University of California, Riverside

School of Public Policy

Student Ambassadors

Current Student Ambassadors

Dean's Student Ambassadors

The UCR School of Public Policy Dean's Student Ambassador Program features highly motivated public policy students who display academic excellence, leadership, and excellent communication skills. These future policy leaders serve as the student face of the SPP. They serve as role models and peer mentors for their classmates, and serve as professional representatives of the Dean at School of Public Policy events.

We invite public policy students to get in touch with ambassadors as secondary contacts after academic advisors in regards to questions about the UCR School of Public Policy and any of its programs. You may email the ambassadors via

2018-2019 Student Ambassadors

Nelowfar AhmadiNELOWFAR AHMADI (Student Ambassador)

Nelowfar Ahmadi is a Fourth Year Public Policy student with an emphasis on International and Environmental Policy. As a daughter of Afghani immigrants, she is passionate about foreign and immigration policy reform. A Riverside and Moreno Valley native, Nelowfar has spent her college career serving her community through interning for Congressman Mark Takano’s district and DC office. She has also spent her summers working at Riverside Community Hospital and the Community Garden where they grow food for the R’Pantry. Following graduation, Nelowfar intends on serving the public via the AmeriCorps as she applies for graduate school.

David AngelDAVID ANGEL (Peer Mentorship Chair)

David Angel is a third-year Public Policy major and Economics minor with an emphasis on health policy and policy institutions and processes. He interned for California State Senator Hernandez in 2013, as well as Congresswoman Torres in 2016. His experiences interning with elected officials have motivated him to strive for leadership positions in the government where he can create and influence policy that will help communities gain access to health care and financial stability in the Inland Empire, and the state of California. David was elected to represent CA Assembly District 52 as a Delegate at the 2017 & 2018 CA Democratic Conventions. Currently, he is advocating for students as Chief of Staff in the ASUCR Office of External Affairs by organizing opportunities for students to lobby elected officials.

Justin DentonJUSTIN DENTON (Student Ambassador)

Justin Denton is a fourth-year Public Policy major concentrating in social/cultural/family policy and policy institutions/process. My interested in public policy stems from the impact of policy decisions in low-income communities and the role in every aspect of modern-day life. Being the current Vice President of the National Black Law Student Association and Academic/Attendance Committee of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International. My passion for law and motivational speaking has lead to help recently build law student association for minority groups that want to reach out to community leaders to be active in making a impact.

Samantha FongSAMANTHA FONG (Secretary)

Samantha Fong is currently a third-year Public Policy and Sustainability Studies Double Major with a concentration in water resources and utilities management. Her goal is to bring sustainable policy solutions to underserved areas. Since the end of her freshman year, Samantha has served as a Dean’s Student Ambassador for the School of Public Policy, and now holds the Secretary position. Samantha also works at the Academic Resource Center and Athletics Department as a Writing Tutor, and is beginning research under the University Honors Program. Samantha’s commitment to policy innovation has allowed her to work closely with the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where she helped to author a piece of city legislation.

Samantha FongKYLA FOREMAN (Community Service)

Kyla Foreman is a third-year Public Policy student concentrating in social/cultural/family policy and international/foreign policy. She finds analyzing local and international policies to be both interesting and impactful. She is a former Program Coordinator for Residential Life and is the current community service chair of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International. Her passion for volunteering has also led her to become an active member of the UCR Mustard Seed Project. As a former campaign intern for District Director Rafael Elizalde, she observed the complex policy issues that affect the various districts in Riverside as well as the disadvantaged communities within them. As a current fellow for the UCR Engaging Riverside Summer Fellowship, she has worked with political activists and community leaders who are making a difference in these said communities. After receiving her Public Policy degree, she hopes to pursue a career in law as a child advocacy lawyer or work for a not-for-profit global organization that helps children who have been abused, neglected, and exploited. She plans on becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer during her third year so she can gain hands on experience working with vulnerable children who have experienced abuse and neglect. She plans to advocate for fair policies that correctly address the needs of disadvantaged children so they can receive equal opportunities.

Thomas KuhlmeierTHOMAS KUHLMEIER (Chief Student Ambassador)

Thomas Kuhlmeier is a third-year public policy student, focusing on international/foreign policy and health/population policy at UCR. Within public policy, he is most interested in international policy and how it relates to foreign service and human rights on a global scale. He strives to understand foreign affairs through the majors of public policy and history. As Chief Student Ambassador for the School of Public Policy at UCR, Thomas has managed a team of 15 outstanding undergraduate students. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in March 2020, Thomas plans to pursue a dual master’s degree in international affairs and foreign service. Thomas also plans to bring with him all the lessons learned at UCR through the School of Public Policy in his further education endeavors.

