Meet Our Summer 2023 Religion & Social Life Cohort!
Victoria Beede is from Salem, Oregon. She is a senior majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Legal Reasoning and Analysis on the Pre-Law track. Previously, she has interned as the Legal Advocacy Intern at the Family Abuse Center, a domestic abuse shelter in Waco. She is passionate about advocacy work with survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence and her volunteer work with Unbound Waco and Journey to the Streets has experience working in this field even more. She is thrilled to intern with the Center for Public Justice this summer as a part of the Baylor in Washington Summer Fellowship for Religion and Social Life.
Shea Berthelot is a senior from McKinney, Texas. She is studying American studies, International studies, and Military studies on the Pre-Law track and is a member of the Honors Program and the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. In the summer of 2022, she interned with the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Association’s legislative office and assisted in efforts to pass the Honoring Our Pact Act which provides active-duty troops and veterans with necessary healthcare support. Her main areas of interest are advocacy, legislation, civil rights, and most specifically voting rights. Shea serves as the Director of Policy for Baylor University’s Student Government. She has previously served Student Government as the Director of Extra-University Relations and as a freshman senator. Shea has also served as public relations chair of the Pre- Law Society at Baylor. This summer Shea is interning at Thrive Architects, a consulting firm. She is writing an undergraduate honors thesis on voter suppression, and she is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Baylor in Washington Summer Fellowship for Religion and Social Life. After graduating in May 2024, Shea plans to pursue a career in advocacy in Washington D.C. and obtain a graduate degree in either public policy or law.
Michael Chapple, Jr. is a junior from Jones, Oklahoma pursuing degrees in Political Science and Philosophy with a pre-law designation. A member of the Honors College, Michael is a student in the Honors Program and Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. On campus, he serves as President and Chief Executive Editor of the Baylor Undergraduate Law Review, Associate Justice of the Baylor University Student Court, and holds membership in the Baylor Pre-Law Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Golden Key International. He is also a William Carey Crane Scholar through Baylor’s Institute on Faith and Learning. Previously, he interned for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Judicial Conference, Oklahoma House of Representatives, and worked as an undergraduate assistant at the Baylor Law School. He currently serves as the Chief Compliance Officer for Limitless Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting health equity among underserved populations, and is an active member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. As an inaugural fellow for Baylor in Washington’s Summer Fellowship for Religion and Social Life, Michael will serve this summer in Washington, D.C. working for The Trinity Forum and Redeeming Babel. Following graduation, Michael hopes to attend law school and become an attorney.
Emma Firminger is a junior from Seattle, WA. She studies philosophy, religion, and professional writing and rhetoric. Her professional focus is on the intersection of ethics and expression. This summer she is interning with the Oversight Board, the independent Facebook free speech review board. Emma has previous editorial and program strategy experience working as a marketing manager for a medical clinic and communications associate for international non-profit CureJM. At Baylor she is part of the University Scholars program and serves on Honors Residential College leadership within the academic committee. After graduation, Emma hopes to either work in D.C. or attend law school while establishing a supplemental writing career.
Jay Jasti is a senior originally from Hyderabad, India. Jay will graduate from Baylor University in May 2024 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science on Baylor’s Pre-Law track, a Bachelor of Arts in economics, and a minor in Legal Reasoning and Analysis. This summer, Jay will intern at the International Religious Freedom Roundtable in Washington, D.C. Jay’s past experiences include serving the Rutgers University Police Department as a student officer on campus in New Brunswick, NJ, working as a fundraising manager at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a Hindu religious non-profit in Hyderabad, India, and as an admissions recruiter at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Jay is a part of the National Political Science Honorary Society, Pi Sigma Alpha. Jay is also a member of the Pre-Law Society on campus and is a leader and volunteer at a local Church in Waco, where he mentors and serves college students. After graduation, Jay plans to attend law school to pursue a career as a lawyer.
Logan Lee is a senior from Nacogdoches, Texas studying political science and pursuing a secondary major in corporate communication with emphasis in legal reasoning and analysis. Logan is interning for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and working in the House Republican Conference. His main areas of interest include public policy, foreign defense, and human rights advocacy. Logan previously studied as a Baylor in Washington Summer Fellow for Religion and Social Life in the inaugural cohort, where he interned at Religious Freedom Institute in the Middle Eastern policy office. At Baylor, he is a member of Student Government, Student Foundation Alumni Relations, Baylor Ambassadors, Alexander Hamilton Society, and a contributing writer for The Standard Newspaper. Logan has previously served as a student senator where he held the position of Finance Chair for the Senate Executive Council for Baylor Student Government. He is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honor society and works on campus as a tour guide for the admissions department. After graduation, Logan hopes to obtain a graduate degree in public policy or international relations with plans to return to Washington to work in foreign policy or in the non-profit sector advocating for human rights.
Grace Pfanstiel is a junior from Overland Park, Kansas studying English and Psychology on Baylor’s Pre-Law track in the Honors Program. This summer, Grace will be interning with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation as a research intern aiding in investigation and analysis of data at the NCOSE Research Institute. On Baylor’s campus, she is a member of Pre- Law Society, Baylor’s Triathlon Team, the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and a leader on the social committee of Baylor’s Honors Residential College Council. After graduation, Grace plans to attend law school to pursue a career as a family lawyer to aid children in the Foster Care system or to join the FBI to be a part of the Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. Grace is looking forward to the opportunity to spend the summer in our nation’s capital in order to better understand and appreciate our legal system and the legislative process.
Matthew Schreiner is a Senior from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina who is studying Economics and Philosophy on the pre-law track. As a member of Baylor's honors program, a BIC student, and CCM of Baylor's Honors Residential College, Matthew is highly invested in the success of his fellow honors students and is interested in many interdisciplinary realms of study. He has served as a legal intern for Jolley Law Firm in HHI, giving him the opportunity to learn how a firm works behind the scenes and increase his attorney-client relationship skills. This previous semester, Matthew began two major conference papers with the assistance of a professor in the communications department on the subjects of understanding judicial oligarchy through the rhetoric of James Kilpatrick and constructing an ideological response to the classism surrounding child labor laws in the United States. This summer, he will be interning with the Center for Christianity and Public Life in Washington, D.C. Matthew is currently writing a thesis for the honors program on the long-standing history between Stare Decisis and Originalism in the Supreme Court, and hopes to attend law school following his graduation from Baylor next year. This is the next step in his goal to one day become a constitutional lawyer.
Bridget Sexton is a senior at Baylor University and is originally from Leawood, Kansas. She is studying biology, international studies, and military studies as a University Scholar in the Honors College. She has also studied Spanish and Chinese. Last year, Bridget spent a semester in Scotland studying at the University of St. Andrews. Previously, Bridget has worked as a private tutor and as a range associate at Frontier Justice. Bridget is broadly involved at Baylor and is a member of Baylor Catholic Student Association, Sigma Iota Rho International Studies Honor Society, and the Alexander Hamilton Society. Bridget was invited to be Baylor’s delegate to the U.S. Army War College International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise and the Student Conference on National Affairs at Texas A&M University. This summer, she looks forward to interning at the National Security Institute at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School. After graduation, Bridget plans to pursue a career in national security and biodefense.
Gabriela Vela is a senior from Fort Worth, Texas. She will graduate from Baylor University in the Spring of 2024 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science with minors in legal reasoning and analysis and Spanish. She is a part of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, Baylor Honors Program, and on the pre-law track. Previously, Gabriela interned in the House of Representatives under Congressman Mark Amodei and is excited to intern at the National Security Institute at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School this summer. On campus, Gabriela is involved with Student Government, served as Vice President for Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity, and currently serves as Associate Editor for the Baylor Undergraduate Law Review. She is also involved with Baylor University’s Institute of Faith and Learning where she was selected as a William Carey Crane Scholar. After graduation, Gabriela hopes to attend law school to prepare for a career in public policy and national security.