Below are the 2019 Stennis-Montgomery Association Scholars chosen for this year’s annual Washington, D.C. trip, to take place March 10-15th, 2019. These bright young scholars will take part in a number of panels, discussions, and events. The students will have the opportunity to meet with US Senators and Representatives from the State of Mississippi and other states, network with Mississippi State University graduates in the D.C. area, and learn about the different opportunities available to them as they graduate and pursue careers in D.C. and/or the federal government.
The 2019 SMA D.C. Scholars
My name is Emily Allegrezza and I am originally from Jackson, MS but moved to Vestavia, AL shortly before graduating high school. At Mississippi State University, I am a member of not only the Stennis Montgomery Association, but also Pi Beta Phi fraternity, Bulldogs for Liberty, UNA-MSU, and attend meetings for political organizations across the spectrum occasionally. My future plans are to obtain a PhD in Comparative Politics with a focus in African Politics, so eventually I can complete research and be a college professor of political science.
Jonathan Bailey is a freshman from Brandon, Mississippi. Jonathan serves on the Executive Board for the Mississippi State College Republicans and is a member of Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity. An Eagle Scout, Jonathan has also been selected by Mississippi State as both a Provost Scholar and a Stennis Scholar. Jonathan is currently working for State Senator Michael Watson’s campaign for Secretary of State and previously served as a campaign field representative for Congressman Michael Guest. After graduation, Jonathan plans to work for Mississippi’s Congressional Delegation.
William Bonduris is a senior Political Science major from Simpsonville, South Carolina. William intends to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University beginning Fall 2019. In addition to being President of the Stennis-Montgomery Association, William is also President of College Democrats at Mississippi State and former Vice President of the Speech and Debate Council.
JR Coleman of Memphis, Tennessee is a Senior Political Science major. JR has devoted himself to serving and giving back to Mississippi State University, an institution he feels that has poured into him and given him so many opportunities. Throughout his time at Mississippi State, he has served as a member of the Famous Maroon Band, an Orientation Leader, a Roadrunner, a New Maroon Camp Counselor, a Campus-Wide Senator, and Academic Affairs Chairman, and also served on the Research and Development committee for the Student Association. JR is a current member of Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity, where he has served as fundraising chair. He plans on pursuing a career in law, where he intends to fight for social justice, and help those in need of help. After graduation in May of 2019, JR will be interning in the office of Congressman Steven Palazzo for the summer and will attend law school in the Fall.
Regan Conner is a freshman at Mississippi State University majoring in Biochemistry with a concentration in Forensic Science; she also plans to pick up a minor in Political Science. Most of her time is spent as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Stennis Institute of Government, but she is also involved in the student chapter of the humane society, the Stennis Montgomery Association, and Students for a Sustainable Campus. Regan is currently considering Medical School, Law School or a Masters in Public Policy and Administration following her undergraduate career.
Sean Conner is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy and Administration at Mississippi State University. Sean is a proud alumni of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, a competitive public boarding school for talented Mississippi high school juniors and seniors. After graduating from MSMS, Sean attended Ole Miss and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in May of 2014, with a minor in Philosophy. While at Ole Miss, Sean maintained membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, a Political Science honor society. During his final semester at Ole Miss, Sean was selected to serve as an intern at the Mississippi Joint Legislative Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee where he worked on evaluation of state-sponsored programs targeted toward reducing recidivism of juvenile criminal offenders. Now, at Mississippi State University, Sean has had the opportunity to work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Communications department teaching TV Broadcast Production, and he currently works at the Stennis Institute of Government as a Graduate Research Assistant. He is a member of the MSU chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, a member of the Stennis-Montgomery Association, and a former student representative for the Master’s in Public Policy and Administration program. Sean is expected to graduate from MSU with his Ph.D. 2021.
Naya Dean is from West Point, MS and she is a junior majoring in Communications with a concentration in Broadcasting. In addition to Stennis Montgomery Association, she is a member of the French Club, PRSSA, and PRAM. After graduation, she intends become a foreign correspondent.
Morgan Goebel is a sophomore from Prairietown, Illinois, majoring in marketing and political science with a minor in Spanish. She currently serves as director of Community and Government Relations on the Student Association cabinet. This year, she coordinated a two-day, campus-wide voter registration drive that registered nearly 450 students before the 2018 midterm election. She also assisted in planning the Student Association’s Cowbells to the Capitol trip, an annual networking event for MSU students to visit the state Capitol and meet with legislators. Additionally, Morgan is a student worker for the Bulldog Club, the fundraising entity for MSU athletics. You can find her at almost every Bulldog sporting event welcoming fans to the fabulous Starkvegas! Her dream job is to work for a marketing firm that specializes in work for government agencies and organizations. Morgan is thankful for the once-in-a-lifetime experiences afforded to her by the Stennis Montgomery Association.
John Harper is from Braxton, MS and graduated from Mendenhall High School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. John is a PhD graduate and will receive a doctorate of philosophy in Community College Leadership in May 2019 from Mississippi State University. He currently works as a Research Assistant at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government where he has co-authored several applied research studies and economic impact analyses for local and state officials. John enjoys finding practical solutions to complex problems and intends to pursue a career in applied research.
