Class of 2019 Spotlights


Tyler Neves

Tyler NevesMajor: International Affairs; National Security and Diplomacy, Intelligence, Nuclear Security
Year Expected to Graduate: 2019
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina

Why do diversity and inclusion matter to you?
All of the great decisions in both our country and around the world have been achieved through collaboration and compromise. What diversity and inclusion create is the opportunity for many different perspectives to be observed and considered in the decision-making process. This enables organizations to base their decisions on a multitude of perspectives in order to come up with a solution that can appeal to a greater audience. The importance of hearing from all parties before making a decision is critical, and diversity and inclusion go a long way in creating a prosperous international environment by providing different perspectives.

Prior to coming to the Bush School, what were you doing?
I graduated from the University of South Carolina in May of 2017 and immediately decided to pack my bags for the great state of Texas that fall. I was born in the state of Florida but spent most of my life in the small town of Greenville, South Carolina. While at the University of South Carolina, I developed my passion for public service and knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to serving the people of this country in whatever capacity I could. I was able to work in a number of great offices during my undergraduate tenure, such as the university’s Intramural Sports Department, the Columbia Police Department, and the South Carolina Governor’s Office with then-Governor Nikki Haley.

When not studying or reading for school, what do you do for fun or relaxation?
Outside of academics, my main passion is athletics. Whether it is watching, playing, or even officiating sports, it has been my main hobby for years now. Being at Texas A&M, I have attended all of the Aggie football games (even though that has not been very “relaxing” as of late), and I have also been involved in playing intramural sports. Outside of sports, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. Since I only have two years at Texas A&M, the quality time that I have with my friends here means a lot because I know we will all be moving around in a short amount of time.


Zachary Cochran

Zachary CochranMajor: Public Service and Administration; Public Policy Analysis, State and Local Government Crisis Preparedness
Year Expected to Graduate: 2019
Hometown: Rockport, TX

Why do diversity and inclusion matter to you?
Diversity and inclusion are important because both foster environments that promote learning from other’s different prospective. Moreover, as an aspiring politician, I feel that diversity and inclusion are important because in order to craft policy that is beneficial to all, every voice has to be heard.

Prior to coming to the Bush School, what were you doing?
Prior to attending the Bush School, I was studying government and business at the University of Texas at Austin. As a part of my degree program, I was afforded the opportunity to work in the Texas Legislature for three different members (Policy Analyst for the Lieutenant Governor, Legislative Aide for State Senator Jose Rodriguez, and Legislative Intern for State Representative Diego M. Bernal). In my free time, I studied the growing problem of gentrification across Interstate 35 (the divide between West and East Austin). When not doing schoolwork, I spent time with my brothers in Alpha Phi Omega volunteering in the surrounding community.

When not studying or reading for school, what do you do for fun or relaxation?
I thoroughly enjoy tagging my friends in relevant memes regarding grad school. I also like cooking dinner for friends as a form of procrastination. Sometimes, I like escaping to the Texas Hill Country and spending time along the Comal or Guadalupe Rivers as a stress reliever. However, more often than not, you can find me hanging out with my squad trying to figure out how to solve the world’s problems.


Kyoung-cheol (Casey) Kim

Kyoung-cheol (Casey) KimMajor: MPSA, Public Management and Public Policy Analysis, State and Local Government
Year Expected to Graduate: 2019
Hometown: Seoul, Republic of Korea (South Korea)

Why do diversity and inclusion matter to you?
My most differentiating characteristic is that I have some public service experience outside of the United States, and I have been developing this experience by combining theory and practice. I think that I can share different perspectives and specialties with other Bushies, and others can help me develop my experiences into a more sophisticated and comparative perspective. I believe that diversity and inclusion are critical for enhancement of social science as well as effective public service.

Prior to coming to the Bush School, what were you doing?
I worked in the Ministry of National Defense serving the Marine Corps General for about two years as well as working at two other research and public institutions for a couple of years. I finished my undergraduate and master’s degree at Konkuk University, South Korea, majoring in public administration. Through studying and working, I became especially interested in motivation and behavior within public affairs. Immediately before entering the Bush School, I worked for less than a year at the Seoul Institute, which is a think-tank.

When not studying or reading for school, what do you do for fun or relaxation?
Outside of my studies, I enjoy talking, shopping, and playing or watching sports with friends. I believe having various experiences not only gives me lots of energy but also helps me achieve my mission of connecting theory and practice of public affairs through a better understanding of reality. I want to enjoy American society fully for an extended period of time, as I am planning to apply to doctoral programs in the United States. I hope to develop my specialty and all of these experiences to the highest level, communicating and sharing my studies with other Bushies in the future.


Faith Feaga

Faith FeagaMajor: MPSA, Nonprofit Management
Year Expected to Graduate: 2019
Hometown: Wetumpka, Alabama

Why do diversity and inclusion matter to you?
I believe that God made each of us with special gifts and talents! I believe we were created uniquely to fulfill a purpose. No one can fully accomplish what he or she was created to do. When we partner with people who have experiences and skill sets different from our own, we can accomplish amazing things. I’m from a really small town where I went to school with the same people from kindergarten through 12th grade. I made it to college and realized I didn’t know how to make new friends. My mom kept telling me, “If you want to make a friend, be a friend.” She meant for me to ask other people who they are and where they come from, be an eager listener. I think most people have had a similar experience. Feeling like the odd man out, especially for an extended period of time, is disheartening. That experience made me realize the importance of including others. After that experience, I knew I wanted to be a person who always welcomed others into my “circle of friends.”

Prior to coming to the Bush School, what were you doing?
In May, I graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in public relations. I’ve been an intern with the Alabama Securities Commission for over a year. The best part of my position is the investor education events. The topics we teach vary depending on the audience, but my favorites include “How to Get Started Investing for the Future” and “How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Financial Fraud.”

When not studying or reading for school, what do you do for fun or relaxation?
I really enjoy CrossFit and swimming. I also love to golf!


Christopher L. Martinez

Christopher L. MartinezMajor: MIA, National Security and Diplomacy, American Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, International Politics and Grand Strategy
Year Expected to Graduate: 2019
Hometown: Seguin, Texas

Why do diversity and inclusion matter to you?
I believe that no one shares the same experiences. To have an array of people from different socio-economic backgrounds, education backgrounds, and differing professions only makes the Bush School stronger and makes each student stronger as well. When you are able to hear and better understand these different viewpoints, you are more likely to be empathetic towards others and become a better person. At the Bush School, we are going into the field of public service, and we are going to be working with and for people of diverse backgrounds. Being able to understand what they are going through will make us better suited for our careers. Coming from a community where not too many people go out and attend a graduate program, I can use myself as an example for those that do not believe in themselves, showing them that they have the tools to chase their dreams.

Prior to coming to the Bush School, what were you doing?
After graduating from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in December of 2016, I went to work in a factory in Seguin. I had worked there previously and was asked to lead a department specializing in commercial piping. At this factory, I learned to work with men who didn’t appreciate a younger individual in a management position and discovered how much I wanted to attend the Bush School. The management there was very supportive of my attending graduate school at Texas A&M University.

When not studying or reading for school, what do you do for fun or relaxation?
In my free time, I enjoy running and find it quite relaxing, especially after a week of school. I also enjoy watching anything in the realm of Texas A&M athletics. I enjoy watching Everton F.C. in the English Premier League. Being from San Antonio, I have to show my support for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA. At this point in the semester, I love a good nap and a Whataburger.