Willie L. Brown, Jr. Fellow Profiles

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Fall 2016

Elsie Arias

Elsie Arias

Elsie’s LinkedIn profile

“For me, the Willie L. Brown Jr. Fellowship Program was more than just a professional experience. The mentorship, confidence, and tangible skills I was provided helped me to imagine a clearer path to becoming a public servant. Overall, my journey as a Willie Brown Fellow solidified my belief in the importance of fighting for social justice in partnership with the communities I care about.”

Major: Double major in Health Education and Sociology

Fellowship Placement: San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF)

Fellowship Assignment: Elsie’s fellowship assignment focused on the development of a Youth Advisory Board that will provide feedback and expertise to DCYF’s various activities throughout its five-year planning cycle. The planning of this project required Elsie to assist in developing the Youth Advisory Board’s application and interview tool and, schedule interviews for prospective members. The project also involved developing focus groups, communicating with stakeholders, creating focus group questions, and collecting notes during each focus group session. Elsie conducted a field assessment of 80+ community organizations across San Francisco that support already developed youth councils and youth-led media projects. She supported DCYF’s Technical Assistance and Capacity Building resources by updating calendar information, creating new event pages, and linking to providers who utilize this resource. In addition, Elsie took part in planning DCYF’s and the Urban Services of YMCA’s joint sponsored Youth Advocacy Day event. 

Post-Graduation Goals:  Elsie’s professional goals are focused on serving underprivileged communities through a position in a city agency or non-profit organization working on health disparities. After gaining direct work experience in this area, she plans to pursue a master's in public health with an emphasis on policy and planning in order to work on health policy issues in the future.

Michael Bennett

Michael L. Bennett

Michael’s LinkedIn profile

“For more than half my sixty-plus years of life, I thought a college degree and a career in a field that I love would never be possible. But thanks to SF State and the Willie L. Brown Jr. Fellowship Program, I now believe a four-year degree and a meaningful career are not only possible, but are within my grasp. Working with Jerry Velasco at SF Rec & Park and taking the seminar class with Professor Pinderhughes has been a phenomenal experience. I have had the benefit of being exposed to some amazing role models and have been the recipient of invaluable personal, educational and work opportunities through my Willie Brown Fellowship.”

Major: Recreation, Parks & Tourism

Fellowship Placement: SF Rec & Park Department

Fellowship Assignment: Michael’s work involved assisting SF Rec & Park specialists in planning, coordinating and implementing the SF Rec & Park’s 2016 Community Health and Wellness Recreation Day, held at Herz Playground and Park in November 2016. Michael spent several weeks working with Rec & Park staff to plan the event and coordinate with facility supervisors, sponsors, vendors, fitness instructors, service providers and volunteers. The half-day event featured a walk through McLaren Park to Herz Playground, exercise boot camp, fencing demonstration, Tai Chi demonstration, ZUMBA class and youth team athletic games. There was an excellent turnout of nearly 100 community residents, consisting of families, adults, youth, seniors and people with disabilities. The experience helped Michael learn how city government works and how SF Rec & Park facilitates events throughout the City.

Post-graduation goals: Michael has a very deep commitment to public service and has worked for more than 22 years as a community advocate in San Francisco. The classes he took at SF State for his Recreation, Parks & Tourism major positively augmented his career and instilled in him the desire to provide health and wellness programs and services to marginalized residents in the City and County of San Francisco. After completing the Willie Brown Fellowship program, Michael was hired full-time as a community engagement coordinator for the Candlestick Point State Park Recreation Area. His longer-term goal is to become certified as a therapeutic recreation specialist.

Antonella Cortez

Antonella’s LinkedIn profile

“Having the opportunity to be part of this fellowship has made me realize that in order to truly make a difference in the communities that I care about, I have to work directly with the Department of Public Health. I want to work on policy changes regarding sexual health education in order to provide better services to the people of San Francisco. During the professional development seminar I was able to familiarize myself with city government and learn about how each department within the city works together in order to function. This fellowship not only provided me with the tools for success as a professional but also allowed me to be part of a cohort that has evolved into a community of beautiful people of color who want to see each other strive.”

Major: Sociology

Fellowship Placement:  Department of Public Health, Community Health Equity and Population Division

Fellowship Assignment: Antonella fellowship assignment was designed to accommodate her interest in health education serving the LGBT community and vulnerable populations throughout San Francisco. Antonella was paired with another intern working in the department and assigned to Youth United Through Health Education to create a consent workshop to empower women to make their own decisions and setting relationship boundaries. An important focus of her work was through the lens of rape culture and frequent sexual assaults. Antonella also spent time with the director of transgender issues, which led her to gain a better understanding of the health issues concerning the transgender community and, how the City of San Francisco is working to meet the needs of this vulnerable population.

Post-graduation goals: Antonella plans to work with policies regarding comprehensive sex education in the Department of Public Health and enhance health services to vulnerable populations in San Francisco.

