GOLD Fellowship Past Recipients
Rachel Pausch is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Cruz in both the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology department and Coastal Science and Policy program.
Rachel worked with UC Center Sacramento students through the summer to learn how to best analyze and display data for critical policy analysis. She presented extended curriculum talks on California’s current water resilience portfolio and actionable plans for applying to graduate school.
Rachel worked with the California Council on Science and Technology, where she helped plan and execute Science Day, connecting California Natural Resources Agency leaders with external experts from academia and other organizations. She also prepared a briefing on California’s reliance on seawater and brackish desalination with considerations for future implementations.
Kim Vachon is a Ph.D. candidate in the Education department with a designated emphasis in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. During her time as a UCCS fellow, Kim interned at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. As an intern, she explored how the Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs) address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This project was accomplished through a critical document analysis of the TPEs as well as qualitative interviews with teacher educators at UCs, CSUs and private institutions around California. The project culminated in a white paper and brown bag presentation of the findings to the CTC staff and board.
During her time with UC Center Sacramento, Kim facilitated a writing workshop focused on organization and academic writing and presented a Careers in Education panel for UCCS students. As a part of the Education Policy course, Kim presented a lecture on the history and current issues in teacher preparation.
Heidi Waite is a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Irvine.
As a GOLD fellow, Heidi supported and mentored UC Center Sacramento undergraduate students by hosting weekly coffee hours to discuss environmental policy, graduate school, and internships. Heidi also presented as a joint guest speaker in the UCCS Wednesday Speaker Series, where she and her Ph.D. advisor summarized the effects of climate change on California’s coastal ecosystems.
During her time with UC Center Sacramento, Heidi interned with Ocean Science Trust. As an intern, she attended weekly project and staff meetings. Heidi supported several projects including one assessing the human dimensions of sea otter reintroductions by conducting a literature review to identify key socioeconomic factors commonly assessed in feasibility studies. She also led a team to draft a letter to key science-based federal agencies outlining California’s climate action efforts related to oceans and highlighting CA as a model for how science can be used to guide decision making.
Christopher Ozuna is a Ph.D. candidate in Education Policy, Leadership, and Research Methods at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
During his time as a UCCS GOLD Fellow, Christopher interned for the state’s Government Operations Agency under Joy Bonaguro, Chief Data Officer. He conducted a comparative analysis of data strategies in both US and international contexts and worked on outlining a framework for a statewide data strategy. As part of UC Center Sacramento’s academic team, Christopher co-led extended curriculum workshops for UC Center Sacramento undergraduate students specifically focusing on organizational and academic writing. He provided mentorship to UCCS students, focusing on their career goals and research interest.
During his time as a GOLD Fellow, Christopher also collaborated on a project with California’s labor supply of new teachers and designed and piloted an instrument to measure features of teacher education programs.
Emily Hentschke is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. During her time as a UCCS GOLD Fellow, Emily interned with California Department of Housing and Community Development. With this internship, she explored the challenges and opportunities related to Projects Roomkey, which provided hotel rooms to people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also explored opportunities with Project Homekey which supported acquisition of motels to increase long term housing for people experiencing homelessness and mitigate the financial and public health effects of COVID 19.
Emily interviewed city and county officials about their experiences with Projects Roomkey and Homekey. Based on the interviews, she was able to create case studies and a report highlighting barriers and tools for successfully developing political and community support for Projects Homekey, Roomkey, and future housing programs. She also wrote a chapter on the philosophy of basic income policy.
During her time with UC Center Sacramento and as part of the Center’s academic team, Emily co- facilitated a writing workshop for UC Center Sacramento students which focused on organizational writing and academic writing tips. She also presented a lecture on Qualitative Research Methods for UC Center Sacramento undergraduate students.
Hannah Palmer is a Ph.D. candidate in Geology at the University of California, Davis.
During her time with UC Center Sacramento, Hannah supported and mentored UC Center Sacramento undergraduate students by hosting weekly coffee hour with students to discuss research and career paths. Hannah also led and facilitated an extended curriculum session titled “Careers in Environmental Science and Policy Panel.”
As a UCCS GOLD Fellow, Hannah interned at the California Council of Science and Technology. During her time as a UCCS GOLD Fellow, she attended weekly staff and project meetings. As a project, she co-authored a report on Costs and Losses of Wildfire in California. She wrote several chapters of the report. To learn and read the report, please click this link.
Nhat-Dang Do (Dang) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science Department at the University of California, San Diego. During his time as a UCCS GOLD Fellow, Dang interned at the Assembly Office of Research and assisted them on research projects, primarily on completing their project on green energy policy and planning for research around voter turnout in California among racial minorities.
Dang led workshops for UCCS students which focused on preparation and applying to the Capitol Fellows Program and an introduction to R programming for social science research. He mentored and advised UCCS students on their research projects, particularly in policy research design and quantitative analysis.
During his time in Sacramento, Dang also collected data at the California State Archives for his own research projects and compiled and synthesized literature on racial minority political participation, and worked on creating a research design focused on minority voter turnout after new voting reforms. Additionally, he wrote a descriptive paper regarding racial minority interest group activity in California state legislature.