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 who will embark on this educational journey:
Ethan Cartwright is a senior majoring in agricultural economics from Starkville. He has previously completed internships with the Office of U.S. Senator Roger F. Wicker and the USA Rice Federation in Washington, D.C. He is a 2016 William A. Demmer Scholar. At Mississippi State, Ethan has served as Recording Secretary of the Delta Chi Fraternity and is involved with Student Association through the Research & Development and Academic Affairs committees. Ethan has secured graduate assistantship to pursue advanced study in economic development with a specific interest in transportation planning and policy.
Jennifer Kimmons is a native of Ashland, Mississippi. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in May 2016. Along with receiving her Bachelor degree last year, she also won the “Outstanding Undergraduate Award of 2016”. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. In addition, she is a Graduate Service Assistant in the Office of the Graduate School at Mississippi State University, as well as an intern for the Oktibbeha County District Attorney’s office. Additionally, Jennifer served as Vice President of Cresswell Resident Hall in 2013-2014. She also played a huge role in other organizations on campus, such as National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) , Black Student Alliance (BSA), I.D.E.A.L. Woman, Stennis Montgomery Association, and a proctor for the Honor Code Office here at MSU. Moreover, Jennifer is a member to Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society. She currently has a 4.0 overall grade-point average. She currently serve as an Ambassador of the Graduate Student Association. During her leisure time, Jennifer enjoy reading and mentoring others.
Sean McCarthy is a political science and journalism double major in his third year at Mississippi State. He is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, including; MSU Speech and Debate, the Student Association, Theatre MSU, Maroon VIP tour services, and Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity. He is also a writer for the on-campus newspaper the Reflector. Sean considers himself a passionate progressive and has interned for the Human Rights Campaign, the D.C. office of Senator Tammy Baldwin, and has volunteered on the Clinton Campaign. This coming summer he will have the valuable opportunity of interning for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Sean hopes to pursue a masters in political management at George Washington University, and then to begin his career in the press office of a lobbyist/advocacy firm.
Kennedy Moehrs is a junior double majoring in Political Science and Spanish with pre-law and history minors from Waterloo, Illinois. Kennedy is currently serving as the President of the Stennis Montgomery Association for the 2016-2017 year. She was named a 2016 William A. Demmer scholar and last summer completed an internship with the National Cotton Council of America’s Governmental Affairs Office in Washington DC. Kennedy is also a 2016-2017 Haley Barbour Scholar and a member of the Political Science academic fraternity, Pi Sigma Alpha. At MSU Kennedy is involved in various organizations on campus including the Student Association, serving as Co-Director of Diversity and Outreach, Mississippi State College Democrats, serving as the President and Founder, and Nightmare, Mississippi State’s Women Club Ultimate Frisbee Team serving as a Co-Captain. This summer Kennedy will study American Government at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. She hopes to pursue a career in public defense after completing law school and then begin her journey into public office.
Steven Weirich is a junior Economics major from Olive Branch, MS, and he is also minoring in French and Political Science. He’s involved with several other campus organizations, such as the MSU Globetrotters, Study Abroad Ambassadors, and the St. Joseph Food Pantry. Steven would like to go on to get a master’s degree in international affairs after graduation, but first he wouldn’t mind seeing the Chicago Cubs win another World Series.
Stephen Lusk is a junior Marketing major with a passion for public service. He has previously worked on the presidential campaigns of Dr. Rand Paul and Governor Gary Johnson. Under Governor Johnson, Stephen was the Mississippi State Campus Coordinator and was responsible for organizing activists, distributing campaign materials, and winning the hearts and minds of the voters of Mississippi State. Stephen hopes to serve in office one day.
William Bonduris is a sophomore Political Science major from Greenville, South Carolina. William has always been interested in politics and aspires to one day run for office or be involved in political strategy. In addition to the Stennis-Montgomery Association, William is also currently involved in the MSU Speech and Debate Council as Secretary and also the MSU College Democrats as Vice President.
Shannon Forshay is a sophomore political science major and economic minor at Mississippi State University. She is from Woodbridge, Virginia and aspires to attend law school in the Washington, D.C. area after her time in undergrad. She is an active member in Pi Beta Phi fraternity, the Baptist Student Union, Pre-Law Society, Young Democrats of Mississippi, and serves as the secretary for the Stennis Montgomery Association.
Taylor Mullins is a second year Master of Public Policy and Administration student. She currently serves as a Graduate Research Assistant at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, where she works on various state and local government projects. Taylor grew up in Meadville, Mississippi before moving to Starkville for her undergraduate studies. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2015. During summer 2016 sheinterned at the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office. She will graduate in May 2017 with a Master of Public Policy and Administration.
Camp Pittman is a first year Master of Public Policy and Administration student. He currently serves as a Graduate Research Assistant at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, where he works on various state and local government projects. Camp has an extensive background in election politics, and has clerked twice for BGR Group. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2014 from the University of Mississippi. He will graduate in December 2017 with a Master of Public Policy and Administration.
