News & Stories

News on Wisconsin policymaking and rare disease topics.

NewsIntroducing Our Summer Interns

May 30, 2024

We are pleased to announce that we have four interns this summer! Each individual brings a unique skillset to WI Rare and we know that they will be instrumental in bringing about advocacy and awareness for rare diseases in Wisconsin.


Jonathan is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in both Statistics and Economics while getting a certificate in Data Science. He is originally from Wisconsin and offers valuable experience as a brother to someone with a rare disease. He has devoted hundreds of hours over the years from lobbying to senators, to assisting national events. “I am thrilled to be joining the WI RARE team! I’m eager to contribute my skills and learn from such a passionate group. Specifically, I look forward to collecting / analyzing research to help further rare disease outreach. Go WI RARE!”



Xinyu (Crystal) is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Economics with a certificate in Public Policy. She is originally from China. Studying health economics during college sparked her interest in working in the field of rare diseases. These courses have given her insight into the complex challenges facing the public healthcare system. “I’m excited to bring my knowledge of health economics to the Wisconsin Rare Disease Alliance, and I hope that this work will expand my knowledge of rare diseases and contribute my efforts to help more families suffering from rare diseases.”



Ariana is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is majoring in Global Health with a certificate in Health Policy. She is originally from Wisconsin. Her interest in public health and disease biology fuel her excitement to be a part of the Wisconsin Rare Disease Alliance. Ariana’s experience working in a laboratory setting and with children has deepened her interest in rare diseases and solidified her commitment to the rare disease alliance. “I look forward to being an advocate for the rare disease community. I am eager to take this opportunity to deepen my understanding of rare diseases and their impact on individuals and families, while supporting the progression of this organization’s initiatives.”

Tiena is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Social Work with a certificate in Public Policy. She has resided in Wisconsin her whole life. After graduation, she will be continuing her education at UW for a master’s degree in Social Work. Tiena enjoys working with non-profits because of the amazing people within them. She has prior experience at Project RESPECT, a non-profit addressing survivors of human trafficking in Wisconsin and at Edgerton Outreach where she assisted in the organization’s food pantry, housing, and utility assistance programs. “I was drawn to Wisconsin Rare because I have a rare disease myself. Many people along the way helped me through the uncertain time; however, I know how lonely it can be too. Hence, I am really excited to contribute to the wonderful work and the idea behind Wisconsin Rare! Thank you so much for having me here.”