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2016 Social Science Scholars

David Butter

David is a sociology and political science double major from Miami, Florida. He serves as community ambassador and outreach facilitator for the Second Harvest food bank. In addition, he manages the Dean of Students’ campus food pantry and serves as president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He is an FSU Service Scholar and a member of a number of campus organizations, including the Garnet and Gold Key Leadership Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honorary, and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. As a Social Science Scholar, he plans to complete and present an honors thesis on gender polarization on college campuses.Upon graduation, David plans to pursue a law degree with a focus on human rights law. He then hopes to represent Title VII discrimination victims.


Holly Cramer

Holly is a second-year student from Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is dual major in international affairs and political science with minors in urban planning and Arabic. She is an active participant in the Global Scholars program; following a three-month internship in Bolivia last summer, she became a Global Scholar Ambassador. Holly is conducting research on urban transportation planning. In 2015 she co-founded Burning Tree, a campus literary magazine, with two other FSU students and currently serves as its editor. During her freshman year, she became a member the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy’s Student Leadership Council. For her summer project, Holly plans to examine how immigrant communities in the U.S. are integrated into the urban food landscape. She plans to pursue graduate studies and an eventual career in urban planning with a focus on food systems.


Jesus Alberto de los Rios

Alberto was born in Venezuela and has been living in Miami since 2011. He is an environmental studies major with minors in urban planning, geology, and Spanish. His research interest include local food systems and environmental protection. Alberto has been involved in several campus activities, including the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), Relay for Life, and Dance Marathon. He currently serves as president of the National Residence Hall Honorary Society and vice-president of the FSU Yoga Club, which he also co-founded. In addition, he is a resident assistant in DeGraff Hall. He seeks to increase environmental awareness and sustainability in Tallahassee through his volunteer work with the Bread & Roses Food Cooperative. As a Social Science Scholar, Alberto plans to become involved in food policy councils and service groups that attempt to alleviate food deserts around the country. Following graduation, Alberto plans to attend graduate school in urban and regional planning with a focus on environmental management and food systems.


Celli Horstman

Celli Horstman is from Boca Raton, Florida. She is majoring in political science, with minors in statistics and women’s studies. She also is participating in the Research Intensive Bachelor’s Certificate Program in the Department of Political Science. Her focus is on education, health, and child and family policy. Throughout her FSU career, Celli has participated in Noles Engaged in Politics, the Women’s Leadership Institute, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Lady Spirithunters. She currently is the Resident Assistant for the Global and Public Affairs Living Learning Community. Additionally, she serves as the service chair for the college’s Student Leadership Council, creating unique service and engagement opportunities for all social science majors. Upon graduation Celli hopes to pursue a master’s in public policy and eventually work at a research institute studying education and health care.


Bianca Jyotishi

Bianca is from Deland, Florida. She is currently studying international affairs with a minor in social work. She is passionate about social justice and human rights issues. Bianca has interned with FSU’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and currently serves as a mentor and coaching intern for PeaceJam Southeast. She has also worked with Alternative Breaks as Site Development Coordinator and is a member of the Healthy Relationships Committee and the planning committee for Take Back the Night. Additionally, Bianca is a community ambassador and outreach facilitator for PAEC Migrant Education and a peer involvement mentor. She intends to complete an honors thesis and a directed individual study on human trafficking and gender-based violence. In her free time, Bianca enjoys painting her nails and watching Harry Potter films.


Andrew McMillan

Andrew is from Orlando, Florida. He is pursuing a dual degree in mathematics and economics, along with minors in physics and philosophy. During his sophomore year, he assumed a leadership position in the Boys and Girls Club Outreach program and became a mathematics research assistant through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). He is also a member of FSU’s debate team and works as a math tutor at the Academic Center for Excellence. With passions in education and research, Andrew aspires to complete a Ph.D. in mathematics and obtain a faculty position at a four-year college or university. Andrew also hopes to apply his knowledge of chaos theory to both social and physical systems. In his spare time Andrew enjoys reading, cooking, and the occasional tough math problem.


