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 Stephanie Denardo, 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 finishing 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.

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 Chase Meyer is conducting research on Congressional and Presidential elections and as well as the ideology of voters and candidates for office. One research project I’m interested in involves an examination of voter’s opinions on immigration and whether the immigrant population of a county results in more polarized opinions on immigration.

Professor Connor 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 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 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 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.

Amanda B. Edgell is a PhD candidate. Her research examines women’s representation in legislatures worldwide. The dramatic increase in female lawmakers is often attributed to the advent of legislative gender quotas. Over seventy countries now have laws requiring minimum thresholds for women’s representation. Generally speaking, scholars and policymakers alike would consider this a sign of democratic progress. Therefore, we might consider gender quotas inherently democratic in principle: they advance equality, reduce biases in the electoral environment, and produce a more descriptively representative legislative branch. However, these policies are surprisingly common in nondemocratic countries.

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, 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:

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.

JF Updates

Joselin Padron-Rasines elected to UF Student Body President

Alexandra Cenatus interned with the Conseil Electoral Provisoire (Elections Commission) in Haiti during Summer 2015, working on voter information, candidate platforms, and election procedures in the lead up to the 2015 national elections.

Christian Chessman is currently attending UF Law, volunteering at the Rape Crisis Center as a hotline clinician, and working on the statewide Florida Association for Women Lawyers Journal Committee.

Victoria Dokken is working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia. She is currently intensely studying the language and will be working with two NGOs. One NGO (Nor Luyce – New Light) has begun a 3-phase mentorship program for orphaned and low-income girls in Gyumri, of which I will be helping to develop phase 2 and 3. She will also working with a new NGO, LOGOS, which seeks to combine a healthy lifestyle with youth activities such as environmental cleanup. She will be helping to specify the NGOs mission and create a more sustainable future. After her PC work she intends to study international development through a PC fellowship, hopefully in DC.

Alexa Lipke is currently pursuing a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. One of her internships is International Programs Intern with International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI) where she is the founding administrator for their Alumni Advisory Board and the South Asia contributor for IPSI’s weekly Peace & Security Report. She is also an intern at the Office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson in Washington, DC. While still a student at UF, Alexa was admitted (early decision) to the International Peace & Security Institute in Bologna, Italy, where she participated in the summer Symposium on Conflict Prevention, Resolution, and Reconciliation.

Jose Perez was awarded a Fulbright Grant to Brazil for 2015, and is currently completing a Public Affairs Internship at Hamilton Place Strategies in Washington, D.C. He plans to complete graduate school in a few years.

Anh-Thu Nguyen completed an internship in Washington DC working with international non-profit organizations on a crowd-sourcing platform. Since then, she continues to reside in DC, working as a Research Associate in grants prospecting for non-profits around the country.

Dillon Clancy was awarded the prestigious Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship, which provides up to $90,000 for graduate study in exchange for a minimum of five years service as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State. Dillon will attend the Security Policy Studies MA program at George Washington University in Washington, DC beginning in the fall of 2014. Upon appointment to the Foreign Service, Dillon plans to work as a Political Officer focusing on security policy in the developing world.

Naveed Jazayeri will be attending the Midwest Political Science Conference with his supervisor, Professor Sjoberg, to present present a paper on their project together. Subsequently, he will be working as legislative intern in Washington D.C. for Senator Bill Nelson during Summer A and traveling to Europe to complete the UF in Cambridge study abroad program during Summer B.

If you are a former or current Junior Fellow who would like to share your recent accomplishments, please feel free to email the Program Director.

Junior Fellows group on Facebook

Program Documentation: