Matsui Center Cal-in-Sacramento Fellows

Irene Virginia Kou

Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

Irene Kou (she/they) is a sophomore intending to major in legal studies at UC Berkeley. Growing up as a first-generation, Asian American student living in a low-income community, she wants to further her understanding of the challenges she and others have faced first-hand. This past summer, she served as Co-Student Director for Cal-in-Sacramento and interned at the Federal Defender’s Office. She also researched the generational differences in Asian communities using Holistic versus Western medicine. For the 2023-2024 cohort, Irene will serve again as Student Director and aims to...

Swasti Johri

Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

Swasti Johri is passionate about tackling housing insecurity and houselessness in the Bay Area and beyond. Having worked with Hamilton Families and Small House Inc., she is an ardent supporter of combining the housing first approach with multi-faceted, research-based solutions to the symptoms and causes underlying poverty. She centers her work around sustainability and environmental justice; she is a firm believer in indigenous remediation techniques and carries an appreciation for time and human-tested practices into her work.

Silas Nathaniel Kanady

Class of 2025
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

My name is Silas Kanady, and I am from the central coast city of Santa Maria, CA. Currently, I am a junior transfer student at UC Berkeley, pursuing a major in social welfare and a minor in public policy.

Before embarking on my academic journey, I dedicated my young adulthood to serving as a soldier in the Army. With combat deployments under my belt in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I had the privilege of honing my leadership skills while serving as a Sergeant in the legendary 101st Airborne Division. These experiences profoundly impacted me and forever altered my...

Samuel García Durá

Class of 2027
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

Born and raised in Spain, Samuel was interested in politics since he was a student in high school. He went on to pursue a double degree in law and international studies at Carlos III University in Madrid. At his university, he had the chance to meet public servants that regularly came to give conferences at the university. It was through meeting and talking to them that Samuel deepened his interest in national politics, law-making and public service.

In 2023, he was given the chance to study at Berkeley for 1 year in an exchange program. In Berkeley, he learned...

Phoebe Truong

Class of 2025
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

Noor Alramadan is a driven, first-generation student studying media studies with a concentration in media law and policy, and minoring in education. As the daughter of immigrant parents in a dual-heritage household, her upbringing has shaped her values toward education and advocacy. Her firsthand experience with the challenges that students from marginalized communities often face in completing higher education has driven her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in higher education and professional spaces. To actively contribute to this cause, at UC Berkeley, she joined...

Noor Alramadan

Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

Noor Alramadan is a driven, first-generation student studying media studies with a concentration in media law and policy, and minoring in education. As the daughter of immigrant parents in a dual-heritage household, her upbringing has shaped her values toward education and advocacy. Her firsthand experience with the challenges that students from marginalized communities often face in completing higher education has driven her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in higher education and professional spaces. To actively contribute to this cause, at UC Berkeley, she joined...

Leila Phillips

Class of 2024
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

Leila Phillips is a first-generation transfer student at UC Berkeley majoring in political science. She was raised by a single mother who emigrated from Mexico and encouraged Leila’s academic journey throughout her life. Leila constantly looks for opportunities to use her academic background to benefit her community. On campus, Leila interns as a Student Assistant for the Transfer Student Center, helping facilitate transition courses for incoming transfer students. Interning with the Transfer Student Center allows Leila to fulfill her passion of contributing to one of the communities...

Lauren Ashley Gonzalez

Class of 2025
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

As the daughter of an immigrant father, Lauren is passionate about utilizing public service to fill in the gaps of unjust systems. Her background also includes family members exposed to environmental pollutants that had unjustly contributed to severe health problems. Due to her background, Lauren is focused on environmental justice and empowering disadvantaged communities. Currently, Lauren is majoring in environmental science and public health.

Previously, Lauren has worked in the ASUC Student Advocate’s Office as both a Financial Aid Caseworker and Director for...

Laila Hawa Hamidi

Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento

Laila Hamidi is a second year at UC Berkeley pursuing a simultaneous degree in environmental economics and Policy, and geography, with a minor in public policy. Growing up in a suburb in Orange, CA gave her personal experience with the crises of housing affordability and car dependence that threaten the future of our state. As an intern at the Orange County Transportation Authority, Laila worked hard to expand funding for rail transit infrastructure threatened by climate change in Southern California.

As a Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow, she hopes to gain more...