Student Opportunities

Meet the Fellows

The Vinson Institute Fellows Program is an educational opportunity for UGA's undergraduate students interested in state and local government. Meet our current Vinson Fellows students.

Meet Our Spring 2024 Fellow

Jacob Coleman

Jacob Coleman

Major: Ecology and Sociology
Division: Infrastructure and Community Resilience

Jacob Coleman is a second-year Ecology and Sociology student pursuing a certificate in Urban and Metropolitan Studies. As a Vinson Fellow, Jacob worked with the Infrastructure and Community Resilience division to explore the implementation of government policy, government training, and interactions between the public and the government.

He currently serves as the SGA Senator for the School of Ecology. He has participated in the Redcoat Marching Band as a clarinet player and has served on the Sustainability Grants Selection Committee for UGA’s Office of Sustainability.


Meet Our Fall 2023 Fellows

Sara Anis Ali

Sara Anis Ali

Major: Political Science and International Affairs
Division: Survey Research and Evaluation Support 

Sara Anis Ali is a second-year student studying Political Science and International Affairs. As a Vinson Fellow, Sara was interested in evaluating restorative programs for juveniles to determine their effectiveness. Ali completed her research project with the Survey Research and Evaluation division.

Sara has interned at the Solicitor General's Office and District Attorney's in Fayette County. During her internship at the Solicitor General's Office, Sara conducted a project analyzing the Conditional Discharge Program for misdemeanor marijuana possession.    

Jai Gonzales

Jai Gonzales

Major: Geography
Certificates: Urban Studies and GIS
Division: Government Services and Research

Jai Gonzales is a senior student studying Geography, with certificates in Urban Studies and GIS. They completed a research project with the Government Services and Research division.

They have done research with UGA’s Community Mapping Lab on black spaces in Athens, including Brooklyn Cemetery and Hot Corner. They recently completed a fellowship with Trees Atlanta where they mapped and added trees to the catalog of the newly-created Atlanta Beltline Arboretum. In addition, they currently work at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, where they have organized a cohort of students in garden-oriented learning/ development while assisting with caring for the landscape.

Meera Srinivasan

Meera Srinivasan

Graduating: May 2026
Major: Political Science
Division: Survey Research and Evaluation Support

Meera Srinivasan is a second-year student studying Political Science at the School of Public and International Affairs. As a Vinson Fellow, she worked with faculty mentor and Public Service Assistant Brian Simmons in the Survey Research and Evaluation Support division.

Prior to becoming a Vinson Fellow, she conducted research on a variety of topics, including prison labor, zero-tolerance policy in education, drug crime and discrimination in sporting spaces. Meera works as a communications staff member at The Backpack Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit aimed at alleviating the burden of homelessness throughout the Southeast. She is also a Legislative Fellow with the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program.



Program Coordinators

Madison Drummond picture

Madison Drummond

Student Engagement And Programs Manager

Carl Vinson Institute of Government logo

Camille Rogers

Program Co-Coordinator and Graduate Research Assistant


Learn more about the Vinson Fellows Program