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 

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 

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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