2017-2018 Executive Board:
Rebecca DeSantis, Editor in Chief
Rebecca is in her last semester of American University’s Master’s of Public Administration program, concentrating in International Management. She hopes to use this degree to pursue her interest in education accessibility and access here and abroad, ideally working for an international organization. Her academic interests include higher education access, crisis management, and organization structure and management. She received her bachelor’s degree at Washington College in International Studies. Her past work includes interning at the Maryland General Assembly on the Senate side, and working as a GA for the Accommodations office in the Academic Support and Access Center at AU. She is currently the Supplemental Instruction Assistant at AU.
Paige Handley, President
Paige is finishing her Master’s in Political Communication, a program that is run jointly between the School of Public Affairs and the School of Communication. Originally from outside Chicago, Paige attended Tulane University and studied political science, sparking her interest in working in politics. After briefly returning to Chicago and working in bankruptcy law after graduation, she was drawn to American University and DC and moved for graduate school and to start a career in politics. Since being in DC, Paige worked in media buying in the 2016 election season, interned at a campaign finance reform PAC, and now works at another PAC. Now in her final semester of her master’s, Paige is writing her capstone on the shifts in voting behavior of suburban voters between 2012 and 2016 and hopes to work in campaigns and elections long-term.
Rachel Fink, Executive Online Editor
Rachel Fink is a 2018 candidate for a Master’s of Science in Justice, Law, and Criminology with a concentration in Terrorism and Security Policy at American University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Global Terrorism Studies from the University of Maryland. Ms. Fink previously worked as a Teaching Assistant and intern for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. She also worked as a law enforcement intelligence analysis intern at the Washington, DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. Ms. Fink’s research interests include domestic terrorism, criminology, and political violence.
Leah Johnson, Managing Print Editor
Leah is a student at American University pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration with an International Management concentration. She is working towards a career in international development, hoping to create programs that focus on empowerment for women and children. Her policy interests include refugee and migrant rights, women’s health, education, and fighting human trafficking. She has previously interned with the American Institutes for Research, where she gained many relevant skills and knowledge in a wide array of project types. Currently, she is seeking volunteer opportunities that will give her more insight into this field.
Dylan Lamberti, Communications Director
Dylan is a currently pursuing a MA in Political Communication from American University, while also completing a Postgraduate Diploma from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Originally from Toronto, he completed his undergraduate degree in English Literature and International Development from McGill University, where he ran the McGill International Review during the 2017/2018 academic year. His work the Review earned a nomination for “Student Publication of the Year” from the Student Society of McGill University, and his experience working as a student journalist influenced his decision to continue his political studies at the postgraduate level. Dylan is also currently interning with the United Nations Foundation while in D.C., working on a global health campaign designed to improve vaccine access to children in developing countries.
Indira Bhattacharjee, Events Coordinator
Indira Bhattacharjee is currently a first-year student in the Master’s of Public Policy program and the Event’s Coordinator for PPJ. Her policy interests are immigration and detention center reform. She is passionate about immigrant rights, having assisted with visa petitions and promoting awareness about the need for inclusive immigration reform. Prior to AU, Indira worked at several non-profits helping intellectually and physically disadvantaged adults/children, asylums/refugees, victims of human trafficking, and DACA recipients. During her time at AU, Indira has interned at A Wider Circle in their Workforce Development department helping local DMV residents find job opportunities and achieving financial independence through employment. She is currently working at the Washington College of Law as a Graduate Admissions Assistant, working to help prospective students both domestic and abroad further their legal expertise in the LL.M. and SJD programs.
Megan Nelson, Treasurer
Kansas native, Megan Nelson graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and minor in Global and International Studies. With a passion for research and policy, Megan came to American University to pursue her Master’s degree in Public Administration and Policy. Her focus is on Policy Analysis and International Policy, where she hopes to make real-world contributions in the areas of economic policy and women’s health initiatives. Megan is currently working as an AU Research Assistant and Intern for the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Farrah Pappa, Associate Online Editor
Farrah is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy, with a concentration in Education Policy at American University. Her goal is to obtain the necessary skills to advocate and consult with state sectors on K12 school reform, urban education problems and equal opportunity, in hopes of providing our youth with a rehabilitated education system. Educational outcomes differ throughout the country and often those of lower socioeconomic status suffer with educational achievements. Through her volunteer experience in a downtown St. Louis school, Farrah was exposed to the disparities of resources that inner city schools face. The students’ resiliency and perseverance catapulted her into wanting to reform education policy. While in D.C., Farrah has interned at a non-profit Child Care Aware of America that works with families, providers and local governments to ensure quality child care is accessible to all communities. She is currently interning at a bipartisan think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as an education policy intern working on the Human Dignity Project and crafting research briefs on the 2nd Chance Pilot Pell Program.
Meghan Ballard, Associate Print Editor
Meghan is currently pursuing her Master’s in Justice, Law, and Criminology with a concentration in Public Policy at American University. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a career that allows her to use quality research to combat inequities in the criminal justice system and advocate for the preservation of civil rights. Over the years she has worked for non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and state and federal government. From advocating for the reinstatement of social security disability benefits for homeless clients to ensuring persons with limited English proficiency have equal access to federally funded welfare programs, she has cultivated a passion of fighting for a fair and equitable justice system. She currently works at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division where she works with recipients of federal assistance to achieve compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal funding.