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UChicago Politics  An extracurricular program at The University of Chicago designed to nurture in students a passion for politics and public service.

Today’s feature in our #seniorspotlight series is Baxter Stein. Baxter is a fourth year public policy major from Westport, Connecticut. His introduction to the IOP was through the fellows program. Baxter served as a fellows ambassador for both former US Senator (D-NJ) Bill Bradley and for Former Senator (D-CO) Mark Udall. “Working with two senators as a first year was an amazing introduction to the IOP, so I stuck around,” Baxter said. “Being a fellows ambassador was such a highlight,” he said. “With Senator Udall, we went downtown and got sushi, went to a show at Second City, and he just spoke to us so much about the inner workings of the Senate— it just felt like such a candid conversation,” Baxter said.

One of Baxter’s favorite IOP moments was when the IOP hosted a Live Taping of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, with special guest Bernie Sanders. “It was right during the primaries, and having [Bernie Sanders] answering student questions at his Alma Mater was a unique moment,” he said.

Baxter later served as the IOP speaker series intern and as the events chair on the Student Advisory Board (SAB). He currently serves as the fellows chair on SAB. In addition, Baxter has participated in IOP treks to the Iowa Caucus and the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. A “Fun [IOP] fact” about Baxter is that he has seen over 200 speakers pass through the IOP in his four years here.

Outside of spending time at the IOP, Baxter is known to be an avid tennis player. His favorite ice-cream flavor is chocolate-chip cookie dough or “anything from Jeni’s ice-cream,” he said. Next year Baxter will be moving to New York City to work at Thomson Reuters.

Today’s feature in our #seniorspotlight series is Julia Oran. // At the IOP, Julia spent her fourth year as Co-Chair of UChicago TechTeam, having been involved with TechTeam since first year and previously serving as Program Development Chair. // Beyond the IOP, Julia has worked as a database developer for OCHRE, working with archeological data at the Oriental Institute. She also worked with the Google Community Leaders program serving startups in Chicago’s underrepresented communities. Finally, she has spent her summers on an archeological dig in Israel and interning at Target as a software engineer. // Julia is a Computer Science major. Her favorite ice cream is black raspberry. When she was in first grade she had two fish and she named them Athena and Susan B. Anthony. Born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, Julia will be moving to Minneapolis post-grad to work as a software engineer at Target.

#TBT to October 2017 when Former CIA Acting Director and Deputy Director Michael Morell held a Career Development Workshop with students at the IOP. As one of our nation’s leading national security professionals, Morell provided helpful guidance to students about navigating careers in the intelligence community. #IOP5 #IOPtbt #ThrowbackThursday

Next up in our #seniorspotlight series is Angela Li! // At the IOP, Angela spent her fourth year as Co-Chair of TechTeam, having been involved with TechTeam since second year and previously serving as Outreach Chair. Angela launched a ThinkTank program for TechTeam for students who want to gain exposure to tech policy. Additionally, Angela was a UPREP intern for Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Social and Emotional Learning for which she worked on research and data. She also held an IOP funded summer internship at Civic Hall Labs in New York where she worked under Erin Simpson, founder of TechTeam, and one of Angela’s mentors. // Beyond the IOP, Angela plays for the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team. She also founded a meet-up for women in Chicago who use the programming language R in day-to-day work — the goal of the meet-up is to increase diversity in tech. Finally, Angela worked as a research assistant at the Center for Spatial Data Science tackling policy problems that the Chicago Public Health Department engages with. // Angela is an Economics and Public Policy double major. Her favorite ice cream is coffee. A little known fact about Angela is that she was the organizer behind the giant leaf pile in the quad the past two years, bringing students lots of leaf jumping and autumnal joy. Born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, Angela ultimately sees herself in a major city working on urban challenges. Post-grad, she’ll be in Durham, North Carolina, working on quantitative mobility for Transloc; in other words, she’ll be using data to help cities make decisions about transit.

We can’t believe how fast time flies, there are only two weeks of seminars left! // How is #tech improving democracy? How are the parties using tech differently? Who’s doing better? Come by the IOP TODAY at 3:30p to get the scoop from @uchicago IOP Fellow Gerrit Lansing and his guest, political operative Katie Walsh, former #RNC Chief of Staff and WH Deputy Chief of Staff. More info & sign up: iop-lansing-7.eventbrite.com

Today’s feature in our #seniorspotlight series is Jamie Ehrlich.
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At the IOP, Jamie is currently the Axe Files Intern. In the past, she served as a Fellows Ambassador for three different Fellows and worked for Ballot Ready. Additionally, she has held IOP funded summer internships for Senator Elizabeth Warren, for Senator Ed Markey, and for Precision Strategies.
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Beyond the IOP, Jamie has reported and edited for The Chicago Maroon all four years. She is also the Managing Editor for the College Media Team and a Model United Nations Chair. Finally, she worked as a community organizer for the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Documentary (in theaters now!).
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Jamie is a Political Science Major and History Minor. Her favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. Born and raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Jamie would love to ultimately live in Washington D.C., and she’ll be moving out there post-grad to work at CNN Politics.