Abbey Dennis is from Jackson, Mississippi originally but now lives in Daleville, Virginia. Abbey is a senior Communications major with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. Abbey is a member of Phi Mu sorority, Order of Omega & Lamda Pi Eta honor societies, and is on the President’s list for her academic achievement. One of Abbey’s favorite experiences from my time at college is when she had the opportunity to study abroad at King’s College in London, United Kingdom studying Mass Media where she got to compare it to the United States media. Abbey has had a broad range of experience in college related to politics. She is the third district chairman for Mississippi College Republicans and has been given many local, state, and national campaigning opportunities through this position– from working on Governor Bryant’s campaign to Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. Last summer, she had the opportunity to intern for Senator Roger Wicker as his press intern assisting his press office in media clips, weekly columns, front office duties, and U.S. Capitol tours. This past year, she served as a senator for the college of Arts & Sciences within Mississippi State University’s Student Association creating effective legislation on campus. She has also had the opportunity to assist Marco Rubio’s campaign and President Trump’s campaign and got the opportunity to attend his inauguration and Freedom ball in Washington D.C. Abbey recently got accepted into George Washington University’s master’s program in Political Management in Legislative Affairs and will begin the program in the fall. She is looking forward to what the future holds and hopes to find a position on the hill and eventually work towards her career goal of health policy advocacy.
Austin Hamilton joined the Stennis Montgomery Association in August of 2016. He is a senior graduating in May this year with a degree in Business Administration, including a focus in business information systems. He has completed two internships at a company called VSS, a third party technology vendor located in Jackson, Mississippi. His first internship gave him experience in the field of marketing and branding, while the second internship provided him the opportunity to explore technology sales as a member of the company’s sales team. Austin has been very involved on Mississippi State’s campus by contributing to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, where he served as the Alumni Chair, as well as the President of the Housing Committee. He is also a member of the American Marketing Association, which has offered him valuable resources and marketing experience while also giving back to the University. Austin has also been a member of the Student Association on the Governmental Relations and Community Service Committee. This committee works together with the University and the city of Starkville to help establish a better living environment within the community as a whole. While being involved in organizations, Austin has also worked throughout his college career. He has held multiple lifeguard positions, which includes being a Mississippi State Lifeguard. In April of 2016, he was selected to be a Freshman Navigator on campus, and today he currently mentors and monitors 158 freshman students. Austin’s future goal is to either pursue a masters degree in business administration, or to enter the workforce. His main objective is to continuously strive to become more intellectually equipped to navigate the complexities inherent in the multifaceted business world. Eventually, Austin plans to use his gained knowledge and experience to either begin his own business or to enter the public sector.
Betty Thomas of Lenexa, KS is a junior majoring in Agricultural Economics with a concentration in Policy & Law. She is a member of Delta Gamma Sorority, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the MSU Society of Scholars, Shackouls Honors College and is a Presidential Scholar. She previously served as the Co-Director of Community & Government Relations for the Student Association, where she organized a voter registration drive which registered over 1,600 students to vote and was recently elected Student Association Treasurer by the Mississippi State student body. Betty was a 2016 Demmers Scholar and interned at the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in the Cochran Fellowship Program.
Hannah Thomas is a senior from Grenada, MS, majoring in Educational Psychology with concentration in Counseling. She has been involved with Stennis-Montgomery Association during her time as an undergraduate at the university. This past summer Hannah had the opportunity to intern in Washington, DC for Senator Roger F. Wicker. Moreover, she enjoyed being in an environment where she was surrounded by so many influential people. After graduation in May, Hannah plans to pursue a master’s degree in DC.
Johanna Beeland is finishing her second year as a Master of Public Policy and Administration student. Johanna earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication and Political Science from Mississippi State in 2015. She is originally from the Reservoir area, outside of Jackson, Miss. Currently Johanna works for the City of Starkville as Administrative Support to the Board of Aldermen and City Clerk. Following graduation, Johanna plans on entering the public service field through city government work.
Nicole Perry is a Junior Political Science major from Terry, MS. She currently has a 3.8 GPA and joined the Stennis Montgomery Association in Fall 2015. Nicole has participated in several campus organizations, such as Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, where she served as Fundraising chair in the spring semester of 2016. She has also been offered an opportunity to join Pi Sigma Alpha’s Theta Beta chapter at MSU. 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. Once graduated, she plans to pursue a career in lobbying.
Holly Travis is currently a senior majoring in Political Science and Criminology at Mississippi State University where she is a Presidential Scholar and Stennis Scholar. While pursuing a minor in Spanish, Holly spent a summer studying abroad in Cusco, Peru. She has also interned as an investigator at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and as an intern for the Capital Defense Team at Shelby County’s Public Defender Office. This past fall Holly was named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, a scholarship that is widely considered to be the world’s oldest and most celebrated international fellowship. Following her graduation in May, Holly will return to Cusco, Peru where she will teach English as a second language and later plans to attend law school in pursuit of a career in public defense and as an advocate for criminal justice reform.
