`Outstanding Student’ Embraces Dominican Values, Peers

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After enjoying her high school experience at Marin County’s San Domenico School, Julia Reinhard ’22 elected to stay closer to home for her college experience. It was an easy choice for Julia, who realized the benefits of a smaller educational setting.

“Dominican’s community environment and small class sizes inspired me to come to Dominican. I knew I would be able to develop close relationships with my professors and peers and get involved in on campus extracurriculars just like I was able to at San Domenico,” says Julia, who was named Dominican's Class of 2022 “Outstanding Student” at Commencement on May 14.
“Additionally, the Dominican values of study, reflection, community, and service have highly resonated with me since I was introduced to these core values at San Domenico, and I wanted to attend a college that was centered around a similar mission.”

Julia immediately embraced her Dominican experience, working as a peer mentor and as a student worker in the Student Success Center and joining the executive boards of both the Dominican Political Science Association and the IGNITE Club. She has also been a tutor on campus and a volunteer on the Sustainability Subcommittee

As a rising senior, Julia embraced new opportunities while serving as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C. Julia is the latest Dominican student to be selected for the prestigious Panetta Institute for Public Policy internship.

Last summer Julia went to the Panetta Institute in Monterey to attend a two-week orientation/training before working in D.C. as a congressional intern.

 “My goal with the Panetta internship was to absorb as much knowledge as I could and to serve my office to the best of my ability,” she says. “The experience helped me learn more about public policy and discover the different occupational opportunities in public service. I want to shape my career around serving others with the ultimate goal of contributing to lasting change that will fortify our democracy and address systemic barriers to equity.”

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Over the past two decades Dominican has led numerous students to Panetta Institute internships including

  • Allison Kustic '21. After interning for then-Senator Kamala Harris’ Sacramento office and Marin County Supervisor Katie Rice, Allison is working as a Legislative Assistant for Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez in Sacramento. Allison staffs numerous issues, including Housing, Transportation, Natural Resources, Elections and Redistricting, and the Judiciary.Allison Popovits '20 is working in the business development department for CarWash Unlimited.
  • Delainey Boyd '19 earned an MA in Education Policy at George Washington University and is working as  the Associate with the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s National Arts and Sciences Initiative.
  • Sayra Trejo '18, a double major in communications and political science, finished her first year of a two-year teaching fellowship at The Thacher School in Ojai.
  • Samantha Hunt '18, a double major in political science and international studies, interned as an immigration assistant at E&M Mayock and then spent two years as field representative in the California State Assembly before being admitted as a J.D. candidate at Vanderbilt School of Law.  She interned at Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.
  • Crisha Carlos '16, a double major in business and political science, is a Financial Reporting Analyst for Ross Stores, Inc. 
  • Kelsea Vaughan '15 is in the final term of her MBA at Trinity College in Dublin, where she is a Social Impact Scholarship student and recently finished a strategic consulting project for Square's EU marketing team.
  • Daniela Levya '14 is studying for her Master’s in Library Science program at San Jose State University.
  • Sydney Lewis '13, a double major in political science and English, currently serves as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT). IYT is a Sacramento-based educational non-profit focused on men of color who attend and graduate from colleges and universities.
  • Luke Webster-White '12 is a Program Coordinator for the County of Sonoma.
  • Caitlin Vejby '11, a double major in political science and international studies, most recently worked as a Legislative Aide for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
  • Juleah Cordi '10 is Senior District Representative for California State Assembly Member James Gallagher. 
  • Darcel Sanders '09, a double major in political science and psychology, is CEO of GO Public Schools, a nonprofit organization that promotes equitable education systems and transformational public schools.
  • Kat Skiles '07 has had key jobs with Nancy Pelosi and Beto O’Rourke in her career. Today she is CEO and Video Producer of Narrative Creative Agency. Kat recently was named to Fortune magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” list.
  • Mel Atkins  '06 & ’10, a Dominican Trustee, is Associate Vice President, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley.
  • Molly Starr '02 Department Chair of the Social Studies Department at Nevada Union High School.

