Meet the Fall 2021 UNIC Washington Intern Team



Jissel Aceves is a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, studying Legal Studies and Political Science with a concentration in Comparative Studies.

Prior to working with the UNIC, she interned at the Social Justice Collaborative, which is a non-profit organization in the Bay Area that is dedicated to protecting the rights of refugees in the United States. While working at Social Justice Collaborative, Jissel assisted in the development and production of ‘Asking Advocates’, a podcast for the UC Berkeley chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Jissel also has extensive research experience in gender equity issues across the globe. In 2019, she went on a humanitarian trip to Guatemala to volunteer at a community hospital.  During this trip, Jissel assisted in conducting interviews with native Guatemalan women regarding their access to menstrual health. In May of 2021, she was published in the California Legal Studies Journal for her work, The Civil War that Never Ended: Gender-Based Violence in Guatemala.





Riley Lankes is a senior at the University of South Carolina, studying International Relations and Information Science. He is also a member of the South Carolina Honors College.  Prior to working for UNIC, Riley has been active in undergraduate research in the South Carolina Political Science Department.

His work over the past 3 years has primarily focused on gender and foreign aid, with a focus on the effects of gender on the allocation of development aid by elected officials. He has taken courses at the graduate level on U.S. Foreign Policy and International Relations. His research work is ongoing, with one paper under review for publication, and a separate senior thesis project on the properties of development aid given to autocratic regimes in the works.

Riley also works as a student ambassador for the South Carolina Honors College and has served as the head officer of the organization. This position has also extended into work as an Honors College Orientation leader, where he designed, led, and presented the 2020 and 2021 Honors College Orientation programs to each years’ incoming honors freshman class.  Riley is interning for UNIC in DC through the South Carolina Washington Semester Program.

He is a passionate advocate for funding blood cancer research, and for supporting cancer patients and their families. He works with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise money and awareness each year in honor of his father, a blood cancer survivor. Riley is a bone marrow donor, advocate for the diplomatic solution, is currently applying to graduate programs outside the U.S. to continue his studies of foreign relations with an international perspective.




Salina Temesghen is a graduate student at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. She holds a B.A in Global Affairs from George Mason University concentrating on inequalities and responses. Salina focuses her studies on climate change, social inequality, and human rights. She has experience interning on the Hill and interning with Virginia on Air as a Social Media Manager. At the Better Evidence Project, she handled social media and promoted events.






Matthew D. Weber received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Human Rights from the University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis and working full-time, Matthew was selected to study and reside at the University of California Washington Center (UCDC). Additionally, Matthew was selected as a member of the University of California Center Sacramento (UCCS). These professional centers allowed Matthew to intern with UCCS and as a Congressional Intern in Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s Washington D.C. Office. He has had the opportunity to collaborate with professionals on data collection, research projects, and the management of communications between constituents and representatives.

Post-graduation, Matthew has assisted Dr. Amber Boydstun at the University of California, Davis, and his efforts have recently led to a research grant through the university in order to fund his participation. His primary interest in human rights has contributed to his interest in volunteering both abroad and within the United States.

He looks forward to continuing his professional development as an intern with the UN and applying to PhD programs for the following year.




Summer 2021 Interns Staying on Through part of the Fall 2021 Semester: 


Tristan Gutbezahl is a recent graduate of the University of Washington, Seattle. He graduated with degrees in International Studies and Political Science with a minor in English.

Prior to working with the UN, Tristan interned for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs. He has previously interned for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer Association.

During his undergraduate career Tristan volunteered with Rohingya refugees at the OASIS Devon center, assisting in education development and coordination. He continues to be involved in Medieval studies research and is currently working on a scholarly project examining the Celtic influences in Beowulf.

Tristan recently passed the Foreign Service Officer Test and is continuing on the FSO selection process.




Lauren Jarvis is a junior at Baylor University studying Economics, Political Science, and International Studies.

She has previously interned with Blueprints Lab and the University Lab to Market Collaborative as a project manager for new tech commercialization and has worked with Integrity Communication to develop virtual courses on debate strategy and foreign policy topics including counterterrorism, sustainable development, and globalization.

At Baylor, she has served as a Research Assistant in the Political Science Department, implemented special events for the Honors College, won international awards as a Model UN delegate, and volunteered at a center for homeless youth. She has also built and managed her own business SpeechMakers to provide in-depth research videos and courses on EU immigration policy for high school debaters.

Currently, alongside work at UNIC, she is being trained in American grand strategy as a Hamilton National Fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Society.

United Nations Information Center (UNIC), Washington, D.C.



Visit our internships page to learn more about the internship and how to apply.