Fall Cycle Fellows
Spring Cycle Fellows
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 were 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.
Spring Cycle Fellows
The following students were named as 2017-2018 APSA Minority Fellowship Program recipients during the spring 2017 application cycle. These fellows are currently first and second year PhD students in political science. Complete bios for each fellow appear below.
Cameryn Blackmore is a current doctoral student in the political science department at The University of Alabama. Her research interests include public policy and American politics. She obtained her masters of public administration from Southern University Baton Rouge, where she discovered her interest in the policymaking process. Before returning to pursue her doctorate, she worked in various capacities with disadvantaged youth, which motivated her to influence elementary and secondary education policy as a researcher. Cameryn has conducted research on the impact of judicial policymaking on the education field, which she presented at the 2016 Southern Political Science Annual Meeting. She intends to continue researching the effects of federal and state legislation on the elementary and secondary education fields. Cameryn enjoys fueling an interest in federal, state, and local government within her undergraduate students. She also works to assist with the implementation of educational initiatives in historically African American counties in Alabama. Cameryn looks forward to pursuing a career in academia.
Abigail Bowen is a second year PhD student at Georgia State University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and nonprofit leadership with a minor in servant leadership at LaGrange College, where she graduated summa cum laude. As an undergraduate, Bowen was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society and the Servant Scholars Program dedicated to service and leadership. She served as chapter treasurer for Alpha Omicron Pi, vice president of the Gender Equality Movement, and president of the LaGrange College Political Science Association. She received the Pi Sigma Alpha Outstanding Achievement award her senior year for her research and performance in the classroom. During her first year as a PhD student, Bowen was the inaugural recipient of the Research Fellowship in Experimental Methods of Research on Decision Making and Institutional Performance. She also served as first year representative for the political science graduate student association. Bowen is concentrating on American politics and research methods in her studies. She is particularly interested in the politics of identity and the intersection of race, gender and orientation in America. Bowen is currently a coauthor on a project regarding white attitudes toward immigration in the United States. She is focusing on gender politics for her master's non-thesis.
Margaret Brower is a PhD student studying American and comparative politics at the University of Chicago. She is also a University of Chicago Urban Fellow. She has an MA in higher education and public policy from the University of Michigan and a BA in political science and education from Colgate University. At the University of Chicago, as a graduate student she focuses on the political socialization of young people, especially youth of color, and the ways in which urban settings contextualize and shape this experience.
Jared Clemons is a PhD student at The George Washington University, where his research agenda largely rests in the realm of political socialization, psychology, voting behavior and black politics. Jared focuses primarily on how issue framing impacts voting behavior, informs the decision-making process among individuals and, to that end, how these decisions ultimately impact social policy. Jared is also interested in the role that racial identity plays throughout this process, given the salience of race throughout American history. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Jared received an MA in elections and campaign management from Fordham University and a BA in political science from Louisiana State University. Upon completion of the PhD, Jared hopes to further his research as an academic, while advocating for an increased focus on identity politics both in the field of political science and the social sciences at-large.
Cameron Cook is a PhD student at the University of Chicago, focusing on political theory and American politics. His primary research interests include the traditions of Black political thought, race and capitalism in the Atlantic world, and the intersection between politics, aesthetics and narrative. His master's thesis focused on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and how contemporary accounts of neoliberalism often elide the ongoing reproduction of racial hierarchy, particularly in their conception of state violence. His current work focuses on the 20th century reception of 18th and 19th century revolutions, primarily in the works of C.L.R. James and Hannah Arendt. Before attending the University of Chicago, he earned his BA at Pomona College, where he received the Lee Cameron McDonald Prize in Political Theory and the Stauffacher Thesis Prize in Religious Studies.
Olivia Cook, a native of Auburn, Alabama, is a two-time graduate of Auburn University with a BA in polymer and fiber engineering and an MA in public administration with a concentration in health administration. She is currently pursuing her PhD in public administration and public policy, also from Auburn University, with a focus on leadership and nonprofit governance. After Cook has completed her degree requirements, she plans to become a full-time faculty member at a research institution and contribute to scholarly work to the field.
Martin Davidson (RBSI 2016) is a PhD student in the department of political science at the University of Michigan. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In addition, he was a summer 2016 participant of the APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute. During his undergraduate career, he collaborated with Frank Baumgartner and his fellow UNC undergraduates on a project pertaining to the United States’ death penalty system. His current research focuses on how behavior within institutions influences institutional outcomes.
Cynthia Duncan is a second year doctoral student in the political science department at University in South Carolina. She is a student of comparative politics and public policy. Her research fields of interest include social movements, public policy, and political behavior among marginalized communities in East Asia, Latin America and the United States. She received a BA in political science and East Asian studies from Colgate University. Cynthia is passionate about contributing to the political knowledge of community groups as well as undergraduate students. She looks forward to developing a research agenda that will not only contribute to the discipline of political science, but also inform grassroots community leaders seeking to address social and political inequity in their communities.
