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2017-2018 APSA Minority Fellowship Program

The following students were named as 2017-2018 APSA Minority Fellowship Program recipients during the fall 2016 application cycle. These fellows are currently applying to PhD programs in political science. Complete bios for each fellow appear below and will be featured in the April 2017 edition of PS.


Feyaad Allie graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a BA in government in 2016. At Dartmouth, he was a Mellon Mays Associate Fellow and a War and Peace Fellow. He was awarded the Rockefeller Prize in Comparative Politics and the runner-up Chase Peace Prize for his thesis. After graduating, Feyaad received Dartmouth’s Lombard Public Service Fellowship to work for USAID and President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center in Nairobi, Kenya. He is interested in researching counterterrorism, political violence, and Muslim-government relations.


Kimberly Cárdenas, a senior at Cornell University studying government, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies is a Gates Millennium Scholar, a McNair Scholar and a 2016 Mellon Collaborative Studies Fellow to Havana, Cuba. Fluent in Spanish and French, Cárdenas has conducted research with a women's rights organization in Chiapas, Mexico, and was a visiting student at Sciences Po Paris. She is currently investigating the racial identities and civic engagement of Latinx immigrant students in southern Arizona and has presented preliminary research findings at Cornell University, the University of Arizona, and Florida International University. She is interested in studying race and ethnicity, Latinx politics, and political theory. 


Stephanie Chan
is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her current research project, “Creative Citizenship: Immigrant Political Participation,” focuses on immigrant conceptions of political participation and enactments of citizenship. She is also co-author with Meredith Rolfe of the Oxford Handbook of Political Networks chapter “Voting and Participation.” Her research interests also include concept measurement, survey methods, and electoral redistricting. She has presented her work at the American Political Science Association and the Midwest Political Science Association and is a University of Massachusetts Amherst Rising Researcher. Additionally, as a Junior Fellow in the Joint Program on Survey Methodology, Stephanie interned at the Bureau of Labor Statistics during the summer of 2016. She serves on the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Advisory Council and as a student alumna member on the UMass Women into Leadership Board of Directors. 


Kennia Coronado (RBSI 2016) is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in political science and Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies. She is a recipient of the Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship for Brazilian Portuguese and has studied at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro in order to better understand Brazilian politics and culture. In addition, she is a McNair Scholar and participated in the 2016 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute. Coming from a community where many are undocumented, Kennia has spent the past several years as a community organizer advocating for immigrant rights. Her research interests include Latino politics, collective action/social protest, immigration policy, Latin American politics, and race and ethnic politics. Kennia aspires to be a university professor in which she hopes to contribute to the diversification of the field by encouraging other Latina women to pursue political science. She also hopes her work will someday contribute to policies that are undocumented-friendly.


Jose Gomez
, (RBSI 2016) a senior at Binghamton University, is a McNair Scholar and has participated in several independent studies across various disciplines. Jose is also a 2016 APSA Ralph Bunche Scholar and has presented research projects at multiple conferences including the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting  and the University of Michigan’s 2016 Emerging Scholars conference. He is interested in studying issues of representation, public opinion, money in politics, and voter disenfranchisement.  


Nicauris Heredia (RBSI 2016) is a senior at Rhode Island College double majoring in political science and public administration, with a minor in international nongovernmental organizations studies (INGOS). She served as the president of Pi Sigma Alpha at Rhode Island College. Additionally, she worked in Washington DC as an intern for Congressman Jim Langevin (RI-2). Nicauris has worked as a research assistant for several professors at her undergraduate institution and has conducted independent research at APSA’s 2016 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI). Her research interests include how racialized power persists over time and the relationship between race, international law, and new forms of imperialism.



Jasmine C. Jackson (RBSI 2016) is a senior political science major at Jackson State University where she is a Dean's List scholar. Her research interests focus on how political issues impact minority communities and the effect these issues have on societal placement. In 2015, Jasmine had the privilege of working with Dr. Geoff Ward at the University of California at Irvine on research that examined historical racial violence. Additionally, she attended the 2016 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Duke University. Jasmine has presented at various conferences including the 2016 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, the Pi Sigma Alpha student conference, the 2016 Southern Political Science Association conference, and the University of Michigan's Emerging Scholars Conference.  