Cathia Lan

Cathia Lan

Cathia’s LinkedIn profile

“The Willie Brown Fellowship gives students of color an opportunity to interact and serve alongside public servants while emphasizing how imperative it is to have political representation of minority groups. As a Chinese Mexican American and former foster youth, this fellowship program has highlighted for me the social responsibility I have not just to advocate for underrepresented groups, but to also bring more social awareness around the struggles that minorities and vulnerable populations face.”

Major: International Relations

Fellowship Placement: Human Services Agency - CalWORKs Dept.

Fellowship Assignment: Cathia’s fellowship involved conducting analyses for Coordinated Entry to CalWORKs (CEC) pilot sequential process & document application procedures. She also had the opportunity to make recommendations for increasing the efficiency of the CEC process and summarized her findings in a final report. In addition, Cathia helped to categorize, code and manipulate qualitative data for a survey questionnaire that measured the client’s overall experience as they complete CalWORKs’ new streamlined process application.

Post-Graduation Goals: Cathia is passionate about helping other people. Her goal is to work on policies that will improve the lives of refugees and immigrants through a position in a city agency or a non-profit organization. She plans to go to graduate school in two to three years in order to acquire a master’s degree in public administration or a J.D. degree, specializing in immigration law.

Cynthia Jimenez

Cynthia Jiménez

Cynthia’s LinkedIn profile

“The Willie Brown Fellowship has influenced my career and education in ways I never imagined. My placement, the seminar, and the informational interviews I conducted, highly influenced and helped me narrow down my career and educational plans. The Willie Brown Fellowship has made me more prepared, confident, and qualified when it comes to my skills, career, education, and being a competitive candidate in anything I choose to pursue.”

Major: Psychology with concentration in Global Peace and Human Sexuality Studies

Fellowship Placement: Mayor’s Office of Health Policy

Fellowship Assignment: Cynthia worked as a health intern in the Mayor’s Office, where she conducted policy research in the areas of mental and behavioral health, attended meetings with various agencies and departments, and prepared summaries of emerging and on-going issues pertaining to the health of San Franciscans. Her main project focused on conducting research on mental health and substance use programs in San Francisco, and cross-referencing recommendations by the work group to re-envision the jail replacement project, in order to divert people from the criminal justice system.

Post-Graduation Goals: Cynthia plans to pursue a master’s degree with a dual policy and International focus. After obtaining her M.A. degree, she hopes to work for the United Nations in programs focused on refugees, human trafficking, and women and girls.

Other Highlights: Cynthia is a member of Psi Chi National Honor Society and has been awarded the Gilman Scholarship (Fall 2015–Spring 2016), Costco Scholarship Fund (Fall 2015-present), Pamela Fong Scholarship (Fall 2015), Steven Dub Memorial Scholarship (Spring 2016), and San Francisco State University Scholarship (Fall 2015–Spring 2016) for her academic accomplishments and community service work. She studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa for a year, where she worked with sexually exploited women. She currently works at West Coast Children’s Clinic and La Casa De Las Madres.

Marisa Samano Jimison

Marisa Samano Jimison

Marisa’s LinkedIn profile

“Prior to my experience as a Willie L. Brown Jr. Fellow, I had very little understanding of how city government influences almost every aspect of our daily lives. Through this program I was able to gain deep insights into the intricacies of local government, the manner in which departments and agencies collaborate, and an invaluable experience as a young professional at the start of my career. As an aspiring teacher, this fellowship provided me with a new understanding of how program and policy development affect the lives of countless children and families within the City and County of San Francisco. This experience will allow me to move forward in my professional development with profound insights in how to navigate within the public sector and more effectively help populations in need.”

Major: Double major in English Education and Spanish, with minor in Comparative Literature

Fellowship Placement: San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Education and Family Services

Fellowship Assignment: Marisa’s work with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Education and Family Services involved writing, compiling and organizing orientation manuals for newly hired support staff within the “Our Children, Our Families (OCOF) Council.” The manual includes the mission statement, history, legislation, data reports, objectives of the OCOF and a biographical section for each of the current council members. She also worked on website design and content editing for the OCOF Council website, assisted in planning, writing, editing and publishing information on the site, created and linked new pages, and facilitated site navigation, monitoring web content and responding to user inquiries.

Post-graduation Goals: Marisa plans to be a high school or community college teacher working with immigrant and urban youth. Longer-term, Marisa plans to expand her professional work to include policy, planning and development efforts aimed at making local educational institutions more equitable to at-risk populations.

Other Highlights: She was awarded the 2016-17 CSU Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement, the Hispanic Community Affairs Council Award, the 2013 San Francisco Transfer Honor Scholarship, the 2013 Learning Connection Scholarship and an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Art with Highest Academic Honors from Chabot College. She worked as a Spanish-English bilingual literacy tutor through the America Reads Program and volunteered with 826 Valencia as a writing tutor in high schools and middle schools around San Francisco.

