2024 Class of Fellows

Marjan Ata

Amber Finlay

Marjan graduated with honors in May of 2021 from Sewanee: The University of the South. She majored in economics and political science with a focus on developing tools for public policy analysis and research. During her time at Sewanee, she was elected to the Honor Council and served as a co-director for the Women’s Activist Coalition. In 2020, Marjan was selected to be Public Policy and International Affairs junior fellow at Princeton. Prior to her fellowship, she was a public policy intern at the TN Administrative Office of the Courts where she worked to integrate text messaging solutions to Davison County courts and coordinate grant opportunities.

Before joining the Office of Customer Focused Government, Marjan was a project assistant at States United Democracy Center based in Washington, DC. At States United, Marjan primarily worked with the legal team to support local and state election officials with litigation. She also worked to coordinate relationships between election officials and law enforcement leaders.

Marjan is a native Nashvillian. Outside of work you can find her either running or on a long walk. She enjoys cooking, reading, and listening to podcasts.

Nora Johnson

Amber Finlay

Nora Johnson graduated from Harding University in 2019 with a B.A. in public relations. At Harding, she served as vice president of the student body, worked as an editor for The Bison campus newspaper, and organized regular, campus-wide events. In 2022, she graduated from Lipscomb University with both an M.B.A. and an M.S. in sustainability, after working for three years in Lipscomb’s Department of Residence Life.

As a Nashville native, Nora is passionate about local environmental issues in Tennessee and volunteers with several sustainability-focused nonprofits. In her free time, she also enjoys exploring state parks, cheering for the Nashville Predators, going for long walks with her dog, and rock climbing. 

Varsha Kommireddi

Amber Finlay

Varsha Kommireddi graduated with Latin honors from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) in May of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in business management. While at UTC, Varsha served on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council as secretary and was awarded the John C. Stophel Distinguished Student Award for her efforts and contributions to The Gary W. Rollins College of Business. Throughout her collegiate experience, Varsha also held on-campus positions as an orientation leader, campus tour guide, Moc Up mentor, First-Generation and First-Year Experience mentor, and an active member of her sorority, Sigma Kappa.

Varsha was born and raised in Nashville, TN. A first-generation-born Indian, she is passionate about societal, personal and professional development. A service-oriented leader, she is dedicated to her community and looks forward to creating and implementing positive change. In her free time, Varsha enjoys Marvel movies, LSU football, and is a huge foodie.

Caleb Rogers

Amber Finlay

Caleb Rogers graduated with honors from Lipscomb University in May of 2022 with a degree in philosophy and law, justice, and society. His research covered philosophy of science and Supreme Court amicus briefs. At Lipscomb, Caleb captained the ultimate frisbee team and served on the President’s Student Advisory Council, the General Education Council, and as a student orientation leader.

Caleb’s experience includes internships with Raphah Institute and the Tennessee Appellate Court Clerk’s Office, as well as a year as a student worker in the Lipscomb Registrar’s Office, where he designed workflows for use with a new database system. Caleb was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and remains an avid partisan of the city’s food and sports teams. In his free time, Caleb enjoys making his own espresso, playing ultimate frisbee, and listening to an ever-expanding list of podcasts.

Katherine Rinkenberger

Amber Finlay

Katherine Rinkenberger graduated in May 2022 with a Master of Public Policy degree from Vanderbilt University. Her studies focused on education policy, specifically in the K-12 sector. Her areas of interest are teacher policy, organizational structure and performance, and the intersection of law and education. While at Vanderbilt, Katherine served as president of the graduate school’s Honor Council and founded the Peer Accountability Collaborative Experience (P.A.C.E.) through Vanderbilt’s Graduate Student Council. She also worked on multiple research projects within the special education department and worked as associate editor for the Peabody Journal of Education.

Prior to coming to Nashville, Katherine lived in San Francisco, California, and St. Louis, Missouri. While living in San Francisco, Katherine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English education from San Francisco State University and taught 7th Grade English language arts and English language development in San Francisco Unified School District. She also volunteered as a writing tutor with the non-profit organization 826 Valencia.

In her free time, Katherine enjoys volunteering at local animal shelters, cheering with the crowd at hockey games, and exploring the city with her pup, Pepper.