MPA Ambassadors

Lydia Chim (bio)
Undergraduate Degree: Brown University

Victor Cruz Jr. (bio)
Undergraduate: University of Notre Dame


Edmundo Diaz (bio)
Undergraduate Degree: Florida International University
Email: edmundod@usc.ed

Pete Eyre
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh


Joshua Jeffrey (bio)
Undergraduate Degree: University of Washington

Shane Lee
Undergraduate: University of California, Santa Barbara


Samantha Levra (bio)
Undergraduate Degree: Univ. of Southern California

Ryan Lutz (bio)
Concentration: Arts Leadership
Undergraduate: Wabash College


Ebele Obi (bio)

Concentration: Non Profit Management
Undergraduate: Dartmouth College

Isabel Oropeza
Concentration: International Development
Undergraduate Degree: Pepperdine University

Leah Phillips (bio)
Undergraduate: UCLA

Jefferson Isaí Rosa (bio)
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, San Diego

Eli Shavalian (bio)
Undergraduate: Yeshiva University

USC Price MPA Ambassador Bios

Lydia Chim hails from San Diego, California and is in her first year at Price pursuing an MPA. While her interests span many policy issues, she intends to focus on international development. At Price, she is a first year graduate student representative of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus. Before coming to USC, Lydia graduated from Brown University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Economics and worked for a global law firm as an attorney assistant. Outside of campus, Lydia spends her free time exploring Los Angeles’ music and food scenes.

 Victor Manuel Cruz Jr is a Los Angeles-based community activist fighting to bring justice and visibility to historically marginalized communities in the United States and globally. His vision of equitable, self-sustaining and self-efficient diverse communities has led Victor to become an emerging leader on a global scale. Victor’s experience deliberating with legislative leaders on issues of immigration, incarceration, and education access cemented his vision of enacting justice through policy, leading Victor to pursue a Master of Public Administration at the University of Southern California. Here he aims to acquire the skillset to create and reform programs that dismantle urban poverty and education inequities while creating opportunities for the world’s most vulnerable.

 Edmundo Diaz is originally from Miami, Florida and is a first-generation Cuban-American. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Florida International University, before moving to Southern California to pursue the Master of Public Administration degree from USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. His studies focus primarily on education and tech policy, which are the fields he has worked in for most of his professional career. As the first member of his family to experience the benefits of higher education, he is passionate about making education more equitable. Upon graduation, he hopes to impact education reform on a federal level. In his spare time, he is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, salsa dancing enthusiast, hiking and nature lover, sci-fi action movie fan, as well as a huge travel buff. Though he still has much to explore outside of USC, he loves living in Southern California and is very proud to be a Trojan.

 Peter Eyre is a first year Master of Public Administration student at Price. In 2018, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. His current interests lie in natural disaster recovery, infrastructure resiliency, and large-scale emergency preparedness. In addition to his course work, Pete works as a research assistant in the CREATE Lab, where he assists Dr. Adam Rose on projects regarding the economic impacts of disasters. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio – Pete is a passionate Cleveland Sports fan, and is ecstatic that LeBron James followed him out to Los Angeles.

 Joshua Jeffrey is a second-year Master of Public Administration and Master of Planning candidate at the University of Southern California. He chose Price for its academic emphasis in local government, career development programs, and unparalleled professional network. He is a City/County Management Fellow and serves on the executive board of ICMA@USC. Prior to attending graduate school, Joshua earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics from the University of Washington. He currently works for the City of La Cañada Flintridge as a Management Intern. When he isn’t busy searching for parking at a civic meeting downtown, Joshua enjoys exploring Los Angeles and playing music.

Shane Lee is a Master of Public Administration and Certificate of Public Financial Management candidate, and has received a Certificate of Public Policy, at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. He received his B.A. in Global Studies with a Minor in French from University of California, Santa Barbara. Following his undergraduate studies, Shane interned with the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAPC) and led a team in generating over $5,000 of monetary and in-kind donations for child abuse and domestic violence awareness campaigns, and created adoption stories for over 300 families for a holiday adoption program. His time with CAPC led to his employment in administrative and financial support, volunteer engagement, and then early childhood mental health education services.

Shane wishes to continue assisting families via community support and governmental assistance. He plans to work in local government in order to facilitate helping all children have brighter paths in life. His studies in policy analysis and administrative governance enrich him in how to best approach civic community engagement and service delivery. At USC, he is the GPAC Executive Officer, Finance Chair for PSI (Price Social Innovation), and the Director of Communications and Marketing for ICMA@USC (International City/County Management Association).