Gabrielle Gray is a doctoral student at Howard University where she studies American government and Black politics. A native of Milwaukee, WI, Gabrielle earned a BA in political science and a MA in educational policy at Marquette University where she was also a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. Gabrielle’s research interests include race and politics, urban education, social justice and activism, and public opinion. She is also interested in quantitative research methods. Her research focuses on the evolution of racism within public institutions. She is particularly interested in the politics of protest and elite reactions to activism within the Black community. In addition to her graduate studies, Gabrielle has served as a graduate research assistant for the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center, and as the Howard University Graduate Political Science Association president. After completing her doctorate, Gabrielle is eager to pursue a career in academia while also continuing her involvement in community outreach and social activism.
Kaneesha Johnson (RBSI 2015) is a PhD student in the department of government at Harvard University. In the summer of 2015 Johnson participated in the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute. She received her BA in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May of 2016. Johnson's current research interests include inequality, social policy, identity politics, and the criminal justice system. She hopes to continue to teach in those areas as a professor. Johnson is a co-author of Deadly Justice (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017). In the summer of 2017, Johnson will be teaching a class in Mississippi with Freedom Summer Collegiate on mass incarceration and the death penalty in the United States.
Gregory John Leslie, Jr., is a first year PhD student in the political science department at UCLA. He graduated from the honors program at NYU with a BA in international relations where he worked with human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Asia Initiatives, and the World Economic Forum. As an Institute for International Public Policy Fellow, Gregory spent his undergraduate summers at research institutes in Washington DC. He is a current member of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Alumni Network. Prior to graduate school, he worked as an organizer, campaign manager, and political consultant for candidates such as Barack Obama and Eric Garcetti. He is currently conducting research on the political attitudes of multiracial Americans and on the relationship between protesting and voting for blacks in the 2016 election.
Vivien Leung is a doctoral student in the political science department at UCLA. Her areas of interest are American politics, group behavior, race and ethnicity, and immigration with a focus on Asian Americans. She is currently working on a project entitled: “More Like Me: Asian American Group Identity and Context,” exploring how contextual demographics impact Asian American group identity and group political behavior. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a BA in political science and is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha. Her previous work looks at how attitudes towards gender roles shaped views on politics. She received a MA in American government from American University. As a second-generation immigrant and first-generation college student, Vivien hopes to empower immigrant communities in politics and mentor other first-generation students of color.
Sean Luna McAdams is a PhD student in the politics department at Princeton University. He graduated magna cum laude and with honors from Brown University in 2014, where he studied political science and Caribbean and Latin American studies. His undergraduate thesis, which won the Lamport Prize in International Understanding and Tolerance and best thesis in political science, analyzed the consequences of the strategic adoption of a human rights framing by LGBT activists in Argentina. This project received support from the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program and the Brown International Scholars Program. He is broadly interested in transnational social movements, international law, and judicial politics. Currently, he is working on two projects. One considers the influence of foreign funders on the LGBT movements in Argentina and Mexico. The other analyzes the potential role of judicial actors as domestic implementing agents for international human rights law on socio-economic rights. Before arriving to Princeton, he worked for two years as a researcher at Dejusticia, a Bogotá-based human rights advocacy organization/think tank.
Pamela Adaugo Nwakanma is a PhD candidate in the department of government at Harvard University. Her research predominantly investigates the intersection of women's empowerment and the political economy of development in Africa and other parts of the developing world. To study questions of sustainable development, social policy, and gender equity, Nwakanma works with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She also studies colonial legacies, ethnicity, and conflict. Beyond her research, Nwakanma serves as a freshman dean’s office proctor and a mentor through the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program. Starting in her third year of doctoral studies, Nwakanma will be teaching courses on political economy and Africana studies. Prior to her doctoral studies, Nwakanma served as an Urban Education Fellow in New York City and worked as a translator for Vice. She received her BA in international studies/economics at the University of California, San Diego where she also conducted research as a Ronald McNair Scholar.
Maricruz Osorio graduated from Knox College, where she was a McNair Fellow and completed two research projects on the topics of race, social justice, and intergroup dialogue. She is currently a graduate student at the University of California, Riverside where she is a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow. Her current research agenda focuses on race, immigration, refugees, gender, and intersectional theory. She has recently presented her ongoing work at the Midwest Political Science Annual Meeting and at the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Consortium.
Shannon Parker graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a BA in East Asian studies and public policy & American institutions. Her senior thesis on higher education in China and the United States was awarded the Ying-Mao Kau Prize for best thesis in East Asian politics and peace. Shannon has received fellowship support from Fulbright-Hays and Princeton in Asia. She also served as a research associate in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. She is currently a PhD candidate in the government department at Harvard University. Shannon studies Chinese politics with a focus on political behavior, particularly with respect to education, privacy, and digital politics. She is passionate about innovative, inclusive teaching on these issues, as well as quantitative methods.
