March Leading Women

This month, our chapter highlighted two leading women not only for their academic achievements, but for the fantastic professional opportunities that they have been pursuing for the upcoming summer. 

Annika Reno, a junior at Barnard College who is majoring in political science and human rights, is a Truman Scholarship finalist this semester. Of hundreds of applicants, only a few candidates are selected as finalists from each state. Annika was one of three Barnard students named as finalists for the award, so we are incredibly proud of her for this fantastic achievement. Speaking about why she applied, Annika explained, "I applied for the Truman Scholarship because I intend to pursue a career in public service following graduate school. Driven to address the criminalization of mental illness in my home state of California, I hope to one day create policy for diversionary programs that reduce incarceration and improve access to treatment." 

Annika has had a number of internships in public service that led her to apply for this scholarship, including at United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office and the U.S. Policy and Advocacy team at the Global Citizen Festival. At Columbia, she is on the leadership board of Peer Health Exchange and as board member of the Political Science Student Association. She is currently a research assistant to Columbia Law Professor Carol Sanger and last semester studied human rights abroad in Nepal, Jordan and Chile and conducted her research around perceived opportunities for political participation in emerging democracies.

Our second leading woman of the month is Marielle Greenblatt, a senior at Barnard College who is majoring in political science and Latin American studies. Marielle is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for the upcoming year. She received this incredibly prestigious award after a months-long interview and evaluation process, in which she had to be recommended and evaluated by a number of her professors here. In September, Marielle will head off to Mexico to conduct research as well as teach in a school there for the Fulbright program. Additionally, she will be working specifically on immigration policy while she is there, which has been a big part of her experience at Columbia. About her decision to apply to the Fulbright program, Marielle said, "I wanted experience teaching and doing immigration policy while polishing my Spanish. It seemed like an experience that would make me a stronger immigration advocate and lawyer." 

Marielle has interned at the ACLU previous to this experience, where she worked for their immigrants rights litigation team. This experience not only reinforced her desire to pursue a law degree, but it also was an essential formative experience that convinced her to apply for the Fulbright. After her experience at the ACLU, she was especially interested in seeing immigration cases like the one she worked on from the Mexican side, which she will able to do during her Fulbright experience. Marielle is of mixed Mexican-American descent, so going to Mexico is also giving her to opportunity to learn more about her family's history and the country itself. After her year studying and teaching for the Fulbright, Marielle plans on attending law school.