Meet our columnists
Anu Roy-Chaudhury is a sophomore in LSA studying political science and sociology. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Anu has long had an interest and passion for politics. She has worked on numerous local and state campaigns in the past years as well as in U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s office. She is currently involved in the University's chapter of College Democrats, a member of the Undergraduate Political Science Association and on the executive board of EKOAMAZON, a nonprofit student org. Her main interest in politics is the connection between policy and inequalities among race, gender and wealth.
Ashley Zhang is a freshman, a writer who suffers from chronic writer’s block, a baker with an insatiable sweet tooth and a self-proclaimed “city girl” who grew up in the embrace of sweet suburbia (or, rather, a lovely town called Troy, Michigan). She is a mess of contradictions or a hypocrite — call it what you will. New to campus and adoring her first taste of independence, Ashley can often be found overbooking her schedule with overlapping mass meetings, creating frozen yogurt masterpieces in all seven dining halls and running to catch the last bus to North Campus — the epitome of the freshman experience, obviously. With a love for innovation and health care, Ashley plans on majoring in biomedical engineering, possibly pursuing a creative writing minor and a pre-medical track as well. She is incredibly excited to find her place on campus and in the world, and can’t wait to share her journey with readers of the Daily.
Brett is a junior studying political science and French with a minor in history, as a member of the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College. This is his third semester writing for the Daily’s Opinion section, and he looks forward to exploring the possibility of becoming even more opinionated than he already is. An avid political junkie and sports fan, he can most often be found quoting “The West Wing” to no one in particular or explaining why his New York Mets will be winning the World Series next year. Originally from the great Garden State, he longs for a decent slice of pizza or an acceptable bagel somewhere in the Midwest.
Chris Crowder is a junior from Flint, Michigan, studying communications with a minor in writing. He is also an editor on the sports desk at the Daily and leads a small group with New Life Church. In his free time he likes to write poetry and drink protein shakes.
C.J. is a sophomore aiming to major in political science or public policy. He was born and raised in Manhattan, and is an avid Knicks and Steelers fan. He writes for the Daily, is the philanthropy chair for his fraternity and does research with the University’s Political Science Department. Last year, C.J. worked on a project called “Bipartisanship in the U.S. Congress,” and this year he’ll be working on a project evaluating the financial health of public sector pension plans across the country. He has interned at MSNBC and volunteered for local campaigns. His interests include demographics, policy issues and political campaign strategies to invest in and target certain areas. He has no idea what he wants to do with his life.
Clarissa is a senior in the Residential College studying women’s studies and arts and ideas in the humanities with sub-concentrations in English literature and Latin American literature and culture. She’s aware that’s a mouthful. She’s writing an honors thesis exploring masculinity in “Breaking Bad” and “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” Unsurprisingly, she writes about gender issues (but is dissatisfied with how not-intersectional that sounds). She has kind of a creepy obsession with Junot Díaz, spends a weird amount of time on obscure Wikipedia pages (think: Vladimir Demikhov) and watches a lot of Netflix. In her free time, she thinks about how she should be a vegetarian, tries to speak Spanish to herself out loud and in an Argentine accent, decorates her living space with cat paraphernalia and argues with men who take up too much space.
Hi! My name is Isaiah Zeavin-Moss. I’m a junior (so old) from Brooklyn, N.Y., studying English and American Culture. These days, I listen to a lot of Travis Scott / Anderson Paak / Hiatus Kaiyote and I go into the kitchen every now and again to eat peanut butter off of a spoon. I also write a biweekly opinion column for The Michigan Daily. This semester, I’ll be writing about the ongoing political election — specifically, the ways in which the media portrays the candidates and the goings-on. I see the characters in our political discourse being transformed into TV characters who change every time we see them. They are shaped in "episodes," their most recent gaffe or outfit or oddly colored face comprise all we consume. And I believe, finally, that there’s a connection to be drawn between this mode of narrativizing and our collective inaction in the political process.
