2015 Fellows

​Giana Gleeson

Giana Gleeson was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Originally from New York, Giana attended Quinnipiac University where she majored in International Development and Human Rights. While at Quinnipiac, Giana was selected as a Rotary Service Above Self Scholar and established social service projects in places like Nicaragua and Barbados. Giana continued her passion for social justice when she joined Teach for America and was placed at Hartford Public High School. She fell in love with Hartford’s students, staying in her placement site for 4 years. In this time, she received a M.S. in Education from Southern CT State University and a Sixth Year Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Connecticut. Giana has made Connecticut her home and is devoted to making more equitable changes for children and families across the state. When she’s not thinking about social policy Giana enjoys painting, weight lifting, and adding stamps to her passport.

Alison Lubin

Alison Lubin was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Alison developed a passion for social justice and urban policy as an undergraduate at Tulane University in New Orleans (B.S. Psychology). These passions lead her to return home to Connecticut to work as a teacher in an Achievement First charter school in New Haven. After three years of teaching middle school science, Alison transitioned to policy. Most recently, she graduated with a M.P.A. from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, where she received the L. Alan Beals Award for Excellence in Local Government Studies.

Sarah Ofosu-Ameyaw

Sarah Ofosu-Ameyaw was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of the Mayor of Milford Benjamin G. Blake. Sarah migrated to the United States from Ghana, West Africa, to Germantown, Maryland at the age of 13. Her interest in policy and social justice issues piqued during her undergraduate studies at Washington College (Chestertown, MD), where she graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Political Science. She joined Teach for America afterwards and taught 6th-8th grade Special Education in Glendale Arizona. Sarah also earned her Masters of Education from Arizona State University during this time. Sarah later joined the KIPP DC team where she served as a Special Education Specialist for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students. To further broaden her impact, Sarah joined the Connecticut Teach for America team where she was a Manager of Teacher Leadership and Development for the past two years. Sarah also served as an Urban Leaders Fellow in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a fellow, Sarah worked on new policy initiatives for Indiana Public Schools and also worked with the Indiana chapter of the United Negro College Fund on advocacy projects and new development initiatives.

Nordia Savage

Nordia Savage was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Born in Jamaica, and raised in Hartford since the age of seven, Nordia has always shown interest in social issues. Taking a vested interest in community development, social justice, and educational inequality, she has coordinated several research and service projects in Ghana, Jamaica, and Hartford. After earning her Bachelors of Arts in American Studies with concentrations in International Studies and Africana Studies from Williams College, she served in the AmeriCorps Program, Public Allies, where she received a citation from the Secretary of State, Denise Merrill, for her work in the Community Development and Civic Engagement Office at the Hartford Public Library. Her dedication to Social Justice propelled her to complete her Masters of Social Work in Administration at UConn in May 2015. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends.

Hernandez Stroud

Hernandez Stroud wass a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Mayor of New Haven Toni Harp. Raised by parents and grandparents in rural Alabama, Hernandez finished his undergraduate study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham with honors. At UAB, he was elected President of the Student Government Association. Having attended low-income public schools, Hernandez joined Teach for America after graduating from UAB. He taught history and government at an all-male, high-poverty school. While teaching full-time, Hernandez earned a master’s degree summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. Frustrated with misguided laws, he earned a law degree from Washington and Lee University. The law faculty awarded Hernandez the Randall P. Bezanson Award, the highest distinction given to a graduating student for outstanding contribution to diversity at W&L. He was also Managing Editor of the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice and President of the Black Law Student Association. Finally, because of his success in appellate advocacy, Hernandez was elected to the law school’s three-member National Moot Court Team.