Alexis Logan

“Being part of the Willie Brown Jr. Fellowship has not only given me the opportunity to establish myself in the professional world, but also to become established in a field that pertains to one of my main interests, which is immigration policy. My experience as a Willie Brown Fellow is truly unforgettable and it has become the solid foundation to my professional aspirations. Through this fellowship, I developed a deeper interest in the public sector, and more specifically a focus on providing assistance to marginalized groups — and I have the fellowship to thank for that.”

Major: International Relations with minor in Japanese

Fellowship Placement: Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs

Fellowship Assignment: Alexis’s work with the Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) focused on researching and analyzing Immigration policies. Her projects included researching the pros and cons of bilingual education in light of Proposition 58, updating OCEIA’s database on the Senate and Assembly bills, providing suggestions for OCEIA’s annual Language Access Ordinance and creating a memorandum regarding San Francisco’s status as a Sanctuary City. She also volunteered at OCEIA’s Naturalization workshops, where permanent residents are provided assistance to become U.S. citizens, and at OCEIA’s DACA Renewal Workshop, where DACA recipients are provided assistance to help renew their DACA membership.

Post-graduation Goals: Alexis’s short-term goal is to continue working for OCEIA for the next year or two while she prepares her applications to law school. Longer-term, she plans to be a practicing lawyer, specializing in Immigration, International, or Civil Rights law where she will can provide legal assistance to marginalized groups.

Other Highlights: Alexis studied abroad in Yokohama, Japan through San Francisco State’s Study Abroad Program, where she had the opportunity to cultivate my speaking, writing and reading skills in the Japanese language. While studying abroad in Japan, she was a teacher assistant on contemporary political topics for a Japanese classroom. She also volunteered at SF State’s Study Abroad Program as a Global Ambassador, providing information about the program to students through tabling and conducting classroom speeches. She has been on the Dean’s List as an honor student for multiple semesters at SF State and at the College of Marin (COM). She was part of Alpha Gamma Sigma for one semester at COM.

Georjean Morado

Georjean Morado

Georjean’s LinkedIn profile

“Before the Willie Brown Fellowship, I would have never considered going into the public sector as a potential career, but now I have a clear understanding that working in the government sector is one way to truly make a difference for your community. Through speaking to many different professionals, I have learned that everyone’s path to a career is different and unique, which can be helpful in the long term. I had an internship before, but it was not nearly challenging or productive as the Willie Brown Fellowship and for that, I am very grateful.”

Major: Sociology

Fellowship Placement: San Francisco Animal Care and Control

Fellowship Assignment: Georjean’s work focused on assisting staff in several divisions in the San Francisco Animal Care and Control (SF ACC), including various projects and events. She assisted animal care attendants with handling a variety of animals and maintaining shelter sanitation. She worked with Shelter Office Services, which helped her understand how diverse populations in San Francisco interact with the city’s animal population. She completed a range of administrative tasks, such as creating a payment plan list of current clients. She assisted the Behavior and Training Department with its “Playgroup,” which gives incoming shelter dogs an opportunity to interact with other shelter dogs. In addition, Georjean created a Pet Food Express Manual that helps ACC volunteers and Pet Food Express employees know the protocol for working in the Cat Center on Market Street. The manual consists of a directory, adoption process and fees, standard expectations regarding sanitation and husbandry, medical concerns and employee/volunteer expectations. Georjean also attended a range of different events that required her to transport animals to different locations, such as Supervisor Katy Tang’s “12 Days of Kittens” Party at City Hall.

Post-graduation Goals: Georjean plans to attend graduate school, possibly pursuing a master’s degree in social work. In the short-run she plans to volunteer in a local homeless shelter or a women’s shelter and continue to work with animals. She also plans to become involved with local boards and committees in order to help her community.

Jeanette Sanchez

Jeanette Beatriz Sanchez

Jeanette’s LinkedIn profile

“The Willie L. Brown Fellowship provided a platform for me to gain knowledge about how city government is helping vulnerable populations in San Francisco. I am now more confident in where my future will be in public service. Working at the Department of Public Health, I had the opportunity to meet influential people in San Francisco, and having them ask me what my story was, was very heart warming. Everyone I came across with at my placement expressed their support for students like me who dream of making a positive change in the world.”

Major: Health Education

Fellowship Placement: San Francisco Department of Public Health Office of Policy and Planning

Fellowship Assignment: Jeanette worked at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, where she entered data gathered from hospitals in San Francisco that provided free care for people who do not have health insurance, to be used in the annual Charitable Care Report. From the data collected, she developed bar graphs, pie charts, and tables for the final report. She also conducted research on dental services for people in San Francisco and California and used this data to help inform the biannual Health Care Services Master Plan. In addition, she helped develop outlines from meetings involving staff and stakeholders.

Post-graduation goals: Jeannette plans to work in the public sector as a health educator focused on low-income communities in San Francisco. In a few years, she plans to attend graduate school to get a master’s degree in public health and work and volunteer with at-risk youth in San Francisco. Longer term, Jeannette is interested in working as an immigration attorney.

