Our Team

Melinda Bowen, Executive Director

Melinda Bowen is a Founder and the current Executive Director of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. Melinda came to UCLI after teaching criminal law and criminal procedure at BYU Law School. Prior to teaching, she practiced at Snow Christensen & Martineau in Salt Lake City, in the white collar criminal defense and commercial litigation practice groups. She also served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Tena Campbell in the United States District Court for the District of Utah and for Judge Carolyn McHugh in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Melinda received both her B.S. and J.D. from Brigham Young University. In her free time, she loves running, reading, and doing all things outdoors, especially with her husband and four boys.

Ling Ritter, Associate Director

Natalya “Ling” Ritter is the Associate Director of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion.  Ling grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated summa cum laude and phi beta kappa from Princeton University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics. Her senior thesis analyzed the role of law in the construction of race and racial stratification during the early 20th century. In her free time, Ling performs as a jazz musician. She also serves as vice president and co-founder of the Filipino American National Historical Society – Utah Chapter, as well as president and co-founder of Kalos Academy, a nonprofit supporting students unable to pursue higher education due to COVID-19.

Kacey Sorenson, Education Program Director

Kacey Sorenson is the Education Program Director at the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. She graduated from Brigham Young University in December 2020 with a degree in English and a minor in Environmental Science. At BYU, she led two major interdisciplinary research efforts in health and social equity: the first analyzed the impacts of climate change on native Samoans; the second explored efforts by medical establishments to combat healthcare bias. Kacey is a California girl through and through, so Utah’s mountains have made her feel right at home. She loves creating, whether in music, woodworking, or writing.

Isa Buoscio, Program Development Intern

Isabella Buoscio is an intern with the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. Born and raised in Utah, she currently attends the Univesity of Utah pursuing a double major in political science and strategic communications. As a senior, she is a member of the Hinkley Institute of Politics and hopes to attend law school next fall. Isabella is grateful for the opportunity to serve her community and to help others pursue a legal career.

Aranza Castillo, Program Development Intern

Aranza is an intern with the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. She was born in Mexico and grew up in Utah. She attend the University of Utah where she is majoring in Business Management. As a first-generation student, she is excited to graduate this spring. She is passionate about helping people and making a positive change in her community. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, spending time with friends and family, and watching reality TV.

Lizzie Jarrett, Program Development Intern

Lizzie is an intern with the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. She was born in Salt Lake City and moved to New Hampshire when she was 1. She returned to Utah to attend Brigham Young University and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy as well as a minor in global women’s studies. She plans to attend law school after graduation. Outside of school and work she enjoys any and all adventures in the great outdoors.

Layla Shaaban, Program Development Intern

Layla Shaaban is an intern with the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Palestine, she moved to Utah to pursue a degree at Brigham Young University in Political Science with an emphasis in Research and Data Analysis and a minor in Legal Studies. She is a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy and an assistant producer at BYU Radio. She intends to pursue a J.D. after graduation. Her interests include criminal justice reform, civil and LGBT rights, and constitutional law. In her free time, Layla enjoys skateboarding, reading, and thrift shopping.