The new Equity & Inclusion Undergraduate Fellowship program introduces the field of public policy to undergraduates who might not otherwise be familiar with it, as well as increases the pipeline of diverse students into APPAM institutional member graduate public policy and public affairs schools. The recipients will be recognized for their accomplishments and will also have opportunities to formally network with each other, Student Equity and Inclusion Fellowship Recipients and with members of the Policy Council and Diversity Committee. They will also have many opportunities to informally network with other students and professionals during the conference.
Congratulations to the 2022 Equity & Inclusion Undergraduate Fellowship recipients!
Cameron Deal, Vanderbilt University
Jessica Nguyen, University of Maryland, College park
Katrina Pazmino, Virginia Commonwealth University
Kotomi Yokokura, University of Kentucky
Joyce Yun, University of Chicago
Cameron Deal is a third-year student and Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar at Vanderbilt University, where he is pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Public Policy Studies. He conducts research at the LGBTQ Policy Lab on a variety of topics in health policy, political science, and economics that intersect queer populations. His research on health disparities and the effects of policy on LGBTQ youth has appeared in JAMA, Economics Letters, and JAMA Pediatrics. In the future, he aspires to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics or Public Policy to study health economics, economic history, and applied microeconomics broadly. Outside the classroom, you can find him running and hiking around Nashville or playing viola in the Vanderbilt Commodore Orchestra.
Jessica Nguyen (she/her) is a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she studies Government & Politics and Public Policy with minors in Spanish and Asian American Studies while concurrently taking graduate coursework to earn her MPP by 2024. Having been raised in Silver Spring, Maryland by a family of Vietnamese refugees in a multicultural environment, Jessica finds joy in community-building and cross-cultural solidarity work.
On campus, Jessica’s passion for community growth has led her to become an active leader in AAPI student life. As current President of the Asian American Student Union, Jessica oversees student-led advocacy efforts to implement an Asian American Studies major and frequent meetings with various UMD faculty/administrators to advocate for the needs of AAPI and Terps of Color. Jessica currently works with the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project as a Development intern, supporting the nonprofit’s mission to provide culturally-specific services to AAPI survivors through grant writing.In her last year of undergrad, she hopes to pursue more opportunities to explore her policy interests in reproductive and maternal health, education, workforce development, and initiatives supporting social equity.
My name is Katrina Rose Stephens Pazmino and I am a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University. I am president of Mock Trial at VCU, and president of Omega Mu, the VCU chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society. My time is also consumed by serving as a senator in our Student Government Association and writing for the Pre-law Society's legal blog. I'm passionate about the criminal justice system because I think helping people gives my life meaning. I want my work to have a substantial impact on the conditions of those who are directly affected by the criminal justice system since they may be going through the worst moment of their lives. Seeing live music and spending time with friends and family are two of my personal favorites to do in my spare time. My family is the most significant aspect of my life, and my successes and work effort is courtesy of their unfailing love and support.
Kotomi Yokokura is a Junior in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. Kotomi is passionate about combatting societal stigmas through research and advocacy. Her focuses have included homelessness and food insecurity, period poverty, sexual abuse and grooming, and diet culture and fatphobia.
She is also the founder of Helping Hygiene, a nonprofit with the mission of providing free and accessible hygiene products to students and those in underserved communities.
Joyce Yun is a senior at the University of Chicago majoring in Economics and Public Policy Studies. She specializes in criminal justice policy, with a focus on improving policing practices for low-income and minority communities. She previously worked as a Regional Economics intern for the think tank Milken Institute, where she examined regional economic trends, including the impact of COVID-19 on employment and racial disparities among small businesses. Recently, she studied communication technologies available for inmates at different Departments of Corrections in the U.S. as a research assistant for the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
She currently works as an intern for Massarello Law, a criminal defense law firm in Chicago, and the Exoneration Project, an innocence project working to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals. On campus, she is the president of the student organization Empowerment of North Koreans (ENoK), a human rights advocacy group for North Korean defectors living in the U.S. In the future, she plans on attending law school to pursue a career in public interest law