Meet the Interns
Daniel Mejia-Cruz - Office of the President
A native of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and raised in Anchorage and Houston, Daniel Mejia-Cruz graduated with honors from Bowdoin College, with degrees in government & legal studies and history. While at Bowdoin, Daniel focused his government coursework on state building and global governance. A former Bill Gates Millennium Scholar and PPIA Fellow, Daniel is interested in the impact of globalization on international political economy. He has studied French, Spanish, and Arabic and is eager to commence an international career. Outside of his studies, Daniel was president of the Bowdoin Student Government, a contributor and editor at a number of campus publications, and a residential proctor and advisor. He recently completed an internship at a consulting firm, where he worked on projects for the United Nations, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and Human Rights Watch. He looks forward to his time in Cairo and is excited to join the AUC community.
Leila Ruiz - Office of the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance
Raised in Houston, Leila graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in economics with special honors and Middle Eastern languages and cultures. Leila enjoyed working as a student tutor at UT and has also held positions as a reporter for UT’s student newspaper, a crisis line assistant for a nonprofit and a research intern for a state representative. She has studied Arabic, Spanish, and French, and she spent a semester studying in Madrid during her junior year. Leila is passionate about access to quality education and the rights of refugees and has volunteered with Refugee Services of Texas throughout her time in college. She is particularly interested in international markets and wrote an economics thesis on sudden stop crises in emerging market countries. In her free time, Leila enjoys long distance running and breakfast tacos. Leila is thrilled to move to Cairo and join the AUC community!
Katherine Pollock - Office of Advancement and Communications, Communications
Katherine Pollock graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Brown University with a degree in Middle East studies. She is particularly interested in conflict resolution theory, Middle Eastern history and politics and postcolonial studies. At Brown, she was the editor-in-chief of the Brown Journal of World Affairs as well as a peer writing fellow. Raised in downtown Chicago, Katherine first discovered her love for the Middle East when, at age 16, she participated in Seeds of Peace, an international camp that brings together teenagers from conflict regions. Since then, she has studied abroad in Tangier, Morocco through the Critical Language Scholarship, interned with various organizations in Palestine and continued her involvement with Seeds of Peace as a youth counselor. In addition to her regional experience, Katherine was a communications intern at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. She is thrilled to live in Cairo and combine her regional interests and her passion for writing and communications.
David Chy - Office of Advancement and Communications, Advancement
David is a native of Providence, Rhode Island, where he graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, focusing on international and comparative politics. At Brown, David was particularly active in environmental student organizations and was a peer counselor for transfer students. He also worked on campus in the Office of Government Relations & Community Affairs, the Division of Advancement, the Office of Institutional Research and the Department of Sociology. Prior to attending Brown, David earned an associate’s degree from the Community College of Rhode Island, where he worked as an academic tutor. He has also previously worked for the City of Providence and for the State of Rhode Island. Having never before traveled outside of the United States, David hopes to fully immerse himself in the Arabic language and Egyptian culture.
Kara Fitzgerald - Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies
A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Kara graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Gettysburg College with a double major in international affairs and political science and a minor in Spanish. During her time at Gettysburg, Kara studied history and political science for a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina and studied modernization and social change while conducting independent research for a semester in Amman, Jordan. In addition, Kara taught English for a summer in Nicaragua and led a group of her peers on an educational trip to Morocco to study women’s rights and Islam. On campus, Kara worked at the Center for Public Service to coordinate immersion projects, sending Gettysburg students around the country and the world to explore social justice issues. She also worked as a community advisor for the Office of Residential and First-Year Programs. She hopes to ultimately pursue a graduate degree in international relations and a career that integrates her passion for diplomacy and education. Kara is excited to return to the Middle East to improve her Arabic and become a member of a new community.
Jacqueline Gill - Data Analytics and Institutional Research
Jacqueline Gill hails from San Jose, California. She braved the snows of New York City to study at Fordham University where she double majored in Middle East studies and political science. Jacqueline also spent a semester at Bahçesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey. She also volunteered in Istanbul at the Osmanbey Refugee Center. Jacqueline is particularly interested in studying the rights of minorities and displaced peoples within the Middle East and North Africa. At Fordham, she wrote her senior thesis on the fate of the Kurdish Regional Government and the state of Iraq in a post-ISIS and post-Sykes-Picot Middle East. She has also presented her research at the EastWest Institute on the political and economic issues that Tunisian communities on the Tunisia-Libya border face in light of tightened border regulations. She interned at the institute in the spring of 2016. She is thrilled to begin her professional career at the AUC, and to immerse herself in Egyptian culture and the Arabic language.
Tyler Karty - Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment
Tyler Karty grew up near the lakes and woods outside of Detroit. He received a B.A. in Arabic with the Language Flagship Program and a B.S. in crop and soil sciences at Michigan State University in Lansing. He studied Arabic in Morocco and at the University of Texas at Austin’s Arabic Summer Institute. Tyler believes in empowering students outside of the classroom. He served as greenhouse coordinator in the Plant Biology Club at MSU and was highly engaged in the university’s Horticulture Club. He pursued undergraduate research in the MSU Soil Biophysics Lab, where he managed the Subsurface Water Retention Technology (SWRT) research program, which improves yields and irrigation efficiency and reduces nutrient pollution from agriculture in sandy soils under drought conditions. He has worked for CHS Inc. under an agronomist in Minnesota and volunteered 400+ hours at the Greater Lansing Food Bank at an incubator farm targeting urban poverty. His academic interests include soil pedology and soil water sensors. He is eager to exercise his green thumb and likes spending time with his friends, swimming, exploring on his bike, cruising on his ripstick, and listening to music.
Suzi Kondic—Office of Sustainability
Suzi graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University with a double major in economics and environmental studies and a minor in French. While at Tulane, she studied abroad for two semesters. In Costa Rica, she had the chance to study environmental science from the field and research international conservation policy. In Paris, France, she lived with a host family and took economics courses at Université Paris-Diderot. On campus, she worked for Tulane’s Center for Public Service and helped develop experiential service projects for social entrepreneurship classes. A dual passion for economics and the environment led her to complete a senior honors thesis on the potential of impact investing to provide funding for tropical conservation. She is particularly interested in the sustainability of large institutions and hopes to have a global career. Suzi enjoys spending time outside, cooking, and seeing live music. This will be her first time in the Middle East and she’s excited to learn about the region’s environmental issues, join the AUC community, and try new foods!