Four Students From University at Albany, SUNY Empire State College, and Hudson Valley Community College Selected as Fall 2021 Center for Law & Policy Solutions Research Interns

Undergraduate research interns will partner with policy experts to study how COVID-19 information was communicated to rural communities by the State of New York

Albany, NY — The Rockefeller Institute of Government has selected four undergraduate students from the University at Albany, SUNY Empire State College, and Hudson Valley Community College for the fall 2021 Center for Law & Policy Solutions (CLPS) research internship, which partners students with policy experts to conduct intensive research on a topic of state or national importance.

This fall, the CLPS research interns will examine how the State of New York communicated information about COVID-19 resources to rural communities. At the end of the semester, they will present their findings to policymakers, researchers, and the public in a formal report and presentation. The students will be advised by Interim CLPS Internship Program Director Laura Decker, a communication and rhetoric scholar who focuses on how to design signs to overcome health problems.

The fall 2021 CLPS research interns are:

Kira Brainard
Kira Brainard is majoring in political science at the University at Albany. She is a member of the Presidential Honors Society and is the social media chair for Project Sunshine at UAlbany. Recently, Kira interned for New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal where she dealt with constituent concerns and aided with unemployment, testing, and vaccine issues related to COVID-19. After completing her undergraduate degree, Kira hopes to attend law school and potentially continue with policy research.

Joseph Creamer
Joey Creamer is majoring in political science and public administration at the University at Albany. On campus, Creamer served as the vice president of Generation Vote at UAlbany, an organization which promotes civic engagement. Most recently, he interned for US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, aiding staff across the state on various projects. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, Creamer’s goal is to pursue a master’s in public administration and continue his career in public service.

Carmel Harwood
Carmel Harwood is in her final year at SUNY Empire State College, earning her BA in political affairs with a concentration in legal studies. She graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Adirondack with her AA in creative writing and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Harwood has extensive working experience in customer service roles and most recently interned in the human resources department of the largest solar manufacturing facility in the United States. She intends to pursue a career focused on composing and managing contracts, as well as contractual law.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds is a community health navigation (CHN) student at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC). He is the current president and vice president for fellowship & service of HVCC’s Alpha Xi Sigma, a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Justin previously interned with the Center for Employment Opportunities, connecting individuals returning from incarceration to social services that empower them to build stable lives. After completing the CHN program at HVCC, Justin is committed to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public health.

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