Brett, originally from Oklahoma, graduated from Rice University in 2004 with a degree in history. In college, he helped devise and implement a field study on the political socialization of young women; conducted research used in multiple books and articles on women in government; served as the captain of the Rice mock trial team, winning two state championships and one national championship in debate; and studied gentrification in Houston's Fourth Ward.
Field placement: National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness
New Orleans, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas
Working in both New Orleans and Houston, Texas, Brett conducted interviews with hurricane survivors, evacuees, church leaders, and service providers as part of NPACH’s Katrina-Rita Oral History Project. These interviews were distributed through NPACH’s website and through audio-visual presentations at fundraisers and meetings. Brett also assisted local grassroots groups in providing aid and assistance to individuals affected by Katrina.
Policy placement: National Immigration Law Center
Brett researched the experiences of immigrant communities in the Gulf Coast in regards to evacuation, relief, and reconstruction. He also investigated the degree to which federal, state, and local emergency plans take into consideration the unique needs of immigrant populations. Working with NILC’s Gulf Coast policy team, Brett created a toolkit to help municipalities and service providers better incorporate the unique needs of immigrant populations into their disaster planning.