Jason Rowland is a sophomore working toward a major in public policy, with a particular interest in examining social and urban policy and their effects on inequality. For the past few years, Jason has been heavily active with nonprofits in the poverty-stricken city of Norristown, Pennsylvania. He hopes to relay the lessons from these experiences to readers, as well as to educate people who may not have been exposed to situations of institutional inequality.
Jeff Brooks is a first-generation college student and a sophomore in LSA currently pursuing a degree in communication studies and a minor in political science. He is especially interested in how the portrayal of social issues and political candidates in the media impacts our political behaviors, and firmly believes in the importance of compromise and understanding in all aspects of life. A self-professed lover of all things nerdy, Jeff considers himself a comic book aficionado and is fascinated by history, particularly World War II and his favorite president, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Kevin Sweitzer is an LSA sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in urban studies. He is The Michigan Daily’s only Detroit-based columnist as a Semester in Detroit participant this fall and a proud Michigan native. Kevin is also an avid follower of all things related to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Readers should expect in-depth analyses of current issues in Detroit, and how they relate to the rest of Michigan and the United States. Finally, he urges his readers to believe in and frequently visit the Motor City.
Max Lubell is a junior in LSA, originally from Los Angeles, California. He primarily writes about local and state policies and elections, and how they affect those living in Michigan. He studies sociology with a sub-focus in law, justice and social change. Max’s interests include researching and writing on progressive and complex social issues and policies. Max’s policy interests include, but are not limited to, topics involving education, urban inequality, health care and climate change.
Max Rysztak is a junior at the University studying political science and applied statistics. His columns will bring a conservative perspective to current events such as election news, politics and policy debates. Max’s experiences as a Center for Trade and Economics intern at The Heritage Foundation, president of Students for Rubio at the University of Michigan, secretary of Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity and the University's chapter of College Republicans provide him with a great background in public policy and conservative politics. He is originally from Traverse City, Michigan, and loves downhill skiing, volleyball, current events and everything Michigan Football.
Melissa Strauss is an LSA senior double majoring in political science and Middle Eastern and North African studies. She is from Rockville, Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. Last winter, Melissa spent the semester studying abroad in Rabat, Morocco, learning about North African culture and practicing her Arabic. This summer, she worked as a policy intern for the Truman National Security Project. She has previously worked for Senator Debbie Stabenow and with the National Governors’ Association. She is deeply interested in foreign policy and national security, and particularly the impact of these issues on the upcoming election.
Michael J. Mordarski is a junior at the University studying political science. He attended Michigan State University for a full year studying business administration before deciding he wanted to focus his studies on politics and writing. His articles focus primarily on national- and state-level politics, Arab-American relations and national security issues. An avid reader and well-informed political news addict, he hopes to speak to readers on a variety of issues often overlooked by the media. Michael is active on campus, participating in the Michigan Political Union, the University's chapter of College Democrats and Outdoor Adventures. He hopes to work for either the defense or intelligence community before pursuing a career in politics.
Michael Sugerman is a senior in the Ford School of Public Policy with a focus on the intersection between media and policymaking. He is from Los Angeles, California, where he enjoys swimming in the ocean and playing with his dog, Penny. His writing career began humbly with a monthly middle school column, “What Grinds My Gears,” where he wrote about such topics as fun-sized candies and annoying younger siblings. He has previously worked for the Daily as a student government beat reporter and a senior news editor advising the administration beat. He currently has a box of 175 York Peppermint Patties at his house, where you’ll likely find him enjoying one on the porch swing.
Roland is a senior in the Ford School of Public Policy with a focus in media policy and a minor in women’s studies. His hobbies include using Tinder as LinkedIn, LinkedIn as Tinder, and long walks on the beach. His life goal is to seam so twinkling and ironic that nobody bothers to correct his spelling errors.
Victoria is a Ford School of Public Policy senior studying international economic policy. She is super interested in international intellectual property law and political economics. Since you're probably not, her column will focus on national politics and University policy. Her favorite activities include running, dancing to Kanye West circa 2004 and contributing to class discussion with excessive enthusiasm. Victoria will happily expound her ideas to anyone willing to read them, but would love to know what you think about the issues she writes about — feel free to reach out.