Isabella Moreira

Isabella was born in Managua, Nicaragua. She moved to Tampa when she was ten. Her Nicaraguan roots and experiences gave rise to her determination to address social justice issues in Latin America, especially those related to education and illiteracy. She is a dual major in political science and English literature, with minors in economics and psychology. She plans to complete a Research Intensive Bachelor Certificate in Political Science this semester. Isabella is involved with many service programs at the Center for Leadership and Social Change, including the With Words Program, where she served as the student education coordinator in 2015. That same year, she was one of five students chosen to represent FSU at the ACC Leadership Symposium at Notre Dame University. This year she will participate in her second Alternative Break service project in California. Isabella is a member of the college’s Social Science Student Leadership Council. Last summer she received a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State that enabled her to study in Turkey and the Czech Republic.


Ryan Nicholas

Ryan is from Gainesville, Florida, and majors in economics with minors in urban and regional planning, political science, and history. He works for FSU as a university ambassador and for Seminole Sports Marketing as a marketing intern. He spent the past two summers working with the School Board of Alachua County as a camp counselor at Camp Crystal Lake in Starke, Florida. He has developed a passion for service and has been member of PeaceJam Southeast’s Student Leadership Council. Ryan currently volunteers as a spring conference mentor and coach at Riley Elementary School. As a Garnet and Gold Guide, he contributes to FSU’s athletic recruitment programs. He is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and has acted in multiple student films with FSU’s College of Motion Picture Arts. As a Social Science Scholar, Ryan hopes to blend his various interests and assist in creating sustainable change. He plans to attend law school upon graduation.


Ljubica ‘Kiki’ Nikolic

Ljubica Nikolic (Kiki) is from Lucani, Serbia. Her family moved to Sarasota, Florida, when she was ten. Ljubica is double majoring in international affairs and political science with a minor in Spanish. During her time at Florida State University, she has served in the Noles Engaged in Politics organization and interned at the House of Representatives. Ljubica has also spent time in the Czech Republic, studying abroad through the Global Leadership Exchange Program. She spent her last two summers working on a community development project in Tafi Atome, Ghana, through Global Peace Exchange. She is currently the co-Director of the organization. Ljubica is passionate about development work and hopes to continue working in the NGO world in the future. She has worked with the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) and currently serves as the organization’s Vice President.


Devlin Peck

Devlin Peck is an honors student majoring in English literature and international affairs. In his first year at Florida State, he was elected president of DeGraff Hall and mentored students at Leon High School. As a sophomore, he became a resident assistant and participated on the university’s Mock Trial Team, eventually becoming its captain. Devlin completed the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program by studying 19th-century public sanitation reform under Professor Meegan Kennedy. Subsequently, he spent a semester in London where he participated in the Advanced English Literature Program and conducted archival research at the British Library. Devlin currently serves as a resident assistant in Landis Hall and as an honors colloquium leader. In addition, he is conducting research for his honors thesis on Ni-Vanuatu postcolonial literature.


Kathryn Pentz

Kathryn is from Cocoa, Florida. She is a double major in international affairs and Russian and Eastern European studies. Since her freshman year, she has travelled with the World Affairs Program to national and international Model United Nations Conferences. She now serves as the program's assistant director of outreach and the head delegate of its traveling team. Kathryn belongs to the Kappa Kappa Gamma women's fraternity and serves on its Academic Committee. After working at the Florida Capitol for two years, she developed an appreciation for the impacts of state legislation. Kathryn has been nominated by FSU for a Truman Scholarship. Upon graduation, she will receive her Research Intensive Bachelor's Certificate in Political Science, having conducted research on trade agreements and human rights. She intends to complete an honors thesis on this subject. Last summer Kathryn interned for an anti-human trafficking organization in Central America. as a result of that experience she developed a passion for human rights and a desire to study international law.


Thuy-Linh Pham

Thuy is from Tampa, Florida, and is pursuing a dual degree in anthropology and environmental studies with a minor in geography. As a sophomore, she participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and served as a research assistant for Professor Romanchuk and his work on Byzantine epics. She continues to work with UROP as an instructor and as a tutor at the ACE Learning Studio. Last fall Thuy interned for the Florida Fish and Wildlife’s Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Bear Management Program, where she developed a strong relationship with its staff and a deep appreciation for the complexities of conservation. She aims to pursue a research/service project in collaboration with the FWC and to analyze and improve how conservation is conveyed to stakeholders, especially low income and immigrant groups. Subsequently, Thuy intends to complete an honors thesis that illuminates the benefits of utilizing an integrative conservation approach to solve contemporary environmental problems.


Inam Sakinah

Inam is an honors student and Presidential Scholar from Jacksonville, Florida. She is double majoring in biology and interdisciplinary social sciences. Upon graduation she aspires to pursue an integrated medical and public policy career. Passionate about connecting different disciplines and perspectives, Inam has participated in neuroscience research and traveled to Ecuador as a Global Scholar. She also has conducted field research on the intersection between youth leadership and cultural identity. Her current research is focused on the social determinants of health and disparities in health outcomes. Inam has worked with the Center for Leadership and Social Change as its internal coordinator for Alternative Breaks. In addition to serving on the boards of the Student Council for Undergraduate Research and the Office of Governmental Affairs, Inam co-founded and currently coordinates an innovative college readiness program that targets underserved high school students in Gadsden County.


Carla Sanchez

Carla is from Lima, Peru. She transferred to FSU this year from Broward College where her research on time management won the institution’s Social Science Award. At FSU Carla is majoring in political science and sociology. She is committed to education and has volunteered as a math tutor, both in Lima and in South Florida. Last summer she worked with a Peruvian NGO, assisting victims of domestic abuse. She is a regular contributor to an international newsblog. As an author she hopes to encourage people to exercise their rights, discover their potential, and overcome various obstacles. In 2015 she won the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. With support from the Social Sciences Scholars program, Carla plans to conduct research on the acute educational challenges facing minorities and underprivileged students, especially those who are at high risk of dropping out. She intends to attend law school after graduation and to someday become a judge.


Katie Schulze

Katie is an honors student majoring in political science and public relations. As a freshman she participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program and assisted in a study analyzing the social interactions of participants within the Occupy Wall Street Movement. She currently works as a research assistant for the Department of Sociology and plans on pursuing an honors thesis under the supervision of Dr. Jesse Klein regarding gender relations among politicians. Katie has a diverse background in politics, having served as a legislative intern for Florida Senator Charles Dean and with Whitmer & Worrall, LLC, a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. She has served as a leader in the Student Government Association as vice president of public relations for the Vitality Party, vice chair of the Student Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a member of the Office of Governmental Affairs Board of Directors. She is a proud member of Kappa Kappa Gamma women’s fraternity, the Tallahassee chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, Garnet and Gold Key Leadership Honorary, and the Honors Legal Scholars Program.


Crystal Serrano

Crystal is an honors student from Miami. She is double-majoring in political science and international affairs, with minors in Chinese and communications. Her passion for international cultures encouraged her to study in Tianjin, China, last summer, and to participate in the Garnet and Gold Key Society with concentrations in international affairs, leadership, and research. Crystal is preparing for a law career though her involvement in the Honors Legal Scholars Program, the Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity, and Phi Beta Kappa. She also serves as parliamentarian for the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy’s Student Leadership Council. She also is interning for State Representative Manny Diaz Jr. at the Florida Capitol. Crystal participated as a research assistant in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, analyzing human rights issues within Florida’s criminal justice system. She plans to use these experiences to secure an internship with a nongovernmental organization in Madrid next summer.


McCayla Sica

McCayla is a political science and economics double major from Cooper City, Florida. She is currently pursuing a Research Intensive Bachelor’s Certificate and plans to develop a senior thesis based on the skills she has learned through this program. Previously, McCayla interned for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the League of Women Voters of Florida. Currently, she works as a public policy apprentice for the Children’s Campaign, advocating for the betterment of Florida’s children. Through her participation on the college’s Student Leadership Council she has pioneered a peer mentorship program for students within the college. She also is an active member of the Delta Gamma fraternity. After graduation, McCayla plans to pursue a graduate degree in political science. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, playing the flute, and being outdoors.


Ed Town

Ed is an honors student from Huntingtown, Maryland He is majoring in political science and economics. He currently interns in development at the James Madison Institute, a Florida-based free market think-tank, which is affiliated with the Charles Koch Institute’s internship program. Ed has previously worked with the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command in foreign military sales, the Florida Senate as a legislative intern for Senator Aaron Bean, and the Calvert County Board of Education. At present, he serves as the Florida executive director of Students for Rubio and the advocacy chair for FSU Habitat for Humanity. A proud Catholic and conservative, Ed enjoys exploring historical sites, playing tennis, and cheering on the Seminoles. As a Social Science Scholar, Ed will be traveling across the country this summer to conduct research on youth political polarization and youth conferences.