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Junior Fellows

The undergraduate Junior Fellows Program provides meaningful research experience, insight into the profession of Political Science, and the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member or an advanced (ABD) graduate student on his or her current research project. The program is designed for advanced students wishing to gain the experience that will prepare them to succeed in their senior thesis work and/or stand out as they apply for research opportunities and advanced degrees. Junior Fellows will have a hands-on experience with the innovative research performed at the Department of Political Science and will gain valuable professional insight by working closely with their supervisor on a weekly-basis, attending a seminar series exploring the diversity of methods and approaches, and participating in a capstone research presentation workshop.

Students register for POS4911 and receive credit as outlined in the Program Overview (Word doc).

Please direct any questions to Angela McCarthy, program director, via email or in-person during her office hours.

Matching Junior Fellows with Faculty and Advanced Graduate Students

The Junior Fellows program is highly competitive. The Program Director will assign Junior Fellows according to Faculty nominations and the needs of the projects, but not all projects or Junior Fellows are guaranteed to be matched unless nominated directly by a faculty member. Faculty and advanced graduate students (ABD) are encouraged to identify and recruit prospective Junior Fellows from their own classroom experiences, or voice their interest in working with a Junior Fellow from the open pool of applicants by providing the Program Director the open pool request. Junior Fellow applicants from the open pool will be chosen and assigned based on merit and fit with the research projects available that semester. Prospective Junior Fellows should apply to the program directly by following the guidance contained in the program documents.

Program Deadlines:

April 15th for the following Fall semester
November 15th for the following Spring semester

Ongoing Faculty/ABD Research Projects Available

Professor Sharon Austin has interests in the mayoral elections and governance of black female mayors.  She is also conducting research on Memphis Politics and the Politics of the Mississippi Delta. She is working on an edited volume that examines two major themes concerning black female mayors: elections and governance. It will make a major contribution to the literature on African American mayors, female mayors, and black women’s political activism generally.

Professor Aida Hozic is working on a book on illicit trade, state and crimes in the Balkans. She particularly encourages applications from students with the knowledge of Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), Albanian and/or German. At the same time, she could also use assistance on a new project about art and power in international politics and some editorial help with on-going projects.

Professor Steven Klein is beginning new research on the relationship between democratic norms and ideals and economic governance. This new project will examine the politics of economic governance–such as central banking and the regulation of credit, debt, and finance-from the perspective of democratic theory. It will examine the current justifications for shielding those decisions from democratic accountability as well as potential alternative ways of organizing economic decision-making.

Professor Amie Kreppel is conducting research on the Council of the EU (formerly the Council of Ministers), which has been at the center of EU decision-making since the earliest days of the European Economic Community. Her research examines the transformation of the Council of the EU through a detailed analysis of the texts of the treaties themselves, as well as additional supplemental materials (archival documents, older academic articles and textbooks, etc.). The first stage of the research is the compilation of a detailed spread sheet containing all treaty references to the Council of Ministers, the Council and the European Council to track their formal institutional development and tasks from the European Coal and Steel Community through the most recent Lisbon Treaty. In addition we will collect references to and depictions of the Council (of Ministers) from other primary sources, academic articles and a selection of secondary sources to track how our understanding of the Council has evolved over time.

Dr. Angela McCarthy’s research interests include political attitudes, policy opinions, and political behavior. She is conducting research on the influence of religiosity in shaping political preferences and political behavior. Specifically, she is interested in how religiosity influences social/values-based issues, economic issues, and foreign policy concerns. Current research includes:  (1) the extent of which attitudes toward same-sex marriage have changed over time, (2) how religiosity influences public opinion on environmental policy, (3) the role of religiosity in influencing opinions on redistribution policies, and (4) the role of religiosity in influencing opinions on immigration and boarder security.

Professor Michael Martinez is conducting research on electoral politics in the U.S.

Professor Michael McDonald is conducting research on voting and elections in the American states, particularly how election laws affect political participation and turnout in Florida and other states. He is seeking students interested in learning how to collect data on state election codes, to make public records requests for data on early voting and absentee ballots, and to analyze observational data.  Students with big data (SQL/Access), and GIS (ArcGIS) skills are especially encouraged to apply.  Students meet weekly as a team with Professor McDonald and Professor Smith.

