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Meet the 2011 CfA Interns!

We’re so excited to have a bunch of new faces in the office: summer interns! Last week, over a dozen new recruits joined Code for America to work on projects ranging from design and code to policy and outreach — thanks in no small part to the support of Google Summer of Code and the other organizations that made this program possible for the students. They kicked off the internship last week with a mini-CfA Institute, with trainings on government and technology, and throughout the summer, they’ll receive mentorship and support from our fellows and advisors.

We’re very excited to see what this terrific, diverse, and talented class can do. For now, as the summer is just getting started, we’re pleased to introduce you to the 2011 CfA Summer Interns:

2011 CfA Summer Interns

Ronaldo Barbachano has a background in Journalism, Graphic Design (University of Alaska Anchorage), Urban Planning (San Francisco Art Institute) and more recently Open Unix Systems (San Francisco City College). He specializes customizing and deploying web application frameworks to make them easy, intuitive, and simple for the users. He also creates music on the side for fun, along with experimenting in video, graphic design, and photography. Ronaldo will be building tools for developers this summer to get quick access to government data.

Chris Barna is studying political science and math at Santa Clara University. He is passionate about open government and open data, and has experience building useful applications both inside and outside government. In Fall 2010, he interned with the FCC’s new media team helping with the FCC.gov redesign project, which has been widely regarded as the standard bearer for modern government websites. But when he’s not programming in Javascript, PHP, Ruby, or Python, you can probably find him playing alto saxophone or reading. This summer, he’ll join the team working on the Open311 Dashboard.

Ashish Mittal is studying Computer Engineering at the University of Mumbai, India. He specializes in data storage technologies and workflow systems. He created the data backup and query system for Sakai CLE, a leading educational tech platform, and has developed numerous web applications which focus on solving real time problems. He enjoys exploring new things and has a passion for innovation. This summer, he will join the team working on the Open 311 Dashboard to help citizens, administrators, and policy makers take advantage of 311 data.

Justin Stoller is currently a senior at the University of Oregon, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Political Science and Economics. He has taught himself several programming languages over the last several years and hopes to go into a career of programming after graduation. He was drawn to Code for America, since it brought together what otherwise seem like widely divergent interests: technology, community, and government. This summer, he’ll be focusing on the Open311 Dashboard project and chipping in across the board.

Code for America TeamStanford Rosenthal is a computer science major and communication/visual design minor at Washington University in St. Louis. Originally from New Orleans, Stanford first got involved in web design and civic activism as a freshman in high school following the Katrina levee failures. Beyond coding and designing, Stanford enjoys live music and relaxing outside with friends. This summer, Stanford will be focusing on building developer tools on top of open government data to jumpstart civic coding.

Blake Hall is a senior at the University of Kentucky, majoring in Computer Science. He’s a ruby enthusiast and amateur photographer. He love cheeseburgers, coffee (not together), his Mac, and videogames. He has developed web apps and built email servers. He is looking forward to contributing to the open source movement and helping local governments and developers work together more. This summer, he’ll be working with a team of interns to build developer tools for government data sets, enabling bootstrapped civic coding.

Jenny Mace is a third year student at the University of Edinburgh, currently studying through an exchange program at the University of Chicago. She is majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics — the only solution to finding two academic subjects equally fascinating. She plays clarinet in the UChicago Chamber Orchestra and sings with its Motet Choir. Her copious free time is spent practicing contact juggling & watching sci-fi shows. She is also fiercely British, and has completed three consecutive National Novel Writing Months. This summer, she will be working on the ShortStack project, with an emphasis on text analysis and tagging.

Nancy Ouyang has a strong interest in social issues and has a background in software development and graphic design. Her previous work includes working on an eighteen-servo hexapod, designing the PWN Poverty [2015] logo, and creating an ad for her university’s Student Art Association. She likes orange narwhals, documentation, and making things, and she is currently pursuing a BS as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Class of 2013. In addition to supporting CfA’s ongoing projects, Nancy will be building tools for developers to leverage open government data.

Aditya Pai is a rising Junior at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) in Claremont, CA, majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). At CMC, he works as Institutional Development Manager at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government and serves as student body Vice-President. Last summer, he researched demographics trends in San Diego, while sharpening his web skills; this summer he hopes to apply those experiences to help CfA with its policy and outreach needs, particularly those surrounding recruiting the next class of fellows. After graduation, he wants to work in Silicon Valley or California politics and loves playing basketball (poorly) and guitar (even more poorly) in his free time.

Karen Rustad is a master’s student at UC Berkeley’s School of Information, studying UI design, product management, and miscellaneous webappery. Karen grew up in Minnesota and calls Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Portland, Oregon, her second and third hometowns. She received her B.A. in Media Studies from Scripps College in Claremont, California. Prior to starting grad school, Karen worked on free/open source software community-building website OpenHatch, did freelance web and graphic design, and served on the board of Students for Free Culture. Karen will be working with the Civic Commons team this summer to help build their interactive, community-driven catalog of civic applications.

Bailey Smith is a master’s student at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information, where she specializes in user experience design and general information wrangling. She builds clean, attractive, and user-friendly interfaces for various web sites and web apps. She has visualized data, animated poetry in Flash, and lived in North Carolina, France, Maine, Brazil, and, finally, California. In her free time she enjoys cooking without recipes and reading science fiction, fantasy, and young adult fiction. With Code for America, she will be working on the design of various projects, but focusing on the Open 311 Dashboard.

Linh Vuong earned her undergraduate degree in political science at UC Berkeley with a focus on disasters and conflicts, which she followed up with another three years doing research in criminal and juvenile justice. Equally frustrated and motivated by the growing number of social problems and mounting governmental challenges, she decided to go back to school, and she is currently earning a Masters in Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She loves sewing, french fries (well, all good food, really), reading, and trying new things. This summer, Linh will be cataloging and analyzing disaster response technology to help governments understand their options in a crisis.

Zach Williams is a web developer from Fort Worth, Texas. He is currently finishing up his BS in Computer Science at Tarleton State University, and regularly contributes to civic, community-supported software projects. Several of his past projects have focused on data analysis and data visualization, including Texas Employed, a dynamic illustration of employment trends, and Avenue Insights, a web app providing rich, contextual information about locations. Zach will be working on building developer tools this summer with Code for America.

Timothy Yoon is a senior at Duke University, double0majoring in Economics and Public Policy. A techie at heart, Tim works for Duke’s Office of Information Technology as a multimedia specialist and technology seminar trainer. He also was one of the program designers for Duke’s inaugural TEDxDuke conference. In addition, he co-founded Food for Thought, an experimental middle school nutrition program in Durham, North Carolina. As an intern this summer for Code for America, Tim is excited to explore the intersection of his technology, business, and policy interests. On the side, he is also known to (attempt) beatboxing while in public.

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