, my closest support group became my academic community .  

Winter break provided an opportunity to reset and reflect. I had time to think about the direction I wanted to take my graduate career. Over the last semester I noticed I kept being drawn to policy topics that were related to how our financial system negatively impacted the lives of low-income consumers. I had a revelation that I wanted to focus on consumer financial protection policy.  I finally had clarity about my policy interests, which gave me direction and purpose.

A few days before spring semester, I traveled to D.C. to attend the Women’s March. The day after the inauguration, I joined hundreds of thousands of people to protest the hateful and discriminatory values of the Trump Administration. The energy in the city was electric and as I marched alongside a few of my friends I began to feel resilient.  I saw so many different walks of life join together in solidarity for a common cause.  At the risk of sounding trite, it was one of most beautiful experiences I have had in my life and it made me feel recommitted to use my voice to stand up for justice and equality.

Spring semester felt different in several ways. I had more confidence as a student and I knew what level of effort was required to get the most out of my classes. The coursework was incredibly demanding and I spent even more time studying. However, each of my professors was incredibly supportive and made themselves available whenever I reached out to them with questions or guidance.

Urban Public Finance was a class that I looked forward to every single week. Ed Harrington was the San Francisco Controller for twenty years and he has an impressive level of knowledge about the inner workings of City Hall. He brought in many guest speakers from the City that spoke to our class on a range of topics including local budgets, economic development and municipal debt. Not only were the speakers experts in their field, they had an obvious deep commitment to public service.  After discussing career prospects with Ed, I became very interested in working at City Hall in the future.

By the middle of the semester my cohort began looking for internships.  Having a full coursework load, working part time, and trying to secure an internship placement all at the same time was daunting. However, my program made sure I felt supported throughout the entire process. Kevin Hickey, one of our faculty members, used his expansive network to connect me to my top choices. Our program manager, Kresten Froistad-Martin, provided coaching on how to navigate the interviews and assess what placements would be best suited for me. References from faculty like Ed Harrington and Professor Weiner helped me secure my top two choices for my summer internship: the Office of Financial Empowerment at City Hall and the California Reinvestment Coalition. The internship search highlighted to me the connections this program offers its students.

The last week of finals, I found myself in the same room as orientation with the group of strangers that over the course of year had become dear friends.  As each of my classmates presented on a research question that they had spent weeks preparing for our Research Methods final, I was struck by how much we each had evolved as students of public policy. My cohort has a diverse set of policy interests, and I’m grateful that I’m able to learn from them about issues that are outside of my focus. Their passion for social change and commitment to challenge the status quo has motivated me to work harder so that I can become a compassionate policymaker.  

People say graduate school is not what you expect, but it is everything you need. This insight has been true thus far in my own experience. In the pursuit of my graduate degree, I’ve deepened my knowledge of public policy, become more open to perspectives that differ from my own and feel a renewed sense of purpose.  I’m incredibly grateful for the strong support of the McCarthy Center, my graduate program, the dedicated faculty and my inspiring cohort. I’m looking forward to what the next year brings.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.