Washington, D.C. Student Advisory Committee
The Washington, D.C. Initiative Student Advisory Committee serves the University by working collaboratively to increase Baylor’s presence and impact in our nation’s capital. Comprised exclusively of students with first-hand experience in Washington, the committee discusses ways to help the Baylor community to: obtain strong internships and improve the overall undergraduate internship experience, connect with leaders in a wide range of professional and political arenas, interact with Baylor alumni based in Washington, promote Baylor’s work in Washington to our on-campus community, recommend dynamic speakers from Washington to come to Waco, and develop concrete opportunities for Baylor Bears to serve the D.C. area.
To apply for the 2022-2023 Committee, please email Beth Butler (Beth_Butler1@baylor.edu) with an attached resume and cover letter expressing your interest to serve on the committee.
2022-2023 Committee Members
Emmeline Bearden is a junior from Waxahachie, Texas majoring in Political Science and Professional Writing and Rhetoric and minoring in Classics. She participated in the Fall 2021 Baylor In Washington Cohort where she served as a legislative intern for the office of Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL). At Baylor, Emmeline is an active member of the Panhellenic community, student government, Baylor Pre-Law society, and Eta Sigma Phi, a classics honor society. Off campus, Emmeline works as a dance teacher in a local studio. She plans to attend law school at Baylor Law after she graduates in May of 2023.
Omar Islam is a junior from Austin, Texas majoring in Economics and Political Science and minoring in History. He participated in the Baylor in Washington program during the Fall of 2022, where he interned at Cornerstone Government Affairs, a bipartisan lobbying firm. On campus, he primarily participates in Model United Nations and his service fraternity. Following his graduation in December, he hopes to pursue a career in consulting.
Lauren Blechschmidt is a junior from Vancouver, Washington. Lauren is studying political science while also pursuing a minor in poverty and social justice. Lauren was a part of the Fall 2021 Baylor in Washington cohort, where she interned with the United States Agency for International Development. On-campus Lauren is a part of the Panhellenic community, a member of the pre-law society, and serves on the Diversity and Inclusion committee for her sorority. Lauren anticipates graduating in the Fall of 2022, after which she will attend law school.
Abbey is a senior from Houston, Texas double majoring in Management Information Systems and Management on the pre-law track. She was a part of the Baylor in Washington Semester program in Fall of 2021 where she interned at the Twenty-First Century Group, a bipartisan consulting firm. On campus, Abbey is involved in the Panhellenic Community, serving as her sororities' songs chair and on the recruitment committee. She also served on the executive board of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. Following graduation in May, Abbey plans on pursuing a career in technology and management consulting.
Anna is a junior in the University Scholars program studying Political Science, International Studies, and Sociology. In the fall of 2021, Anna worked two internships during her time in the Baylor in Washington program: Faith and Law and the Trinity Forum, which are both religious nonprofit organizations. On campus, Anna is involved in the Panhellenic community and works as a Baylor Experience and Admissions Representative, giving tours to prospective students. After graduating in 2023, Anna hopes to return to Washington, D.C. to work before eventually attending law school.
Lee is a sophomore at Baylor and studies in the interdisciplinary Baylor Business Fellows program. He will graduate with majors in Business Fellows, economics, political science, and a minor in international studies. Lee has worked as an organizer for a number of political campaigns. He has also worked in the private nonprofit sector, lobbying on behalf of the real estate industry. He serves as the secretary of the Theta Nu chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. While in Washington, Lee will intern with the Center for Public Justice. Upon graduation in May 2024, he plans to pursue a career in nonprofit advocacy.
Reagan is a senior University Scholars major from the Washington D.C area. She participated in the 2019 summer Baylor in Washington program and has interned in the U.S. House of Representatives for Representatives Kevin Brady (TX-08) and Barbara Comstock (VA-10), as well as in the White House Office of Management and Budget. On campus, Reagan has served as a member of Baylor Ambassadors, the Panhellenic community, and Student Body Government.
Mia Gradick is a junior from Dallas, Texas majoring in Political Science and minoring in English and Philosophy on a Pre-Law track. She participated in the Fall 2021 Baylor In Washington Cohort during which she served as a legislative intern in the Senate Budget Committee for Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. In the summer of 2021, Mia was selected as Honors Scholar for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). At Baylor, she writes for the student publication The Standard about a span of topics such as constitutional law, the liberal arts education, institution building, and her passion: religious freedom. She also is an active member of the university's Pre- Law Society and contributes to other magazines and works with other organizations that focus on the intersection of faith and policy. Mia credits her passion for constitutional issues from her internship at First Liberty Institute, where she worked in the summer of 2020. After graduation, Mia hopes to attend law school.
Ms. Sage Yassa is a junior from Plano, Texas. She studies Political Science, International Studies, French, and Great Texts as a University Scholar. She is a Baylor2Law Scholar and a member of the Baylor Pre-Law Society. Ms. Yassa interned at the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, D.C. during the Spring 2022 semester, primarily working on religious freedom issues in the United States and Ukraine. Ms. Yassa participated in the American Enterprise Institute’s Summer Honors Program and the Witherspoon Institute’s First Principles seminar in the summer of 2022. She is a member of Highland Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, and volunteers in the 6th-grade Sunday school classroom. She is also an Ironman 70.3 Finisher and a member of the Baylor Triathlon Team. After earning her undergraduate and law degrees, Ms. Yassa intends to work in the JAG Corps or pursue a career in domestic social policy.