2014 Fellows

Meg Hourigan

Meg Hourigan was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Meg was born and raised on a dairy farm in Upstate New York. Given this background, she has been passionate about food systems from a very young age. Meg attended Juniata College in Central Pennsylvania, majoring in International Studies and minoring in Environmental Studies with a focus on international agriculture. As an undergraduate she studied abroad in Ecuador for two semesters, where she worked in a boys’ detention center helping in their organic garden and teaching nutrition. Upon graduating from college, Meg joined Americorps and worked at End Hunger Connecticut!, building a relationship between the Department of Social Services, Department of Public Health, and Department of Education to improve access to federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (food stamps), WIC, and school nutrition programs. In her free time, Meg enjoys birdwatching, crosswords, and video games.

Karla Linquist

Karla Lindquist was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy, working closely with the Department of Economic and Community Development. Karla became interested in public service at a young age, inspired by her service-oriented family. A native of Connecticut, Karla (following the completion of her degrees in Political Science and History at the University of Vermont) returned to serve as an AmeriCorps member and has worked for several non-profit organizations in Connecticut. She completed a Master of Science degree in Political Science with an emphasis on Public Policy and Administration at Southern Connecticut State University, where she received the 2013-2014 Harriet Applewhite Award; an award given to the outstanding graduate student in the Political Science Department. Karla also serves as an appointed member of the Town of New Hartford Conservation Commission.

Jenna Lupi

Jenna Lupi was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of the Mayor of Milford Benjamin G. Blake. Jenna was born and raised in Branford, CT. She first became interested in social policy while interning at a health charity in London during an undergraduate semester abroad. After graduation, Jenna served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven. Her service ultimately inspired her to pursue an MPH at Emory University, where she focused on health education. While attending Emory, Jenna worked on coalition building at the Fulton County Health Department, as well as food marketing policy at the Yale Rudd Center. Her published thesis work assessed parental perceptions of weight management in children. Upon completion of her MPH, Jenna served as the Hartford county Navigator Coordinator for Access Health CT where she oversaw the community efforts during the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.

Katie Magboo

Kathleen Magboo was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow with the office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy, working for the Board of Regents. Kathleen was born in New London, Connecticut and grew up in Waterford. Coming from a family of teachers, Kathleen was interested in educational issues from an early age. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut in 2005 with a degree in Art History.  Upon graduation, Kathleen completed two years of teaching Kindergarten in the Bronx, NY as a Teach For America corps member and elected to stay a third year in her placement site. During her time with TFA she earned her Master’s degree from Pace University. Kathleen then moved back to Connecticut to be closer to family and spent the last six years teaching various grade levels in Westport, CT. Kathleen is dedicated to the children of Connecticut and ensuring that every child has access to equitable educational opportunities.

Katie Stenclik

Kathryn Stenclik was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of the Mayor of New Haven Toni Harp. Kathryn grew up in Buffalo, New York and developed a passion for social justice at an early age. She took this interest to Cornell University where she majored in Human Development with a minor in Inequality Studies. Kathryn spent a semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark where she focused on special education policy. After graduation she was accepted to the MATCH Corps program where she received teacher training at an inner city school in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon receiving her teaching certification, she moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where she began teaching at a high performing Achievement First school.

2013 Fellows

Faina Dookh

Faina Dookh was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Governor’s Office, in Hartford, Connecticut. She earned a Master of Arts in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, where she studied local and international community development, initiatives in education, the dynamics of urban poverty, and social policy. Faina graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Much of Faina’s experience previous to her ZOOM Fellowship involved direct service work in underserved communities and identifying and working for systems-level change, including her non-profit work in Connecticut, Chicago, and South Africa and as a Teach for America teacher in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia before moving to Stamford, Connecticut.

