Our students provide a first-hand perspective about what it's like to be a student at Harris Public Policy. Learn about their passion for public policy and Harris. Connect with one today.

Harris Ambassadors and Graduate Assistants are a group of students who are available to share their perspective and experiences at Harris Public Policy. They are representative of the Harris student body and passionate about their areas of study as well as their experience at Harris. Whether you have questions about the classroom experience, moving to Chicago, or their policy interests, our students are here to help! Connect with a current student on the phone or online.

Meet the Harris Ambassadors


Headshot of Deqa Aden
Deqa Aden, MPP Class of 2023

Deqa Aden, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Hargeisa, Somalia

Interests include: Financial Policy, Markets and Regulation

I graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, and Psychology from Grinnell College. I have a passion for international development and research-driven investment projects. Over the past three years, I worked at the World Bank and Harhub, as a Research Analyst and Manager, respectively. At the moment, I am transitioning to consulting and look forward to honing my analytical and quantitative skills at Harris. In particular, I am excited about the Pearson Fellowship where I have the opportunity to work with top-notch economists as a Research Assistant.


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Connor Christensen, MPP/MA Class of 2024

Connor Christensen, MPP/Middle Eastern Studies Class of 2024

Hometown: Foreston, MN

Interests include: Global Conflict Resolution, International Development

I was raised in a small town in central Minnesota. After high school I served in the Navy for five years, working primarily in Spain. After falling in love with that amazing country, I got my undergraduate degree at Saint Louis University's Madrid campus. Through those years I solidified my love for international relations while gaining a new understanding of history, languages, and how connected our world truly is. I went on to study Turkish through a summer scholarship program and worked in Turkey for six months as an English instructor. I look forward to my time at the University of Chicago, both at Harris and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, as I pursue the next phase of my career and find my place in a complex, globalized world.


Headshot of Tylor Collier
Tylor Collier, MPP Class of 2023

Tylor Collier, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

Interests include: Social Policy and Inequality, Gender and Racial Equity

I graduated with a B.A. in Social Relations and Policy, and a B.A. in Arts and Humanities from Michigan State University. Throughout my studies, I have worked to better understand how policy can improve the wellbeing of communities and how to center people in that pursuit. I am excited to continue my studies at Harris and learn how to apply my learnings to implement more equitable policy.


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Joshua Davis, MPP Class of 2023

Joshua Davis, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Interests include: Data Analytics, Policy Analysis, Finance

Born and raised in Oklahoma City and a first-generation college graduate, I came to Harris because I wanted to focus specifically on developing my quantitative research skills. As an undergraduate I majored in political science and philosophy with a minor in economics and worked in different aspects of the policy process. I plan to pursue the certificates in Data Analytics and Policy Analysis and hope to transition into a research-oriented career that helps create better and more sustainable policy decisions.


Headshot of Yifu Hou
Yifu Hou, MSCAPP Class of 2023

Yifu Hou, MSCAPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Jiaozuo, China

Interests include: Technology, Racial and Gender Equity, International Development

I was born and raised in a small industrial city in northern China, and I earned my bachelor's degree in journalism and communication. My undergraduate experience allowed me to review the impact of technology and media, especially how they have provided opportunities for my generation to explore and build their identities. After graduating with my BA, I decided to keep developing my skills in analysis and my interest in public policy through the rigorous and quantitative program at Harris. I had experience in advertising and media consulting, where I’m interested in studying the intersection of technology and policy.


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Sasha Filippova, MSCAPP Class of 2023

Sasha Filippova, MSCAPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Sevastopol, Ukraine

Interests include: Education Policy, Municipal Finance, and Program Evaluation

Prior to Harris, I worked as a Program Manager at The Children's Trust, a non-profit organization located in Miami, Florida. In my role, I oversaw a portfolio of programs dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade county. During my time at The Children's Trust, I realized the importance of data when addressing community needs.

While at Harris, my goal is to expand my quantitative skillset and to further understand the complex nature of public policy analysis. 

I earned my undergraduate degree in Mathematics at South Carolina State University.


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Emileigh Harrison, PhD Class of 2023

Emileigh Harrison, PhD Class of 2023

Hometown: Manitowoc, WI

Policy interests include: Education Policy, Social Policy

As a PhD student at Harris, my doctoral studies are focused on education and inequality. Specifically, my research interests include non-traditional education paths such as community college and homeschooling. Before being admitted to the PhD program, I was a MACRM student at Harris.


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Victor Hinardi, MPP Class of 2023

Victor Hinardi, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Interests include: Economic Policy and Healthcare

I am originally from Jakarta, Indonesia. I took my undergraduate in the United States at University of Wisconsin Madison, where I majored in Food Science and Economics. I am passionate about solving public sector problems using the application of economics. My policy interests are economic and health care policies. I came to Harris to gain quantitative skills necessary to create impact in my home country, Indonesia.


Headshot of Lindsey Hiser
Lindsay Hiser, MPP Class of 2023

Lindsay Hiser, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Wixom, MI

Interests include: Economic Policy, Methods of Policy Analysis, and Technology Policy

I came to Harris to strengthen my quantitative skills, gain research experience, and expand my knowledge of various policy areas. Prior to Harris, I worked at NPR in the Development division to secure funding for national news programming and operations. I’m passionate about building programs and processes that thoughtfully address challenges facing organizations and communities, especially when those challenges arise at the intersection of policy areas.


