Current Students

Current First Years- Class of 2024

Milan Bailey

Education: BA in Political Science & Sociology from Campbellsville University

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Intended Academic Focus: The relationship between democracy and religion, interagency coordination, the MENA region

Charlene Batlle

Education: B.A. in Humanities with a concentration in Politics and Ethics from Bard College Berlin

Hometown: Pinar del Río, Cuba

Intended Academic Focus: I would love to become an expert in Latin American Politics one day and offer advice in how to promote democracy in countries of the region.

Louis Bonnefous

Education: B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from Northeastern University

Hometown: Paris, France

Intended Academic Focus: Immigration and refugees issues, and relation between nationalism and democracy

Leesa Danzek

Education: BA Political Science, University of Southern California

Hometown: Simi Valley, California

Intended Academic Focus: Civil society, conflict zones, threats to democracy in the U.S. and abroad

Sohila Hassan

Education: George Mason University

Hometown: Cairo, Egypt

Intended Academic Focus: involvement in international conflict, cultural and societal adaptations correlated with peace and conflict, security studies

Tyler Heffern

Education: BA in Politics from Fairfield University

Hometown: Stratford, Connecticut

Intended Academic Focus: Democratic Institutions, American Election Administration and Reform, Voter Suppression

Collin Hulling

Education: Western Oregon University

Hometown: Sheridan, Oregon

Intended Academic Focus: Impact of Authoritarian regimes, especially China/Russia in young, and established democracies around the world.

Opal Malai

Education: University of Kent (UK)

Hometown: Thailand

Intended Academic Focus: Political theory related to democracy

Ruwaidah Maudarbux

Education: BA Media and Communication – De Montfort University, MA International Studies and Diplomacy – School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS

Hometown: Northamptonshire – England

Intended Academic Focus: Democratic Backsliding, Emerging Democracies and Political Development of States & International Organisations.

Rafael De Osma

Education: BA in International Business at Rollins College

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Intended Academic Focus: Democratic backsliding and the rise of totalitarianism in Latin America.

Nathan Posner

Education: currently a dual BA/MA student with a major in Government and minors in Journalism and Hebrew.

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Intended Academic Focus: Democratic functionings at the ground level, recruiting and retaining election workers, democratic backsliding and how it effects those working within the electoral system itself.

Katja Volz

Education: BA in Sociology from University of British Columbia

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado

Intended Academic Focus: Democratization, Foreign Policy, Government Affairs

Current Second Years – Class of 2023

Michael Angeloni

Education: BA in Politics & International Affairs from Wake Forest University

Interests: Democratic backsliding, democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, the global rise of authoritarianism 

Languages: English 

Ian Archbold

Education: B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in History, The University of Tampa

Interests: Democratization, Rule of Law, Constitutional Design, and Comparative Politics

Languages: English

Kion Bordbar

Education: B.A. in Political Science – University of Ottawa

Interests: Electoral Reform, Democratization, and Democratic Backsliding

Languages: English

Yusuf Can

Education: California State University, Sacramento Academic

Interests: Corruption, Politics of Turkey and of the Middle East, US Politics, Freedom of Press’ Freedom of Speech

Languages: English, Turkish

Abby Carlson

Education: B.A. in History and Pre-Law at Ohio Wesleyan University

Interests: Relationship between government and social movements, policy making and corruption in democracies

Languages: English

Max Henning

Education: University of Southern California, BA Neuroscience 2015

Interests: How efforts to renew and secure democracy can be strengthened through a biological understanding of feeling.

Languages: English, Neuroscience 

Evan Mann

Education: BA in Political Science/International Relations, Minor in Human Rights- University of California, San Diego

Interests: International Relations/Comparative Politics, Democratic Backsliding/Deconsolidation, Electoral Authoritarianism

Languages: English.

Owen Myers

Education: B.A. in Political Science, B.A. in International Political Economy – Carthage College

Interests: Democratization as a Grand Strategy, Security-Sector Reform, Post-Conflict/Transition Democratization,

Languages: English,

Lindsey Levy

Education: B.S. Nonprofit Management and English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison- Academic

Interests: Democratization in the Middle East, specifically focusing on counter-terrorism, anti-corruption, and human rights advocacy within Israel/Palestine-

Languages: English, Hebrew

Maryam Rayed

Education: MA in Gender and Women’s Studies & BA in sociology and philosophy- Kabul University

Interests: Democracy promotion in post-conflict
contexts, decentralized government systems, and good governance

Languages: Farsi/Persian, Pashto and English

Sammy Saleh

Education: The Catholic University of America, BA in Political Science

Interests: Government, International affairs relating to democratization and understanding democratic backsliding, Corruption.

Languages: English, Arabic 

Kenza Sandi

Education: B.A. in Government & Politics – University of Maryland, College Park

Interests: Politics in the Middle East, Arab Politics & Social Movements, U.S. Foreign Policy, Democratic Backsliding, Political & Security Risk Assessment 

Languages: English, French, Arabic, Spanish


Molly Sweet

Education: B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in German- Roger Williams University.

Interests: Climate and sustainability policy in developing nations and human development in democratic states and transitioning democracies.

Languages: German 

James Venslauskas

Education: University of Toronto, Honors Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Development


Interests: Institutions of Governance and Representation; Constitutionalism and Democracy


Languages: English

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