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CHIP Success Stories

The Hobby School of Public Affairs' Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP) offers government internships to University of Houston students each fall and spring semester. Since its inception, the program has placed over 1000 interns in local political offices.  Here are just a few of the many success stories:

Melissa Arredondo: Chief of Staff, Council Member Amanda Edwards
Fall 2007: Commissioner Sylvia Garcia
Spring 2008: Council Member Melissa Noriega

Roel Benavides, Jr.: Legislative Aide, State Representative Ed Thompson
Fall 2014: Congressman Pete Olson

Stephen Bjune: Training Manager, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Spring 2007: Mayor Bill White, Office for Volunteer Initiatives

Christopher Busby: Teacher, Sam Houston Math Science Technology Center
Fall 2009: Council Member Mike Sullivan

Candace Caruthers: Program Director, Prevent Blindness Texas
Fall 2014: Council Member Larry Green

Yesenia Chavez: Legislative Assistant, Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva
Spring 2013: Council Member James Rodriguez

Matthew Conner: Deputy Regional Director, U.S. Senator John Cornyn
Fall 2012: Congressman John Culberson

Jeanette De Los Santos: Community Outreach Coordinator, United Way of Greater Houston
Fall 2001: Quantum Consultants

Carlos Doroteo: Attorney, Berg & Androphy
Spring 2004: State Representative Rick Noriega

Natasha Egharevba: Law Student, Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Fall 2008: State Senator Rodney Ellis

Traci Elsner-Buttram: Deputy Chief of Staff, Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen
Fall 2010: State Representative Ellen Cohen
Spring 2011: State Representative Jessica Farrar

Russell Etherton: Manager of Community Relations, Legacy Community Health -Montrose
Fall 2009: Annise Parker for Mayor Campaign

Cassie Gianni: Graduate Student, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Spring 2011: Controller Ron Green
Fall 2011: Controller Ron Green
Spring 2015: Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Development

Shannon Harris: Executive Assistant, United Airlines Government Affairs
Fall 2001: League of Women Voters

Nick Heisig: English Copy Editor, Lopez Negrete Communications
Fall 2013: State Senator Rodney Ellis

Mirel Herrera: State & Local Account Executive, NGP VAN
Spring 2008: Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate Campaign

Carla Hulsey: Senior Community Relations Specialist, UT Health Science Center at Houston
Fall 2010: Commissioner Sylvia Garcia
Spring 2011: Council Member Ed Gonzalez

Maria Ivanez: Law Student, South Texas College of Law
Fall 2011: Barrio Dogs of Houston
Spring 2012: NALEO Educational Fund
Fall 2012: Council Member Ed Gonzalez

Jessica Iwobi: English and SPED Teacher, Hastings High School
Spring 2011: Council Member Ed Gonzalez

Estefani Jimenez: Project Manager, Texas Commission on Environment Quality
Fall 2012: State Senator Mario Gallegos

Valerie Luna-Pena: Director of Constituent Services/Scheduler, Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen
Spring 2013: Council Member Ellen Cohen

Josh Malone: Attorney, Latham & Watkins LLP
Spring 2010: Environment Texas

Cody Miller: Service Learning Project Manager, ELCA National Youth Gathering
Fall 2014: Council Member Ed Gonzalez

Alexander Obregon: Deputy Director, City Controller Chris Brown
Fall 2008: Council Member Ron Green

Emma Oliver: Constituent Services Coordinator, City of Houston
Spring 2014: State Representative Carol Alvarado

Melissa Peña: Teacher, Fort Worth ISD
Fall 2011: Lone Star Strategies, LLC

Shawn Portales: External Affairs Manager, Tejas Tubular
Fall 2010: Council Member Ed Gonzalez
Spring 2011: Congressman Gene Green

Paige Powell: Office Manager, Air Alliance Houston
Fall 2006: Council Member Peter Brown

Robert Quarles: District Director, Congressman Pete Olson
Fall 2000: Council Member Mark Ellis
Fall 2001: Chris Bell for Mayor Campaign

Emina Sadic: Graduate Student, Sciences Po Paris
Fall 2010: Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations

Paula Santamaria: Office of the U.S. Executive Director, Inter-American Development Bank
Spring 2013: Council Member Ed Gonzalez
Fall 2013: Council Member Ed Gonzalez

Eric Schroeder: Assistant Program Manager, Houston Recovery Center
Fall 2014: State Representative Garnet Coleman

Eiman Siddiqui: Capitol Director, State Representative Rick Galindo
Fall 2014: State Representative Jim Murphy

Hillary Sotello: Assistant Project Manager, Rand Construction Corporation
Spring 2009: Houstonians for Responsible Growth

William Souraphath: Cloud Services Manager, Procter & Gamble
Spring 2014: Commissioner El Franco Lee

Katherine Summerlin: Financial Analyst, Harris County Toll Road Authority
Fall 2005: Council Member Ronald Green

Binsu Wang: Case Manager, American International Group
Spring 2012: Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, Election Division

Rasheed Warsame: Leadership and Advocacy Programs Officer, Education Above All
Spring 2012: Council Member James Rodriguez

Kelly Waterman: District Director, Congressman Brian Babin
Fall 2007: U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Fall 2009: Texans for Kay Bailey Hutchison Campaign

Cody Wheeler: Council Member, City of Pasadena
Fall 2010: Rick Molina for State Representative Campaign

Eric Widaski: Constituent and Community Affairs Director, Council Member Mike Laster
Spring 2011: Council Member Melissa Noriega

Janae Williams-Winfield: Senior Director of Constituent Relations, Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen
Spring 2010: State Representative Ellen Cohen

James A. Winston II: Legislative Aide, State Senator Rodney Ellis
Fall 2014: State Senator Rodney Ellis
Spring 2015: Council Member Jerry Davis

Navid Zanjani: Founder & Partner, America Strategies
Fall 2008: Barack Obama for President Campaign, Florida
Fall 2009: Organizing for America

Are you a former CHIP intern and would like to be listed on this page?  Do you want to have your current information on this page updated?  Contact Isaiah Warner at