The 2018 Texas Intelligence Academy welcomed its inaugural class this Sunday, May 20 in Washington D.C.
Over the next 10 days, a cohort of 12 competitively-chosen UT System undergraduate students will have the opportunity to learn about US intelligence through lectures by distinguished scholars and practitioners, simulation exercises, and visits to intelligence-related facilities in the Washington D.C. area.
The Class of 2018
Ishmael Abuabara is a sophomore studying global affairs at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Upon graduation, he plans to work in the San Antonio community and pursue a Master’s degree in public policy.
Ishmael currently serves as an intern in the district office of State Senator Jose Melendez, which has allowed him the opportunity to connect with the greater San Antonio community. He is also an officer for the Model United Nationals Society, where he assists in the coordination of the fall semester UN Conference simulation.
Taylor Bui is a fourth-year student at The University of Texas at Austin, where she is pursuing degrees in both international relations an government with focuses on international security and Asian studies. Taylor is an honors student in the College of Liberal Arts and has earned a Certificate in Business Foundations from the McCombs Summer Institute.
Taylor currently works as a research assistant for Dr. Rhonda Evans in the UT-Austin’s Government department, where she tracks human rights violations and progress within the Australian Human Rights Commission. She is an active volunteer with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin, Texas.
Brooklyn Clow is a political science major at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where she is also pursuing a minor in French. Brooklyn’s interest in national security and intelligence developed while a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy. During her undergraduate career, she has completed two study-abroad trips, a research practicum, an internship, an honors thesis, and several other programs (e.g. SCONA at Texas A&M). Brooklyn has also worked on a mayoral campaign and served as Vice President of the Political Science Association for The University of Texas at San Antonio. After the TIA, Brooklyn will spend seven weeks this summer completing Carnegie Mellon University’s IT Lab program.
In the fall, Brooklyn will be participating in the Bill Archer Fellowship Program, where she will be taking classes in Washington, D.C. She is seeking a full-time internship in the Washington metropolitan area for this program. While in school, Brooklyn hopes to secure an internship in the IC or with NASA. She is currently on track to graduate with every honor and distinction recognized at The University of Texas at San Antonio, which will position her as the first student to ever do so. Brooklyn is interested in a career in public service. Following graduation, she plans to pursue opportunities in the IC.
Sneha Jain is a Russian language and culture, Plan II honors, economics, and chemical engineering fourth-year student at The University of Texas at Austin. Her academic studies are focused in the application of game theory to strategy, in order to better understand how political, social and economic movements are galvanized. More specifically, Sneha’s primary focus is on the post-USSR region. As a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar, she has traveled to Russia to study Russian at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
As an Undergraduate Fellow with the Clements Center for National Security, Sneha has been able to study current events throughout he perspectives of history, strategy and statecraft. Her studies are further enhanced through her active involvement in Central Texas Model United Nations. In this role, she develops simulations that allow high school students to represent notable individuals serving in committees such as the Arab League, Australian Cabinet, and the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Anushka Limaye is a junior at The University of Texas at Dallas, where she is currently pursuing a B.S. in supply chain management as well as minors in international political economy and political science. Her interest in national security and intelligence developed in high school, where she was an active participant in her high school’s debate team. During this time, she dedicated her weekends to evaluating hypothetical plans that, if implemented, would provide extensive impact on U.S. foreign relations, national security, and foreign policy. Anushka’s interest in international law also began during this period and has grown with her increasing participation in pre-law programs at UT-Austin.
Anushka is a member of the John Marshall Pre-Law Society, the Moot Court team, Model United Nations, an the Mediation team. She has interned as a legal assistant at Hawkins Law Firm and has served as an operations intern at the Center for American and International Law. After the TIA, she will work as a Governance Analyst intern at Experian. In the fall, she will e a 2018 Archer Fellow, and she plans to study abroad in Vienna, Austria in the spring.
Cayla “Jade” Monk
Jade Monk is an international relations and global studies major concentrating in Middle Eastern studies at The University of Texas at Austin, where she is also pursuing a Certificate in Security Studies. Jade is entering her fourth year of Arabic language study as an Arabic Flagship Program scholar, and she will be an undergraduate fellow at the Clements Center for National Security from 2018 – 2019.