Tony Laudadio is a senior political science and history double major from Walnut, Mississippi. One of MSU’s John C. Stennis scholars, he has been politically active during his time in college through his involvement with College Republicans and Generation Joshua’s Leadership Corps, and he interned at Senator Roger Wicker’s DC office in spring 2016. He has volunteered with several local and state level campaigns, his most recent being Senator Roy Blunt’s 2016 reelection campaign. Aside from his political activity, Tony has remained active in campus and community service over the past four years through his involvement with the University Honors Council and the MSU Student Association. He will graduate from Mississippi State in May, after which he plans to receive his master’s degree in political management and applied politics at either George Washington University or American University. This is his second time to visit Washington, DC with the Stennis Montgomery Association.
Emily Tingle is a Freshman Stennis Scholar from Vicksburg, MS majoring in Political Science and Communications-PR and minoring in Pre-law and Gender Studies. She is the founder of the organization 37 Books and has collected over 6,000 books for children in foster care in the state of Mississippi. Emily is representing MSU at the 2017 Public Policy and Leadership Conference at Harvard. Emily plans to attend law school and also get her Ph. D. in public policy. Eventually she plans to run for state senate.
Kathleen Kiernan is a senior political science major from Atlanta, Georgia. She is involved in College Democrats, Mississippi Model Security council, and the Student Association. Kathleen will be graduating in May 2017, and will be spending this coming summer as a Demmers Scholar in Washington, D.C. She aspires to receive a masters in public policy, and one day return to her hometown of Atlanta to run for public office. It is a goal of Kathleen’s to create community programs for adolescents within the city of Atlanta that will enable them to become leaders and successful scholars within their respective communities.
Stephanie Flynt, a Brandon, Mississippi native, is a senior majoring in political science with a pre-law minor. Currently, Stephanie serves Mississippi State University as a Foundation Ambassador, and a College of Arts and Sciences senator. Her present University involvement includes Speech and Debate team, Schola Cantorum Women’s ensemble, Lambda Sigma honor society, Students Against Animal Cruelty, and Delta Gamma Women’s Fraternity. Upon graduation from Mississippi State University, she plans to attend law school. With her law degree, she plans to pursue a career defending clients in minority rights cases.
Alexx Lux is a junior from Raleigh, North Carolina majoring in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She has previously served as secretary of Mississippi State Hillel. She currently plans to study abroad this summer in Alcala, Spain. After graduating in December, Alexx plans to continue her studies at Mississippi State by pursuing a Master’s of Public Policy.
Conner Whitten is a senior Business Administration major from Madison, Mississippi. Conner plans to attend law school upon graduation. Conner has severed his university and community in numerous ways including serving as the Director of Recruitment for the Interfraternity Council at Mississippi State University. He has served as President, Social Chairman and Assistant Rush Chairman of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. SAE’s national headquarters recently named him President of the Year for the Theta Province. Service has always been an important aspect of Conner’s life. He has served his hometown as a Junior Ambassador for Madison the City’s Chamber of Commerce and as President of the Mayor’s Youth Council. While serving in these roles, he assisted in planning many community service projects and helped to increase his peer’s involvement with community leaders. More recently, Conner has impacted the Starkville community by helping plan numerous blood drives for Mississippi Blood Services. He has also served a crucial role in orchestrating events benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Children’s Palmer Home. Conner currently serves on Mississippi State Universities Student Conduct Board and on the executive council of Mississippi State’s Involvement Ambassadors.
Conner has been gained membership to numerous honor societies, including Beta Gamma Sigma, which represents the top 10% of Mississippi State University’s Business School. As a senior, Conner received the honor of being inducted into Mississippi State University’s Greek Hall of Fame. Conner has recently been selected to serve as a student lobbyist for the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition which will take place in April of this year on Capitol Hill. After being selected as a 2017 Demmer Scholar, Conner will intern this summer in Washington, D.C.
Juan Rodriguez is a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major from Kosciusko, Mississippi. He has previously interned with the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Graduate School in Jackson, MS, and also the University of Chicago’s Youth Leadership Institute. He is also a Gates Millennium Scholar and Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar. He was previously the president of the American Medical Student Association and Biochemistry Club. Following graduation, Juan intends to pursue a Masters in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
McKenzie Amis a Junior Business Administration Major from Madison, MS. She graduated from Germantown High School in 2014. After graduating from MSU, she hopes to attend law school.
Bailee Kramer is a Senior from Corinth, MS and is currently serving as Vice President of the Stennis Montgomery Association. In addition to concurrently pursuing degrees in Finance and Economics, Bailee is involved in the Shackouls Honors College, Delta Gamma Sorority, and has served on the committee for Greek Week. Her past work experiences include serving as a counselor at Camp Ozark, as a summer intern for the First Presbyterian Church of Corinth’s youth group, and she is currently working as an intern for Ameriprise Financial. After graduating in May, she will begin working for GEICO.