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Meet The Team

Director of Professional Development

Co-Director of Community Relations

Co-Director of Community Relations

Director of Finance

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Holly Milburn-Smith

Holly Milburn-Smith is a Master of Public Policy student at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She earned a B.A. in Social Justice from Transylvania University, a liberal arts college in her home state of Kentucky. Before arriving at USC, Holly worked in social service provision and non-profit program management both domestically and internationally. Some of her favorite professional experiences include working with incarcerated mothers and their children in New York state prisons, managing workforce development programs for justice-involved youth in Chicago, and developing educational programming for children with disabilities in Haiti. In her free time, she enjoys weeknight concerts, traveling, and running on the Strand (because it’s flat).

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Riley Carbonneau

Riley Carbonneau is currently reinforcing her professional experience in the non-profit sector through a Master of Public Administration at USC’s Price School of Public Policy, where she is motivated by new opportunities to engage in workforce development initiatives that help people access and prepare for the future of work. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Washington College on the quaint Eastern Shore of Maryland, but originally hails from Vermont. Since arriving at USC, she has interned with UNITE-LA, a workforce development non-profit that provides career path opportunities to LA youth,  and  for the federal government at GAO, where she assisted the Strategic Planning and Foresight team to address and prepare for challenges the government will face in the future. Riley spent the year before graduate school volunteering and traveling in Asia with the Taipei Community Services Center and the Red Cross. Mentorship and community building continue to be central focuses for Riley, who currently volunteers with Mentorship for an Accessible Price and serves as Co-Executive Director of Community Relations for Price Women & Allies.

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Hazel Yang

Hazel Yang is a second-year Master of Public Administration student with an Arts Leadership concentration as she loves learning about the intersection of arts and public service. Originally from Beijing, China, her interest in gender and cultural equity began with an inspired heart to push for change. She has previously worked as an intern at Public Matters, an artist-led social enterprise for civic engagement, where she conducted nationwide research on resources for social enterprises and how philanthropy was responding to COVID-19. She is also an active member of USC Visions & Voices and Circle K International. While studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Peking University, she went to University of Singapore as an exchange student and took the opportunity to visit surrounding South-east Asian countries to learn about their cultural heritage. It is an honor for her to serve as the co-director of community relations at PWA. She looks forward to incorporating cultural diversity and inclusion into PWA’s mission and contributing innovative ideas to allow international students to bring new perspectives to the table and discuss what matters to the generation.

PWA Leadership Board


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Sabrina Alonso

Sabrina Alonso is a 2nd year Master of Urban Planning student and PWA’s Co-Executive Director. She currently works as an environmental planner, consulting various jurisdictions throughout Southern California on their California Environmental Quality Act compliance. Ms. Alonso earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies. Growing up between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ana Mountains, she developed a passion for exploring the natural world. Through her education and career, Sabrina has spent time educating elementary school students about sustainability and water conservation. She has been inspired by the women that have paved the way before her within the sciences and hopes to be an advocate for other women in any given field they might choose.

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Katie Lee

Katie Lee is a Master of Public Policy student at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and one of the Co-Executive Directors of PWA. Katie was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and moved to the East Coast to earn her B.S. in Biology at Haverford College, a small liberal arts college right outside of Philadelphia, PA. Upon graduating, she stayed in Philadelphia and joined the undergraduate admissions team at Haverford College, playing a direct role in admitting students and building community on campus. Katie became passionate about education policy and social justice particularly during her time as an admission officer, which is what led her to pursue her MPP at USC, along with getting the opportunity to return to her home state. She has become more and more interested with how policy is communicated and how to be an advocate to empower underrepresented communities.

