Meet our columnists
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, Mich.). 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.
Anu Roy-Chaudhury is an LSA sophomore 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. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office. She is currently involved in the University's chapter of College Democrats, is a member of the Undergraduate Political Science Association and is on the executive board of EKOAMAZON, a nonprofit student organization. Her main interest in politics is the connection between policy and inequalities among race, gender and wealth.
Chris Crowder is a junior from Flint, Mich., 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.
Corey is a freshman in the Residential College and this is her first semester writing for The Michigan Daily. She plans to major in international studies and Spanish. Despite living in Michigan all her life, she still complains about the weather. If it is snowing, raining or below 70 degrees, she can be found inside watching “Last Week Tonight,” “Parks and Recreation” or listening to The Arcs. When Michigan weather decides to be nice and warm, she goes outside just to wander around aimlessly. She also loves superhero movies, embarrassing herself by trying to roller skate or ice skate and the Detroit Institute of the Arts.
Gina is a senior studying cognitive neuroscience. Her interest in writing stems from her high school creative writing class, thanks to her teacher’s encouragement. She is an avid conversation seeker — you can find her starting the wave at the Tiger Stadium, talking to strangers at the mall and coordinating group projects at school, but you can also find her in solitude at local coffee shops. In future, she wants to accomplish two things – become a YouTube star and a life-learner as a professor and author.
I’m a pre-law junior in the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. I am highly interested in the inner workings of government as well as the legislative issues of multiculturalism that face our country today. My coursework is focused on topics of human rights and international development, religious freedoms and the role of culture and democracy, and spent the past summer researching minority rights acceptance in 14 Middle-Eastern constitutions through the National Science Foundation. I am looking to expand my understanding of these topics as they pertain to the law and government. My desire to help other nations stems from this interest in legislation. I have been leading efforts to understand the refugee crisis at the University of Michigan as president of Humanity First through the largest Syrian refugee benefit dinner on campus.
Lauren Schandevel is a second-year student from Warren, Mich. She is currently pursuing a degree in political science with a concentration on social class and education policy. Her column focuses on higher education from the perspective of a working-class, first-generation college student to whom an elite status and access to myriad opportunities is entirely new. She is extremely active in the political culture on campus, dividing her time between the Daily and the University’s chapter of College Democrats. In her free time, she enjoys reading, consuming caffeinated beverages and taking poorly timed and questionably deserved naps.
Mary Kate Winn
Mary Kate Winn is a senior studying public policy, Spanish, and crime and justice. She is interested in many different areas of policy and law, particularly: immigration, sexual assault, terrorism and criminal justice. She has interned in various legal offices and firms, which has taught her a lot about criminal and immigration law. Eventually, she hopes to become a lawyer and save the world and whatnot. Mary Kate grew up in northern Michigan and currently lives in the Metro-Detroit area. Last year, she spent a semester studying in Madrid, and now pretends like she is cultured. Don’t let that fool you. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, biking, backpacking and procrastinating. She’s excited to share her thoughts, ideas, experiences and knowledge through her column over the course of the semester.
Megan Burns is a sophomore in LSA majoring in philosophy and psychology. Apart from being a columnist, Megan is involved with Students for Choice and the Gifts of Kindness Advisory Board. She works in the BioSocial Methods Collaborative, and her research interests include motivated perception, consciousness and behavioral science. In her free time, Megan enjoys reading modern poetry whilst eating Cheetos, drinking tea, looking at photos of former President Barack Obama and listening to NPR. Her favorite book is "A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine" L'Engle, and she loves dogs.
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, Calif., 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,” in which he wrote about such topics as fun-sized candies and annoying younger siblings. He has previously worked for The Michigan 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, and you can likely find him enjoying one on the porch swing.
Michelle is a freshman who loves to share her ideas about the vastly changing society we live in today. She is a freshman who plans to apply to the School of Information and minor in creative writing. In her free time, she loves to design pages ;), eat the Opinion Desk’s pretzels and sleep every now and then. She loves opinion and thinks you should read our section because it will enlighten your life.
Nicholas is currently an LSA freshman studying political science with hopes of studying public policy in the Ford School. For his first semester writing for the Daily’s Opinion section, Nicholas’ columns will cover political events and policies through a conservative lens. He is currently a member of Kappa Alpha Pi, a professional pre-law fraternity on campus, and will be interning in Ottawa this upcoming summer for a senator in Canadian Parliament. Once upon a time, in a place far, far away from New York City, he was born and raised in Rochester, N.Y. His interests include campaign strategy, current events, college and professional basketball and tennis. He longs to meet LeBron James and urges his readers to remember that the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
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 (sic) so twinkling and ironic that nobody bothers to correct his spelling errors.
Sarah Leeson is a senior from Canton, Mich., studying communications with minors in French and writing. This is her second semester writing columns for the opinion section and she looks forward to getting deeper into her own head and exploring what makes her tick (although she already knows it’s mainly dogs and pasta). A nerd at heart, she spends a great deal of time watching Netflix comedy specials, cartoons and funny video game footage for “research purposes.” When she’s not gorging herself on cake or making gifs of sharks rollerblading, she’s working to improve her writing in order to be the next great comedy writer.
Victoria is a 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.
Zach Cascalho Cox is a junior dual-degree student in both the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and LSA studying voice alongside communications and media studies. He hails from Ann Arbor, and enjoys the convenience of having his parents being a brief walk away whenever he needs a care package or hug. He is a proud member of the Men's Glee Club, currently in its 157th year of song. When not at Glee Club rehearsal or trapped in the Moore Building on North Campus, Zach can be found typing away at his laptop in the Reference room of the Hatcher Graduate Library. In what remains of his spare time he manages to run, read, cook, make memes and take funny pictures of squirrels on campus.