Other Highlights: Jeanette received her associate’s degree in health education at the Community College of San Francisco in 2013, shortly after she was awarded the ASI scholarship. In 2015 she was awarded the Continue the Dream Scholarship for Academic Excellence. She has volunteered at La Raza Centro legal as a translator for consultations and in SF State’s Project Rebound Program.

Fabiola Villasenor

Fabiola Villaseñor

Fabiola’s LinkedIn profile

Major: Double major in Criminal Justice and Philosophy

Fellowship Placement: San Francisco Adult Probation Department

Fellowship Assignment: Fabiola’s work with the San Francisco Adult Probation Department involved interviewing clients in the Adult Probation system, and using a compass assessment tool to identify these client’s risks, needs, and interests. She learned about evidence based practice principles and the importance of having effective policies in place. She participated in community events that served the most vulnerable populations in the San Francisco. She learned about the value of a probation officer for the court and the community because the court makes a significant impact on an individual based on what the probation officer recommends.

Post-graduation Goals: Fabiola plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy or social welfare in order to provide services to vulnerable populations in contact with the criminal justice system, with the goal of reducing recidivism and improving quality of life for these individuals.

Spring 2016

Edwin ArangoEdwin Arango

Major: Criminal Justice Studies

Internship: District Attorney’s Office

Supervisor: Tony Yu, Investigative Assistant/Paralegal  

“Through the internship and seminar offered by the fellowship program, I have been empowered to believe that I can indeed succeed, because there are many people who have similar backgrounds as me who have already attained great levels of success and are willing to help me along the journey. This fellowship experience has reaffirmed my goal of pursuing graduate studies in hopes of truly making a difference for the communities I care about.”

Edwin’s work objectives in the District Attorney’s Office involved preparation of discovery, file management and trial observation. During this time, Edwin compiled various documents that would later be used as discovery; assisted in the filing and organizing of the homicide cases; and listened to jail calls and watched surveillance video in an effort to find incriminating evidence that can assist the prosecution of various cases. Having graduated in Spring 2016, Edwin plans to work for the Young Community Developers Inc. and hopefully intern with Supervisor John Avalos while he decides on which graduate studies he would like to pursue: an M.P.A. or a law degree.

Lauren BacdadLauren Bacdad 

Major: Health Education with emphasis on Community-Based Public Health

Internship: San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH)

Supervisor: Sneha Patil, Senior Health Program Planner

“I had the opportunity to do work impacting the health of all San Franciscans, and most importantly, give back to the city I was raised in.”

Working in the San Francisco DPH in the Office of Policy and Planning, Lauren helped coordinate DPH’s YouthWorks summer internship. She also assisted in tracking state and federal legislation that impacts DPH and analyzed bills that were either in support or opposition of the department’s work. She helped gather and assess key health indicator data that helped in providing services toward communicating community health status and San Francisco DPH resources to each supervisor’s district. Having graduated with her B.S. in Spring 2016, Lauren aspires to start her career in jail behavioral health and reentry services for San Francisco’s incarcerated population. She plans to further her education through graduate school after she gains experience in this field of work.

Blanca Gutierrez

Major: Health Education with emphasis on Community Public Health

Intership: San Francisco’s Department of Public Health

Supervisor: Tracey Packer

“The time that I got to spend talking directly with the community members was amazing. I felt like I was making a significant impact and I quickly realized that working directly with the community is my passion.”

Blanca’s responsibilities included attending meetings regarding a variety of programs provided by the Community Health Equity and Promotion branch of the Department of Public Health. She assisted at the Newcomers Health Program, which aims to provide health services for victims of human trafficking, asylees and refugees who reside in the Bay Area. She also helped create a workshop for the Youth United Through Health Education program and assisted in editing a survey for the Chronic Disease Prevention programs. Blanca developed an understanding of how a large city department is structured to meet the needs of the community, and also learned about the inter-agency functions between community health programs and the City of San Francisco. After graduating in Summer 2016, Blanca plans to continue to serve in the public health sector for three to five years. She will then attend graduate school to pursue a master’s in public health.

Meghan Hailey

Major: Health Education

Internship: Mayor’s Office, Housing Opportunity Partnership and Engagement (HOPE)

Supervisor: Sam Dodge, Director of SF Public Policy, HOPE

Megan’s responsibilities in the Mayor’s Office, HOPE, included assisting in community outreach programs by organizing meetings with focus groups and constituents, along with data entry, while surveying results and analyzing group topic discussion feedback. She helped organize meetings between Human Services Agency and Department of Public Health stakeholders to discuss logistics planning in building the new department on homeless services. Her responsibilities further involved formatting bi-weekly newsletter posts on various topics, including Board of Supervisor hearings, agency highlights and focus group updates.

Maya HavenerMaya Havener

Major: Health Education

Internship: Department of Public Health, HOPE San Francisco Wellness Center

Supervisor: Rhea Bailey, Director of Equity and Wellness Programs

“Through my own experience with trauma, I have discovered what it can look like to survive, recover and begin to dream again. Through helping others navigate the system, their own emotional experience and path to wellness, I am constantly reminded of the gift of life and living that we have all been given.”