Headshot of Erika Ishizuka
Erika Ishizuka, MPP Class of 2023

Erika Ishizuka, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Vienna, VA

Interests include: International Development, Finance, and Data Science

As a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, I chose Harris to deepen my understanding of economics and develop quantitative skills that are heavily used in my policy interests. I foresee being able to evaluate and strengthen the sustainability and success of development projects as well as analyze the feasibility and areas of improvement. I chose Harris to grow and learn in and out of the classroom. With immense diversity around me, I am connected with remarkable individuals that share the same passion: to make tangible change in the world.


Headshot of Daisuke Kageyama
Daisuke Kageyama, MPP Class of 2023

Daisuke Kageyama, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Fuji, Japan

Interests include: Risk Management

I earned my bachelor's degree in Forest Science from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, where I specialized in erosion control engineering. After six years of working as a civil servant at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, I am now studying at Harris to strengthen my analytical skills for developing evidence-based policies to save lives from natural disasters.


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Sarah Lueling, MPP Class of 2023

Sarah Lueling, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland

Interests include: Education Policy, Health Policy, Social Policy and Inequality, Child and Family Policy

I’m originally from Switzerland and earned my Bachelor's degree in Economics and Management. Prior to Harris, I worked in an education policy think tank dedicated to the improvement of education worldwide. I joined Harris in the hopes of gaining the quantitative and analytical skills needed to create evidence based policies in education.


Headshot of Lauren Murray
Lauren Murray, EMP Class of 2022

Lauren Murray, EMP Class of 2022

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Policy interests: Education Policy, Transit Policy, Disability Access

I came to Harris with a background in public affairs and government relations. I’m passionate about creating policy that promotes justice and expands access for systemically marginalized people. 

I graduated from Loyola Chicago with a bachelor's in public relations and have been working in an education nonprofit for the past seven years. My roles have included community engagement, lobbying, and policy, and the skills I’m learning through the EMP are building on my experience from each role. The EMP makes it possible to apply data-driven solutions to work as it happens, and I’ve become a better leader because of it.


Headshot of Ezra Serrins
Ezra Serrins, MPP Class of 2023

Ezra Serrins, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Austin, TX

Interests include: Healthcare, Urban Policy, and Transportation Policy

I have long been interested in public policy and wanted to strengthen my understanding with an emphasis on evidence-based learning. As an undergraduate student at Michigan State, my career focused on theory-based and qualitative methods approaches, which was helpful in developing my lens. I chose to attend the Harris School because I felt Harris' emphasis on evidence-based and data-driven public policy would complement and expand my existing lens


Headshot of Jeongmin Shin
Jeongmin Shin, MPP Class of 2023

Jeongmin Shin, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Incheon, South Korea

Interests include: Education Policy, Human Rights, and Environmental Policy

After earning Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Korea University, I worked for an airline company for four years. Through my volunteering experiences, I got interested in educational policies for children and women in marginalized communities. I joined Harris to learn and polish quantitative skills in order to be a policy analyst creating positive social impacts.


Headshot of Spence Spence
John Spence, MPP Class of 2023

John Spence, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Nashville, TN

Interests include: Income inequality, Public Finance, and Urban Policy

Prior to moving to Chicago, I was born and raised in Nashville. After high school, I moved to Ecuador for a year before attending Williams College and majoring in political economy. Upon graduating from Williams, I came to Chicago to work in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Now, I'm at Harris in the MPP program.


Headshot of Allison Swimmer
Allison Swimmer, MPP Class of 2023

Allison Swimmer, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Glencoe, IL

Interests include: Education Policy and Municipal Finance

Prior to Harris, I taught high school English in New York City, which exposed me to the lack of equity in our country's public school system and the myriad shortcomings of several other public services. At Harris, I hope to strengthen my quantitative skills that I can use in tandem with the insight I gained from my prior work experience. Collaborating with professors and peers who are equally mission-driven has allowed me to expand my understanding of policy sectors and professional network in a very meaningful way!


Karla Tamez
Karla Tamez, MPP Class of 2023

Karla Tamez, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

Interests include: Data Analytics and International Devleopment

I graduated from Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico, with a degree in International Studies. For five years, I worked in Cómo Vamos Nuevo León, a non-profit that advocates for government accountability and evaluates public affairs programs through data and indicators. I am sure the MPP will enhance my analytical and quantitative skills in order to formulate evidence-based policies for the most pressing issues.


Simiao Wang
Simiao Wang, MPP Class of 2023

Simiao Wang, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Beijing, China

Interests include: Finance, Education Policy, and Economic Development

I came to Harris to study public policy, using data as a tool to make policy that can benefit the society. I graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a major in Managerial Economics. During my undergraduate, I learned a lot about social welfare, and I hope to continue this course through my study here at Harris. Having worked as a teaching assistant since 2017, I am very interested in the education field. With excellent fellows, various programs, and helpful resources, the Harris community is a very awesome team. I hope to pass the spirit, love, and help I gained from Harris to impact more students.


Headshot of Meiru Zhu
Meiru Zhu, MPP Class of 2023

Meiru Zhu, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Xinjiang, China

Interests include: International Development, Youth Empowerment, Education

I earned  my undergraduate in the University of International Business and Economics, where I majored in economics and law. Born and raised in a developing and multi-ethnical region, I identify my career interests as economic development and youth empowerment. Before coming to Harris, I worked at Save the Children to support local deprived youth employment and micro-enterprises development. During my time at Harris, I look forward to strengthening my qualitative and quantitative skills to translate massive data into practicable and sustainable program designs.