2015-2016 Hinckley Ambassadors



Maher Farrukh has always been driven towards service, which, he believes, culminated in a job in the non-profit sector right out of high school. However, while studying biology at the U, he found himself standing outside of what he would come to know as the Hinckley Institute reading about an election viewing event. That day was when he first received the nudge into public service. Today, he studies Political Science, International Studies, and Middle East Studies. He has worked through the mayor's office in his hometown, in the Middle East, and in Washington D.C. Because of the Hinckley institute, he has not only found his passion but engaged in it. 


Sammy Flitton is entering his senior year at the University of Utah. He grew up in Salt Lake City and was an avid ski racer in high school. Sammy has completed multiple national and international internships through the Hinckley Institute, and has recently returned from interning with the Transatlantic Policy Network in Brussels, Belgium. He is pursuing a degree in International Studies with a minor in Italian and plans on attending law school after graduation. Sammy has also been involved with the Hinckley Journal of Politics and participated in the John Price Symposium.



Alex Katich is a junior at the University of Utah and is majoring in Business Administration. He grew up in Fresno, California, but loves living in Salt Lake City. Last semester he was an intern at the Capitol for Representative Handy and loved his time there. Alex is interested in art, fashion, and politics and hopes to find a way through business to be combine all three of his interests. He is also active on campus with other organizations, like the Bennion Center. 



Cree McNulty is a full time student studying political science and campaign management at the University of Utah. She lives in the Trolley Square neighborhood with her fiancé and their three year old Boxer Pitbull. Cree recently completed a Hinckley internship with the British Parliament. When not studying, Cree enjoys playing Super Nintendo, organizing her inbox, and knocking on the doors of her neighbors for various political campaigns.  

Keri Lyn Michalke

Keri Lyn Michalke is a senior pursuing a double major in political science and international studies with a focus in international politics and foreign relations and security. As a second-generation American, and as the daughter of two career military parents, her fascination with foreign affairs was sparked at a young age. Keri Lyn has participated in Hinckley’s Senator Bennett symposium and interned with the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in Washington, D.C. where she was also selected to participate in Partnership for a Secure America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Collegiate Scholar Program. Keri Lyn recently returned from Russia where she interned at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, learning about different cultures, cooking, and developing her photography skills. 

Christina Ripley

Christina Ripley is originally from California, she is starting her junior year majoring in political science. She has been actively involved with the Hinckley Institute since her freshmen year and has participated in local, legislative and D.C. internship programs as well as the Senator Bennett Seminar. She has had the opportunity of interning with the Governor's Office, Congressman Stewart, and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and currently with the U.S Chamber of Commerce Congressional Affairs Division in Transportation Infrastructure and Aviation. During her time at the university, she has been actively involved with the Associated Students of the University of Utah as an Associate Director of Government Relations Board and this upcoming year as a Senator representing the College of Social Behavioral Science.  

Lindsey Vickers

Lindsey is a junior at the University of Utah and is working towards a double major in English and Anthropology. She has completed one Hinckley internship, and hopes to intern in Washington D.C. for NPR or The Diplomatic Courier before graduating. Lindsey’s career goal is to research, write and produce stories for public radio. She is interested in just about everything from science to the environment, and even prison reform. Her hobbies include reading, playing scrabble, and expressing her creativity through painting, stenciling, and drawing.   

Connor Yakaitis

Connor Yakaitis, originally from the smallest public high school in Connecticut, found his niche within such a large university when he first walked into the Hinckley Institute.  He is now a senior at the University of Utah studying political science with minors in campaign management and economics. He is the Director of Government Relations with ASUU and recently interned during the 2015 Utah Legislative Session with Senator Jim Dabakis. He has taken part in both the Senator Bennett and Ambassador Price Seminars and currently serves on the Hinckley Journal of Politics Editorial Board. He hopes to continue his education to earn a dual Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Law, after which he aspires to run for political office.