 Samantha Levra is a first year graduate student at the Price School of Public Policy, where she is pursuing her Masters in Public Administration. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Gender Studies, from the University of Southern California, where she conducted research on college campus sexual assault for a departmental honors thesis. Upon graduation, Samantha joined United Parents and Students as a Community Engagement Coordinator to teach families the skills of community organizing to address factors outside school boundaries that pose barriers to learning and inhibit local quality of life. She is a second year board member with Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley. She hopes to utilize her Price education to deliver impactful leadership over her lifetime to nonprofit organizations to advance equity in Los Angeles. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys oil painting, reading at the park, and going to concerts!

Ryan Lutz is originally from Sacramento, CA and graduated from Wabash College with a B.A. degree in English literature and creative writing. He is currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration with a specialization in Art’s Leadership. Previously Ryan worked as the Strategic Partnerships Manager at SFFILM in San Francisco for four years. Ryan has published creative work in BULL: Men’s Fiction, and The Acentos Review, and he also wrote and produced a short film that has been accepted into the Twin Cities Black Film Festival and the Royal Starr Film Festival. Ryan has an interest in public and private partnerships and is researching the ways media affects public sentiment and the governance process. Ryan chose USC’s Price School of Public Policy because of its interdisciplinary approach to complex problems and its unparalleled network of alumni.

Ebele Obi

Ebelechukwu (Ebele) Obi, originally from northern California, is a second year MPA student at USC. Ebele desires to use the tools and models from the MPA program to enact lasting and meaningful change to improve social welfare. Before matriculating into USC, Ebele worked in project management. She received a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Government from Dartmouth College. Ebele has always had an interest in how structures and systems impact outcomes and how people are an underlying factor in the results we see in life, business, and community. Ebele enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring new restaurants, and having new experiences.

Isabel Oropeza is a first-year MPA student currently working as an Administrative Manager for UBS Financial Services, Inc. She began working at UBS Financial Services, Inc. after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Pepperdine University as an organizational communications major. Isabel is passionate about developing sustainable private public partnerships to address social justice issues. She decided to attend USC Price because she identified with the mission of the school to improve the quality of life of others domestically and abroad. Isabel is originally an Orange County native. She attended Fullerton Community College where she was recognized as a Woman of Distinction. She now sits on the Board of Directors for the Fullerton College Foundation. Isabel’s areas of interest include education and environmental policy. One of Isabel’s favorite organizations she has volunteer with for the past five years is Padres Contra El Cancer, a local non-profit based in Toluca Lake. During her free time she enjoys traveling, playing sports, and staying active.

Leah Phillips is a second-year dual degree student, pursuing an MPA at Price and a Masters in Jewish Nonprofit Management at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC). Born and raised in Los Angeles, she received her BA in Political Science from UCLA. After graduating, she spent a year and a half in Tel Aviv before returning to LA (for good, hopefully). In both Israel and LA, Leah has worked in different settings including startups and nonprofits – from Director of Content for a social enterprise startup to coordinating a professional development program for educators at the Museum of Tolerance. She has loved having the opportunity to explore the LA Jewish nonprofit community through her internships during graduate school. Leah is passionate about making sure nonprofits are great places to work. She is excited to bring her passion for people and innovative solutions to the nonprofit sector.

Jefferson Isai Rosa is a native of El Salvador who grew up in Compton, CA. Isai completed his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning at the University of California, San Diego. He is a dual degree third year at USC completing a Master of Planning with a concentration in Transportation Infrastructure, and a Master of Public Administration. He is a Senior Community Relations Officer working for LA Metro’s Program Management in construction mitigation of capital rail projects. In his spare time he participates in USC student organizations, mentorship, academic, and social activities. He is excited to play a role in LA’s transit growth and evolution.

Eli Shavalian is a first year student in the Masters of Public Administration program. He was born and raised in the city of Los Angeles. After graduating Palisades Charter HS, he attended Yeshiva University in NY where he majored in Psychology and double-minored in Spanish and Theatre. Though he believed for a majority of his life that his calling was only in the world of Psychology, he also found a passion for higher education and began working in Undergraduate Admission at his alma mater where that passion was able to grow. After a total of 6 years in NY, Eli decided to move back to LA and continue his work in higher education at the University of Southern California. Working in undergrad admission has been such an exciting experience, Eli recently made the switch to the high school world and assumed the position of Associate Director of College Counseling at Shalhevet High School. This has allowed Eli to work more closely with students during the college search and application process and has allowed Eli to forge deeper connections with the students he is serving. Eli chose the MPA program to understand public administration on a larger scale and take what he is learning inside the classroom and apply it to the world of higher education in hopes of increasing equity and access for students across the nation.