Stefan Samuel Martinez-Ruiz
is a dual degree BA/MA student at Georgia State University.  Having earned a BA in political science, cum laude, this past August 2016, Stefan will complete his MA in political science in May 2017. His research focus is comparative and international political economy.  Stefan's academic interests lie within the political economy of development, but more specifically methodologies and research around globalization and trade agreements, domestic institutions and trade, global North-South relations, and economic development strategies. Having collaborated with government and nonprofit entities interested in nurturing inclusive and sustainable development, Stefan's future goals include researching, teaching, and advocating for ways governments and markets can better co-exist to produce more optimal outcomes for society. 


Alex Munoz
graduated Summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University in 2016 with a BA in political science with distinction, honors in liberal arts, and a minor in management science. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Sigma Alpha. His research interests include multiculturalism, especially in the United States and Western Europe, and the politics of right wing populist movements.  Alex is interested in pursuing political science research on

the opportunities and challenges posed by social diversity.


Adrienne Scott received a BA in political science with a minor in American history from Brooklyn College (CUNY). She is interested in American politics, public policy, and racial and ethnic politics. While an undergraduate, Adrienne worked on several research projects, including one where she analyzed views on welfare public policy before and after the Great Recession. Adrienne is currently a program associate for New York Cares’ children’s education programs. She is a participant in the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers Associate Fellowship Program and a former participant in the Leadership Alliance program at Princeton University. Adrienne is interested in researching redistributive social programs at the federal, state, and local levels, and examining the inconsistencies and inefficiencies that may arise.


Naomi Tolbert
 (RBSI 2016) is a senior at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, double majoring in political science with a specialization in international affairs and international studies with a focus area in the Middle East and Northern Africa. She currently serves as the student trustee on the SIU Board of Trustees. She is the co-chair for the University Diversity Council and works as the Diversity Specialist under the System’s President and the Chief Diversity Officer. She serves as the co-chair of the Student Advisory Board and is the Vice President of Intercultural Experiences and Diversity within the Honors Program. Naomi is a SIUC Four Year Excellence Scholar and a Horatio Alger In-State Scholar. She is also a Political Science Ambassador and has been recognized for high honors on the Liberal Arts Dean’s List. As a first generation, minority student, Naomi received the opportunity to participate in the 2016 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute and the McNair Scholar’s summer research program at SIUC, where she received second place at the summer end symposium. Currently completing her third Undergraduate Research Assistantship, Naomi is conducting research on the variation of racial attitudes and perceptions between racial groups.


Priscilla Torres (RBSI 2016) is a senior at Loyola Marymount University. She participated in the 2016 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute and presented her research at APSA’s 2016 Annual Meeting and at the International Studies Association-West. Her research focuses on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. Priscilla is interested in  international relations and plans on utilizing mixed methods to study the impact of the actions of international organizations on human rights and international security, particularly the women, peace, and security agenda.  


Donovan A. Watts
is a senior political science major at Central Michigan University. Donovan’s undergraduate career is highlighted by a number of accomplishments. He has received numerous scholarships and is the current president of the Pi Sigma Alpha chapter at Central Michigan University. As a McNair Scholar, Donovan’s research focused on the knowledge and attitudes of Central Michigan’s African American students based on the recent conflict between law enforcement officers and African Americans. Donovan’s research interests include  American Politics with a concentration on race and ethnic politics and political participation. Donovan plans on exploring voter turnout of African American millennials and emerging social movements such as the Black Lives Matters Movement. Donovan has a passion for research and teaching and he hopes to use his doctoral degree to influence policy decisions that will have an impact within the African American community.


Justin Zimmerman graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in political science and philosophy, as well as an MPA with a concentration in public organizational management. He is currently supporting the U.S. Department of Treasury Enterprise Business Solutions (EBS) team. Previously Justin worked with the U.S. Department of State gaining experience in public diplomacy and government contracting. Justin intends to concentrate his research on American politics and political theory, with a focus on black political behavior, black leadership with regards to the implementation of Machiavellian principles, and the failure of federalism in the black community.

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