Professor Conor O’Dwyer is conducting research on state-building and state reform in the new democracies of postcommunist Europe, linking patterns of political patronage to the character of party competition. A second stream of his research has explored how and when European integration influences domestic politics in Eastern Europe: specifically, he has examined the interaction between EU norms and postcommunist legacies in the field of LGBT rights. In current research, O’Dwyer picks up on his longstanding interest in subnational politics in postcommunist countries, this time through the lens of urban planning and local-level democracy.

Professor Ido Oren is pursuing a research project on the professional schools of international affairs (for example, Johns Hopkins-SAIS; Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service): what is their history? How do they function as interfaces between the academic and the policy worlds? These schools train thousands of master’s students each year and generate massive tuition revenues. They straddle the boundaries between the academic, policy, and financial worlds. They afford a compelling vantage point from which to explore the interrelationship between IR theory and practice. If you are considering a career in Washington and/or attending a professional school of international affairs, this project may be of interest to you.

Professor Suzanne Robbins is conducting research on the coordination and effectiveness of money in federal elections.  In the big picture, she is examining the ways in which networks of big-money groups (a.k.a. SuperPACs) can subsidize the elections of otherwise marginal candidates.  More specifically, the two projects she’s currently focused on involve consultants and networks (concentrated interests).

Professor Beth Rosenson is conducting research on the role of media in American politics, ethics and corruption in American politics, and legislatures (both Congress and state).

Professor Laura Sjoberg is currently working on a project on gender and civilian victimization in war.

Professor Ben Smith is conducting research, Rethinking the Oil ‘Curse’: Petro-Politics Reconsidered.  A substantial body of scholarship developed over the past two decades argues that conditional on the presence or magnitude of oil resources, a state is more likely to have weak bureaucratic institutions, to be autocratic, to experience civil conflict, and to suffer from economic misfortunes. However, it obscures substantial disagreement. While many findings support the curse, others find a conditional relationship while still others report no effect or, most strikingly, a positive relationship between oil and desirable outcomes like democracy and civil peace. In this volume, we critique the resource curse literature, present our own research and find conditionally and often unconditionally positive effects for oil on multiple political and economic outcomes.  For this Junior Fellows project, I am looking for a student to help me compile a comprehensive collection of summaries of research on oil and politics over the last decade. The end product will be a database, available to the student for future research if she/he wishes, that presents trends in economics and political science research on the politics of oil wealth.

Professor Daniel Smith is conducting research on voting and elections in the American states, particularly how election laws affect political participation and turnout in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio. He is seeking students interested in learning how to collect data on state election codes, to make public records requests for data on early voting and absentee ballots, and to analyze observational data.  Students with language skills (especially Spanish and Haitian Creole), big data (STATA/R/SQL), and GIS (ArcGIS) are especially encouraged to apply.  Students meet weekly as a team with Professor Smith and Professor McDonald. Previous Junior Fellows have coauthored papers/articles/book chapters with Dr. Smith.

Professor Patricia Sohn is working on projects that include (1) human rights and civil society in Israel; (2) Palestinian and Jewish women’s coexistence groups in Israel; and (3) religion and politics cross-nationally (e.g., internationally). All of these projects fall within historical institutionalism in Comparative Politics and tend to be historically-, contextually-, and qualitatively-oriented.

Professor Carlos Suárez is conducting research on urban politics, gated communities, city marketing/branding, and urban politics in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Latin America.  He has examined how city marketing has been used as a tool by the municipality of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico to attract residents of a higher socioeconomic class, resulting in an increase in gated communities and a more gentrified Guaynabo.  He is currently following up this work by comparing how different Puerto Rican municipalities have utilized city branding campaigns, documenting the political resistance to these campaigns, and by examining the possible connections between city branding and gentrification.

Professor Zhiyuan (Sebastian) Wang is conducting research in the area of international and comparative political economy. Specifically, he studies globalization, international institutions, human rights, and to a lesser extent China. One of his ongoing research projects concerns investor-state disputes under bilateral investment treaties.

Saskia van Wees is a PhD student.  Her research examines norms on environmental governance emerge, it has become apparent that some states are more sensitive to criticism regarding their management of environmental problems than are others. So what explains various states’ diverging reactions to normative pressure? She argues that constructions of state identity—in addition to traditional material factors like state capacity, economic interest, etc.—play a central role in determining why some status-seeking states are more or less responsive to normative criticism related to environmental governance. To this end, she utilizes a large-N data set and structured case studies of India and China to examine how status-seeking states respond to dominant norms of environmental governance.