Heston Lollar is a twenty-three year old born and raised in Mississippi. He attended Mississippi State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors in Philosophy and Law. Upon graduation, he was awarded Undergraduate Student of the Year. Heston is currently in graduate school where he is pursuing a master’s in Public Policy and Administration. He is particularly interested in the area of agriculture and education, which is where he focused most of his studies. He currently works at the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University where he handles Communications and Outreach. Heston has over five years of experience working in Washington, D.C. for a non-profit organization called the National Student Leadership Conference and interning for Congressman Trent Kelly.
Mary Odum Luke
Mary Odum Luke is a senior Political Science major at Mississippi State University. She is involved in the Stennis Montgomery Association, Delta Gamma sorority, and has held leadership roles in the Shackouls Honors College and Involvement Ambassadors. After graduating this May, she plans on getting her masters degree in Public Administration.
Josh McCoy is a junior from Hattiesburg, Mississippi majoring in Biomolecular Chemical Engineering. Josh currently serves as chair of the Shackouls Honors Council and President of the Speech and Debate Council. Josh is also involved in the Montgomery Leadership Program and serves as a Student Association Senator. After graduation Josh looks to attend law school and study environmental law.
Mary-Catherine McCreary is a Junior Political Science major from Jackson, Mississippi. Currently involved with the MSU Women In Business and Model Security Council. Mary-Catherine intends to pursue a Juris Doctor and Master’s in Public Administration degree after graduating.
Joseph D. Mimbs III is a freshman Political Science major at MSU from George County, Mississippi. Joseph is involved in the Stennis-Montgomery Association and the Humane society at State. Joseph intends to go to law school after finishing his undergraduate studies.
Angela Reives is a senior from West Point, MS majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in international studies. Over the summer, she had the opportunity to study abroad at Universidad de Alcalá in Spain. Aside from her involvement in the Stennis Montgomery Association, she has served as a senator in the Student Association on the Community and Governmental Relations Committee. Currently, she is president of the Study Abroad Ambassadors Program and a copywriter on the social media team for MSU PRISM, a student-led integrated media agency. Upon graduation in May, Angela plans to pursue a career in international education.
Milton Robinson of Starkville, Mississippi is a senior Political Science major. He has worked as a Student Assistant at the Social Science Research Center since his freshman year. During the Spring semester of 2018, Milton served as an Intern in the office of former Congressman Gregg Harper (MS-3). Over Milton’s time at Mississippi State, he has served as the Student Association Co-Director of Community and Governmental Relations and as both Treasurer and Chairman of the MSU College Republicans. Milton is a current member of Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity, where he has served as philanthropic fundraiser. Milton is most proud of his work over the past five years with the American Legion’s Mississippi Boys State program, where he is currently serving as Assistant Director. Milton wants to pursue a career in Public Policy research and evaluation; with his ultimate goal of helping Mississippi become a more competitive and attractive place to live, work, and receive an education. Milton plans to graduate in December of 2019.
Ms. Shumpert was born and raised in Shannon, MS. She has an Associate of Arts from Itawamba Community College and Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of Mississippi. She is currently enrolled at Mississippi State University in the Public Policy and Administration graduate program. Ms. Shumpert is an active member with the MSU Stennis Montgomery Association. Upon obtaining her Master of Public Policy and Administration in May 2019, she plans to pursue a career in justice reform.
Sam Sider is a senior at Mississippi State University and majoring in political science and will be graduating in May of 2019. Sam’s involvement is the College of Arts and Science Ambassador and Student Association Senator and Stennis Montgomery Association Member. Sam’s future plan is that he will go to University of Alabama at Birmingham to pursue the Masters of Public Administration and he will work with the nonprofit agency by the time he graduates. His plan is to become Alabama Secretary of State to focus on election reform and after that he will become Governor of Alabama.
Georgiana Katherine Swan is a sophomore political science and psychology double major from Starkville, MS. In addition to SMA, Georgiana is involved in College Democrats, and serves as an undergraduate research assistant at the Civic Life Lab. Georgiana is also a Provost scholar and involved in Reformed University Fellowship. Her future plans are to work for a non-profit that promotes women’s health and equality throughout the world. She is also interested in working for a non-profit or lobbying organization that promotes mental health facilities and improvement in funding.
Weston J. Truss is within his last semester of the Master of Public Policy and Public Administration Program at Mississippi State University and critically involved in developing students’ professionally through providing outreach to disadvantaged communities. Currently, he is a Graduate Assistant of Mississippi State University Career Center and works tirelessly to enhance opportunities for the general student body and alumni. Considering the direct impact educational resources have on producing better employment and professional outcomes, Weston J. Truss focuses his research and studies on social equity and promoting educational access to students in college and secondary school. He also completed undergraduate work at Mississippi State University and majored in Political Science and minored in History, since the historical ramifications of policy remains paramount in understanding or implementing new ideals towards progress. Therefore, his career goals are to work directly with a federal government agency or department and provide meaningful analysis on potential areas of improvement.