Current Students

Current First 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 


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.


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


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


Current Second Years – Class of 2022

Joshua Allen

Education: B.A. in Political Science and Creative Writing, Minor in Gender Studies

Interests: Constitutional Design, Political Theory, Media Studies, Gender and Ethnicity Studies.

Languages: English


Saskia Bérengère Brain

Education: B.A. Political Science & International Relations, University of Kent (U.K.)

Interests: Government, Public Policy, Diplomacy, and International Relations

Languages: English, French


Janelle Clausen

Education: B.A. in Journalism, specialization in Public Policy and Public Affairs – Stony Brook University 

Interests: Democratization, democratic backsliding, electoral reform, civil liberties, and modern authoritarianism. 

Languages: English 


Rebecca Harris

Education: B.A. History and American Studies University of Sussex with a year abroad at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Interests:  Climate change and sustainable policy in Western Democracies, Public Policy and Democratic Backsliding

Languages: English


Wagner “Will” Rodrigues Horta

Education: Lake Forest College, B.A. in Politics, with a Legal Studies minor

Interests: Good governance, international aid, democratization

Languages: English and Portuguese


Savannah Jones

Education: Georgetown University, still completing my BA in Government with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies

Interests: Human rights and women’s empowerment, democracy assistance, international relations

Languages: English


Alexander Mayer

Education: B.A. Political Science, Trinity College
M.A. Public Policy, Trinity College


Interests: Political Economy; Institutional Reform; State-Society Relations; Informal / Self-Governance; Political Violence; Latin America

Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish


Nicholas “Coty” Novak

Education: B.A. in Politics, minors in Creative Writing and Chinese- New York University

Interests: Electoral reform, nonviolent movements, media development

Languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, French


Taylor Williams

Education: B.A. Triple Major in History, Political Science and Gender Studies – Randolph-Macon College

Interests: Government, Diplomacy and Foreign Relations

Languages: English


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