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Catt Phan

Born in Vietnam and raised in Orange County, she was raised by resilient immigrant women. Growing up in equality and income disparities strengthened her resolve to advocate for marginalized communities which has become the foundation of her career. After graduating with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Catt worked in fund development and mental healthcare for older adults at the same nonprofit that helped her family when they first came to the U.S. Understanding the importance of civic engagement and cultural representation, she serves as the Orange County South Field Coordinator for the California Democratic Party. As one of the youngest and only Asian staffer on the Coordinated Campaign, she is responsible for coordinating 2 Congressional, 3 CA Assembly, and 1 CA Senate race in the 2020 elections. When she is not organizing, she is sheltering in place and pursuing her Master of Public Administration at the University of Southern California.

Co-Executive Director

Director of Communications

Co-Executive Director

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Dinara Serikova

Co-Manager of Operations

Dinara Serikova is a second-year Master of International Public Policy and Management student
at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in International
Law and Foreign languages in her home country of Kazakhstan. Having a passionate eagerness
for public service, Dinara dedicated more than ten years of her work experience to working for
the government. Before coming for a graduate study at USC, Dinara was working as a successful
manager serving in the position of Head of Division for International Law and Cooperation
Department at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan. She was engaged in the
provision of legal expertise of international treaties drafts and activities of the Humanitarian
Dimension Committee of Commission for Expanded Strategic Partnership between Kazakhstan
and the United States. The issues of interest involved partnership in human rights issues,
development of the civil society, rules of law, and cooperation in the fields of education and
culture. Dinara speaks Kazakh, Russian and English languages. 
From the Spring Semester of 2020, she is serving as Senator in International Public Policy and
Management Program. Right now, she is passionately waiting for exploring new issues and
opportunities to make a relevant contribution to the PWA’s mission and strategy. Dinara’s
dedicated passion both for studies and working at PWA will serve as a solid background to
achieve her career goals.

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Yifan Yu

Yifan Yu is a future public administrator with a sense of responsibility and self-motivation. She is currently a Master of Public Policy student at USC. She developed an interest in providing effective and efficient public services during her study in a business administration major at China Agricultural University from 2015-2019 since she visited rural areas in China and got in touch with marginalized people. Yifan is now interning at the Farmlink Project as a fundraising intern and a marketing/media intern, where she uses the impact of social media and data analysis to track the impressions and collect funds to tackle food waste during the COVID-19 Pandemic across America. She is also an intern in Sichuan Zhixin Youth Social Innovation Organization, where she develops and launches a new program that helps the marginalized youth in China to learn job skills and to seek job opportunities. The experience made her realize systematic and sustainable ways can improve public administrative work. She believes that data can change the world, and data analysis is vital in public administration. She is dedicated to continuing her passion for helping impoverished people by volunteering and working in non-profit organizations. In her spare time, she is interested in museums, especially in history and arts.

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Skyler Kretz

Director of Operations

Skyler Kretz is a 2nd year Bachelor of Public Policy student, completing her undergraduate studies at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. In her degree, she has a concentration in law as well as being on the pre-law track. Having created her own clubs in high school for female empowerment in STEM, coupled with her drive to become a more invested member of the Price community, PWA is a perfect combination of her ambitions and passions in life – serving as Director of Operations. Having lived in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for most of her life, she is not afraid to be far from home, finding comfort in meeting new people and experiencing new places. Over the past three summers, she has studied abroad in Spain, completed an internship at the Lazarex foundation for cancer research, and interned at Ronik-Radlauer Group, Inc, a health and human services nonprofit that helps groups attain their goals locally and nationally. In her free time, she enjoys exploring LA, painting, and meeting new people.

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Jeanai Celestin

Co-Manager of Operations

Jeanai is a Master of Public Policy student at the Price School of Public Policy. She is originally from Boston, but after earning a B.A. Economics from the University of Massachusetts, she moved to the west coast for a career in the consulting industry. While Jeanai worked she was a board member of the firm’s women’s and black inclusion networks. During that time, Jeanai mentored on a weekly basis a local elementary school in the LA area. She’s always excited for opportunities to lift as she climbs and is looking forward to a career where she can create positive societal impact and solve important problems. Jeanai enjoys curating collaborative music playlists, volunteering, and Pilates

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