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2016 Washington D.C. Trip Attendees

Each year the Stennis-Montgomery Association embarks on a journey to Washington, D.C. to provide students with the opportunity to meet the Mississippi delegation of elected United States Congress members, listen to advice and educational information provided by MSU alumni, and network with a multitude of individuals in the D.C. area. Throughout the course of the school year, students compete to earn a spot on this trip by participating in meetings, attending University events, and participating in community service activities. Below are the list of students (26) who will embark on this educational journey:



Shane Waller

Shane Waller

President, SMA


Shane Waller is a Senior Political Science major from Madison, Mississippi. He is currently Serving as President of the Stennis-Montgomery Association. As a founding father of the Mississippi State Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, his leadership skills have been recognized, as he was selected as house manager, and he received the Mr. Blue and Gold award. He has a long-established record of service, participating in both U.S. and foreign missions. After receiving his Eagle Scout, he continued to serve as both an Assistant Scout Master and a merit badge instructor. Named a Mississippi Scholar and a Boys State delegate, he plans to participate in internships and attend graduate school while pursuing a career in public service.


Mitt Romney visits MSU (photo by Megan Bean / Mississippi State University)

Blake Trehern

Vice-President, SMA


Blake Trehern is a senior at Mississippi State University where he is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.  He is currently serving as Vice President of the Stennis-Montgomery Association After working in a small business during high school, he knew at a very young age that he wanted to have a career in the field of business.  Blake is currently employed by the President of Mississippi State University as a student assistant. Previous experiences and inspiration of politics with U.S. Congressman Alan Nunnelee as an intern, he aspires to enhance the wellbeing of others.  As past co-director of the Transfer Student Association and current co-director of the Student Association Homecoming Committee, Blake is heavily involved on campus and seeks to improve the educational experience for all students at Mississippi State University.


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Marye Will Mitchell

Secretary, SMA


Marye Will Mitchell is am a native of Madison, MS. She is currently a Junior at  MSU receiving my bachelor’s degree in Political Science with two minors in pre-law and Latin. She is currently serving as Secretary of the Stennis-Montgomery Association, She is a member of the prelaw society, and is a member of various honors societies. She currently works at the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President on campus at MSU.



Melissa Weitzel

Treasurer, SMA


Melissa Weitzel is a sophomore John C. Stennis Scholar at Mississippi State University. A resident of Gulfport, she is a graduate of St. Patrick Catholic High School in Biloxi. Melissa is currently serving as Treasurer of the Stennis-Mongomery Association. While attending Mississippi State, Melissa has earned a third place award at the Martin Luther King Jr Orator Competition and been named to the President’s list for three semesters. She is also the Chancellor and founding member of the budding Mississippi Speculative Debate Society, Vice-President of the Starkville Russian Club, and a student in the Shackouls Honors College. Over the summer, she attended the Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership conference at Mississippi University for Women was a counselor at Mississippi State’s W.E. Lead and a district intern for Congressman Steven Palazzo. Currently, she is assisting research into the emerging international nature of populist movements and The Queen Caroline Affair while also working as a Student Office Assistant in the Shackouls Honors College. Her plans for the future include studying international law with the intent to work for an international human rights organization.


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Caroline Collins

Caroline Collins of Bay Saint Louis is a Senior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Economics. She is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, MSU Involvement Ambassadors and is a former President of the Stennis-Montgomery Association. Caroline was Mississippi State Freshman Class President and has maintained a 4.0 GPA each semester. She has served as Senator of the College of Arts and Sciences, Chairman of the Mississippi State College Republicans and Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans. Additionally, Caroline has served as a United States Senate Page for Senator Thad Cochran, an intern for US Congressman Steven Palazzo, and has studied in Rome. After being selected to attend the AIPAC Policy Conference in D.C. last March, Caroline was chosen for an expenses-paid trip to Israel where she learned about the intricacies of the U.S.-Israel alliance. Following graduation in May 2016, Caroline will pursue a law degree.



David Daniels

David Daniels ’16 grew up in Mobile, Alabama and graduated from Mcgill-Toolen Catholic High School. At Mississippi State, David is a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations. He is currently a student worker at the Department of Psychology where he has worked since his sophomore year. David is an active member of the Catholic Student Association. His interest includes playing golf, politics, and music. In his free time,  David likes to spend his time caddying at Old Waverly and enjoying the company of his friends. After graduation, he plans on attending law school to pursue a career in lobbying.



Errolyn Gray

Errolyn Gray is from the small town of West Point, MS and is currently a graduate student in the Master of Public Policy and Administration program here at Mississippi State. She is scheduled to graduate in May of 2016. Errolyn received her undergraduate degree from Alcorn State University in 2013 where she studied Mass Communication Broadcast Journalism with a concentration in English. After graduating from Alcorn State, she completed two internships in Washington, D.C., both of which dealt with aspects of social policy. She also served as an AmeriCorps Mississippi member, working to eliminate disparities for disadvantaged citizens in the Central Mississippi area in the areas of health, education, development, and STEM fields. Errolyn currently works as a graduate research assistant in the Political Science and Public Administration department at Mississippi State University. She also works part-time as a Deputy Clerk and Notary for the county of Clay, MS. In addition to these roles, she also serves as a mentor for the Jewels and Gems Empowerment program. After receiving her M.P.P.A. degree, Errolyn plans to begin working towards her goal of aiding in the creation and implementation of social policy as well as helping to address the growing problem of our federal deficit.



Shannon Forshay

Shannon Forshay is a freshman from Woodbridge, Virginia. She is majoring in political science and aspires to attend Georgetown Law after her time at Mississippi State. Shannon is an active member of the Pre-Law Society, Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Mississippi States Women’s Lacrosse team, the Baptist Student Union, and the College Democrats.



Summer Coleman

Summer Coleman is from Ellisville, Mississippi. She is currently a sophomore majoring in International Business at Mississippi State.



Travis King

Travis King was born in Oxnard, CA in 1994.  Raised in Saucier, MS. He came to MSU 4 yrs ago because he heard of the great educational and social environment it offered.  It was one of the greatest decisions he has made in life so far.  He decided to major in political science because  He has always had a strong interest in politics as well as public policy.  This past year he joined the Stennis-Montgomery Association to gain further insight of politicians at the state and federal level.


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Megan Peck

Megan Peck is a sophomore psychology major at Mississippi State University. She is intending on becoming a clinical child psychologist and working alongside DHS officials in providing help to children in dire need. The Stennis Montgomery Association has provided Megan with the opportunity to observe and experience different sides of civil service, which will provide her with helpful knowledge for her future. She has also been afforded the chance to meet government officials whom, like herself, are working to make a difference in the world. Through the Stennis Montgomery Association and other organizations, Megan is a part of, she is achieving exposure to new people and new experiences that will aid her in becoming a more well-rounded student, prepared for the world and all of its challenges.



Keyonna Wilder

Keyonna Wilder is a Junior majoring in Social Work at Mississippi State University. She is a native of Mobile, Alabama; this is her second semester as a student at Mississippi State. Upon graduation, she plans to attend The University of Alabama to pursue a Masters Degree in Social Work. She is a member of the Association of Student Social Workers, College Democrats, Foundation Ambassadors, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, I.D.E.A.L. Woman, and Involvement Ambassadors amongst many more. She joined the Stennis Montgomery Association because she has a genuine passion and interest in politics; it is her hope that I can encourage my fellow peers to become involved in politics on a municipal, state, and national level. She is grateful to have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. this year, and I look forward to meeting Mississippi’s hard-working Congressmen.


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Nicki Reeder

Nicki Reeder is a senior Political Science major with a minor in Spanish. She is from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where she graduated from Our Lady Academy. Nicki was a U.S. Senate Page for Senator Wicker in high school and has spent the past two summers interning for the U.S. Senate Sergeant-At-Arms in DC. She spent a semester in Spain studying European Public Policy and tutoring students of English. She is involved in College Republicans, Stennis-Montgomery Association, and MSU Outdoor Adventures on campus. Nicki will graduate in December 2016 and is looking forward to getting work experience in the realm of politics before going to graduate school.



Steven Adams

Steven Adams is from Grenada, Mississippi. He is graduating senior in criminology and am in the top 5% of his class. Projected to graduate summa cum laude and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Societies. He is an active member of many organizations including Pre-Law Society where he currently serves as president, he is a member of the Dean Student Advisory Council for the College of Arts and Sciences, and, of course, he is a member of the Stennis-Montgomery Association. He is in the process of deciding where to attend law school in the fall. In general, he is excited to tour DC and meet everyone that has taken the time to see us over the course of the week!



Courtney L. Carothers

Courtney L. Carothers is a graduate student at Mississippi State University majoring in Public Policy and Administration. Originating from the small town of Coffeeville, Mississippi, Courtney felt right at home when she began attending the University as an undergraduate, where she obtained a Bachelors of Arts in History. As a graduate student Carothers is active on campus in clubs and organizations as well as within the community where she feels that service should be a part of one’s everyday life. Carothers’ favorite quote is, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this Earth.” ~Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm


Graduate Research Assistant

Taylor Mullins

Taylor is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. She graduated in 2015 from the Political Science program at Mississippi State University receiving a Bachelor’s degree of Arts. She currently works at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development as a Graduate Research Assistant. Taylor grew up in Meadville, MS but has lived in Starkville for three years. Some of her areas of interest are policy evaluation and human resources management



Bailee Kramer

Bailee Kramer is a Junior from Corinth, MS. In addition to concurrently pursuing degrees in Finance and Economics, Bailee is involved in the Shackouls Honors College, Delta Gamma Sorority, and serves on the committee for Greek Week. Her past work experiences include serving as a counselor at Camp Ozark and as a summer intern for the First Presbyterian Church of Corinth’s youth group.


