News & Awards

Eleven Princeton Students Named Scholars in the Nation's Service

Feb 7, 2020
Sarah M. Binder
Woodrow Wilson School

Eleven students at Princeton University have been selected to join the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI), which funds graduate fellowships and undergraduate internships within the U.S. federal government.

Established in 2006, SINSI encourages, supports, and prepares high-achieving students to pursue careers in both internationally and domestically focused federal agencies. The initiative aims to provide students with the professional skills needed to succeed in the public policy arena.

Four students were selected for the SINSI graduate program, which comprises a two-year Master in Public Affairs with a full scholarship for tuition and living expenses at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and two-year paid rotations with executive branch departments or agencies. Seven students were selected for the SINSI internship program, which awards fully funded, 8- to 10-week summer internships.

“We had a record number of 75 talented applicants from every part of our community,” SINSI co-directors Rick Barton and Kit Lunney said. “And our selection panel found their dedication to public service, seen through both on- and off-campus commitments, to be inspiring.”

2020 SINSI Graduate Scholars:

Laura Hausman ’20 MPA ’24Laura Hausman ’20 MPA ’24, of New York, New York, is studying politics and pursuing a Certificate in American Studies. She has served as president of the Woodrow Wilson Honorary Debate Panel, community outreach chair of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, chief elections manager for Undergraduate Student Government, and has competed with the Princeton Debate Panel. Hausman’s summer internships include working for Springboard Collaborative, a nonprofit dedicated to closing the literacy gap; for Senator José Rafael Nadal Power of Puerto Rico; and for federal Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak in the Eastern District of New York. Her senior thesis focuses on how U.S. voters respond to disclosures of experience with mental illness by candidates seeking elected office.

Mikaylah Ladue ’20Mikaylah Ladue ’20 MPA '24, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, is studying anthropology — specializing in legal and political anthropology — and is pursuing certificates in Latin American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a two-time fellow with the Gender in the Global Community project through the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, where her research focuses on gendered dimensions of drug use and the intersection of gender and drug trafficking policies. Her departmental research focuses on the social impacts of drug policies, primarily the ongoing opioid crisis. In summer 2018, Ladue began working as a legal assistant for a criminal defense attorney in Princeton, New Jersey, where she specialized in cases pertaining to drug abuse, child abuse, and sexual violence. In summer 2019, she was a counseling intern with the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia, where she provided legal information and referrals to area women. Ladue is a pre-law fellow for the University’s Center for Career Development, president of Habitat for Humanity, president of Finding the Match, staff writer for the Princeton Legal Journal, member of the Breast Treatment Task Force, and former community relations leader of Engineers Without Borders.

Cassie Rodriguez ’19 MPA ’24Cassie Rodriguez ’19 MPA ’24, of San Bernardino, California, graduated cum laude in 2019 from Princeton’s Department of Politics with Certificates in East Asian Studies and the History and Practice of Diplomacy. She spent spring 2018 studying abroad at Doshisha University in Kyoto with the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies, concentrating on Japanese language and politics. Following her semester abroad, she interned at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Washington, D.C., a Japanese foreign policy think tank, taking part in research on U.S.-Japan issues and helping facilitate U.S.-Japan exchange events. During her senior year, Rodriguez worked in Princeton’s Office of International Programs as a communications assistant and volunteered as a global ambassador. She is currently studying advanced Japanese in Yokohama at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (administered by Stanford University). Rodriguez was named a Blakemore Freeman Fellow in 2019 and awarded the full cost of tuition and living expenses for the program. She will return to Princeton in fall 2020 to start her MPA.

Alexandra Zalewski ’20 MPA ’24Alexandra Zalewski ’20 MPA ’24, of Orange County, California, is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School. She hopes to pursue a career in conflict stabilization and is interested in understanding conditions on the ground through direct engagement with locals. She is passionate about learning languages and is taking Arabic and Russian courses to prepare for addressing conflict stabilization issues in regions using those languages. In summer 2019, Zalewski was a SINSI intern, working on Venezuela Security Sector Stabilization in the U.S. State Department at the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. In summer 2018, she was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship by the State Department and studied Arabic in Jordan for eight weeks. On campus, she volunteers as a researcher for the Princeton Asylum Project to write affidavits for asylum applicants. She also is a Matriculate Advising Fellow, advising three high-achieving, low-income high schoolers with the mission of helping them gain acceptance to selective universities. Zalewski is the Class of 2020 Terrence A. Elkes Graduate Scholar in the Nation’s Service.

2020 SINSI Interns:

Jason Bateman ’20Jason “Jay” Bateman ’20, of Kansas City, Missouri, is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School. His academic interest is on education policy implementation with a focus on classroom- and district-level disparities between social groups. Bateman is in Princeton’s Teacher Preparation Program, and, in fall 2020, he will student teach in the Lawrence School District, gaining classroom-based experience he hopes will make him a more effective policymaker. In summer 2018, he was selected for a Princeton Internship in Civic Service at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Colorado, helping students from diverse backgrounds manage the transition out of high school. He works with the nonprofit Matriculate, whose mission is to help high-achieving, low-income high school students gain acceptance to selective universities. As a Matriculate National Advising Fellow Leadership Team Member, he organizes the recruitment and training of students on several campuses to become mentors. At Princeton, he was Matriculate’s head advising fellow, managing more than 70 advising fellows. Bateman is a Class of 2020 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service.

