The Bob Graham Center, in cooperation with the University of Florida Office of Government and Community Relations, has selected 10 UF students to intern in positions throughout Florida’s government during the 2021 Tallahassee legislative session.
The students are:
- Tina Bhatt
- Brandy Camp
- Julia Canady
- Ian Chorrushi
- Mateo Haydar
- Grace Johns
- Alex Merrill
- Sofia Mingote
- Rocio Montero-Mask
- Ethan Sawyer
Each year, the Center’s Tallahassee Internship Program offers placements for up to 15 UF students to gain firsthand experience working at the highest levels of Florida’s executive, legislative and judicial offices. Since the program’s inception in 2009, 151 students have been placed in Tallahassee internships.
Interns are typically required to live and work in Tallahassee during the full duration of the legislative session. Below are brief bios of this year’s Tallahassee internship recipients.
Tina Bhatt is in her second year at UF, majoring in political science and minoring in business administration. She currently serves as the secretary for the Bob Graham Center Student Fellows and is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity. She has presented research at the Florida Collegiate Honors Council Conference and she sat on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of the Suncoast. Tina plans on attending law school after graduating.
Tina will serve in the Office of Senator Lori Berman representing Palm Beach County!
Brandy Camp is currently a junior at UF working toward a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She recently transferred from Jacksonville University where she was a student in the Honors College. She intends to attend law school upon graduation.
Brandy will work with the Office of Senator Annette Taddeo representing Miami-Dade County!
Julia Canady is a UF senior from Lakeland majoring in agricultural communications, with minors in leadership and agricultural law. Julia is the chair of the American Enterprise Institute Executive Council at UF, the Executive Director of Keystone Florida with Florida Blue Key, and the co-founder and chair of Engage Florida. After graduation, Julia hopes to work in government relations and advocate for the economic development and growth of Florida and local communities.
Julia will intern with the UF Government and Community Relations Office advocating at the state level for the university’s mission to strengthen the state through education, research, and public service!
Ian Chorrushi is in his third year at UF studying economics and history, specializing in legal history. Fascinated by the fields of constitutional, media, and environmental law, he hopes to learn more about the history and practice of American government and jurisprudence. Outside of the classroom, Ian writes for the Florida Political Review and is a member of the Graham Center Student Fellows.
Ian will serve in the Office of Representative Ben Diamond representing the St. Petersburg area!
Mateo Haydar is a fourth-year student pursuing degrees in economics and political science, with minors in international development and humanitarian assistance. Mateo is the chair of Student Government’s Chomp the Vote agency, the co-founder of Engage Florida, and a member of Florida Blue Key. Currently, he interns with the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Venezuela Desk. Mateo is interested in U.S. leadership in the world and economic development at home and abroad. He is a native of Barranquilla, Colombia and grew up in Miami.
Mateo will work with Ballard Partners, a respected bipartisan lobbying and PR firm!
Grace Johns is a junior from Bradford County majoring in English. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school and one day work in politics and public policy. Through her work with Students Working Against Tobacco and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Bradford County, Grace has found a way to combine her interest in politics and public policy with advocacy and community service to prevent tobacco use in young adults.
Grace will intern in the Office of Representative Paul Renner representing Palm Coast!
Alexandra Merrill, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, majors in telecommunication and minors in the pre-law track at UF. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, serves as a hearing officer with the UF Student Conduct Committee, and is a Florida Cicerones student ambassador. She has previously served as a digital marketing intern with Kontek Industries of North Carolina. Alexandra hopes to pursue a career in the federal judiciary.
Alexandra will serve in the Office of Senator Keith Perry representing Alachua County!
Sofia Mingote is a UF junior from Bradenton pursuing a double major in telecommunication and political science. She is a producer and anchor for WUFT’s local cut-ins for NPR’s All Things Considered, serves as the Freshman Leadership Council’s director of membership, and is a university ambassador for the Florida Cicerones. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school to become a political news correspondent or a lawyer.
Sofia will work in the Office of Representative Bobby DuBose representing central Broward County!
Rocio Montero-Mask is a UF junior studying political science and minoring in pre-law track. She was the Student Government President at her community college, an intern for the Office of Senator Lori Berman, and recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award at Palm Beach State College. Rocio has interned with the Kat Cammack campaign and is a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She is also the UF Student Government’s assistant director of leadership and development.
Rocio will intern with the Office of Representative Chuck Clemons representing Alachua County!
Ethan Sawyer is a UF junior majoring in political science with double minors in leadership and anthropology. He likes to stay busy, work out, and spend time with friends and family. As a senior at Columbia County High School, he served as statewide president of the Florida Association of Student Councils. He currently interns with the Florida Association of School Administrators, an organization that advocates on behalf of Florida public schools. Upon graduating, he plans to work in politics.
Ethan will serve in the Office of Representative David Silvers representing Palm Beach County!