Evangel Penumaka is a PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles in the department of political science. Her research interests are in the fields of race and ethnic politics and American politics. She is broadly interested in political behavior, racial attitudes, and minority representation. Evangel is currently researching religious activity and political engagement among Asian Americans, and how engagement may vary among Asian American national origin groups. She earned a BA in political science and international studies with honors from the University of California, Irvine and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Evangel will be starting her second year as a graduate student in fall 2017.
Darry Powell-Young is a second year PhD student at Wayne State University. His concentrations are in urban politics, public policy, and public administration. His primary research focuses on urban K-12 education policy and developing policy alternatives that will increase minority enrollment and success in AP, IB, and college prep courses in our biggest urban school districts. He has previous degrees in public administration, international affairs, and political science. Darry is currently an adjunct instructor of urban politics and public policy at the University of Michigan. He also teaches at Wayne State University in the area of politics and urban education and race and public policy in the US. His future goal, once he completes his PhD, is to work for the US Department of Education as a policy strategist or at the White House as the director of domestic policy affairs.
Liana Eustacia Reyes-Reardon is a PhD student in political science at Rice University. Liana’s research focuses on international conflict, with an emphasis on third-party intervention, law, and natural resources. She combines legal expertise and advanced quantitative methods to understand conflict behavior. A former visiting research fellow at National Defense University, Liana holds an MA in politics from New York University, as well as an MA in global affairs and a JD from Florida International University. Liana has over ten years of professional experience in the private sector as a researcher and analyst in the national security, intelligence and investigations, and legal fields.
Rosalie Rubio is a PhD student at The George Washington University focusing in comparative politics and minoring in quantitative research methods. Prior to beginning her graduate studies in the fall of 2015, Rosalie graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in spring 2015. She was a Carolina Covenant Scholar and a research fellow in the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. Her research interests revolve around terrorism, counter-terrorism, and the effects of the “war on terror” on the domestic politics of Arab states. She is specifically interested in exploring how security imperatives impact Arab regimes’ stability and their relations with their citizenries. In the summer of 2016, Rosalie received the Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship to study Arabic in Jordan in order to further her research agenda. In addition to her scholarly endeavors, Rosalie aspires to be an educator and fierce advocate for students, particularly those from marginalized communities. She hopes to foster the diversification of the field by encouraging traditionally underrepresented students to pursue careers in academia and enrich the discipline through the plurality of their experiences and research interests.
Tye Rush is a doctoral student and Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow in the department of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a student of race, ethnicity, and politics, Tye studies racial attitudes, voter suppression, disenfranchisement, and political inequality in American politics. He holds a BA in political science/public service from the University of California, Riverside where he worked as an research assistant in the department of political science, served as a Mellon Advancing Intercultural Studies Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society, and participated in the UC Quarter in DC program where he interned for Cohen Research Group. As an undergraduate, he was honored with BLU Educational Foundations' College Exodus Project Scholarship, UCR's Academic Excellence Award (political science), and the Rosemary Schraer Memorial Scholarship. His current research at UCLA focuses on the factors that contribute to unequal access to both the ballot and to representation. He has been awarded a Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Award by UCLA’s graduate division in order to pursue his interests during the summer of 2017. Additionally, he has presented coauthored research at the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Consortium’s (PRIEC) 41st (UC Riverside) and 43rd (UC Irvine) meetings. Tye is eager to pursue a career in academia where he will conduct research, mentor, and teach at the university level.
Travis N. Taylor, MPS, is a second year PhD student and teaching assistant in the department of political science at the University of Kentucky. He is studying American political behavior and public policy. Travis’ primary research interests lie in campaigns, specifically in campaigns for non-federal offices. Within the realm of campaigns, Travis is interested in campaign effects, campaign communication, voter behavior, and candidate behavior. More broadly, he is interested in political consultancy, political psychology, and US elections. In addition to a robust research agenda, Travis is actively engaged in teaching. He previously held instructional positions at The George Washington University and New York University, where he taught applied politics. Travis is also interested in teaching courses on American political institutions, state and local government, campaigns and elections, and political parties. Prior to beginning his doctoral work, Travis earned an MA in political management from The George Washington University and a BA in political science from the University of Louisiana, and had a successful career as a campaign consultant.
Rachel Torres is a second year graduate student at the University of Iowa. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA in political science in 2016, where she received the political science department’s Outstanding Undergraduate Award. She was a McNair Scholar and participated in the department's National Science Foundation sponsored research experience for undergraduates. She presented her work at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual meeting in the spring 2016. In 2017, she was awarded the Underrepresented Minority Pre-Comprehensive Mentored Summer Research Fellowship at the University of Iowa. Rachel's research interests focus on how factors of migration influence the political and social acculturation of Latinos in the United States