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Fall 2014 CCDE Fellows

Rigoberto Chavez

cal class of 2014

Rigoberto Chavez is a graduating senior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Spanish Literature.  His academic and professional interests are focused on the ways in which socio-economic factors affect access to education. As a student from an underserved background, he can firmly attest to the fact that he has oftentimes needed to work harder than some of his peers in order to achieve similar goals.  Thus, he finds this topic personally compelling and wishes to participate in the UCDC program during the Fall 2014 semester in order to learn about policy solutions that can improve educational access, as well as how to mobilize citizens behind such policy initiatives.  Ultimately, he considers that in doing so he will gain valuable experience that will help him turn these interests into a career in politics.  He will also be applying for law school by the end of the year in an effort to increase Latinos’ legal representation, which they are currently lacking.  On campus, Rigoberto was involved with the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), UC Berkeley Model United Nations (UCBMUN), and the OASES tutoring program. Read his story.

Brittney Griffin


Brittney Griffin is a senior at UC Berkeley, double majoring in Media Studies and English Literature. Brittney will be spending the Fall 2014 semester in Washington, D.C., in the UCDC program where she will be interning at the State Department Bureau of Public Affairs. Brittney has a passion for media and foreign affairs, and she is excited to apply the knowledge she has gained at Berkeley while interning at the State Department. She will be working with the Office of Public Liaison, where she will work to advance the Department’s work at home and abroad and, most importantly, to engage and educate the American people about foreign policy. The Public Liaison staff achieves its work through briefings, conferences and other events throughout the nation. On the UC Berkeley campus, Brittney works for the independent, non-profit newspaper, the Daily Californian, as the Assistant Development Manager. Her experience at the Daily Cal helped Brittney discover her passion for public service, and Brittney cannot wait to hone that passion while in Washington, D.C. Brittney aspires to work in foreign service and hopes to call D.C. her home one day. Read her story.

Victor Phu


Victor Phu is a junior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Social Welfare with a double minor in Public Policy and Education. Victor's study at UC Berkeley has shaped his perspective on how minorities are particularly affected by unseen public policies that negatively affect their everyday experiences and overall lives. Education policies disparately affect students of different ethnic, social and economic groups, which results in shockingly low numbers of minority students entering higher education. Victor strives to create a public higher education system that is accessible and affordable to underserved students. He wants to provide students the toolkits to reflect on their struggles and be civically engaged and politically aware. As a UCDC fellow, Victor will be one step closer to understanding how to create that change through national government and grassroots organizing. On campus, Victor is involved and affiliated with the Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment & Retention Center (REACH!), Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD), and Southeast Asian Student Coalition (SASC). Victor is also the director of the West Coast Asian Pacific Islander Student Union (WCAPSU). Read his story.