During her internship, Maya participated in an RFQ review and interview panel that selected the agency that will run the Peer Health Leadership program at HOPE SF. Through this process, she learned how funding programs are written and developed. She attended different kinds of meetings as part of the multi-agency collaboration that is organizing to provide services to HOPE SF residents. She developed a wellness center brochure and created an agency handbook and other organizational documents and presentations. Maya was involved with coordinating and facilitating working groups for developing wellness center services, and researching culturally relevant services and groups to participate in the Sunnydale Wellness Center grand opening ceremony this July.

Maya graduated in Spring 2016 and is now pursuing a master’s degree in social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. After acquiring a license in clinical social work, her 10-year plan is to develop a trauma center for community wellness and recovery that will operate in both a rural and an urban setting. She will develop research protocols in grad school for trauma interventions that will be funded and implemented through the trauma centers.

Mayra MarquezMayra Marquez

Major: Sociology

Internship: Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Supervisor: Joaquín Torres, Director of “Invest in Neighborhoods”

“Before the Willie L. Brown Jr. Fellowship, I did not see a clear future. My professional experience was limited and it scared me to think that I would not succeed after college. Thankfully, that all changed when I started my journey as a fellow, where I was exposed to inspiring, powerful professionals who reassured me that I could do anything I set my mind to.”

At the OEWD, Mayra helped to support, design and implement grant agreements for neighborhood improvement projects to assist in providing a pathway for positive economic and community development impacting city neighborhoods. She worked in support of four grant agreements related to community activation, marketing and beautification and cleaning programs in city neighborhoods. She was able to gain insight into the internal protocols for grant agreement production and implementation, including inter-agency coordination and grant monitoring. Mayra also worked at the San Francisco Housing Authority, where she worked on a document to share the collective goals and ideas of people participating in the relocation of public-housed residents displaced by housing development in their neighborhoods. She participated in discussion forums with city project managers, developers, urban planners and community leaders in order to incorporate their ideas into her project. A Spring 2016 graduate, Mayra plans to pursue opportunities in family and child services.

Javier Padilla Reyes

Major: Geography

Internship: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Supervisor: Yolanda Manzone, Land Use & Environmental Justice Community Benefits Analyst

“The work I have done for the PUC has made me realize that I greatly enjoy working in the public sector, where people work for other people, and where the ‘rubber meets the road.’”  

Javier worked on several environmental justice projects with San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission. These included helping to define and identify environmental justice communities in the San Francisco Bay area; analyzing and consulting of policy regarding flooding in environmental justice communities; and participating in San Francisco’s interagency projects such as, Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, and Sewer System Improvement Program. A Spring 2016 graduate, Javier plans to pursue his passion for water and environmental justice.

Beatriz RiveraBeatriz Rivera

Major: Child and Adolescent Development

Internship: Mayor’s Office of Education and Family Services

Supervisor: Hydra Mendoza, Senior Advisor of Education to Mayor Edwin Lee  

“Being able to participate in discussions regarding youth in San Francisco gave me a better insight to how the City works and has a strong unique relationship with its unified school district. In addition, the weekly seminars helped enhance professional skills that I never had training in before.”

Beatriz’s duties involved attending meetings and transcribing notes detailing significant discussions and decisions by government officials, along with conducting research. She was responsible for responding to and drafting professional emails for the planning and coordination of citywide events, including the annual Mayor’s Teacher and Principal of the Year Award Ceremony. Beatriz’s focus was on performing several key task, which included managing multiple excel lists and communicating with public schools throughout the city, along with nominees, SF city officials and community members. She drafted formal donation request letters and distributed them to various businesses throughout the city via emails and faxes. Having graduated in Spring 2016, Beatriz plans to continue working with children and their families for direct service agencies in the neighborhood she grew up in, The Mission. After gaining a few years of experience in this field, she would like to continue her education by getting her multiple subject teaching credential and then pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education.

Jesús Verduzco, Jr.

Major: Urban Studies & Planning

Internship: San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Violence Prevention Services

Supervisor: Diana Olivia-Aroche, Senior Advisor to Mayor Ed Lee/Director of Violence Prevention Services  

“The passion I have internally from growing up in a single-parent household and living in a low-income neighborhood has pushed me to challenge the local status quo. The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Fellowship has granted me the experience needed to work with city government to create meaningful social and environmental change in impoverished communities such as the one I grew up in.”

Growing up in the low-income community in Visalia, Jesús has always questioned the level of involvement that government should have in supporting impoverished communities. The Willie L. Brown Fellowship allowed him to directly observe how the policies and procedures that affect youth living in underrepresented communities are created and implemented. In his internship with the Office of Violence Prevention Services, Jesús attended meetings with other local agencies and learned about the requirements of creating policy briefs pertaining to the purchase and handling of firearms and ammunition in the City of San Francisco. He worked on official policy drafts used to intervene against and respond to violence in low-income communities. A 2016 graduate, Jesús plans to work in an agency that is part of the municipal planning process of community development in order to gain work experience before applying for a graduate degree in administration. 