Sherrell Dorsey

Sherrell Dorsey is a native of Seattle, Washington who honed her skills organizing “green the block” campaigns in Newark and Harlem while earning her bachelor’s degree in International Trade and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology. After graduation, she dove head first into reshaping the narrative of environmental and social responsibility within the apparel and consumer products industries. Her work and reporting has been featured in several publications, including Black Enterprise Magazine and Inhabitat. Sherrell received an award from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics for her work in spreading awareness in communities highly targeted by toxic personal care products. She has also been a featured safe chemicals expert on Fox News. As a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow, Sherrell worked in the Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Policy in Bridgeport, Connecticut where she shaped programs for youth civic engagement, implemented environmental health policies within the schools and expanded access to quality after school programs for

Meg Green

Growing up on the United States-Mexico border, Meg’s dedication to public service began at a young age. She took this interest to The University of Texas at Austin where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a certificate in Nonprofit and Social Entrepreneurship Studies. At Texas, Meg completed extensive research projects on court decisions expanding educational rights for women and minorities and the role of nonprofit advocacy in Supreme Court decisions regarding contraception. After graduation, she served in the AmeriCorps program, Public Allies, where she helped strengthen Connecticut’s nonprofit community and coordinated a successful youth film festival in Hartford. Meg was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. She served on a task force studying and implementing recommendations to eliminate the gender wage gap in Connecticut. Meg plans to pursue further study in public policy and law and continue working in the public sector.

Miles Hodges

Miles Hodge was born and raised in Camden, Indiana. He first became interested in social issues and public policy at Purdue University, where he studied Economics, History and Political Science, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in 2010. While at Purdue, Miles co-founded HungryBoiler.com, a local online food ordering website that has facilitated over $6 million in orders to campus restaurants. After graduation, he joined Teach for America and taught fifth grade Math and Science for two years in an underserved community on the East side of Indianapolis. Miles earned a Master's degree from Marian University and through his experiences as a teacher he began to focus his interests in social justice on educational policy and practices. He relocated to CT with Teach for America in Connecticut, to train and develop first and second year teachers in New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford. As a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow, Miles worked in the Mayor's Office in Bridgeport focusing on education and economic development.

Brent Peterkin

Brent Peterkin served as a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy and was involved with the growth and development of the Office of Early Childhood. Brent earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal and Policy Studies Fordham University, where he was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society and was a recipient of the Dean’s Merit Award Scholarship. He completed internships with the Yale University Global Justice Program project, Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), and Depino Associates, a government affairs and business development firm in New Haven, CT. Brent is a native of New York City and currently resides in New Haven County with his loving wife and beautiful children. Brent enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, working out, and when time permits, watching CSPAN, Home and Garden Television network (HGTV) and SNL.

Lee Sawyer

Lee Sawyer was a ZOOM Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. As part of his fellowship, he worked closely with the Department on Aging and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Lee came to the ZOOM Foundation with a background in communications and law, having most recently served as Director of Communications at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Connecticut. During his tenure at Goodwin he earned his law degree at University of Connecticut School of Law. Prior to Goodwin, Lee worked as a newspaper reporter for the Journal Inquirer, where he covered crime and state prisons. Lee earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Central Connecticut State University. Lee resides in Middletown with his wife Samantha and daughters Sadie, 6, and Natalie, 3.

2012 Fellows

April Wang

The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, April Wang was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She first became interested in social issues and public policy at Harvard University, where she graduated with honors with a Bachelor's degree in history and literature. After graduation, she joined Teach for America and taught 11th grade English for two years in the Mississippi Delta, in the poorest county in the United States. It was through her experiences as a teacher that she began to focus her interests in social justice on educational policy and practices. April spent the year before her ZOOM Fellowship as a Fulbright Fellow, teaching and researching the impact of education policy upon the segregation between Roma and Bulgarian citizens in Bulgaria. She has also served on Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston's education policy team.

Eric Weinstien

Eric Weinstein holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University in 2012 with concentrations in economics and management. While at Rutgers, Eric was a Graduate Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics where he studied legislative policymaking and worked in the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services on matters pertaining to state taxation and revenue. A 2010 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Eric majored in Political Science with a minor in Human Rights. He was an active member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, UConn Hillel, and Pi Sigma Alpha: The National Political Science Honors Society.  Eric was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut.