Our Team

Student Leadership

Emma Hersom // State Board Chair, Trinity College

Emma is a Senior, majoring in Political Science and Human Rights at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She has been working with PIRG since the beginning of her first year, where she worked on the New Voters Project and Affordable Textbooks campaigns. Last semester, she was Volunteer Coordinator, regularly meeting with and helping new interns and volunteers to ensure that they felt more comfortable and represented within the chapter. Emma continues to strengthen her involvement with PIRG as Trinity’s CONNPIRG Chapter Chair, as she is committed to making real, positive change not only within Trinity’s community, but in Hartford and the surrounding communities as well.

Zeynep Su Oğuzer// State Board Secretary, Trinity College

Zeynep is a sophomore at Trinity College, double majoring in Human Rights and Psychology. Immigrating to the US from Turkey expanded Zeynep’s horizons to explore different cultures and become more involved with different communities. Her freshman year in college, Zeynep worked on the Hunger and Homelessness Campaign to develop a plan to support a local food pantry as the ConnPIRG Grassroots Coordinator. Zeynep continues to be involved in ConnPIRGs’ campaigns at Trinity College and hopes to be more involved in projects with other community members.

Peter Gilbert // State Board Member, Trinity College

Peter is a Senior at Trinity College, majoring in Political Science. Growing up in Chestertown Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay solidified Peter’s love for the environment and desire to preserve it. Last year, Peter worked on tackling climate change through the lens of renewable energy with fellow lacrosse teammate and CONNPIRG student mentor John Stookey. He is looking forward to continuing to help, learn, and grow with his community and CONNPIRG.


Jim Leahy // State House Advocate

Jim Leahy has 30 years of experience in lobbying, non-profit association management and political organizing. An expert in building strong grassroots organizations, he has worked with clients in a wide variety of sectors, including healthcare, environment, consumer protection, public safety, as well as arts & culture. His advocacy track record includes several high profile wins, including two first-in-the-nation laws, one to require labeling genetically modified foods and another to require labeling small parts that pose choking hazards to children under 3.

Dan Xie  //  Political Director


Dan began her career in college as a student leader with CALPIRG, where she helped to bring high-speed rail to California. In her current role she directs the national political strategy for the Student PIRGs. She advises staff and students on strategic campaign plans and amplifies our work with coalition partners and at conferences. Dan has managed successful campaigns to cap global warming pollution, fight the high cost of higher education, and make voting more accessible for students. Dan lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she is an avid cyclist and climber.

Sabrina Schimscheimer // Campus Organizer

Sabrina is a campus organizer for ConnPIRG Students, working with the Trinity College. She also works with MASSPIRG chapters in Western Massachsuetts. Sabrina enjoys long hikes, a good movie, and spending time outdoors where she can appreciate nature, as she has done since she was a young kid in Alaska. Growing up near the local wildlife conservation centers, Sabrina liked to visit the muskoxen, bears, wolves, and moose. It was here she grew to love the wildlife, the snow and finding ways to protect these distinguished animals. She attended the University of Oregon and began volunteering with OSPIRG Students, eventually becoming the Campaign Coordinator for New Voters Project and the State Board Vice Chair until she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Economics. She traveled across the country to work with MASSPIRG Students and is super excited to join the team and make a difference in Massachusetts!