* Please feel free to contact the individuals listed above and browse the faculty departmental webpages to get further information about the ongoing research

Junior Fellows

Spring 2019:

Harjot Sodhi, Amanda McCabe, Karla Cejas, Karin Cohen, Sydney Eldeiry, Adam Kozloski, Beatriz Galdona, Kylee Field, Marcela Hulholland, Richard Wells, Jr. , Max Matheu, Jacob McEwen, Jameris Ocasio-Palacios

Fall 2018:

Daniel Delagrange, Thomas Eichermueller, Payal Majmundar, Rachael Borman, Paul Silva, Coley Hungate, Maya Schreiber, Linnea DulikraVich, Carolina Montes, Anna Baringer, William Zelin, Athena Nolan, Callie Burklew

Spring 2018:

Joseph Gonzalez, Nareeman Jamal, Morgan Ungrady, Carlos Lecaros, Miguel  Serrano, Ana-Maria Bitere, Narrelle Glichrist, MaryAnne O’Neill, Livia Katroshi, Matthew Diaz, Priya Amilineni, Jessica Valdes, Emily Boykin, Ana Diaz, Samantha Crisanti, Kristy Sanchez, Emilia Todd

Fall 2017:

Joseph Gonzalez, Jasmine Myers, Cassandra Allen, Kathryn Mellinger, Alexa Gerbert, Jordan Rosa, Shereen Al Shalabi, Mary Anne O’Neill, Alexis Rossetti, Adam Clark, Dillon Boatner, Manuela Osorio

Spring 2017:

Ena Barisic, Eduardo Santana, Heather McGuire, Max Klein, Pedro Perez, Benjamin Clark, Sarah Pattison, Juna Lee, Sara Shayanian, Caitlin Ostroff, Christian Tirado, Andrea Miranda, Laura Uribe

Fall 2016:

Rachel Reh, Kasey Joyce, Jack Stephens, Catalina Del Valle, Pedro Otalora, Hunter Carrell, Lillian Rozsa, Israel Ojaluo, Joseph Flick, Jessica Valdes, Jeshow Yang

Spring 2015:

Christine Thomas, Joselin Padron-Rasines, Alex Cenatus, Andy Garcia, Juan Tibaduiza, Evan Cartagena, Samora Ashley Bazel, Rachel Reiss, David Ponoroff, Christina Faliero, Yarden Kakon, Anthony Reyes, Gonzalo Izquierdo, Logan Abbott, Monica Eichner, Juliette Haulthaus, Hannah Kaufman, Spencer Cokely, Kelsey Landau

Fall 2014:

Igal Rojzman, Lindsay Abbott, Melissa Hill, Janzen Harding, Casey St. Claire, Alexander Schechner, Bianca Feazell, Stephanie Quintao, Jasmine Hayes, Adam Gerstenfeld, Katherine Burnett, Kevin Rossi, Alyson Samach, Sabrina Marasa, Richard Benitez, Grace Kranstover, Gustavo Lemaitre, Micole Kaye

Spring 2014:

Kate Heffernan, Samantha Ragonesi, Deniss Kaskurs, Slaviana Stefanova, Samantha Lewis, Frances Chapman, Christian Pierre Canel, Brittany Serrano, Savannah Pellegrino, Shamica Shim, Shruti Shah

Fall 2013:

Melanie Miller, Corrado Minardi, Alenandra Chopenko, Sami Alsawaf, Joshua Krusell, Ana Medina, Michelle Asuncion, Devin Barrett, Garrett Dodd, Jason McKibben

Spring 2013:

Victoria Dokken, Noah Smith, Christian Chessman, Rachel McDonald, Natalie Yello, Jose Perez, Eliona Jankulla, Daniel Sibol, Alexandra Dehelean, Andrea Powell, Kimberly Greenplate, Dillon Clancy, Jacquelyn Johnson.

Fall 2012:

Laura Daley, Marielena Dias, Bryce Freeman, Alexandra Hoffman, Naveed Jazayeri, Alexa Lipke, Adriana Madrazo, Joshua Vadeboncoeur, Robert Wilson.

Junior Fellows group on Facebook

Program Documentation: