2018-19 APSA Fall Minority Fellowship Program

The following students were named as 2018-2019 APSA Minority Fellowship Program recipients during the fall 2017 application cycle. These fellows are currently applying to PhD programs in political science. 

Sydney Carr (RBSI 2017) is currently a senior in the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut, where she is majoring in political science and minoring in Africana studies. Sydney's research interests include American public opinion, voting behavior, race and ethnicity, as well as gender. Specifically, Sydney is interested in the representation of women of color in Congress. At UConn, Sydney serves at the President of the National Council of Negro Women. Sydney is also a 2017 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute scholar. She has presented her work at several conferences including the 2016   National Conference of Black Political Scientists Annual Meeting, the 2017 annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, the 2017 APSA Annual Meeting, and the 2017 Emerging Scholar's Conference at the University of Michigan.

Kierstan Marie Carter graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) with a BA in American culture studies and English in 2016. At WUSTL, she was a Gephardt Institute Civic Scholar and a Harvey Undergraduate Scholar in American culture studies. Kierstan’s research interests include normative political theories of justice and twentieth century American literature.


Giovanni Castro Irizarry is a senior in political science with a specialization in international relations and government at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. His research interests include political economy and international relations. Giovanni completed an internship in the Foreign Relations Office at the Department of State of Puerto Rico and has a certification in diplomacy and international relations with an emphasis in finances and economics from the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe. In 2017, Giovanni completed an internship at the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) at Purdue University, where he had the privilege of working with Dr. James McCann on a research project that examined the effects of the economy in elections in Puerto Rico.

Trevor Farland is a member of the Navajo Nation, a tribal reservation in northeastern Arizona. He attends St. John's University as a MA student in the government and politics department. For his doctoral studies, Trevor plans on studying political theory and intends to examine  how cultural identities, singular or a variant of cultures, consolidate to effect political institutions and behaviors.


Christian Hosam is currently a member of the inaugural class of Millennial Public Policy Fellows at New America in the Political Reform Program where he researches issues related to political polarization, diversity and inclusion in Congress, and participatory democracy. Previously, he was the coordinator for the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research interests include millennial civic engagement and the intersection of national security and civil rights. 

Kayla Jones is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in political science (2014) and a graduate certificate in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies (2016). She was previously a Research Fellow at Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), where she conducted research on human rights violations and gender equality issues in East Africa. Her research interests center on Black diasporan politics, specifically Black diasporan immigration. As a future PhD student, she plans to study comparative politics and political theory in order to examine African migration to European Union nation-states. She also hopes to continue to study Black political thought, Black social movements, neoliberalism, and critical race theory in her advanced graduate study.

Joan Joseph (RBSI 2017) is a senior at Florida State University, pursuing a dual degree in political science and statistics, along with minors in mathematics and computational science. Her current research project assesses the persistent effect of colonial institutions on present-day corruption. She has presented her work at the 2017 APSA Annual Meeting and the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting. In addition, she participated in the 2017 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute. Her broad research interests include comparative politics, theories and problems of colonialism, democratization, Bayesian analysis, causal inference, and computational social science. Upon completion of the PhD, Joan aims to be a professor and hopes to teach and contribute towards a more nuanced understanding of the world. 

Kangkana Koli (RBSI 2017) is a senior studying political science at Eastern Michigan University. She participated in the 2017 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute where she completed a research project on the relationship between religious extremism and development. She has presented this project at several research conferences including the annual Michigan Political Science Association conference. Kangkana’s research interests and career goals are motivated by her experiences as an Asian American immigrant living in the United States. She would like to pursue a doctorate degree in political science where she would commit to a comparative study of race, ethnicity and politics.

Miguel Martinez is a senior at Cornell University where he is studying government, international relations, and Latina/o and inequality studies. Miguel is a McNair Scholar and has had the opportunity to present his research at several universities. He has also conducted research that works toward improving the lives and working conditions of undocumented farmworkers in upstate New York. In addition, he has participated in the Academic Research Consortium Summer Program at UC Santa Barbara where he explored the perceptions of human rights by the local Latinx community. He hopes to become a professor and plans to continue his work in Latino Politics.

Kennedy Middleton is a senior at Spelman College. She has participated in numerous research programs at the University of California, San Diego, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Society for Political Methodology’s initiative, AEROPUP. Her research interest lies at the intersection of political methodology and security studies. Substantively, she is focused on how governments are increasingly using cyber tactics to demobilize rebel groups and is interested in working on advancing automated methods that signal the use of these tactics and validate them as demobilization efforts or not. She is also interested in how governments control and convey information on the internet and the effects it can have on both opposition group mobilization and in-conflict violence. 

Byron R. Núñez, a senior at Pomona College majoring in politics, is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow (MMUF) and has conducted summer research at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Chicago. His current research project focuses on the importance and consequence of immigrant rights activism on state development. More broadly, his scholarly interest lies at the intersection of American political development, Latino politics, legal and political mobilization, political theory, and American constitutionalism. Byron aspires to be a professor at a small liberal arts college and focus on the role of individual and grassroots based change and their ability to shift the operation of political, legal, and social institutions.

Nnaemeka C. Ofodire is a member of the Emerging Scholars in Political Science Program and is currently a pre-doctoral fellow at Princeton University. His unique experience growing up in Nigeria has shaped his passion to address the political and economic factors affecting the lives of underrepresented communities, especially in Africa. Nnaemeka earned a BA in political economy from UC Berkeley, and has worked with various DC-based organizations, , focusing on underrepresented communities. His previous research on challenges to renewable energy adoption and implementation in sub-Saharan Africa has sparked his graduate interest in comparative political science. His current research is focused on the intersection between politics and technology in developing contexts. He hopes to use his doctoral degree to provide valuable insights into the future of the economy, technology, business strategy and political choices of African nations and other developing regions.

Rodolfo Solis (RBSI 2017) is a senior at Wabash College, where he is majoring in political science with a specialization in American politics and a minor in Spanish. Rodolfo has coauthored an encyclopedia entry for a forthcoming book called, Latinos in the US Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders and participated in a 2016 NSF-REU research program and the 2017 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute. After completing both research programs, Rodolfo  presented his research at  MPSA’s and APSA’s 2017 annual meetings. His research focuses on the links between immigration,  public opinion, and political behavior. He plans on enrolling in a PhD program in political science and, ultimately, to teach at the collegiate level.

Angie Torres (RBSI 2017) is a senior at the University of Central Florida (UCF) majoring in international and global studies. Angie worked as a research assistant at UCF and conducted independent research at 2017 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI). Angie presented her research at APSA's 2017 Annual Meeting.  Her research interests include the role gender plays in international security, post-conflict resolutions and political development in Latin America and other developing countries. Angie is eager to pursue a career in academia and hopes to provide mentorship for incoming minority students.