Margaret Baughman ’21Margaret “Maggie” Baughman ’21, of Columbia, Maryland, is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School and pursuing Certificates in Chinese Language and Culture, Applications of Computing, and Statistics and Machine Learning. She is passionate about international security in the Indo-Pacific, digital freedom, and combatting misinformation. In summer 2019, Baughman interned at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, working with the East Asia and the Pacific and Advanced Analytics teams on election-based social media analyses. In 2018, she participated in Princeton in Beijing, a two-month Chinese immersion program at Beijing Normal University. Baughman advises 27 underclassmen as a residential college advisor in Wilson College. She also is a Head Fellow at the Princeton Writing Center, mentoring graduate and undergraduate fellows, and working with students on their academic writing. Baughman has served as the Model U.N. captain and on the International Relations Council executive board for the past two years. She is a member of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, a Class of 1997 scholar, and a Whig-Clio summer 2019 fellow. Baughman is a Class of 2020 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service.

Krystal Cohen ’21Krystal Cohen ’21, from Jersey City, New Jersey, is concentrating in sociology and pursuing Certificates in African American Studies, Statistics and Machine Learning, and Teacher Preparation. With a focus on education equity, Cohen is heavily involved with Community House, a student-led program that works with families to support underrepresented youth in the Princeton area. She is the current project leader of CHASE, an afterschool enrichment program for first-generation, low-income high school students; and she serves as one of the co-chairs of the Community House Executive Board. During summer 2018, Cohen interned in the Keller Center’s eLab Summer Accelerator, supporting service-oriented student startups. In summer 2019, she interned at the Foundation Academy Charter School in Trenton, New Jersey, where she designed and taught a civic engagement summer camp for middle and high school students and continues to lead the school’s grant development efforts. Cohen serves as operations coordinator for Camp Kesem, community outreach lead for the Engineers Without Borders Kenya team, assistant artistic director of Raqs Belly Dance Company, and as the training and learning student associate for the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. Cohen is the Intern Class of 2020 Andrea Echikson ’80 and Tom A. Bernstein Scholar.

Michaela Daniel ’21Michaela Daniel ’21, from Stonecrest, Georgia, is concentrating in the Department of Near Eastern Studies with a focus on immigration and displaced populations in the region. The summer after her freshman year, Daniel served as a John C. Bogle ’51 Fellow in Civic Service, working with the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, to increase the availability of their programming to low-income students in the city. In summer 2019, she was the civic engagement intern with New American Pathways, a refugee and resettlement agency in Atlanta. Daniel is a committee leader with Students for Prison Education and Reform, having led their campaigns regarding Ban the Box and policing. Additionally, she has served on the Resources Committee for the Council of the Princeton University Community. In her free time, Daniel can often be found dancing or performing as a member of BodyHype Dance Company. Daniel is spending the current term studying in Rabat, Morocco. Daniel is the Intern Class of 2020 Frederick P. Hitz ’61 Scholar.

Matthew Grossman ’21Matthew Grossman ’21, from Millburn, New Jersey, is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School and pursuing Certificates in Finance and the History and Practice of Diplomacy. In high school, Grossman was a volunteer track coach, helping elementary school students to be more active, was class valedictorian, and a Chemistry Olympiad National Finalist. During summer 2018, he worked in Princeton’s aerospace engineering department, helping conduct research into coronagraphs and high contrast imaging. Grossman is the executive director of the student-run Laundry Agency, which serves hundreds of students on campus. He also is a member of the men’s varsity cross country and track and field teams and a two-time Academic All-American. Grossman is the Intern Class of 2020 Frank C. Carlucci ’52 Scholar.

Nikhita Salgame ’21Nikhita Salgame ’21, from Princeton, New Jersey, is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School and pursuing Certificates in East Asian Studies and the History and Practice of Diplomacy. Salgame is interested in human rights and U.S.-China relations and interned at the Brookings Institution in D.C. last summer, where she conducted research on maritime security, U.S.-China trade, and Chinese influence operations. She attended the Princeton in Beijing language program in summer 2018 and participated in the Bridge Year Program in Kunming, China prior to arriving at Princeton, during which she worked at a nongovernmental organization focused on pesticide risk reduction. Salgame is co-president of the Princeton U.S.-China Coalition and directed last year's Global Governance Forum, bringing together students from the U.S. and China to hear from journalists, scholars, and human rights experts. She was previously secretary of Princeton's International Relations Council, on the secretariat of Princeton's Model United Nations Conference, and a member of the Model U.N. team. She also volunteers as an ESL teacher at El Centro in Trenton and is a member of the WWS Student Advisory Committee. Salgame is the Intern Class of 2020 James D. Zirin ’61 and Marlene Hess Scholar.

Claire Wayner ’22Claire Wayner ’22, from Baltimore, Maryland, is a civil and environmental engineering major pursuing Certificates in Sustainable Energy, Urban Studies, and Environmental Studies. She is active in sustainability and climate advocacy groups, including in her role as president of the Princeton Student Climate Initiative and chair of the Sustainability Task Force on Undergraduate Student Government. Wayner’s interests lie in the intersection of engineering, technology, and policy regarding the decarbonization of the global economy and the integration of renewable energy into electric power supplies. In summer 2019, she interned in the Office of Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission through a Princeton Internship in Civic Service, where she became intrigued by the role the federal government can and should play in greening the electric grid. Wayner is the Intern Class of 2020 Gilbert S. Omenn ’61 and Martha A. Darling MPA ’70 Scholar.

Applications for the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative are due each fall; interested students should check the SINSI website no later than September for details. Princeton seniors and first-year Master in Public Affairs students are eligible to apply for the SINSI graduate program. Princeton sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply for the SINSI internship program.