Kevin Argueta is a dual degree graduate student in the Master of Public Policy and Master of Urban Planning program at USC Price. Currently, at USC, Argueta is involved with the Associated Student in Planning Development Board and the METRANS Transportation Center. His academic and research interest are urban development, economic development, transportation systems, and innovative urban technology. Before attending USC, Argueta earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach, and has had experience working for a United States House Representative, the Port of Long Beach, and the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office. Argueta is a Southeast Los Angeles native and is inspired by the area’s urban landscape, culture, and socioeconomic development.
Elettra Baldi is a first year MPP candidate. She received a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with an International Development concentration from The George Washington University in 2019. She is passionate about public policy with a focus on gender equality. Baldi conducts research for an international NGO called Open Data Watch (ODW), which works with national statistical offices on providing open access to high quality and timely statistics for policy analysis, research, and decision making. At ODW, she focuses on issues relating to the use of data for implementing and monitoring the UN Sustainable Development Goals and explores how demographic dynamics play into national and international development. She is particularly interested in gender-disaggregated data for developing evidence-based, equitable policies that address global disparities. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, playing soccer, going to the beach, and finding good places to eat.
Corey Barnes originally aspired to work in Aviation, but following an eye-opening internship with a major US airline, Corey decided that he would rather focus his energy on creating more sustainable modes of transportation and improving accessibility in cities around the country. He decided that his next step was to study a dual Master’s degree in both Urban Planning and Public Policy so he could understand planning and work on policies to improve society. Corey has a particular interest in “Legacy Cities” and hopes to achieve equitable and sustainable advancements in communities that have been left behind. He is driven by his values of sustainability, accessibility, equity, and social justice.
Corran Bellman is a first year MPP student born and raised in Los Angeles. Bellman graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations, becoming really interested in international development. Before pursuing grad school, Bellman lived in both D.C. and California, working in a range of environments that included local and federal government, nonprofits, and a congressional campaign. Bellman is really interested in both national and international politics, technology and social media, and seeing the unique roles that both the public and private sectors play in public policy. Bellman’s spare time consists of working out, taking road trips, stumbling upon a good film, and writing.
Peng Cheng is a first year Master of Public Policy student. He graduated from DePauw University with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology in 2020. During his undergraduate years, he interned with a non-profit organization. In collaboration with client corporations and organizations, his team created programs and events, including Sea Turtle Conservation Program and Yuan Art Gallery Exhibition, and helped companies become more involved in the cause of environmentalism. He is passionate about studying environmental policy and health policy and promoting environmental justice. He hopes to incorporate his undergraduate training as an anthropologist into policy analysis and complement quantitative analytics with his qualitative research background. In his spare time, he loves exploring different cuisines and restaurants, and he is into fitness training.
Marisa Fuse graduated from USC in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Law, History, and Culture. Her policy interests include criminal justice and voting rights reform, and she has worked for the DNC and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris. When Fuse is not taking classes at Price, she can be found on Cromwell Field as a TA for the Trojan Marching Band or studying at Doheny Library!
Ahhad Iqbal is a first-generation Muslim American born to Pakistani immigrants. He was born and raised in Diamond Bar, California. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Policy and hopes to further his research in education policy and work towards achieving equity in our public education system. Prior to beginning his journey at USC, Iqbal worked for a non-profit community clinic in South Los Angeles as an Events and Marketing Coordinator. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2019. He was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Service Award, a distinct honor given to those students who exhibited excellence in service to their community. In his free time, Iqbad enjoys reading, playing basketball, and road-biking on pleasant autumn days.
Kelly Law is a first year Master of Public Policy student from Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of South Dakota where she completed her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Studies. While in South Dakota, she also competed as a Division I volleyball athlete. She is interested in non-profit management as well as the intersectional work that exists between government policy and non-profit initiatives. In 2018, she lived in Washington DC for 6 months where she interned for Minnesota Senator Tina Smith. Prior to her time at Price, she worked for a non-profit called Artspace, which seeks to provide affordable housing solutions for artists and their families. In her spare time, Law enjoys watching sports, traveling, going to flower shops, and listening to music.
