Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the fellows for 2021-2023.
"New York's Fellows serve vital roles within government, bringing diverse backgrounds and experience to the table—this group is no different and will undoubtedly leave their marks on our state through their passion for moving our state forward," Governor Hochul said. "The Empire State Fellows Program prepares the next generation of talented leaders for careers in public service, and I look forward to working with the class of 2021-2023 to continue making government work and deliver results for New Yorkers."
Shaquan Huntt has been named the Carey Gabay Fellow. The Carey Gabay Fellowship is a full-time legal Fellowship program created in honor of Carey Gabay, a former assistant counsel in the Governor's office who was killed in 2015 by an act of gun violence. Mr. Huntt will work directly with the Counsel to the Governor and their staff on issues such as violence prevention, economic equality, and community development—policy areas that Gabay championed throughout his career. Mr. Huntt, like Gabay, is committed to public service and embodies the integrity and kind-heartedness that distinguished Gabay personally. After graduating from college, Mr. Huntt worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Harlem, an opportunity that underscored for him the challenges disadvantaged communities, especially children, too often face. Mr. Huntt now hopes to use his legal skills to make a difference in those communities. Mr. Huntt served as an associate at Wilson & Chan LLP and Harris Beach PLLC as well as an Intern with the Federal Defenders of New York. He received a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Colby College and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.
Jenna Frasier has been named the Edie Windsor, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera LGBTQ Fellow. The New York State LGBTQ Fellowship was established to support the ongoing efforts in the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer. The LGBTQ Fellow is awarded every two years to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to social justice, a track record of working on LGBTQ equality, civil rights and diversity, equity and inclusion issues, and a strong interest in a career in public service. The fellowship is named after LGBTQ leaders who have—with their courage, tenacity and perseverance—raised awareness of LGBTQ issues and made a lasting difference in the LGBTQ community: Edie Windsor for her advocacy and groundbreaking work in successfully challenging the federal defense of marriage act and Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera for their movement leading advocacy on behalf of the transgender community in New York. Mx. Frasier is a yogi and social worker who is passionate about co-creating spaces of healing and liberation. They helped lead fundraising and digital strategy at I Challenge Myself, an organization that nurtures mind, body, and spirit by introducing NYC public school students to endurance cycling, and coached an LGBTQ+ youth cycling club, the Fearless Flyers. Prior to that, Mx. Frasier taught yoga in elementary schools in the South Bronx and Harlem and facilitated community organizing groups with teens across NYC grounded in an anti-racist framework. Mx. Frasier received their MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University.
The following individuals have been named Empire Fellows for the 2021-2023 Program. The Empire State Fellows Program is a full-time leadership training program that will prepare the next generation of talented professionals for careers as New York State policy-makers. Engagement in the work of New York State government lies at the heart of the Empire State Fellows Program. Each Empire Fellow is appointed to work directly with a Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, or other high-level policy maker. Each Empire Fellow works at a state office or agency, such as the Office of Children and Family Services, the Department of State, Department of Labor, the Department of Environmental Conservation, or in the Governor's Executive Chamber. Work assignments offer Fellows unparalleled experience collaborating with senior officials and participating in the policy-making process.
Leo Matteo Bachinger is named Empire State Fellow. Mr. Bachinger will support projects in the Office of Climate Change within the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Prior to joining the Empire State Fellows program, Mr. Bachinger acted as Founder and Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for an Indigenous Rights, Environmental Justice, and Land-use organization. In this role, he collaborated with Indigenous Nations, NYS and national conservation organizations, local stakeholder, and NYS municipal governments. He also worked on several political campaigns on the local and federal level, including as Policy and Communications Fellow, Field Director and Campaign Manager. His interest in public policy is driven by the urgent need to advance equitable, robust and sustainable climate solutions that work for all people in New York State and beyond. Mr. Bachinger began his career as a journalist in Austria, before taking a position at the Vienna Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology as policy analyst and liaison to the Austrian Federal Government. Mr. Bachinger holds a BA in Sociology and a MA in Science, Technology and Society from University of Vienna (Austria) as well as a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research focused on issues of equity in climate change. In his dissertation, Mr. Bachinger investigated climate adaptation in policy and practice in an international-comparative perspective.
Nicole Jean Christian is named Empire State Fellow. Ms. Christian will support projects in the Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure within the New York Department of State. Ms. Christian is a proven economic development professional with a front-line record of successful completion of downtown revitalization projects across the region - specifically on Long Island. Ms. Christian has held economic development executive leadership positions at the Town, County and Federal level working in NYC, Washington DC and on Long island. She has helped businesses and local governments tackle economic development initiatives by securing grant funding, tax incentives, and offering strategic guidance throughout the planning process. She had a successful grant writing career helping to leverage over $20M in public investment while helping to create thousands of local job opportunities, protect the Long Island Sound and transform downtowns in her Long Island community. She is a class of 2001 Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) and a Class of 1999 National Network for Environmental Management Studies Fellow (NNEMS). Ms. Christian holds a BBA from Marymount University; an MPA from George Mason University with a graduate certificate in nonprofit management and is a doctoral student at Wilmington University. She has been teaching at the adjunct level for over 10 years at Long Island University in the MPA and MBA programs and she is an avid ballroom dancer.
Shanleigh Corrallo is named Empire State Fellow. Ms. Corrallo will support the Re-Entry Program within the New York State Department of State. Ms. Corrallo has experience working for government institutions such as the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development and with the SUNY system. She has engaged with grant-funded projects and programs regarding health policy, the court system(s), and school districts as an evaluator for an MWBE and as a policy analyst for health foundations in Western New York. She is most proud of—and was most profoundly changed by—her experience teaching American History to refugee students and individuals on parole. This has led her to pursue a career working on criminal justice reform policies that bolster the community reentry process. Her historical training and previous work experiences—directly with the grassroots populations that she wishes to serve— contribute a unique perspective on these policy issues. Ms. Corrallo received her PhD in History from the University at Buffalo in 2020 and is a scholar of Black Power history. Her dissertation explores the histories of two significant New York State Black Power organizations: Build Unity, Independence, Leadership and Dignity (BUILD) of Buffalo and Freedom, Integrity, God, Honor, Today (FIGHT) of Rochester. Ms. Corrallo also received an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Niagara University in History and Sociology/Criminology.
Chelsea De Jesus is named Empire State Fellow. Ms. De Jesus will support projects across the Executive Chamber's Constituency department with a concentration on the women's affairs portfolio. Ms. De Jesus has experience with community-based advocacy and public policy, and has worked for a number of organizations focused on gender equity including the Vera Institute of Justice and as an intern in the NYC Office of the Mayor at the Commission on Gender Equity. Ms. De Jesus' passion for women in government led her to present a research proposal at the North Eastern Conference for Public Administration on the Under-Representation of Women in New York State and she served two terms as the President of Long Island University's Public Administration Society and won the 2020 President of the Year award. As a first generation Latina, she is committed to be a driving force to increase the number of women placed in government positions and elected into political office, especially women of color. Ms. De Jesus began her career as a Child Welfare Case Manager and served as a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from the University of South Florida. She enjoys painting, writing and nature.