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Fall 2015

Noureddine “Dino” Chtaini

Major: Sociology

Internship: San Francisco Housing Authority

Supervisor: Linda Martin, Director of Policy and Supervising Attorney

At the San Francisco Housing Authority, Dino conducted in-depth interviews with Hunters View residents who are part of an innovative affordable housing initiative in San Francisco that transitions them into a new public-private housing development known as HOPE VI. Through his fellowship, Dino learned about the methodologies involved in evaluating and examining data. After graduating in Spring 2015, Dino was accepted into UCLA’s Ph.D. program in sociology.

Steven GiangSteven Giang

Major: Business Administration with concentration in Management

Internship: San Francisco Treasurer & Tax Collector’s Office

Supervisor: Amanda Fried, Policy and Legislative Manager at Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector

“There are two things that I appreciate much from the fellowship: the AU [All University] class and the opportunity to develop my network with city employees. The AU class is an essential part of the internship because It provides me periodic feedback and recommendations from Professor Pinderhughes while working throughout the semester.”

As an intern in the San Francisco Treasurer & Tax Collector’s Office, Steven worked with a San Francisco piloted program called K2C (Kindergarten 2 College), which reaches out to an array of colleges throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Steven was able to assist in the efforts of K2C funding, focusing on accounts that are spent on costs related to higher education. These include tuition and fees for college or vocational training programs, as well as on books, supplies, and other education-related expenses. Working in a professional environment with the Treasurer’s Office helped Steven develop personally as well as professionally, contributing to his level of responsibility and reliability when assigned a given task, all of which had a tremendous positive impact on his self-confidence. A Spring 2016 graduate, Steven plans to join the U.S. Navy, as it has always been his dream to serve the country. His post-Navy plan is to attend graduate school to pursue and M.B.A. and a career in human resource management. 

Angela Madriaga

Major: Child and Adolescent Development

Internship: Mayor’s Office

Supervisor: Lani Kent, Mayor’s Senior Policy Advisor

“As a teacher, I have been empowered by my experience as a Willie Brown Fellow. Working in the Mayor’s office increased my understanding of the impact of public policies on children, youth and families.”

Angela’s responsibilities in the Mayor’s Office included conducting research on the public policy implications of equal access to free or affordable childcare services to families regardless of income. In this research, she looked at models that were applied in different countries in order to evaluate ideas about how this may look in San Francisco. She focused on paid family leave policies in the United States and compared them with other OECD countries. She is currently working as a full-time teacher at University Childcare at the University of California, San Francisco’s Laurel Heights Campus. 

Curtis PennCurtis Penn

Major: Sociology

Internship: San Francisco, Reentry Division (ADP)

Supervisor: Jennifer Scaife, Director of SF Reentry Division

Curtis was provided an invaluable education on the workings and functioning of municipal government, which affirmed first-hand the adversities that indigents and people of color face before the criminal justice system. Specifically, Curtis was tasked with designing an outreach vehicle raising awareness for individuals who had been previously denied eligibility for food stamps due to certain prior drug convictions. Curtis played a vital role with the SF Adult Probation Department, where he offered ideas for addressing housing solutions in the transitioning of Public Safety Realignment AB 109 clients. Furthermore, Curtis was able to assess and evaluate ethnographic data of incarcerated men and women to extrapolate trends and patterns that could be useful in implementing culturally competent services and objective decision-making instruments that could address the disparity of arrests, bookings and incarceration of people of color in the San Francisco City/County jurisdiction. Curtis after completing his undergraduate degree has chosen to pursue a professional degree through SF State’s M.P.A. Program.

Jared WalkerJared Walker

Major: Business with concentration in Finance

Internship: San Francisco City Hall, Office of the City Administrator

Supervisor: Adam Nguyen, Director, Budget and Planning, City Administrator’s Office

“The Willie Brown Fellowship opened doors for me to gain experience in city government, bringing me closer to being able to fulfill my dream of becoming a city manager. The fellowship shaped my professional development in a way that has made me a better public servant, and a better person.”

Interning in the Office of the City Administrator, Jared worked with Animal Care and Control on policy analysis in the area of vaccination requirements for domestic animals in the city. He was also involved in developing policy to address the out-migration of African-Americans; evaluating software that measures the efficiency of the city’s fleets; and working with different divisions on their budgets. In addition, he attended a range of meetings, from listening to the mayor and department heads wrestle with public policy issues to reviewing purchase orders with division-based analysts. He has always been interested in community service and working with youth, and therefore, has plans of pursuing a profession in city management. A Spring 2016 graduate, Jared plans to gain work experience in city government or the financial sector before pursuing an M.B.A.

