2015-2016 Executive Board


Rachel Neuburger
Chappaqua, New York
Class of 2018
Environmental Science

Rachel is a third-year from Chappaqua, New York studying Environmental Science and English. Aside from UC Dems, she volunteers teaching health education in Chicago Public Schools with Peer Health Exchange and dances with Rhythmic Bodies in Motion. Rachel has been a liberal as long as she can remember, but binge-watching the West Wing in her senior year of high school inspired her to get involved in politics in college. She enjoys environmental microbiology and speaking French. Last summer, she interned in the Senate.


Mikala Cohen

Executive Director
Weston, FL
Class of 2018
Political Science and Environmental Studies

Mikala is a second-year from South Florida, majoring in Political Science. In addition to her work as Executive Director, she serves as the House Manager for UChicago’s Institute of Politics and the Chair of the IOP’s News and Views Committee. A staunch Democrat for as long as she can remember, she first got seriously involved with politics through her organizing fellowship with the Charlie Crist for Governor campaign in Florida. Continuing with this trend, she worked on two additional campaigns during the 2014-2015 midterm election season and as a legislative intern for her representative to Congress in Washington D.C.

Currently, she is working in the Hyde Park Office of State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie, where she conducts legislative research, aids in constituent services and helps manage Representative Currie’s activities on social media. Clearly, she has worked for too many campaigns and political offices to know better, and she plans to continue her foray into politics this summer as an intern in Washington D.C.


Sonia Schlesinger
Communications Director
Washington, DC
Class of 2018

A DC native, Sonia has been around politics for as long as she can remember: she voted for Al Gore in her pre-K class’s mock election and attended Kerry campaign events with her dad, a political journalist. Since then she has become a huge West Wing fan and has volunteered for several state and national campaigns, starting with Obama’s in 2012. In addition to UC Dems, she is involved with the Maroon, South Side Weekly, and Women in Public Service Program at the Institute of Politics.

Sonia is currently abroad in London!


Daniel Jellins
Events Director
Houston, TX
Class of 2018
Law, Letters and Society

Daniel grew up in Houston, TX, and from a very young age has been interested in Presidential History. Today, he has over 100 books and has expanded his interests from Presidents to the Supreme Court to current politics. Further, Daniel has been to 10 out of 13 Presidential Libraries and desires to see them all as quickly as possible. In the summer of 2013, he interned at Congresswoman’s Sheila Jackson Lee’s office (D-TX), working on constituent services and helping to organize a Town Hall with 5 U.S. Congresspeople about immigration.

During the summer of 2014, Daniel was an intern for Houston City Councilman Larry Green. There, he worked on designing a new slogan for the new Go-Green initiative in the City of Houston, and helped work on the city ordinance about Ride-sharing companies. Last summer, Daniel continued his work on Uber/Lyft regulations and worked at the Texas State Speaker’s office, specifically with the Parliamentarian, and researched ways Texas could pass regulation on ride-sharing companies. Daniel desires to expand these interests and in the intersection of laws and new technologies.


Nico Aldape
Political Director
New York, NY
Class of 2018
Public Policy Studies, Human Rights Minor

Nico has lived in San Francisco, Houston, and New York and is excited to be in Chicago. He is passionate about political work, and interned for former Houston Mayor Annise Parker and at the City Hall office in Manhattan as a legislative and policy aide for New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams. Council Member Williams is chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings and a co-chair of the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence.When not working, Nico’s hobbies include playing guitar, listening to music, and writing Facebook statuses.


Ryan Thornton
St. Louis, MO
Class of 2019

Ryan is a first year studying Economics and possibly Political Science or Public Policy. Ryan first got involved with politics by listening to Rush Limbaugh on long car rides with his grandpa and making fun of him. Ryan got more seriously involved with politics when he began to discuss politics with all of his high school friends and he began to read as much as he could so he would always be able to one up them in their frequent debates. Ryan will be working on Chris Koster’s gubernatorial campaign over the summer, and when Ryan is not discussing politics or reading about politics, Ryan does Model UN and plays tennis.