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Justin Breland

Justin is a junior finance and economic double major at Mississippi State University. During the summer of 2015, he studied economics and political science at the University of the Free State in South Africa. Justin is a member of the Financial Management Association and Stennis Montgomery Association. He is interested in working in finance and economics in the public or private sector in some capacity through internships and jobs after graduation. Justin plans to graduate in May of 2017 and possibly pursue a graduate degree.



Kennedy Moehrs

Kennedy Moehrs is a sophomore Political Science and Spanish double major from the small town of Waterloo, Illinois. Kennedy joined SMA as a way to become more involved in the political process and learn more about the state politics of Mississippi. Kennedy acts as the President of the Mississippi State College Democrats and the women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club Team while also serving on a student association committee among other organizations. She dreams of going to law school after her time at Mississippi State and wants to pursue a career in law and politics. Kennedy is passionate about equality in the workforce and society and hopes to create change in these areas as a future politician. Kennedy loves anything political, playing ultimate and ice cream.



Tayler Tingle

Tayler Tingle is a senior from Pascagoula, MS. She is currently pursuing a Finance major with a concentration in Risk Management and a minor in Biological Sciences. Tingle is a student worker at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems in the Thad Cochran Research Park. While at Mississippi State, she has been involved in Gamma Iota Sigma, the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance, Health Services Volunteers, Order of Omega Honor Society, and is a member of Kappa Delta where she was a SET Leader, Social Chair, as well as a member of the SLATE Board.  In her free time, Tayler enjoys reading, watching sports, playing with her British Labrador, Sadie, and spending time with friends and family. After graduating from Mississippi State, she plans on furthering her education and attending Physical Therapy School to continue the family practice.



Sean McCarthy

Sean McCarthy is a Sophomore Political Science/ Broadcast Communications, double major. This is his second time going on the SMA D.C. trip, and he is very excited to be going back! At state, in addition to SMA, I’m involved in choir, theatre, College Democrats, and Maroon VIP. SMA has been a valuable organization to be a part of, and the trip to D.C. is a truly memorable experience.


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Nicole Perry

Nicole Perry is a sophomore Political Science major/journalism minor from Terry, MS. She currently has a 3.8 GPA and joined the Stennis Montgomery Association in Fall 2015. Nicole is also part of other organizations on Mississippi State’s campus, such as Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. Previously she was a member of the Famous Maroon Band, MSU’s jazz ensemble, and the campus/community band. She also served briefly as a staff writer for The Reflector in the Life & Entertainment section. Nicole’s anticipated graduation date in May 2018.



Betty Thomas

Betty Thomas is a sophomore from Lenexa, KS and is studying Agricultural Economics and Spanish. A MSU Presidential Scholar, she is also involved in Honors Council, Delta Gamma, and SA Judicial Council.


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Abbey Bufkin

Abbey Bufkin is am a senior marketing major from Cleveland, Mississippi. Along with her involvement with the Stennis Montgomery Association, she is a member of the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, Kappa Delta Sorority, Order of Omega, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Mississippi State College Republicans, and the American Marketing Association. Also, she is a Mississippi State University Foundation Ambassador and is currently serving as the Co-Director for the Foundation’s Donor Appreciation Day. She enjoys traveling, obsessing over golden retrievers, and spending time with my friends and family in my free time!



Kathleen Kiernan

Kathleen Kiernan is a third year Political Science major with a minor in French. She was born and raised in Atlanta but has had the privilege of calling Mississippi State and Starkville home for the past three years. She is heavily involved on campus in clubs and activities like Mississippi Model Security Council, Student Association, National Society for Collegiate Scholars, College Democrats, and Pi Beta Phi sorority. She has also been able to work with the Office of Housing and Residence Life on campus as an information assistant. She has enjoyed being a member of Stennis Montgomery Association and is looking forward to the trip to Washington, D.C.!



Sydney Austin

Sydney Austin is from Argyle, Texas, a small town right in the middle of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  She is a sophomore majoring in English with a minor in Pre-Law.  She will be studying abroad this summer in Spain to achieve a minor in Spanish. Along with her involvement in Stennis Montgomery Association, she is involved in Kappa Delta Sorority and acts as the Vice-President of the Mississippi State College Democrats.