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Spring 2011

Perry ArnsfieldPerry Arnsfield

Major: Business

Internship: San Francisco's Department of Public Works

Supervisor: Alexandra Bidot, Principal Administrative Analyst

Perry spent 15 years managing his own woodworking business, but he had to rethink his career after an industrial accident left him with limited use of his left arm. He came to SF State and discovered decision sciences—the use of math and computer modeling to help companies and government run more efficiently. Interning at San Francisco's Department of Public-Works, he helped analyze the efficiency of the routes taken by the city's street sweepers. Perry realized he wanted to pursue a career using decision sciences to shape public policy. Having graduated with a bachelor's degree in decision sciences, he plans to study public policy at graduate school. As a leader on campus, Perry served as president of the Decision Sciences Student Association and was invited to join the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.

Sasha Stackhouse

Major: Geography with concentration in Environmental Studies

Internship: San Francisco Department of the Environment and SF City College

Supervisors: Melanie Nutter, Director, SF Department of The Environment; and Carlita Martinez, City College Recycling Coordinator

At the Department of the Environment, Sasha created informational posters and displays about San Francisco zero waste policy and tabled and volunteered at Arbor Day and Earth Day events. She was also involved with tracking building owner compliance with the San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance. Sasha set up a database to track all commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet in San Francisco. In addition, she helped create content and organize the green building section of the new SF Environment website. She assisted building owners and property managers over the phone, email and in person with creating an Energy Star Portfolio Manager Account, inputting their building's energy and space use data while successfully submitting their reports to SF Environment. At City College, Sasha coordinated and conducted informational presentations about campus composting and recycling programs to students. Sasha currently works as a public sector service manager.

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Fall 2010

Erik Hernandez

Major: Political Science

Internship: Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi’s Office

Supervisor: Jeremy Pollack, Legislative Aide

Erik’s work in Supervisor Mirkarimi’s office included assisting in legislative research and coordinating with government agencies to solve constituent's concerns. Erik also created and developed fact sheets for the District Supervisor's speeches, and directed constituent email and phone calls at the front desk.

Sunpreet Kaur Ranu

Major: Health Education

Internship: San Francisco, Balboa Teen Public Health

Supervisor: Marcia Zorrilla, Senior Transit Planner

Sunpreet worked with the Balboa Teen Health Clinic in San Francisco, where she was responsible for gathering data for specific topics that were going to be presented in the classrooms. She assisted in-group facilitation, teaching ninth-graders about health education, teen pregnancy and anatomy. Additionally, she assisted the staff in various administration duties that were essential to perform in the clinic which included preparing students for licensure as RNs while integrating graduate-level study that prepared for positions as clinical nurse leaders. Currently she attends University of San Francisco’s nursing program and is enrolled in the Master of Science for Non-Nurses (Entry Level) program. After graduating from the master’s program, she plans to work as a registered nurse in a mental health institution or with geriatric population either in the Bay Area or in the Central Valley. She plans to further pursue a career as a nurse practitioner.

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Spring 2010

Nicole Hatley

Major: International Relations

Internship: Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF)

Supervisor: Sandra Naughton, Manager of Education Policy

One of Nicole’s primary duties as an intern at DCYF involved mapping out data across San Francisco to evaluate proposals that had been submitted to nonprofits for allocation of funding. The result helped the City to determine which programs were fiscally sound and where to allocate monies to combat community issues. She was encouraged to join boards of nonprofits that addressed issues important to the community to learn about community engagement. Her internship advanced her experience in managing large Excel spreadsheets and taught her different ways to analyze data. It provided her an expanded opportunity to address the multi-faceted concerns and issues that various subset populations in the City are forced to contend with, as well as to propose challenging solutions. Currently, Nicole runs her own video production and online marketing company. She still benefits from working with her former mentor Sandra Naughton in the area of nonprofit organizations.

Fall 2009

Matthew Low

Major: Business

Internship: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC)

As a Willie Brown Fellow working with the PUC, Matthew was assigned a number of projects that were all data driven. One of them required him to examine City contracts to extract insurance requirements from a physical format and to subsequently convert the data into an electronic format. This task culminated in a business requirement document that was used to implement software and to automate all insurance requirements into City contracts. In a relatively brief span of six years, Matthew was promoted from an internship position to part-time, leading to a full-time position with the PUC.

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Spring 2009

Judy Chea

Major: Urban Studies & Planning

Internship: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA)

Supervisor: Deanna De Sedas, Marketing/Public Outreach & Engagement Manager

As an intern at the SFMTA, Judy was tasked with several interesting projects, which included assisting in setting up signage for the purpose of notifying agencies within the city for public events, coordinating public transportation route changes and drafting the initial phases for a SFMTA website glossary. After completing the Willie L. Brown Jr. Fellowship program, Judy went into business management and worked as a health consultant, overseeing reimbursement contracts. Currently Judy is a supervisor with the Thunder Valley Casino and Resort.

Ruslan FilipaRuslan Filipau

Major: Environmental Studies with a concentration in Urban Environment

Internship: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC)

As an intern with the San Francisco PUC, Ruslan worked with the commission’s Energy Enterprise program. He also worked for Go Solar, a San Francisco program that provides incentives for homeowners to install solar panels on their homes, contributing to City energy conservation. Ruslan’s duties and responsibilities included processing government applications and working with the PUC database system. He conducted research on energy efficiency and benchmarking assistance and learned to compartmentalize and prioritize his time while working as an intern. Being selected as a Willie Brown Fellow gave Ruslan the self-confidence he needed to pursue his dream job of working as a city planner. He earned a master’s degree in city and regional planning at Cornell and currently works as a designer and planner at Calthorpe Associates. 

