Class of 2020

Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars

James Clifford 


James is from Coppell, Texas and is majoring in Finance, Public Policy, and Economics, with a minor in International Affairs through the Tower Scholars Program. In addition to being a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar, he is a Hunt Scholar, BBA Scholar, energy portfolio manager for the Boulevard Investment Group, and policy research chairman for the Tower Center Student Forum. His policy interests include the development of alternative energy resources, increasing spending efficiency in the government, and the establishment of political stability in under-developed nations. Upon graduation, he hopes to work in management consulting or banking before pursuing a graduate degree.

 Steven Donaldson 

Steven Donaldson is from Richmond, Texas, and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. In addition to Public Policy and Finance, Steven plans to study Computer Science. His interests as a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar sit at the crossroads of technology and policy and include cyber-security threats, automation of the work force, and technological infringements of 4th amendment rights. On campus, Steven can be found improving his rhetoric and persuasion with the SMU debate team, playing intramural basketball, or engaging in political discussion. In addition to being a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar, he is a Hilltop Scholar, a Pre-Law Scholar, and a Second Century Scholar. Steven hopes to gain practical experience from the Tower Scholars Program before attending law school and pursuing a career in public service.

Eugenie (Genie) Dubay 

Genie is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is majoring in Political Science and French with a minor in Public Policy and International Affairs. In addition to being an Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar, she is a Second Century Scholar, and the 2017 recipient of the Criteria Award for Distinction in First-Year Writing. At SMU, she is a member of the Chi Omega sorority and participates in the Best Buddies program as a mentor for individuals with special needs. Genie’s policy interests range from domestic education legislation, particularly for students with disabilities, to rights and empowerment of women in the developing world. Through her participation in the Tower Scholars Program, Genie hopes to broaden her perspective on policy-making and gain real-world experience. Upon graduation, Genie plans to attend graduate school and pursue a JD before entering public service.

Sloane Fuller

Sloane is from Nashville, TN, and plans to major in International Studies and Corporate Communications with minors in Arabic and Public Policy and International Affairs. She is a President’s Scholar and Pre-Law Scholar, a member of the University Honors Program, and a senator within SMU's Student Senate. In addition, Sloane is a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and the Chi Omega sorority. Her interests in policy include security, both foreign and domestic, and the increasingly controversial immigration policies necessitated by our improving technology. As a member of the Tower Scholars Program, Sloane hopes to enrich her academic studies both in the fields of communication and international studies, as well as garner direct experience with policymaking, itself.

Hunter Kolon 

Hunter is a sophomore from Spring, Texas, and is majoring in Human Rights and International Studies with minors in Spanish and Public Policy/International Affairs through the Tower Scholars program. At SMU, Hunter is a Hunt Leadership Scholar, a Pre-Law Scholar, a Dedman College Scholar, a member of the University Honors Program and a member of Alpha Chi Omega. Hunter is SMU Mock Trial's VP of Membership, the Head Usher for the Tate Lecture Series, and a SMU Ambassador. During her freshman year, Hunter was an Intern for South African History Online and for the Akola Company as their Community Outreach and Business Development Intern. Off campus, Hunter is the Founder and President of Mission Comfort, a 501(c)(3) she started 4 years ago to provide comfort to the homeless of downtown Houston and the sugarcane workers in the Dominican Republic. Hunter’s interest in public policy began after seeing the injustices committed against Haitian sugar cane workers in the Dominican Republic. She is interested in improving education and labor policy in Latin America, especially the Dominican Republic, in order to provide a stronger platform for increased equality and justice.

Visakh Madathil

Visakh is from Plano, Texas, and is majoring in Economics and Computer Science, with minors in Management Science and Mathematics, as well as Public Policy and International Affairs. At SMU, he is an active member of Honors Research Association and the Indian Student Association. He is also the Editor-in-Chief for the Tower Center's student publications, Open Forum and Dialogue, and Executive Director of the Tower Center Student Forum. Visakh’s areas of policy interest are focused on how technological advances impact society and how to harness innovation. He hopes to complete his doctorate before embarking on a career that combines economics, technology, and policy.

Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller is from Southland, New Zealand, where she attended Southland Girls High School, graduating with the prestigious Winton Cup, which celebrates best all-rounder and excellence in all academic, sports, and cultural pursuits. She is a member of the SMU women's cross country and track team and specializes in middle distance running, with the dream of pursuing a professional athletic career. Along with running, Hannah is passionate about human rights, particularly women's and children's rights. She is completing a double major in Journalism and Political Science while minoring in Public Policy and International Affairs through the Tower Scholars Program. She intends to study law in New Zealand and run for political office in order to implement systems that allow the progression of women within all sectors. As an athlete Hannah hopes to use her platform as a space to advocate equality and support those policies that target human rights, implementing independence for all. She has recently attended the World University Games in Taiwan where she saw firsthand the political strife caused by struggles of independence create within a population. Hannah’s upbringing on a farm has taught her the appreciation for a process and the dedication and work ethic it takes to reach a final product. She looks forward to implementing these qualities along with her passion for equity and freedom of speech throughout her time in the program as she writes and works on policies that can better all involved.

Morgan Peterson

Morgan is from Tampa, Florida and is planning on triple majoring in Political Science, International Studies with a specialization in European Studies, and Human Rights along with minoring in Public Policy and International Affairs. In addition to being a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar, she is a Rotunda Scholar, a Founders Scholar, and a Pre-Law Honors Student. Her current involvement at SMU includes being an SMU Admission Ambassador, Secretary for Alpha Phi Omega, along with being in Student Foundation. She was previously involved in being the Community Engagement Chair for Armstrong Commons Council and was in the organization Program Council. She is currently working on a research project centered on mapping human right sites in Dallas. Her policy interests range from revamping the Department of Veterans Affairs to improving human rights policy, especially regarding the issue of human trafficking. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in shaping human rights policy.

ManQi Shi

Manqi is from Grapevine, Texas, majoring in Finance and minoring in Energy Management and Mathematics. She is a President's Scholar, BBA Scholar, and member of the University Honors Program. On campus, Manqi is the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Undergraduate Research, accounting clerk for student comptroller's office, and volunteer for Collegebound, a program that tutors at-risk students in SAT. She is honored to be part of the Tower Scholars Program because it provides students with an opportunity to explore the policy world. After graduation, she hopes to be involved in impact investing or venture philanthropy.


Priya Young

Priya is from The Woodlands, Texas, and is double majoring in Economics and Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, with a minor in Public Policy and International Affairs. In addition to being a Highland Capital Management  Tower Scholar, she is a Hunt Leadership Scholar, an Honor Roll recipient with High Distinction, and a member of both the Hilltop Scholars Program and Relay for Life. She’s also heavily involved in her residential commons and will be serving as the McElvaney commons council president next year. In her spare time, she loves dancing, singing, and reading as much as she can. Priya hopes to attend law school after her undergraduate education and potentially go on to become a diplomat or an ambassador. She is thrilled to explore her interests in public policy in the areas of immigration, education, media and the economy to learn how she can make the most impact as a public servant.