Stephanie PalafoxSTEPHANIE PALAFOX (Social)

Stephanie Palafox is a third-year Public Policy major with an emphasis on economic policy and policy institutions/ processes. After working as a cashier at a restaurant with unregulated working conditions she has become passionate about workers rights. This experience has encouraged her to question economic policies within businesses in hopes of finding a correlation with social conditions. Since attending UC Riverside Stephanie has participated in various clubs that have contributed to her growth as a student such as being a part of a political science research led by Dr. Newman and Dr. Biggers, volunteering at the UCR Extension Center, participated in the Public Speaking Program, performed in UCR is Dancing 2016, and is an alumni to a UCR dance troupe called Collective Faction. Currently, Stephanie works on campus as a peer mentor for Chass First, is a Trio Scholar, and is also a StressBuster Peer Educator for the Counseling and Psychological Services at UCR.

Maya PrasadMAYA PRASAD (Student Ambassador)

Maya Prasad is a first year Public Policy major at the University of California, Riverside interested in urban/environmental policy and sustainability. After a trip to India, she saw first hand how communities lack basic, essential ammenties like clean water, electricity, and santiation. This experience propelled her interest into public policy. She strives to understand why cities are different and help improve conditions for people. While interning for the Belavala Foundation in India, she was able to learn about eco-friendly farming practices, sustainable infrastructure, as well as the challenges to public transportation systems in a growing urban population. Maya plans to double major in Sustainability and learn about the ways we can solve environmental problems through comprehensive policy.

Logan Taylor PurvisLOGAN TAYLOR PURVIS (Student Ambassador)

Logan Taylor Purvis is currently a graduate student researcher for water policy and is a member of the UC Water Academy’s second cohort. Logan volunteered over 1,000 hours to a police activities league to help underprivileged youth make positive connections with police officers. Logan was the Director of social media for 42nd district Assemblyman Brian Nestande in 2013 and volunteered to elect Pete Aguilar for 31 st Congressional district in 2014. Logan graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Asian Studies. While studying for a semester abroad in Japan at Nanzan University, she received a degree of fluency in the Japanese language. She worked at the University of Redlands Academic Success Center as a writing tutor where she specialized in assisting ESL students.

Samuel RobertsSAMUEL ROBERTS (Student Ambassador)

Samuel Roberts  is a second-year public policy student, focusing on social/cultural/family policy as well as healthcare policy. Originally coming in as an undeclared student within the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Samuel soon discovered his passion for volunteering within months of arriving at UC Riverside, helping to feed the homeless and engaging in street clean-ups across Riverside and Santa Cruz. After receiving his Public Policy degree, he sees himself pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at law school and then devoting his life to fixing the many social issues seen across the United States. During his third year, Samuel hopes to get an internship within local Riverside government, and plans to apply for UCDC during his winter quarter. Samuel plans to use the knowledge gained from the Public Policy department at UC Riverside to his advantage in the future while advocating for a greater number of social programs to help benefit the underprivileged.

Jose RodriguezJOSE RODRIGUEZ (Outreach)

Jose Rodriguez  is an incoming transfer student from the Coachella Valley. As an undergraduate student from College of the Desert, he pursued the most from both the community and his former college. On campus, he was an Independent Senator with the Associated Students of College of the Desert. He participated in the Health Career Connections internship twice, through the Office of Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. and through Planned Parenthood. His interest for public and health policy came through his involvement with the Future Physician Leaders at UCR’s satellite campus at Palm Desert. The Coachella Valley is a community with many opportunities and resources, and yet is home to people at great health risks. Jose’s com munity has shaped his drive to create social, and political change that can improve the livelihood of the people.

Vrunda ShahVRUNDA SHAH (Outreach)

Vrunda Shah  is a second-year public policy major with an emphasis on urban/environmental policy and policy institutions and processes. In University of California, Riverside, Vrunda plans to gain the skills necessary to systemize green living in every city, state, and country. She is currently interning at the College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT) and is organizing a solar conference for UCR. In the future, Vrunda plans to attend law school and work in the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce policies that make a positive change by solving environmental problems. Vrunda believes that the key to solving environmental issues is developing understanding between people and the community towards what it means to truly live together.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

School of Public Policy
Anil B. Deolalikar
Founding Dean
Professor of Economics

Student Affairs
Tel: (951) 827-2334

Dean’s Office
4133 CHASS Interdisciplinary South
Tel: (951) 827-5564

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