Meet the 2023 Max Berger ’71 Public Interest/Public Service Fellows

Members of this year’s class will focus on issues including environmental human rights,  employment law and workers’ rights, public defense, and immigration reform.

Blooming trees in front of large building and statue

The Max Berger ’71 Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program, now in its fifth year, provides resources and opportunities tailored to students who plan to pursue careers in public interest, human rights, and government. Over the course of their Law School experience, these members of the Class of 2026 will develop their knowledge, gain experience, and hone legal skills through professional development workshops, opportunities to meet with mentors in their field of interest, and attending events. They will join a network of students, alumni, faculty, and practitioners who are social justice leaders.

“The one-on-one support that the program offers was essential to my continuing on the path to a public interest career,” says Raisa Elhadi ’22. “The individualized advising was tailored to my passions and experiences and helped me secure my dream position as a human rights lawyer.”

Meet this year’s class below, and learn more about previous fellow cohorts
Keir F. Adamson portrait

Keir Adamson ’26

Keir Adamson is passionate about energy policy and the intersection of environmental justice and human rights. Keir graduated cum laude from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, with a B.A. in public policy and environmental studies. During his time at Hamilton, Keir conducted policy research on global warming potential timelines for short-lived climate pollutants. Most recently, Keir worked as a legal assistant at the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, where he assisted the Environmental Protection Division in litigating environmental crimes. Keir is the son of British immigrants and the first in his family to attend law school.

Man in a blue patterned shirt

Andrew E. Brennen ’26

Andrew E. Brennen is an aspiring civil rights attorney and NAACP Legal Defense Fund Marshall-Motley Scholar committed to education justice in his home state of Kentucky. Andrew graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in political science and from Harvard Graduate School of Education with a master’s degree in education policy and management. Before law school, Andrew co-founded the Kentucky Student Voice Team, an education nonprofit in Kentucky dedicated to elevating students as partners in building more just and democratic schools. He also served as an intervening defendant and witness in the landmark Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina affirmative action case. Andrew is a 2020 National Geographic Education Fellow and 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 award recipient. Andrew also serves on the boards of Seek Common Ground (chair) and was appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear to serve on the boards of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation, where he is finance and audit committee chair and a member of the executive committee.

 

Abigail Carbajal portrait

Abigail Shaska Carbajal ’26

Abigail Shaska Carbajal is passionate about pursuing a career in international human rights. She is especially interested in issues regarding state-sponsored violence and women’s rights. She graduated with honors from Brown University with a B.A. in applied mathematics and a B.A. in international and public affairs. In her honors thesis, Abigail investigated how armed conflict impacts women’s migration decisions through the case studies of Peru’s internal armed conflict and the Guatemalan civil war. She has worked for organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, the Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice, and the Center on Gender Justice and Opportunity. She served as a research assistant for numerous professors at Brown University. She hopes to use her law degree to advocate for the human rights of marginalized communities across the Americas. Abigail is a proud multilingual Peruvian American and is the first in her family to attend law school. 

Katherine Rose Coyle portrait

Katherine Coyle ’26

Katherine Coyle is interested in the intersection of social work and law and aspires to a career in public defense work. Katherine earned her B.A. in psychology at the University of Michigan and minored in criminal justice and community action and social change (CASC). She is pursuing dual graduate degrees in social work and law at Columbia. Before law school, Katherine interned for the campaigns of current Detroit City Councilwoman Gabriela Santiago-Romero and Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney Eli Savit. As an undergraduate, she volunteered with the Washtenaw County Community Outreach Team and worked as a research assistant in a neuroscience lab at the University of Michigan.

Caelan Dick portrait

Caelan Dick ’26

Caelan Dick is interested in labor law, political economy, and building worker power. Caelan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in political science and economics. During college, he interned at the North Carolina Governor’s Office and the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Chicago. Before law school, Caelan was a paralegal at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., where he assisted with antitrust litigation in the tech sector.

Emily Dinan portrait

Emily Dinan ’26

Emily Dinan aspires to a career in public defense, specifically working with juvenile defendants. Emily received a B.A. in public policy and an M.A. in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Chicago. Her research focused on the intersection of counterterrorism and human rights, and she completed her honors thesis on the racial profiling of Arab Americans in her hometown of Detroit. After graduating, Emily joined the Middle East division of Heartland Alliance International, a human rights organization, where she supported a project to provide legal support to juvenile defendants throughout the Middle East. Emily has spent several years studying Arabic and Farsi, and she is the first in her family to attend law school.

Pedro Ariel Dominguez

Pedro Ariel Dominguez ’26

Pedro Ariel Dominguez strives to ensure that the government is ethical, effective, and embracing. He is interested in government administration, specifically strengthening the integrity of our public institutions, ensuring that agencies can effectively respond to the needs of constituents, and engaging local communities so that administrative procedures and policies are transparent and allow for as much public input as possible. Born and raised in the Northwest Bronx, Pedro attended Brooklyn Technical High School and earned his B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Before law school, Pedro worked at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development in the Division of Government Affairs and for Housing Court Answers at the Bronx County Housing Court. There, he provided information to pro se litigants on court procedure and their substantive rights. Pedro is a first-generation Dominican American and the first in his family to attend law school.

Brian Elizalde portrait

Brian Elizalde ’26

Brian Elizalde is interested in immigrant and climate justice. Brian earned a B.A. in ethnic studies and international development at Brown University. After graduating, he served as an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) Fellow in Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, where he worked with migrant women and children in immigrant detention. Brian is the first in his family to attend college and law school. 

Priscila Flores portrait

Priscila Flores ’26

Priscila Flores aspires to a career focused on the intersection of environmental human rights and Latin American social justice. She graduated with high honors and high distinction from the University of Michigan, where she earned a B.A. in environmental studies and writing. As an undergraduate, Priscila spent three years volunteering with an organization providing free educational resources to the Ann Arbor Latino community. She also completed an honors thesis investigating the extent to which the Indigenous Quechua language influences agrobiodiversity in Peru. Forming connections between her interests, heritage, and bilingual ability, Priscila hopes to increase accessibility to the legal field while advocating for a healthy environment. Priscila is a South Florida native and the first in her family to attend law school.

Kylie Ford portrait

Kylie Nicole Ford ’26

Kylie Nicole Ford is passionate about environmental and food justice, public policy, and pollution prevention. She graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University with a B.A. in philosophy and environmental studies. Before law school, Kylie served as a Jesuit Volunteer AmeriCorps member in Bethel, Alaska, as a natural resources technician with the Orutsararmiut Native Council. Kylie is a long-distance backpacker. She through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2021 and recently completed the Camino de Santiago.

Man in a blue blazer, white shirt, and green tie

Fernando García ’26

Fernando García is passionate about immigration detention reform, with a particular interest in removal proceedings and the intersection between immigration and criminal law. Fernando earned his B.A. in political science with a minor in American history from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. During college, Fernando was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California State University Board of Trustees. As a trustee, Fernando witnessed firsthand how lack of diversity of thought and experience in governing bodies leads to systemic inequity. This experience ignited a passion for advocacy and service in Fernando, as well as a calling to empower underserved communities. A proud Guatemalan immigrant, Fernando will be the first in his family to earn a law degree. Fernando has testified before the California State Senate Education Committee in favor of two bills on two separate occasions, resulting in additional representation for California State University students.

Kalvis Golde portrait

Kalvis Golde ’26

Kalvis “Kal” Golde is interested in criminal justice reform and the rights of workers and organized labor. He earned his B.S. in applied mathematics from the University of Georgia. Before law school, Kal assisted attorneys arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court at Georgetown’s Supreme Court Institute. Previously, he covered the court for SCOTUSblog and supported the advocacy of progressive attorneys at the American Constitution Society. Kal is a citizen of the United States and Canada and calls both Washington, D.C., and Georgia home.

Makayla Haussler portrait

Makayla Haussler ’26

Makayla Haussler is passionate about reproductive rights and combating sexual- and gender-based violence. Makayla graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University, where she was named a Truman Scholar, and completed a master’s degree in gender studies as a George J. Mitchell Scholar at University College Dublin in Ireland. Makayla’s past work with Planned Parenthood Generation Action and the Abortion Rights Campaign in Ireland have honed her interest in reproductive rights law. She spent three years in England working as head U.S. legal analyst at McAllister Olivarius, a plaintiff-side firm that specializes in gender discrimination and sexual violence cases. Makayla is a proud Nebraskan and the first in her family to attend law school. 

Jasmine Heiss portrait

Jasmine M. Heiss ’26

Jasmine M. Heiss is interested in civil rights litigation with a focus on challenging injustices in state and local criminal legal systems. Among the first in her family to receive a college degree, she graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in anthropology. Jasmine has more than a decade of experience as a human rights and criminal legal system reform advocate. At the Vera Institute of Justice, she worked to stop the catastrophic rise of incarceration in smaller cities and rural counties. Her work is rooted in personal experience: Jasmine grew up in rural Michigan and has family members who have been to jail and prison; members of her family have also worked in the criminal legal system. Jasmine has also held roles at the Coalition for Public Safety and Amnesty International, represented the U.S. civil society at the United Nations, acted as a human rights delegate to Palestine’s occupied West Bank, and served as a human rights observer. Jasmine is a twice-elected Democratic committeeperson for Philadelphia’s 12th Ward and has performed and choreographed with a modern dance company in Washington, D.C. 

Taylor Jones portrait

Taylor Jones ’26

Taylor Jones cares deeply about criminal justice reform and economic justice. He earned his B.A. from Elon University in political science and poverty and social justice studies. Before law school, Taylor worked directly with formerly incarcerated people to increase their access to jobs, affordable housing, and addiction treatment. He has also worked at the Minnesota Senate, at an immigration law firm, and on numerous political campaigns. Taylor spent four months in South Africa, where he studied apartheid, movement building, and human rights.

Nina Kumar portrait

Nina Kumar ’26

Nina Kumar seeks a career focused on the intersections between immigration and criminal justice systems. She graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a double major in political science and psychology. At the University of Florida, Nina conducted research on refugee policy and history in the Middle East and North Africa. Since graduating, Nina served as a Weil Legal Innovator and paralegal at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas focusing on immigrants’ rights, smart justice, and LGBTQ+ issues. Nina is a first-generation Indian American and the first in her family to attend law school.

Emma Grace Liles portrait

Emma Liles ’26

Emma Liles is interested in public defense work, Native American and Indigenous rights, and combating gender-based violence through restorative justice programs. Emma attended Hamilton College where she earned a joint B.A. in government and women’s and gender studies. As an undergraduate, Emma cultivated an interest in advocacy, competed on the mock trial team, and served in student government. Upon graduating, she spent two years working as an assistant paralegal at the Federal Defender Program in Atlanta, defending those accused of various federal crimes.

Brenley P. Markowitz portrait

Brenley Markowitz ’26

Brenley Markowitz is passionate about helping refugees and immigrants thrive in the United States. She graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University in 2019 with a B.A. in global studies and minors in Spanish and economics. Brenley began her work with the refugee community while serving as the executive director of a student-run nonprofit that provides tutoring and mentorship for refugee youth. Since graduation, she has worked as an intensive case manager at a Phoenix refugee resettlement agency; a project specialist at the Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program; a community engagement coordinator supporting the resettlement of Afghan evacuees at the International Rescue Committee in Sacramento, California; and an intern at the National Immigration Forum and the Migration Policy Institute. The systemic barriers Brenley witnessed refugees facing has inspired her to pursue a legal career working to reform federal refugee resettlement policy, and she hopes to become the best advocate she can be for refugees and immigrants.

Angel Mendez-Flores portrait

Angel Mendez-Flores ’26

Angel Mendez-Flores is passionate about fighting for the rights of people affected by immigration and criminal legal systems in the United States and worldwide. Angel graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in political science and sociology with honors. Angel spent most of his undergraduate years advocating for the rights of immigrants in Rhode Island through the Brown University Immigrant Rights Coalition. Upon graduation, he joined Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts as a brutality paralegal, where he provided legal services to incarcerated individuals who were victims of excessive use of force by correctional officers. Angel is the proud son of Mexican immigrants and is the first in his family to attend law school.

Jennifer Morgan portrait

Jennifer Morgan ’26

Jennifer Morgan is interested in addressing the socioeconomic injustice within the criminal legal system and public defense. She holds a B.S. in international politics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Before law school, Jennifer interned at the Office of the Public Defender in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where she had the opportunity to help represent clients and learn from experienced attorneys about the injustices within the system. Jennifer is a Swedish native and the first in her family to attend college and law school.

Alia Nahra portrait

Alia Nahra ’26

Alia Nahra aspires to a career intervening at the intersection of sexual violence and the carceral state. She studied sociology and women, gender, and sexuality studies at Washington University in St. Louis and is currently a joint degree Ph.D. student in sociology at Columbia University. Alia has spent time working in prisoners’ rights advocacy and supporting abolitionist movements in St. Louis and New York. Before Columbia, she worked at the Brennan Center for Justice, conducting policy research aimed at ending mass incarceration. Alia serves as a volunteer sexual assault and domestic violence advocate in the New York City hospital system.

Sam Norrito portrait

Samantha Norrito ’26

Samantha “Sam” Norrito aspires to a career in public defense that also furthers the values of prison abolition. Sam graduated summa cum laude from Scripps College in Claremont, California, with a dual major in history and humanities and a minor in Spanish. She spent the past two years working as a client advocate in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office; she became passionate about public interest work when she was 16 and served on Brooklyn Community Board 2. 

Emmanuel Osayande portrait

Emmanuel Uyi Osayande ’26

Emmanuel Uyi Osayande is interested in the intersection of human rights and governance, as well as international law and business and human rights. He earned a B.A. in history and strategic studies with highest honors from the University of Lagos (Nigeria), where he broke a 52-year-old academic record. He also holds an M.A. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in African and African American studies from Harvard University, where he is completing a Ph.D. in African history. Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Emmanuel’s experience with social injustice in the city led him to found WOKE, a nonprofit that empowers underserved youth through legal advocacy, digital mentorship, and capacity building. Emmanuel is bilingual and a former soccer player.

Woman wearing a black shirt

Aby Rivera ’26

Aby Rivera is interested in exploring international human rights, global workers’ rights, and gender justice. She earned her B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean studies and Chicanx/Latinx studies at Scripps College in Claremont, California. During college, Aby was involved in Chiapas Support Committee and interned with Friends of the ATC, an organization based in Nicaragua. Following graduation, Aby worked at TakeRoot Justice as an advocacy coordinator/paralegal in the housing rights practice area. Aby is from Chicago and the first in her family to attend law school. 

Sari Safi portrait

Sarah Safi ’26

Sarah Safi is interested in employment law, a field in which she can empower workers and fight for economic justice. Sarah graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a B.A. in economics. Prior to law school, Sarah served as a program officer with the Office of Economic Empowerment, a department within the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s office. During her time there, Sarah developed programs and legislation addressing wage and wealth inequities, spurring her interest in vindicating workers’ rights and creating an economy that works for all people. Sarah is the proud daughter of Afghan immigrants and is the first in her family to attend law school.

Safia Fiera Karasick Southey

Safia Karasick Southey ’26 GS ’21

Safia Karasick Southey is passionate about supporting victims of human rights abuses following situations of conflict, alternative methods of punishment and justice, and international law enforcement mechanisms. Safia earned a B.A. in human rights from Columbia University, a B.A. in politics and government from Sciences Po, and an MSc. in conflict studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Following high school, Safia moved to Jordan to work with the UN Palestine refugee agency, where she developed her interest in redress mechanisms. Since then, she has worked in a number of human rights research and advocacy roles, including with the World Bank, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the U.S. State Department, the International Public Law and Public Group, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Safia is a proud native New Yorker, passionate traveler, and perpetual student.

Elizabeth Sturley portrait

Elizabeth Sturley ’26

Elizabeth Sturley aspires to a career in international human rights, with a focus on atrocity prevention and justice for victims/survivors. She earned her B.A. in justice and human rights, political science, and international relations from Amherst College in Massachusetts and a master’s of advanced studies in transitional justice, human rights, and the rule of law from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Geneva. During her time in Geneva and in the year following, Elizabeth worked for the Global Survivors Fund (an international organization working to enable access to reparations for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence) on their Global Reparations Study, assessing the opportunities for and threats to reparations around the world. She has also previously worked for a Texas government agency that advocates for Holocaust and genocide education and a nonprofit that produces educational materials on current-day atrocities and lobbies Congress for atrocity prevention bills. Elizabeth is from Austin, Texas, but has also lived and worked abroad, including in Japan.

Alondra Vazquez portrait

Alondra Vazquez ’26

Alondra Vazquez is interested in harnessing community power alongside law to address immigration reform and labor rights. Her goal is to support claims-making strategies that bypass formal politics in the nation-territory-citizen framework. Alondra earned her B.A. in ethnicity, race, and migration from Yale University. She also holds an MSc. in migration studies and an M.F.A. from the University of Oxford. Alondra has worked with community and international immigration organizations, including Apostle Immigrant Services, the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, and Al Otro Lado, where she assisted attorneys with asylum and deportation cases. She also worked with the Social Science Research Council, where she helped with research on political and human rights in Central America. Alondra is active in socialist organizations and is committed to fighting for the rights of immigrants as workers, tenants, patients, and students.

Celeste Xenia Woloshyn portrait

Celeste Woloshyn ’26

Celeste Woloshyn is committed to preventing gender-based violence and has a particular focus on addressing technology-enabled coercive control and improving health care-centered interventions. Celeste graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in international area studies and minors in mathematics and women, gender, and sexuality studies. Prior to law school, Celeste spent three years working for California Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo and focused on health care reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and women’s rights. Celeste also served on the board of the LGBTQ+ Congressional Staff Association and was co-chair of the Queer Women’s Task Force. Celeste grew up in London and California and is a former tennis coach.

Emma Ziegler portrait

Emma Ziegler ’26

Emma Ziegler hopes to pursue a career working toward the transformation of our health care system. Emma earned her B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame. Before law school, Emma worked in civil legal aid services in New York City, assisting low-income individuals with immigration and health care matters. She also studied abroad in East Africa and maintains strong ties to the region, including a part-time role with a sustainable farming NGO located in Uganda. Emma was born and raised in rural Minnesota.