The Interns 2016-2017

Hannah Forsyth was born and raised in West Chezzetcook, a small Acadian community in Nova Scotia. She attended Dalhousie University, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science and a minor in Economics. In addition to her studies and community volunteer work, Hannah is an elite-level sprint kayak athlete. In May 2016 she represented Canada at the Canamex regatta held in Mexico. Hannah is very passionate about her sport and she has worked to establish the Equal Opportunity Fund in the Atlantic Division of Canoe Kayak. The fund helps athletes overcome financial barriers to the sport. Given her athletic and academic background, Hannah’s research interests are health and wellness initiatives, gender and sport, community outreach and economic development. She is thrilled to be part of OLIP and is eager to experience and learn from all that the programme has to offer.

Sara Gajic was raised in Pickering, Ontario, and recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in English and Political Science. Her interest in politics originates in political theory, and particularly in the role that virtue-based thinking can have in politics. Sara spent three years as a writer and front-line advisor for the Innis College Registrar’s Office, which gave her a crash course in writing about university policy. Having also written for her university’s newspaper, she felt prepared to take on a year-long Senior Thesis project. Sara spent two years as a residence don at the University of Toronto, providing academic, peer and crisis support for students. Sara has also worked as a legislative usher at the Ontario Legislature, which allowed her to see how political theory can inform governance at the provincial level. She is honoured to be part of that process in 2016-2017 as an OLIP intern.

Hannah Iles developed an interest in provincial and federal politics during her time as an Information and Education Officer at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. She completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in History and an International Studies Certificate from Queen’s University, Canada, where she had the opportunity to study abroad at the Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux, UK. Additionally, she earned a Master of Arts degree with distinction from University College London, UK, specializing in Holocaust Studies. Hannah has had the opportunity to live and study overseas on numerous occasions, including experiences in Switzerland, England, and most recently in Poland. Hannah is interested in Canadian and European history and politics, specifically with respect to race, racism, and multiculturalism. She is also interested in electoral reform in the Canadian context. Hannah is eager to continue learning about public policy, provincial politics, and the legislative process through her experience with OLIP.

Jacob Larocque-Graham is a proud Franco-Ontarian, born and raised in Ottawa. He is a recent graduate of Carleton University, having completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management. Jacob’s research interests have focused primarily on health, indigenous affairs, and development. During his studies, Jacob enjoyed sharing his knowledge and supporting students as a teaching assistant for an economic philosophy course. France was his adopted country in 2013, when he studied at l’Université Pierres Mendes in Grenoble. Following his studies, he was honoured to help commemorate the exploits of Canadians through his work for Veteran Affairs as an interpreter at the Vimy Ridge and Beaumont-Hamel Memorials. Jacob also worked as an interpreter at Rideau Hall and the Parliament of Canada, where he shared Canadian history with the public. Jacob looks forward to being part of OLIP and getting an insider’s perspective on the legislative process at Queen’s Park.

Stephanie Lowe developed her passion for politics while covering local events as a summer radio reporter in her hometown of Owen Sound, Ontario. Stephanie is a recent graduate of OISE’s Master of Teaching Program within the University of Toronto and is an alumnus of Ryerson University’s School of Journalism where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree. While at Ryerson, Stephanie worked as a news intern at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s London, UK bureau. Her experiences in newsrooms and teaching placements in Ontario elementary classrooms have contributed to Stephanie’s interest in the impact that provincial politics has on the lives of all Ontarians. Stephanie has researched a wide range of policy issues including education, the environment and how legislative decisions affect those living in the province. She is now thrilled to be a member of the 2016-2017 OLIP team to learn about provincial politics from inside the Legislature.

Leslie Muñoz is a proud member of the Colombian diaspora and has lived in Ontario since 2004. Prior to OLIP, she attended Carleton University in Ottawa where she received a Master of Arts Degree in Political Economy and a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management degree with a Specialization in Human Rights. During this time Leslie’s research focused on migrant justice, immigration policy and settler colonialism (a type of colonial formation) in the Canadian context. She also enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate on research projects in Peru, the UK and in the Ontario region. Outside of academia, Leslie had the pleasure of participating in Canada’s G7/G20 Summits team while working as a Policy Analyst at Global Affairs Canada. This past year she was also able to pursue a passion in municipal governance through an internship opportunity with her local City of Ottawa Councilor. Leslie is looking forward to gaining first-hand experience in provincial politics and is particularly excited by the opportunity to engage with constituents and other stakeholders in Ontario’s democratic process.

Rachel Nauta was born and raised in the rural community of Blenheim in southwestern Ontario. Growing up, Rachel had a passion for all things Canadian. This passion led her to study in Canada’s capital at the University of Ottawa where she completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours degree, specializing in Public Administration. During two of her summer breaks, Rachel travelled to Jonquière and Trois Rivières, Québec to study French and improve her second-language skills. In Ottawa, Rachel volunteered for CAUSE, an organization that provides free tutoring to homeless and vulnerable populations, where she developed an interest in education policy and social welfare programs. Throughout her studies, Rachel focused on bureaucracy, and is now looking forward to learning about the legislative process through OLIP.

Alexander Overton was raised in the Ottawa valley but considers London, UK to be his second home. While spending time abroad, Alexander developed a passion for intercultural communication and international affairs. Strongly interested in politics, he recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University in Political Science and Law, with focus on development and political and legal structures in China. Throughout his undergraduate degree, Alexander pursued a variety of interests, including varsity sports and public service with Passport Canada and the Canadian High Commission in London. He has also maintained a strong link to his campus community, volunteering in many roles across university departments and representing Carleton University for two years as a student ambassador to partner universities in China. Recognizing the vital role politics plays in the lives of all Canadians, Alexander is excited to participate in the 41st cohort of OLIP interns and expand his knowledge of the legislative process and the day-to-day processes of governance.

Kyle Sholes is from Maple Ridge, British Columbia – a small city just outside of Vancouver. He attended Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario where he completed his Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Political Science.  Kyle also studied abroad at L’institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) for one semester in his third year. While at Huron, Kyle was involved with both student and municipal politics, serving as a member of the Huron University College Students’ Council and the London Youth Advisory Council. Through his academic and extracurricular experiences Kyle has become particularly interested in the ways public policy decisions are influenced by individuals, lobbyists, and think tanks. As he explores his future educational and professional paths Kyle looks forward to the learning opportunity OLIP presents.

Emily Trudeau was born and raised in Northern Ontario, splitting her time between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay. In 2014, she graduated from McMaster University, with a  B.A.Sc. Honours degree from the interdisciplinary Arts & Science Program. In the fall of 2016, she will graduate with a Masters of Arts degree in Political Science from the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. During the summer and fall of 2015, she studied at Saint Petersburg State University and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and completed an internship at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala Universitet, Sweden. Her research interests include Russian history and contemporary politics, particularly intersections between civil society and the state, gender relations, and the use of media by the government. Emily is honoured to have been selected as an OLIP intern and is excited to apply her knowledge of international politics to the provincial level.