Emily Baker

Emily Baker is a Campus Vote Project Democracy Fellow at JMU Civic. She is a senior majoring in Political Science and English with a minor in Political Communication. In addition to her work at the Madison Center, she is President of her sorority, Phi Mu, and serves on JMU’s Student Government Association.

Anna Connole

Anna Connole is a senior pursuing a double major in Political Science and Communication Studies with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. Anna has been a Democracy Fellow with JMU Civic and Campus Vote Project since her first year at JMU and sits on the CVP Student Advisory Board. Anna is excited to additionally serve as the Legislative Affairs Committee Chair of the Student Government Association. In these positions Anna focuses on fighting to create a campus climate that is equitable, inclusive, and conducive to civic participation.

Charles Conner

Charles Conner is a Campus Vote Project Fellow with JMU Civic, focused on recruiting JMU students to serve as Poll Workers on Election Day. Charles is a sophomore majoring in Political Science and History, with minors in Public Policy and Administration and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. He is the current President of the Class of 2023, a member of the Student Government Association, the Chief of Staff of the College Democrats, a brother of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, and an Oxford comma enthusiast. His favorite fields of Politics and History are Criminal Justice and Nation Building. Charles is an active advocate for students, he wants to help JMU become one of the most civically involved campuses in the country. 

Pronouns: he/him/his

Kyle Ford

Kyle Ford is a Senior from Woodstock, Virginia majoring in Economics. In addition to his work with JMU Civic, he is a former active duty member of the United States Army and current member of the United States Army Reserves. He previously worked as a Legislative Staffer and Political Director for Virginia House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert and as a Field Director for Daniel Gade for United States Senate. His main interest is increasing civic engagement amongst rural communities, the minority groups within them and those who have been disenfranchised through the criminal justice system.

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Nadiya Khaydari

Nadiya Khaydari is a junior pursuing degrees in Political Science and Economics. At JMU, she serves as a Senator in the Student Government Association. Outside of JMU, she is a co-founder and part of Senior-Leadership at Cville 1st Gen which aims to help students overcome challenges and pursue higher education.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Nikki Oppenheimer

Nikki Oppenheimer is a junior majoring in Marketing with a minor in Spanish. In addition to her work at JMU Civic, she is a member of the Women’s Basketball team. She has also served on several panels advocating for social justice and the importance of voting.

Drew Persinger

Drew Persinger is a Campus Election Engagement Project fellow at JMU Civic. He is a Senior pursuing a major in Political Science with a minor in International Affairs. In addition to his work with the center, he is a Co-Director of Virginia21’s chapter at JMU and a brother of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. He is also continuing research on the US Census and Harrisonburg refugees after presenting at the 2018 JMU Engagement for the Public Good Conference.

Pronouns: He/Him/His


Ryan Ritter

Ryan Ritter is a sophomore from Chesapeake, Virginia majoring in History and International Affairs with a concentration in Middle Eastern comparative politics. He is also pursuing a minor in Modern Foreign Language—Arabic. In addition to his work at JMU Civic, he currently serves as a Student Government Senator, Vice-President of the College Democrats, President of the Quiz Bowl Team, and a Poll Defender at MTV’s +1ThePolls. He is passionate about ensuring safe and equitable ballot access—especially among fellow students.      
Pronouns: he/his


Katrina Tilley

Katrina Tilley is a Campus Election Engagement Project Democracy Fellow at JMU Civic. Katrina is pursuing majors in Public Policy and Administration and Media Arts and Design with a minor in Theatre. In addition to her work at the center she serves on JMU’s Student Government Association and as a student volunteer board member for OSARP. Her main interest is giving voice to underrepresented groups. She enjoys fashion, watching movies, and being surrounded by great company. 

Pronouns: she/hers

Mary Tolentino

Mary Tolentino is the Woodson Martin Democracy Fellow at JMU Civic, focusing on the immigrant communities in the Shenandoah Valley. Mary is a sophmore and pursuing a degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Medical Spanish. As a high school student, Mary discovered an interest in advocating for minority groups through various extracurricular programs. She enjoys spending time in nature and listening to music.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Kyel Towler

Kyel Towler is a Democracy Fellow at JMU Civic. Kyel is pursuing a major in Communications Studies with a minor in Human Resource Development. In addition to his work at the Center, he is a Centennial Scholar, Organization Manager for JMU’s Student Coalition Against Racism, and is a student volunteer/assistant for Campaign Communications. His main interest is to make more room for consideration with people who face oppression in any facet. He enjoys poetry, anime, philosophy, and selling homemade cheesecakes.

Pronouns: He/him/his

Katelyn Waltemyer

Katelyn Waltemyer is a senior Media Arts and Design major and a communication studies minor. Outside of her work at JMU Civic, she works as the Editor of The Breeze, which is JMU's award-winning student newspaper. Katelyn enjoys being and encouraging others to be civically engaged.

Pronouns: she/hers

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