Minor in public policy and international studies

Kalkidan Alemu

Kalkidan is from Fort Worth, Texas, and is double majoring in Biology and Business Management with a minor in Public Policy and International Affairs through the Tower Scholar’s Program. At SMU, Kalkidan is a Hunt Leadership Scholar and a member of Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS). She is also a part of the Boaz Common’s Council Compassion Committee and will serve as a residential assistant in upper division housing. Kalkidan plans to graduate from SMU and attend UT Southwestern Medical School to study surgery. She is particularly interested in becoming a trauma surgeon and longs to work with organizations such as Doctors Without Borders or the United Nations on disaster relief efforts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Zubair Benyacoub

Zubair is from Richardson, Texas majoring in Finance and Mathematics, with minors in Arabic, History, and PPIA through the Tower Scholar’s Program. Zubair is also a President’s Scholar and BBA Scholar. Zubair works as one of the Business Library Administrators, as a Student Worker for SMU’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, and as a TA for a graduate Entrepreneurship course. Zubair enjoys arranging music for the violin and making pitches for the Boulevard Investment Group in his free time. Zubair hopes to use his experience as a Tower Scholar to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the business world and be more successful as an investment banker.

Polina DeClue

Polina is from St. Louis, Missouri and is majoring in Political Science and World Languages- specializing in Spanish and Russian with minors in History and Public Policy and International Affairs through the Tower Scholars Program. In addition to being a Tower Scholar, Polina is also a Pre-Law Scholar. Polina is highly involved in her community, being on the Mock Trial team, part of the Student Senate Communications Committee, serving on the executive team of Russian club, and in her sorority Gamma Phi Beta as Open House Recruitment Chair. Polina’s interest in public policy lies mainly in Russian-American relations, given her background in Russia and Eastern European politics, and having lived in Russia for a part of her childhood. Additionally, she is interested in immigration law-- with a focus on both domestic and international issues. Upon graduation, Polina hopes to attend law school and go on to work at an international embassy or department of foreign affairs.

Ammaar Kazi

Ammaar is a pre-med student from Memphis, Tennessee. He is majoring in Biological Sciences and Economics on the Pre-Medical Track, with minors in both Arabic and Public Policy & International Affairs. In addition to being an HCM Tower Scholar, he is a President’s Scholar and a member of the University Honors Program. He is also an active member of the Muslim Students’ Association and the Mustang Emergency Medical Services. Outside of SMU, Ammaar volunteers at Trinity River Mission as a tutor for special-needs kids and serves as a tour guide for Dar el Salam Travels in trips to the Middle East and Spain.   Ammaar's public policy interests lie in such diverse topics as health care reform, combating climate change and tackling radical Islamic terrorism as well as the growing Islamophobia that accompanies it. Ammaar is looking to gain hands-on experience in policy-making and having an impact both in the local community and at the national level.

Marina Leventis

Marina is a freshman from Grapevine, Texas planning to earn a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance and a minor in Public Policy and International Affairs through the Tower Scholars Program. Marina is a BBA Scholar, distinguished scholar, and a member of the University Honors Program and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. On campus, Marina is a student assistant in technology for professors across SMU through the STAR program and is treasurer of the Active Minds mental health awareness club. In high school, Marina was the 2017 Texas State Champion for Public Forum Debate and was ranked as high as first in the nation. She has continued her legacy through coaching Cypress Woods High School and through research consultation for the Golden State Academy. Her interests in public policy and international affairs include the affordable housing crisis, military spending and foreign military sales, and the role of the energy market in foreign policy.

Madison Lopez

Madison is from Lewisville, Texas, and is majoring in Political Science and Human Rights with minors in History and Public Policy and International affairs. She is a Hilltop Scholar, Pre-Law Scholar, and a Center for Faith and Learning Scholar. She is a member of the Sigma Phi Lambda sorority and is a cofounder of the SMU chapter of the McCain Student Alliance Against Human Trafficking, an organization that aims to bring awareness, serve, and advocate for the victims of human trafficking. Madison’s policy interests range from education to human rights legislation regarding human trafficking, women’s empowerment, and refugee crises. She hopes to earn her law degree and fight against criminals of human trafficking and other human rights abuses both domestically and abroad.

Evangeline Mathis

Evie is from Boulder, Colorado, and plans to major in Public Policy and Corporate Communication and Public Affairs with a distinction in Political Communication. She is a Pre-Law, Hilltop, and Faith and Learning Scholar and is the vice president of the SMU Mock Trial team. Evie is also the political director of a campus political organization, member of the Chi Omega Sorority, and intern at a corporate litigation firm. Evie is honored to be a part of the Tower Scholars Program and hopes to transform knowledge gained from past local government involvement into applicable policymaking prowess. Her primary interests include urban development and the optimization of communication within both the policymaking process and government-to-citizen discourse.

Bibiana B. Schindler 

Bibiana is from St. Louis, Missouri and plans to major in Environmental Science, with minors in Russian Area Studies and Public Policy & International Affairs. In addition to being a Tower Scholar, she is a President’s Scholar and Honor Roll recipient. At SMU, she participates in Russian Club as well as the Communication Committee of Student Senate and the Philanthropy Committee of Gamma Phi Beta. Off campus, she has worked in an internship for a local St. Louis law firm and the St. Louis City Medical Examiner’s Office, and will have an internship abroad in Prague while studying EU politics in the Czech Republic as part of SMU’s Prague program. Bibiana’s public policy interest lies in international environmental law, and how to implement policy that can benefit both the environment and the people affected. She hopes to continue her education through law school and a graduate program focused on Russian, Central & Eastern European, and Eurasian studies. Bibiana is excited for the hands-on exposure into the field of law that this program provides. 

Allison Schultz

Allison is from Dallas, Texas majoring in Biology on a Pre-Medical Track with minors in Public Policy and International Affairs and Law and Legal Reasoning. At SMU, she is a Dedman College Scholar, a member of the University Honors Program, and an Honor Roll Recipient with High Distinction. Allison is also a recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award, for her work with the University Park Fire Department to develop a physical fitness and wellness policy and implement fire safety curriculum in four local elementary schools. On campus, Allison serves as a Resident Assistant for Kathy Crow Commons, on Student Foundation, as an executive officer for Mustang EMS, and as a Dedman College Ambassador. She recently returned from a trip to Israel with SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program. Allison is interested in pursuing research on U.S. health care policy, specifically its impact on emergency services and the uninsured.

Lexie Watson

Lexie is from Naples, Florida and is majoring in International Studies with minors in Chinese and Public Policy and International Affairs through the Tower Scholars Program. In addition to being an HCM Tower Scholar, Lexie is a Pre-Law Scholar and a member of the University Honors Program. Lexie is also involved in Armstrong Commons Council, the Student Senate Endowment Committee, and a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Lexie’s policy interests include education reform, immigration, and national security. Lexie hopes to gain a deeper and more practical understanding of public policy through her participation in the HCM Tower Scholars Program. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school and later use the skills gained through the HCM Tower Scholars Program to embark on a career that involves public policy and international relations.