Katelyn Lee is a first year progressive Master of Public Policy student. As a progressive MPP student, she is also an undergraduate USC student, working towards a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Law, with a minor in Law and Public Policy. She is interested in studying social and education policy to find solutions to the obstacles that impede people’s well-being and success as they define it. Although born in South Korea, Lee grew up in Southern California and also in Auburn, Alabama. Previously, she has worked as a Legislative Intern in Washington, D.C. with Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and as a Research Intern with Voices of SAP. Outside of classes, Lee serves as the Chair of the Committee on Academic Affairs in the Undergraduate Student Government and works in the Grades, Transcripts, and Verifications Office.
Julie Leyba is a lifelong Southern California resident. She earned her B.A. in political science from Cal State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) where she recognized her passion for public service. Upon completing her baccalaureate, Leyba began her career working for a Member of Congress as their District Representative for the last two years. After tracking several issue areas including health care, census, housing, and higher education, she realized how much public policy shapes society, but also, how it requires a thoughtful analytic approach. She instantly decided to become an active participant in the public policy process rather than continue being a bystander. Leyba is now a first year MPP student looking to study health policy, focusing on addressing health disparities and creating access to care for minorities and low-income groups. In her downtime, she enjoys going to the beach, reading a book (coffee A-MUST), or attending a concert.
Changyuan (Jack) Pang is in his second year of the MPP program. He grew up in England and attended Imperial College London and King’s College London for his undergraduate Mathematics degree. He is a racing car driver, currently competing in various Formula and Touring Car series. He specializes in sports organization management and motorsports performance. Before attending USC, Pang worked as a Mathematics, Physics, and English teacher at an A-level College in Hangzhou, China. He is the Director of Business Development at USC Chinese Graduate Student Association. Pang is delighted to join the USC Price Student Ambassador Program, and he looks forward to communicating with people and forming
Aubri Qian (she/her) is a first year MPP student at USC Sol Price. Prior to enrolling, she was a Program Manager at Equality California, where she focused on LGBTQ+ mental health equity, leadership development, and transgender equity. Prior to her work with Equality California, Aubri worked in advertising, where she championed diversity and inclusion initiatives in the private sector. Aubri graduated from New York University with a degree in Organizational Behavior and Marketing.
Rit Shukla is a Dean’s Merit Scholar pursuing a Masters of Public Policy at the Price School of Public Policy. His main interest is studying how to incentivize empathy within the healthcare field and health policy. He is a board member on the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, a member of the DEI Coalition, and a member of the Price of Policy Podcast. His interests outside of school are basketball, articles off twitter, and hiking.
John Thomey is dual MUP-MPP student focusing on economic development and the innovation economy. Thomey graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Communications. Prior to going back to school, he worked in public relations at Mission North and BerlinRosen, focusing on clients in real estate and tech. Thomey is also a former political staffer, having worked for local, state, and national officials.
Humberto Vazquez Orozco is a first year MPP student. He was born in Puebla, Mexico, and moved to Mexico City to obtain his Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. As an undergrad, he found his commitment to economic development. After graduating, he worked for seven years for the Mexican Federal Government at the Ministry of Social Development and the Mexican Social Security Institute. During his time in public service, he participated in designing, implementing, and evaluating several sizable programs that sought poverty reduction and social welfare. Notably, he encouraged the use of technology in public interventions. Now at USC, he is eager to think disruptively to find new ways to provide public services. As part of the Ambassador Program, he looks forward to incentivizing and enriching the interest and discussion about Latin-America’s economic and community development.
Selina Vazquez is a humanitarian, activist and non-profit professional who believes that we must be the change we wish to see in the world. She is a graduate of Fisher College, and is pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. In addition to her studies, Vazquez also works as an Associate Director of Development & Reunion Giving for the University of Southern California. Previously, she served as a Major Gifts Officer for the American Red Cross, where in addition to her fundraising work, Vazquez also deployed as part of Disaster Response Teams following multiple national disasters. She is on the boards of New Leaders Council Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, and the American Red Cross serving Western Los Angeles. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2013, Vazquez worked in Development for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. When she’s not studying, working or volunteering – Vazquez enjoys rock climbing, reading and traveling.