David NasserDavid Nasseri

Major: Political Science

Internship: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC)

Supervisor: Nathan Perkins, Project Manager

David’s internship helped guide and shape his vision of working in local or state government and taught him what it means to be a professional working in the public sector. He worked on the Tidal Wave Energy program and was involved in the PUC’s research on the Waste-to-Energy projects. He also worked on the Federal American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009. David eventually moved to Scotland, where he was offered a teaching position formatting lesson plans, along with editing for an online tutoring company. He has also worked with Taiwanese engineers, doctors and nurses as an English language consultant.

Ana Paola TrozAna Paola Troz

Major: Political Science

Internship: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, PUC

Supervisor: Angela Patane

Ana’s responsibilities at the PUC included confirming eligibility of applicants and preparing payments for the GoSolar incentive program. Additionally, Ana led a project to identify and document all completed and ongoing lighting, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) projects for San Francisco Municipal buildings taking part in the city’s energy efficiency project. In 2010, Ana worked for a small law firm working on immigration cases and was recently able to return to public service, securing a job with the San Francisco Police Department, where she works as a legal assistant for the SFPD Legal Division.

Christopher Velasco

Major: Political Science

Internship: Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF)

Supervisor: Director of Diversity

As an intern for the BASF, Christopher worked with the director of diversity as a liaison between Bar Association and SF State for the college-to-law program. Christopher is determined to pursue a legal career with the intention of becoming a public interest lawyer, while dedicating his time to areas around social change and equality.

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Fall 2008

Jocelyn ChapmanJocelyn Chapman

Major: Urban Studies & Planning

Internship: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, PUC

Supervisor: Mike De Bellis, Manager of Employee Relations and Equal Employment Opportunity Programs

In her internship at the PUC, Jocelyn worked on responses to complaints in three employment cases. The first case involved a complaint filed with the EEOC by a job applicant who was 81 years of age and had applied for an engineering position. The second one involved an appeal filed with the Civil Service Commission related to mixed work time. The third involved a Notice of Disciplinary Action on behalf of the Director of HRS wherein an employee was charged for disrespectful and hostile behavior towards coworkers and supervisor she had suffered from employment discrimination on the basis of age. 

Prentiss Jackson

Major: Urban Studies

Internship: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Supervisor: Carol Isen, Director Labor Relations & Community Programs

Prentiss’ internship at the PUC was in the Labor Relations and Community Program Department. He worked on two projects that involved data collection and analysis of the First Source Program’s hiring of disadvantaged San Francisco residents and the Earth Stewards Program.

Demian D. Quesnel

Major: Urban Studies & Planning

Internship: San Francisco Municipal Transportation, MTA

Supervisor: Warren Cole

Demian’s internship was in the San Francisco MTA’s External Affairs Department, where he worked on two projects. In the first, he researched best practices on transit operator training focusing on the customer service aspect. In the second, he helped build a database of community organization that included spatial information, in order to facilitate more focused and strategic community outreach around capital projects in the pipeline at the MTA.

Ofir Uziel

Major: Environmental Studies/Urban Environment

Internship: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC)

Supervisor: Russell Stepp

As an intern with the San Francisco PUC, Ofir discovered that the PUC is independent of other City departments in that it is responsible for energy management, consumption, services and distribution, green energy and revenue. Ofir’s duties and responsibilities included attending public meetings; conducting and facilitating research; and working with green energy involving the development of the Navy Shipyard. Ofir was also involved in energy efficiency projects as a contact liaison with multi-offices, including the San Francisco Environment & Housing Development and the California Public Utilities Office. His duties included assisting project management; auditing and collecting data; learning the technology of retrofitting; and going out to specific field sites. Ofir was eventually hired as a full-time employee with the San Francisco PUC to assist with energy efficiency projects. Later, as a consultant with a private energy company, Ofir provided his expertise to the Fire Department, City jails, and other City agencies in retrofitting homeless shelters and clinics to be more energy efficient.

Marc Wirtz

Major: Business Administration with emphasis on Management

Internship: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA)

Supervisor: Edward D. Reiskin, Director of Transportation

Working with the MTA’s San Francisco Park Project, Marc was assigned to assess and evaluate city financials in order to chart possible monetary recovery of lost revenue by researching government files and archives. In addition, he was assigned to reconnaissance San Francisco by physically walking throughout the city and mapping out areas where parking was available in order to find solutions to reducing congestion. The Willie Brown Fellowship program enabled him to elevate his sense of political acumen by increasing his communication skills and confidence level. Consequently, after completing his internship, Marc went on to obtain his master’s degree in nursing. He currently works as a nurse educator in Utah.

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