Five students have been selected as recipients of the 2021 Vote100 Summer Fellowship. Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), and the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, the Vote100 Summer Fellowship is an internship program focused on promoting voter and civic engagement within the Princeton community.
In its second year, the Vote100 Summer Fellowship provides students with various opportunities to learn about and support voter and civic engagement on Princeton’s campus and beyond. Over the course of ten weeks this summer, the Vote100 Fellows will work collaboratively with one another and various Princeton administrators to implement strategies that will increase campus voter registration and participation, as well as foster a spirit of civic engagement amongst Princetonians.
Fellows were selected from a competitive pool of applicants and are involved in a wide variety of co-curricular activities, including Princeton Football, Mock Trial, Princeton Association of Black Women, and Princeton Against Gun Violence.
Yenet Tafesse is a rising sophomore originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but in the US she is from Fairfield, Iowa. She intended to major in either Electrical and Computer Engineering or Computer Science BSE. She is considering getting a certificate in Neuroscience or African American Studies and Robotics. On-campus, she is a member of Scholars Institute Fellows Program, Princeton African Student Association, National Society of Black Engineers and she is the treasurer for Princeton Association of Black Women. As a Vote100 fellow this summer, Yenet is excited to work toward increasing civic participation at Princeton and making it more available and easier for others.
Ana Blanco is a member of Princeton’s Class of 2023. She was born in Cuba and raised in the always sunny Miami, Florida. Ana is concentrating in Public Policy and International Affairs with certificates in French and Latin American Studies. She currently serves as the co-president of Princeton Against Gun Violence and is the political engagement cohort leader for the Civic Leadership Council. Ana additionally plays on the women’s club basketball team. In her free time, Ana enjoys going to the beach, biking, playing basketball, and watching movies. She is extremely passionate about activism and advocacy and is very excited to be a Vote100 Fellow this summer!
Theo Gross is a rising sophomore looking to concentrate in Politics and earn a certificate in French Language and Culture. He is active in Jewish life on campus, having served as Social Events Chair on the CJL Student Board and First-Year Representative on the Chabad Student Board in the spring semester. In addition, he is also involved with the Pace Center’s Civic Leadership Council, with whom he recently helped organize a panel of experts from media and politics to discuss misinformation. In his free time, he enjoys running, fishing, and playing frisbee. Theo has previously acted as a Vote 100 Ambassador and is excited to continue promoting civic engagement on Princeton’s campus.
Michael Ruttlen Jr, is a rising junior pursuing a concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) who is also considering certificates in Global Health Policy and Spanish. On campus, he plays on the Varsity Football team, serves as the out-reach chair for the Black Student Athlete Collective (BSAC), and is also involved with Christian Union Nova and AIA. Next year, Mike will also be an ARCA in Butler college. Recently, he has had the opportunity to gain more knowledge in the field of public health and health policy through his internship with the Arthritis Foundation during the summer of '20. This experience has largely developed his interest in how policy making generally affects society through voting policies, health care, and equity as a whole. Mike is excited for the opportunity that Vote100 has given him to improve civic engagement on campus and to increase voter turnout within our community.
Joe Shipley is a rising senior from New York City, concentrating and pursuing a certificate in Russian Language and Culture. He is a member of the Princeton Mock Trial Team and a tutor with the Petey Greene Program. He also works for the communications staff of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students. As a second-year Vote100 Fellow, he looks forward to building Vote100 into a self-sustaining campus institution that promotes civic engagement during and between election years and instills every aspect of life at Princeton with social responsibility.