#TBT to last week’s IOP student session and main event with U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) at the @polskycenter! Senator Booker’s visit to the IOP included a conversation moderated by IOP Director David Axelrod and an off-the-record student session. The event took place as part of @UChicago’s Innovation Fest 2018. The Innovation Fest is a month-long celebration of the pioneering and entrepreneurial endeavors at the University of Chicago, featuring events on campus and in key cities around the world. #IOP5 #IOPtbt #ThrowbackThursday

Today's feature in our #seniorspotlight series is Wendy Lee! //
At the IOP, Wendy has been an Events Ambassador, part of the 2017-2018 Shriver Fellows Cohort, and is now Co-Chair of LegUP Woodlawn, the organization that the Cohort created. Her favorite IOP experiences are the small-group conversations about civic engagement that Shriver afforded her the opportunity to have with academics and changemakers like Eve Ewing and Forrest Stuart.
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Beyond the IOP, Wendy has written and edited for the Chicago Maroon all four years, and is currently the Editor of Grey City, the Maroon's long-form investigative journalism component. Additionally, Wendy has worked as a research assistant for the Urban Education Institute, as an intern at the Department of the Interior, as an intern at the Invisible Institute, and, finally, as a volunteer at the Woodlawn Legal Clinic and at Hope Works, another organization in Woodlawn which provides personal and workforce development services.
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Wendy is a Gender Studies Major and a Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies Minor. Her favorite ice cream is cookies and cream. Wendy has never lived in one place for more than four years. Born in South Korea, she moved to America before kindergarten, and then moved back and forth between Texas and Utah for the majority of her childhood, before moving to a suburb of Chicago for high school. Ultimately, Wendy would love to live in DC, and hopes to move there post-grad ideally doing work focused on empowering marginalized communities.

On Friday, a group of students participated in our inaugural Immigration Trek. They started the day by learning about Chicago’s history in a broad sense from Fellow Dawn Turner. They then paid a visit to Seemi Choudry, Director of the Mayor’s Office of New Americans from whom they learned about the Mayor’s current efforts at protecting Chicago’s immigrant communities. Next they toured St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and learned the history of Chicago’s Polish community in relation to the parish. After that, they enjoyed the colorful art of the National Museum of Mexican Art and took advantage of glorious weather with a stroll along Pilsen’s 18th street. Finally, they visited Chicago’s Urban League where they learned about the role the Urban League played in Chicago’s black community during the First and Second migrations, as well as the role the Urban League currently plays in Chicago’s black community. The students closed the day with a debrief in the grass, reflecting on all they learned.

Earlier this week IOP staff met with some of the amazing student leaders of our civic engagement groups to hear about what they've been up to this year, their plans for next year, and more. There is amazing work happening in our civic engagement space! For more info, check out: politics.uchicago.edu/pages/civic-engagement

Today's feature in our #seniorspotlightseries is Karen Sung.
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At the IOP, Karen is currently Career Development Chair for the Student Advisory Board. Prior to that, she was the Career Development Intern. She was also involved in @uchicagowpsp for two years. Karen's favorite IOP experience was getting to know 2017 Fellow Steven Greenhouse. Through talking to him in office hours and attending his seminars, she learned a lot about labor activism for undocumented workers and utilizing market pressure to influence change.
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Beyond the IOP, Karen is the Editor in Chief of Bite, UChicago's culinary magazine, and a Senior Interviewer at the Admissions Office. Karen has also volunteered with the Google Community Leaders program working to increase web literacy in Chicago’s underrepresented communities, and worked as a Research Assistant for the Becker Freidman Institute on behavioral economics. Karen spent the summer after her first year interning at HP in California as a Project Analyst, and spent the last two summers interning at Hamilton Place Strategies, an analytical public affairs consulting firm in DC with clients spanning the tech, finance, and education sectors.
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Karen is a Public Policy major. Her favorite ice cream is cookies and cream. Among friends, her nickname is "baby hands" because her hands are so small. Born and raised in Saratoga, California, Karen hopes to ultimately end up back in California, but first she hopes to live in New York for some time. After graduation, Karen will be going back to Hamilton Place Strategies to work as an Associate.

#TBT to December 2016 when IOP Director David Axelrod visited the Roosevelt Room of the White House to interview Former President Barack Obama for the “Axe Files” podcast. Check out more episodes at podcast.cnn.com/axefiles or subscribe on iTunes at iTunes.com/axefiles ! #IOP5 #IOPtbt#ThrowbackThursday #AxeFiles

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