Our Team

Student Leadership

Nick Schmitt //  Board Chair

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Nick Schmitt (they/them) is a senior at the Evergreen State College, studying genetics and molecular cell biology. Nick first got involved with WashPIRG though our partnership with the Fund for the Public Interest on campaigns to ban single-use plastics and stop the overuse of antibiotics. Since 2018, Nick has been the Campaign Coordinator for the 100% Renewable Energy Initiative on the Evergreen campus. They helped pass an initiative of the student body calling on the campus to commit to 100% renewable power.

Allison Kirste //  Vice Chair

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Allison Kirste is a junior at the University of Washington, pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. Allison started with WashPIRG as an intern and then Coordinator the Save the Bees Campaign on her campus, which collected over 3,000 petitions of student support for making the UW a Bee Friendly Campus and continued to forge a strong relationship between UW’s Sustainability Office and WashPIRG. This year, she is coordinating the New Voters Project campaign to promote student participation in democracy.

Sam Choi //  University of Washington Chapter Chair

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Sam Choi is a senior Psychology student at the University of Washington. He first got involved in WashPIRG in 2016 through a service learning internship on our Save the Bees campaign. Since then he’s worked on efforts to register voters and on our 100% Renewable Energy campaign to promote clean and renewable energy use on the UW campus. Most recently, he ran the Hunger and Homelessness campaign, recruiting volunteer for 300 service hours with local shelters and nonprofit organizations to help alleviate homelessness in Seattle.

Our Staff

Jenn Engstrom //  Organizing Director

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Jenn works with WashPIRG chapters on campaign strategy and implementation. Before moving into her current role, Jenn was the Organizing Director for CALPIRG Students where she led a team of organizers to build support for passing Proposition 67 to ban plastic grocery bags in California, save solar energy incentives in the state, and register more than 12,000 students to vote.

Dan Xie  //  Political Director

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Dan directs the national political strategy and grant fundraising for the Student PIRGs. Dan has managed successful campaigns from coast to coast to cap global warming pollution, fight the high cost of higher education, and make voting more accessible for students. She has recruited and trained hundreds of students and staff on public interest campaigns and got her start as an intern with CALPIRG Students. Dan lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., where she is an avid cyclist and climber.

Joshua Chaney // Evergreen State College Campus Organizer

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Joshua runs our volunteer and internship program at Evergreen State University. He provides students the training, resources, and professional development to run effective campaigns. Before joining WashPIRG’s team, Joshua was involved in anti-fracking campaigns in Denton, TX and helped run voter registration drives with the NAACP.

Nicole Walter // University of Washington Campus Organizer

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Nicole runs our volunteer and internship program at the University of Washington, where he works to inspire and train students to run strategic campaigns. Nicole got her start as an intern with CALPIRG Students at UC Berkeley, where she led an effort to stop cuts to solar energy incentives in California. Before joining our team, Nicole was the Campus Organizer for CALPIRG Students at UC Davis, where she led efforts to register thousands of students to vote.