Brittany Ellenberg

“If you’re interested in public service, are passionate about an issue, or are just curious about how you can make a difference, this school is the place for you.”

Hometown: La Porte, Texas

Major: Political Science (Minor - Art History)
Expected Graduation: May 2013

UT Dallas Achievements & Activities

  • U.S. Department of State, Office of Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry – Intern
  • Archer Fellowship
  • Social Justice/Multicultural Living Learning Community
  • Student Government: Senator, Legislative Committee
  • John Marshall Pre-Law Society: Member, Mock Trial, Moot Court
  • Students for Political Education, Action and Knowledge: Member, Vice-President, President
  • College Democrats: President & Founder
  • Student Diversity Council: Chairwoman
  • PRIDE: Member, Political Liaison
  • College Democrats of America: Vice-Chair of LGBT Caucus
  • UTD Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, Lead Student Assistant
  • Collin County District Attorney’s Office Intern
  • Organizing for America Spring Fellow
  • The Innocence Project of Texas Intern
  • Robert Miklos for State Representative, District 107, Campaign Manager
  • Ignite: Women in Politics, College Facilitator
  • Alternative Spring Break
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Study Abroad in Peru
  • Great Shape Inc. Dental Project (Jamaica), Patient Coordinator
  • Foundation for Education and Development (Thailand), Youth Outreach Teacher
  • United Nations’ University for Peace (Costa Rica), Indigenous People’s Rights in the Field
  • UTD Academic Excellence Scholarship Recipient with Distinction
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens Award
  • Executive Women’s International Scholarship Program 1st Place Winner
  • Collegium V Honors Program
  • College Democrats of America Rising Star Award 2012
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow
  • President’s Volunteer Service Award
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society

Deciding on Political Science

I decided on political science because I realized that political engagement and involvement is the means in which to change the world. I’ve always sought out opportunities to provide social justice, advocate for marginalized populations and give back to my community. I knew that a political science degree, under the direction of the wonderful faculty at UT Dallas, would be a solid educational foundation to be an agent of change.

Political science has encompassed everything I imagined and more! I’ve extended beyond public service in my community to an even greater level. I served as the campaign manager for a former state representative, vice-chair of the LGBT Caucus for the national organization, College Democrats of America, and was a fellow for President Obama's campaign.

EPPS has given me the opportunity to live and learn in Washington, D.C. as an Archer Fellow, interning for the U.S. Department of State in the Office of the Secretary. This degree has truly exposed me to an expanded and diversified area of interests, and has allowed me to recognize my passion for international human rights.

I was also able to create my own independent study abroad program, researching international human rights violations as I worked with the United Nations in Costa Rica, the world's largest humanitarian dental project in Jamaica and taught a classroom of Burmese refugees and migrants in Thailand.

My EPPS Success

My success in EPPS is characterized by applying my academic knowledge outside of the classroom. I glean every possible lesson I can from my professors, then use them to be active in the Dallas political arena. EPPS inspired me to take the initiative to found UT Dallas College Democrats in order to create a climate of political activism on campus as well as to serve as president of Students for Political Education, Action and Knowledge, where I was able to register over 1,300 of my peers to vote.

What I like most about EPPS are the opportunities made available to you as a student in this particular school. I was able to take advantage of challenging and rewarding internships at the Innocence Project of Texas, helping to exonerate those convicted of felony crimes, and, on the other side of the law, at the Collin County District Attorney's office. The mentorship and guidance of the amazing EPPS faculty, such as Dr. Harpham and Dr. Champagne, is one of the great benefits of being in this school.

Plans for the Future

Upon graduating summa cum laude from UT Dallas, I’ll pursue law school. I intend to practice public interest law to advocate for marginalized populations such as refugees, immigrants and the LGBT community. I hope to one day run for political office to better serve my community in legislative affairs.

Advice to Prospective EPPS Students

To students considering EPPS, I would say there is simply no better experience for a young person seeking to advance their knowledge of public and policy sciences. If you’re interested in public service, are passionate about an issue, or are just curious about how you can make a difference, this school is the place for you.

Other Interests

In my free time I enjoy cooking, going to art museums and volunteering. I also love the great music concerts in Dallas. However, my favorite past time is definitely travelling to developing countries.