Julia’s interest in Political Science was inspired when she took a “Campaigns and Elections” class the first semester of her freshman year with Alison Howard,  assistant professor and chair of the Division of Public Affairs in the School of Liberal Arts and Education. Those class discussions plus a class “Introduction to American Politics, Policy & Society” the following semester convinced Julia to declare Political Science as her major.

“Alison Howard has been the most influential person for me at Dominican. I could not have dreamed of having a more supportive academic advisor and I feel fortunate to have been able to take four of Professor Howard’s classes,” says Julia, who served as a Teacher’s Assistant for her this past academic semester. “Professor Howard inspired me to stay curious about learning new things and to feel empowered about our complex political system.”

Julia also found inspiration and help from another Allison – Kustic – and Katya Palacios ’21. They had been interns for Marin County Supervisor Katie Rice and suggested Julia pursue the internship. She was tasked with continuing the 2020 Census outreach that Allison had started. Julia also helped create Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 communication and other County communications for the Board of Supervisors, Health and Human Services, and the Equity Team plus she supervised seven county interns and served as project manager for intern projects before her internship concluded last August.

“Through my work, I became proficient in community outreach, developing public information messaging, project management, and public speaking,” says Julia, currently a campaign manager for a Marin County Supervisor candidate, Mary Sackett. “I am thankful for my wonderful supervisor, Nancy Vernon, District Aide to Supervisor Rice, who provided me with many opportunities to grow. I am also grateful for all of the connections I made with County employees and my fellow interns.”

Julia received the Mother Mary Raymond Scholarship Fund to attend Dominican. It provides tuition assistance to legacy students pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University. Julia's mother, Lee Ann Wise, graduated from Dominican in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and Psychology.

Julia’s list of supporters and advocates at Dominican has extended beyond Political Science starting with Naomi Elvove in the Student Success Center who registered her for classes as an incoming freshman. Julia also is grateful for the guidance and skills given to her by Stacy Poe, Jennifer Labovich, Kristen Coleman, Christina Mayes, and Giulia Welch. They are on Julia’s long list of influencers at Dominican that include Dr. Ben Rosenberg, and Dr. Vania Coelho, who led Julia and other students on a biology field trip to glaciers in Iceland in March 2020 to study biodiversity and sustainability issues.

In addition, Julia is thankful for a psychology class she took with professor Afshin Gharib and a geology class she took with professor Amy Young that motivated her to add minors in psychology and ecology and environmental sciences.

“I have always been curious about how the human mind works and think that understanding psychology lends itself to studying political science because of the interdisciplinary connections that can be made between the two fields. I also have appreciated how my knowledge from the psychology courses has informed my self-awareness, awareness of others, and emotional intelligence; this has helped me in my role as a peer mentor and in working in different team environments,” Julia says.

“I am passionate about the environment and mitigating the climate crisis and wanted to add ecology and environmental sciences as a minor so that I could develop a strong foundation of the subject. I feel that my knowledge from these courses will help gear me towards a future working on environmental policies as well as make decisions in my everyday life to try and live more sustainably.”

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Upon graduation it is Julia’s goal to pursue a career in public service. She intends to go to graduate school for her masters in Public Policy. Being named “Outstanding Student” at Dominican will enhance her dream.

“It is a tremendous honor. I am so thankful for all of the courses I have taken at Dominican, and with Dominican’s small class sizes I was fortunate to get to know my professors and fellow peers on a personal level,” Julia says. “All faculty and staff that I know have been extremely supportive. I especially want to thank Alison Howard and Naomi Elvove for their mentorship.”

It was a fitting ending to Julia’s Dominican journey.

“My Dominican experience has taught me the importance of both pushing myself to be an active participant in my community and taking steps back from various efforts when possible so I conserve my energy,” she says. “I did my best to pass along opportunities to fellow students, and I really enjoyed getting to serve the Dominican and broader Marin community alongside some of my peers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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