Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

Current Research Interns

Claudia Moya Sanchez

Claudia Moya Sanchez joined the Clark Center as a Research Intern in 2017. She will graduate in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and a minor in History. Claudia received a Michael and Susan Dell Foundation Scholarship in 2016, and she now works as an intern with the Foundation’s Dell Scholar Ambassador Program. In this capacity, Claudia serves as a peer mentor for new Dell Scholars, helping to ensure that they graduate from college in four years. As a Research Intern with the Clark Center, Claudia has contributed to various projects, including those that examine partisan voting patterns in the Australian Senate and newspaper coverage of the Australian Human Rights Commission and High Court of Australia. In her free time, she volunteers with a local immigration clinic, where she acts as a Spanish translator for non-English speakers. Claudia is also an active member of a pre-law organization on campus called Minority Women Pursuing Law. After graduation, she plans to attend law school with a focus on either public law or corporate law.

Elena Ordonez

Elena Ordonez is a junior Sociology and Government double-major in the College of Liberal Arts. Since joining the Clark Center as a Research Intern in the fall of 2018, she has collected data on partisan voting patterns in the Australian Senate and coded the policy content of Bills introduced into the Australian Parliament. Elena also belongs to an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty that in 2018 received a President’s Award for Global Learning from the University for a project that examines adolescent suicide in South Korea. These prestigious awards empower students and faculty to pursue solutions for real-world challenges. In the summer of 2019, her team will use the $25,000 that it received to explore whether a mobile app intervention program can change the cultural stigma that surrounds mental health issues in South Korea. In addition, Elena is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Alpha Phi Omega, UT’s largest service-oriented organization, and as such, she volunteers in the Johnson Center Retirement Home’s community garden. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, reading, and going on hiking adventures with her dog, Scruffy. After graduation, Elena plans to attend law school with a focus in either international or environmental law.

Christina Lopez

Christina Lopez, a senior, is double-majoring in International Relations and Global Studies and English with a certificate in Spanish for Business Professions. She joined the Clark Center as a Research Intern in Fall 2019. A member of the Liberal Arts Honors Program, Christina serves as Editor-in-Chief for Echo Literary Magazine, an official student-run publication of the Program, and as a Writing Fellow for the Liberal Arts Honors course entitled The Idea of Liberal Arts (LAH 102H).  She also works as a consultant at the University Writing Center. Christina enjoys travelling and is passionate about education. In 2017, she taught English in an underfunded public school in Soledad, Colombia, and in 2019, Christina traveled to London to participate in the Clements Center Maymester course, “The US, The UK, and The World Order.” After graduation, she will teach high school English in Dallas, Texas as a corps member of Teach for America. Afterwards, Christina intends to attend law school with a focus on immigration law.

Sera Simpson

Sera Simpson joined the Clark Center in the spring of 2019 as a Research Intern. She will graduate with honors in 2021 with a major in International Relations and a minor in Philosophy. As part of her work for the Clark Center, Sera coded and researched bills in the Australian Parliament, and she currently examines voting patterns in the Australian Senate. Outside of her internship, Sera teaches yoga and interns at the Travis County District Attorney's office. She is also an active member of Students Against Cruelty to Animals and Students Fighting Climate Change. After graduation, Sera plans to attend law school to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer.

Madison Gish

Madison Gish is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts pursuing a degree in Government, a minor in Business, and a certificate in Public Policy through the Bridging Disciplines Program. Since joining the Clark Center as a Research Intern in the spring of 2019, Madison has worked on projects coding the policy content of bills in the Australian Parliament and partisan voting patterns in the Australian Senate. In addition to her work for the Clark Center, Madison worked at the state capitol for two legislative sessions as a Senate Messenger and as a Legislative Intern. Madison is involved in Alpha Xi Delta Women’s Fraternity and is a member of two academic honor societies on campus. During her free time, Madison enjoys traveling, exploring Austin, and watching movies. 

Naqibah Ashraf

Naqibah Ashraf is a senior majoring in Government. She started interning for the Clark Center in the spring of 2018 after taking the Human Rights and World Politics course with Dr. Evans. During her time at UT, Naqibah volunteered for the Texas Senate Committee on Education by writing legislation regarding the academic policy for the Senate College of Councils on campus. Naqibah also served as a writer for the Texas Undergraduate Law Review. She published two articles, "A Case for Abolishing Life Without Parole in the United States for Offenders of Small and Nonviolent Drug and Property Crimes" (Fall 2017) and "Expanding the Definition of Underrepresented Minority in College and Graduate School Admissions" (Spring 2018). Naqibah enjoys learning about constitutional, international, and civil rights laws and their relationship with federal and state policy. To pursue her interests, Naqibah plans to work at a law firm or conduct policy research before applying to law school. During her spare time, Naqibah likes going to parks, exercising, and having great conversations with friends during a good meal.