Election 2020: College Students Talk Politics
The John Brademas Center of New York University and The Former Members of Congress Association brought together a diverse group of students for a discussion on the outcome of the election.
The Honorable Donna Edwards, former Representative from Maryland, moderated this post-election analysis with five female students from different universities all over the country.
Registration was open to everyone. Please note that this program may have been recorded.
The Honorable Donna Edwards was a member of Congress for more than eight years, serving on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, as well as the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. She led a task force of House Democrats, Restoring People-Powered Politics, which focused on campaign finance and election reform. And she was the first African-American woman to represent Maryland on Capitol Hill.
Alyssa Caver Sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin
Alyssa Caver is a sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in International Relations and Global Studies with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. On campus, she is the President of the nascent BridgeTexas chapter at UT Austin. She is the USG of Registration for the upcoming Houston Area MUN conference, and works as a staffer for Central Texas MUN on campus at UT Austin. She is passionate about constructive civil discourse and constitutional principles and is incredibly excited to sit down and talk about our democracy in 2020 and moving forward.
Erica Martinez, Senior at Dominican University
Erica is a senior at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She is majoring in Political Science and two minors, one in French and one in philosophy. She will be graduating in December of 2020. She is currently applying to law schools to pursue a career in law. She is 21 years old, and the oldest of four girls.
Valérie Ndakwah, Sophomore at New York University
Valérie Ndakwah is from West Bloomfield, MI and is currently a sophomore at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She is concentrating in Business and Political Economy. Valérie participates as an active member of the NYU community through athletics, serving as a thrower on NYU’s Track and Field Team. She also serves her own community as the head liaison of the Junior Cameroonian Association.
Sumaya Tabbah, Senior at University of Michigan
Sumaya Tabbah is from Flint, Michigan, and is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Political Science with minors in Russian Studies and History. She is interested in the study of autocracy, specifically state repression, and is conducting research on the diffusion of torture between international networks. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in foreign relations. In the past, she has served as an intern in Congressman Dan Kildee’s district office and as a research assistant of counterterrorism and countering violent extremism at the Global Engagement Center. On campus, she serves on the boards of the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program and the Michigan Journal of International Affairs.
Angela Wang, Recent graduate of University of Southern California
Angela Wang graduated magna cum laude in May 2020 from the University of Southern California, with a bachelor's degree in International Relations and a master's degree in Law Studies. During her time in college, she served as the editor of the online magazine US-China Today and worked as a research associate in USC's Security and Political Economy Lab. She currently works in global supply chain operations at Flexport, a freight forwarding tech company.
September 24, 2020
Matt Barocas - Senior, University of Florida
R. Matthew Barocas is a fourth-year history and political science honors student at the University of Florida. Matt was born and raised in the Village of Pinecrest in Miami, Florida. Last year he served as president of his campus’s College Democrats chapter, leading a membership of seventy political engaged students. This year he is serving as Secretary for the Florida College Democrats, overseeing chapters across the state. In Summer 2019, he interned at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State headquarters in Washington. Matt also has experience in UF’s Student Government, where he worked on LGBT+ advocacy legislation as a student senator.
Sydni Holt - Senior, Penn State Behrend
Sydni is a senior at Penn State Behrend in Erie, PA. She is a Political Science major with minors in Crime, Law, Psychology and Women Studies. Currently, she works for the RNC during this Presidential Election as a Field Organizer for Erie County. Her future plans include going to law school and becoming a prosecutor.
This session was moderated by The Honorable Dennis Ross (R-FL, 2011-2019)
Shruti Nayak - Junior, Ohio State University
Shruti is majoring in Political Science at Ohio State University. On campus, she’s a member of OSU Votes, a non-partisan organization on campus which works to increase voter turnout among college students. Additionally, she interns for a state representative’s election campaign and works as a research assistant. She first became interested in politics when she volunteered for a presidential campaign while in high school. This experience led Shruti to pursue a political science degree and consider a career in a related field.
Cole Ragels - Junior, University of Arizona
Cole Ragels is an Arizona native and currently attends the University of Arizona as a junior, studying Economics with a minor in Military Science and Leadership. His love for service and dedication to country has led him to serve as an intern for Senator Jeff Flake, work as staff for multiple political campaigns, and as an intern in Washington, D.C. for the International Republican Institute, where he specialized in Eurasian affairs and democracy building. He now devotes his time to educating at-risk youth about personal finances with the Take Charge America Institute and training to become a Naval officer through the University of Arizona’s NROTC program. He is an alumnus of the American Legion Boys State and Boys Nation programs and has been awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his work interviewing and publishing stories of local veterans.
Avery Walter - Graduate Student, NC State University
Avery Walter (they/them) is a third-year graduate student studying Sociology at NC State University in Raleigh, NC. Their research focuses on contemporary Black social movements and social inequality. They have alternated between student and community organizing for the past five years and have worked on electoral campaigns in the Triangle.
Born in Lakeland, FL in 1959, Congressman Dennis Ross was the youngest of five children. He attended the University of Florida before graduating from Auburn University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management. In 1982, he worked as a legislative aide to State Senator Dennis Jones. Later, He went on to graduate from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law in 1987.
Congressman Ross was once ranked the most conservative Member of the House from Florida. He represented Florida's 15th Congressional District from 2011 to 2019, and announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018.