Following the TIA, Jade will study the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K. at King’s College London in a program offered by the Clements Center. As a senior, Jade will complete an honors thesis focusing on the trilateral relationship between the U.S., Russia, and Turkey, and transatlantic unity. She is working to launch a new, peer-reviewed, open-access journal focusing on national security, intelligence and world order, encouraging other students to produce and publish essays in these areas.
During her first two years of study, Jade was a cadet in the UT Army ROTC program. She has competed on the Ranger Challenge team at the International Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point, where the team won the ROTC division an placed top 10 overall. She served as a cadet for a year while assigned to the 36th infantry division, intelligence and surveillance unit in the Texas National Guard.
Emily Moussa is a government and economics double major at The University of Texas at Austin, where she is also pursuing minors in both Arabic and accounting. Her academic and policy interests include U.S. national security, the Middle East, and education. Emily has managerial experience in both administrative and retail capacities. Through her work experience, she has gained invaluable skills and leadership experience that she hopes to apply to the field of public policy.
Emily currently serves as the President of Coptic Students of Texas, an organization which serves Texas’ Coptic Orthodox youth population. Prior to this role, she has served as CST’s spiritual coordinator. Through the TIA, Emily hopes to further her understanding of national security and form meaningful connections with colleagues, experts, and other professionals.
Marcos Mullin is a sophomore studying public administration and economics at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He currently serves in leadership positions for several organizations on campus; the most notable of which is as chairman of UTSA’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. Marcos has interned for two public offices and currently serves as a Texas Civic Ambassador through the Annette Strauss Institute in Austin, Texas. In this role, he empowers Texas youth to take an active role in maintaining the accountability of elected officials throughout he use of interactive workshops and training sessions.
Marcos is also an active volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, The Immigration Shelter, and Habitat for Humanity. After the TIA, he will travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to complete an internship with the Acton Institute on Religion and Liberty.
Ashley Salinas is a sophomore double-majoring in government and humanities with a focus in international development and political economy at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a Rapoport Service Scholar and Mellow Mays Undergraduate Fellow who plans to spend the fall 2018 semester studying at Sciences Po in Reims, France.
Outside the classroom, Ashley is a peer tutor at the University Writing Center, a Texas Civic Ambassador for The University of Texas at Austin, the host of her honors program’s weekly news shows, and a high school tutor with GirlForward, an organization dedicated to helping female refugee children in the greater Austin area. She has also worked previously in the office of State Representative Terry Canales. Ashley plans to pursue a Ph.D. in political science and hopes to work for a think-tank.
Pablo “Christian” Soenen
Christian Soenen is a second-year student at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is pursing majors in economics, government, and Plan II honors. His primary academic interests involve international security, public policy, and intelligence.
Christian is primarily interested in finding effective solutions to the expansive problems created by organized crime in both Mexico and Central America. He spent his freshman year researching violent drug trafficking organizations, gangs, and other transnational criminal groups, as well as migration. More specifically, he closely studied how these violent groups interact with migrants traveling through Central America and Mexico.
Arielle Brand Stromberg
Arielle Stormerg is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, where she is pursing a degree in international relations with a concentration on the Middle East and security studies. Arielle is an honors student in the College of Liberal Arts and is a member of the Arabic Flagship program. In her 3 years at UT-Austin, she has completed 40 hours of Arabic.
Arielle is a founding member of UT-Austin’s chapter of JStreetU, an organization that engages and encourages students, activists, and policymakers to work toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She is a member of the White Rose Society, a holocaust remembrance organization.
A second-year Longhorn, Ross Trivisonno is a triple-major studying business, government, and Plan II honors. Studying at UT-Austin has enabled him to channel his passion for public policy, government and national security.
During high school, Ross served on a State Department pilot committee charged with observing the diplomatic process at the American embassy in Panama. As part of this “Adopt-an-Embassy” program, he met with foreign service officers bi-weekly – including the then-U.S. Ambassador to Panama, John Freeley. Ross also served as an intern on the Sarah DeMerchant for TX House D-26 campaign. As Director of Events for the DeMerchant campaign, Ross assisted in turning Fort Bend County blue for the first time in nearly three decades. He also gained experience organizing community outreach events and conducting meet-and-greets with local leaders, such as Congressman Green and Houston Mayor Turner.
In addition, Ross served as a summer fellow for Organizing for Action, and he currently manages digital media for a Fort Bend County judicial campaign. He is currently interning for Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign.