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Current Graduate Students

Adam Abelkop

Name: Abelkop, Adam (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: abelkop at

Gordon  Abner

Name: Abner, Gordon (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: goabner at

Meriem Aissa

Name: Aissa, Meriem
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: maissa at

BA in Political Science and International Studies, Ohio State University

Meriem Aissa was born in Algiers, Algeria. Her family immigrated to Columbus, Ohio when she was eleven years old. They left Algeria as a result of a civil war which claimed thousands of lives and changed the face of her homeland. The ensuing changes in state-society relations and the role of conflict in Algerian politics have driven her research interests. Specifically, she hopes to conduct research on civil war, democratization, and civil/military relations. Meriem graduated from Ohio State with a BA in Political Science and a BA in International Studies.

Name: Alcorn, Jessica (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: jealcorn at

Ian Anson

Name: Anson, Ian
Subfield: American, Comparative

Email: iganson at

BA in Political Science and European Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
MS in Applied Statistics, Indiana University

Ian is a doctoral candidate under the supervision of Gerald Wright, with specializations in American and Comparative politics. His research interests include the study of voting behavior, media and politics, inequality, quantitative methods, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. His research employs survey and automated content-analytic data to solve puzzles pertaining to economic voting, media effects, and biases in citizens' beliefs about the American economy. Ian has taught courses in research methods, voting and elections, and American politics.

View more about Ian, including his C.V., papers, and additional contact information at

Alex Antony

Name: Antony, Alex
Subfield: IR, Philosophy

Email: akantony at

BA in German and International Studies, University of Dayton

Alex graduated from the University of Dayton in 2012 with a dual degree in German and International Studies, concentrating in Peace and Global Security.  During that same year he received his commission as an intelligence officer in the US Army Reserves and will be working to develop products for the National Ground Intelligence Center.  Alex plans to specialize in both International Relations and Political Philosophy. Specifically, his present research interests include the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, normative IR theory, issues of global governance, and the effects of globalization in modern liberal democracies.

Alex Badas

Name: Badas, Alex
Subfield: American, Theory & Methods

Email: abadas at

Alex is a third year PhD student studying American politics and quantitative research methods. He specializes in judicial politics and is interested in researching public attitudes toward courts. In 2013, Alex attended the Summer Institute in Political Psychology at Stanford University.

Name: Bolinger, Joel (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: jaboling at

NaLette Brodnax

Name: Brodnax, NaLette (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: nbrodnax at

Laura Bucci

Name: Bucci, Laura
Subfield: American, Theory & Methods

Email: labucci at

BA in Political Science (American Politics), Providence College

Laura’s dissertation, supervised by Gerald Wright, looks at the impact of declining unionization on political and economic inequality in the American states. Her research interests include political behavior, inequality, public opinion, the role of interest groups and parties in mobilization and political representation, as well as quantitative and experimental methodology. She is originally from Providence, RI, and received her B.A. with honors from Providence College in 2010.

Alison Carden

Name: Carden, Alison
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: aecarden at

Alison Carden has a BA in Political Science and a BA in German from Middle Tennessee State University and an MA in Germanic Studies from the University of Texas – Austin. Her research interests include political violence, issues of human rights, and the roles of NGOs in peacekeeping efforts and humanitarian aid.

Name: Carpenter, Stefan (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: stefcarp at

Daniel Cheng

Name: Cheng, Daniel (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: chengyua at

Oksana Cherezova

Name: Cherezova, Oksana
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: ocherezo at

Oksana comes from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College where she double-majored in Political Science and French Languages and Literature. Her senior honors thesis examined the links between Vladimir Putin’s treatment of Soviet history and political processes in Russia and its surrounding countries. She describes herself as a global nomad, having had the privilege of living in Pune (India), Paris (France), Middlebury (Vermont), Boston (Massachusetts), while also visiting many more wonderful places. Her research interests center on the relationship between identity and political processes in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Chung-Yuan Chiu

Name: Chiu, Chung-Yuan
Subfield: Policy

Email: chiuch at

Chung-Yuan’s academic interest is primarily to understand how formal/ informal institutions, by which people overcome the cooperation dilemma, can further result in diverse political consequences and policy outcomes. Topics of interest include social movement, regime transition, resource management, environmental politics, to local politics and governance. Parts of Chung-Yuan’s research results have been published in Comparative Politics and other Taiwanese journals. Chung-Yuan earned both a BA and MA at the Nationa Chung Cheng University in the Republic of China.

So Youn Choi

Name: Choi, So Youn
Subfield: IR, Comparative

Email: choisoyo at

MA, Seoul National University
BA, Ewha Womans University

Soyoun was born in South Korea and grew up in Oxford, England. She returned to South Korea during her high school years and received her BA from Ewha Womans University in 2011 and MA from Seoul National University in 2013. She likes to travel and indeed has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Turkey. Her MA coursework focused on interstate conflict. Specifically, she explored how interstate conflicts were influenced by (1) the structure and culture of the regional system within which they interact, and (2) the history of dyadic interactions. Varied experience, especially annual volunteer work in Laos during my high school years, spurred her academic curiosity in international security. In Laos, she was shocked by meeting a scared girl partially blinded by an antipersonnel bomblet that exploded belatedly, killing her brother. In the hope of reducing the occurrences of war and the severity of its consequences, she became interested in the causes of war and militarized conflict.

Janice Duchene Clark

Name: Clark, Janice
Subfield: IR, Comparative


Email: jduchene at

Janice Lygia Duchene Clark has a BA in International Studies from Brown University and an MA in International Studies from the University of Denver. Prior to returning to graduate school, Ms. Duchene's global experience includes Peace Corps work in Turkmenistan, diplomatic work for the U.S. embassy in Stockholm, genocide witness analysis for the ICTR, and a UNESCO internship in Northern Ireland. Her research interests include EU expansion, political violence and civil instability in Europe and Central Asia, and issues of human rights and human security.

Andrew Cloran

Name: Cloran, Andrew (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: American, Policy

Email: acloran at

BA History, Linguistics, and International Studies from University of Washington
MPA from Indiana University (Concentrations: Public Management, Policy Analysis, Information Systems, and Economic Development)

Andrew Cloran is a PhD candidate in the Joint Public Policy PhD program. As part of his research, Andrew plans to investigate how public policy initiatives have succeeded or failed to navigate blockades toward implementation. His research interests would also examine the role of management as a facilitation mechanism for maintaining the collaborative networks essential for policy development and realization.

Beyond school, Andrew has recently completed two years of AmeriCorps service as a coordinator of math tutoring projects for elementary and middle school students in Bloomington.

Christopher Colley

Name: Colley, Christopher
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: ckcolley at

I have been living in China for the past 10 years. In 2008 I earned a Master's degree from Renmin University in Beijing where I focused on China's emerging blue water navy. Since 2008 I have been teaching Chinese and American undergraduates Chinese foreign policy with courses centered on China's relations with the USA, India and Africa. I taught at Renmin University's IR school and the Alliance for Global Education. While in Beijing, I also spent time at Reuters and China Development Brief. I plan on researching Sino/Indian relations with emphasis on the security situation between the two and how Indian domestic politics influences their relationship. My hobbies include trekking, reading anything on China, and marathon running.

Ryan Conway

Name: Conway, Ryan
Subfield: Policy & Methods

Email: rtconway at

RYAN T. CONWAY is a fourth-year student in the Political Science PhD program. Exploring the subfields of public policy and political science research methods, his papers have investigated international forestry and greenhouse-gas policy, humanitarian aid coordination, and community healthcare systems. He is a member of the Managing the Health Commons research team and he coordinates both the Radical Commons and Community Commons working groups. Ryan’s current research explores Elinor Ostrom’s 7th design principle of commons management, pertaining to the rights of local commons users to make their own rules; he is investigating its relation to community self-determination struggles and autonomist political theory. 

Ryan Dawe

Name: Dawe, Ryan
Subfield: American, Theory & Methods

Email: rdawe at

Ryan Dawe is a PhD student studying American politics and research methods. His developing focus is on legislatures in the American context, including research into both Congress and state legislatures. He uses his background in mathematics to ask and answer novel questions about how the network structures within legislatures influence the composition and behavior of legislative committees and their members. As an additional line of research, he explores topics in political psychology that have yielded presentations at several conferences.

Martin Delaroche

Name: Delaroche, Martin
Subfield: Policy

Email: mdelaroc at

Martin is a first-year student in the Joint PhD in Public Policy at IU's School of Public & Environmental Affairs and Department of Political Science. His research interests focus on natural resources governance and lie at the intersection of political science, law, economics, anthropology, and geography. He is interested by the interdisciplinary study of the relationship between land property rights and environmental degradation, particularly in the Amazon region in Brazil, and also of foreign large-scale investments in land. A Fulbright scholar (2014–2015), Martin holds a joint BA in Economics and Law, a Masters in Applied Economics, and a Masters in International Economic Law from the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France

Anthony DeMattee

Name: DeMattee, Anthony (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: demattee at

BA in Finance and Economics, Illinois Wesleyan University
MBA in Analytical Consulting, Decision Sciences, International Business, Management & Strategy, Managerial Economics, and Marketing, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Anthony is from Denver, CO and is a first-generation college graduate. After completing his MBA from The Kellogg School in 2010, he began a career as an international nonprofit consultant working mostly in Haiti and Afghanistan.  He completed original research on the Haitian labor market he has worked with the Clinton Foundation, the Nationale de la Sécurité Alimentaire (CNSA), the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), the Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR), RootCapital, TechnoServe, UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP), and a U.S. Government client responsible for a $3B portfolio of humanitarian projects throughout Afghanistan.  He is broadly interested in the incentives of international NGOs and the use of game theory to model their decision making process.

View more about Anthony, including his C.V., papers, and contact information here.

David Endicott

Name: Endicott, David
Subfield: Comparative, IR


Email: daendico at

MA in Political Science, University of Akron
BA in Economics and Political Science, University of Memphis

David focuses on comparative politics and research methods. He is interested in political economy issues and public opinion. His regional specialty is South Asia. David’s hobbies include walking, astronomy, and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. For more information please visit David’s website.

Name: Epstein, Graham (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: epstein at

BSc Biology from the University of Waterloo
MSc Planning from the University of Guelph

My path to the Public Policy program is a fortunate accident that somehow manages to combine my interests in the environment, evolution, society, and travel. I enjoy the intellectual and practical challenges associated with natural resource management, particularly in the context of the developing world. My travels for research, volunteering, and personal interest has led me to over 30 countries including Malawi, Cameroon, Uganda and Rwanda. In a past life I worked as an insurance broker.

The moral of the story is don’t be an insurance broker.

Name: Ferstle, Ken (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: kferstle at

Matthew Fowler

Name: Fowler, Matthew
Subfield: American

Email: mrfowler at

BA/MA in Political Science (American Politics), Louisiana State University

Matthew Fowler grew up on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville, Louisiana. He majored in political science and minored in African and African American Studies as an undergraduate, before earning an MA in political science. His main area of interest is American Politics, focusing on race and politics, gender, southern politics, elections, and political behavior.

Name: Fucilla, Louis (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: lfucilla at

Rachel Gears

Name: Gears, Rachel
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: rgears at

Rachel is the oldest of four children. She spent most of her life in upstate New York, living in various suburbs around Rochester and always wishing she was somewhere else. One highlight was spending a few weeks in Sicily with her grandparents and Italian cousins. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont in Burlington with majors in political science and history. Her research interests center around political economy, specifically development. When not focusing on school (and working herself into a nervous frenzy), she is addicted to reality TV and sports. Rachel is a pessimistic yet dedicated fan of two teams that love to disappoint- Everton F.C. and the Buffalo Bills. Mondays are not typically good days. When she gets disgusted with herself for spending too much time staring at the computer, she relocates outdoors. Rachel enjoys hiking, running, camping- anything that lets her breathe in fresh air and appreciate beautiful scenery.

Trish Gibson

Name: Gibson, Trish
Subfield: Comparative, Policy

Email: tagibson at

Trish is interested in how public policy affects development outcomes in lower-income countries. Her focus is on Latin America and Mexico in particular. Trish's dissertation examines how the federal government and sub-national governments negotiated the intercultural university project for indigenous peoples in Mexico. She further traces the political logic of state governments in choosing to participate in the project and in their decision of where to locate the universities. Trish seeks to contribute to literature on sub-national indigenous politics through a mixed methods approach. She is also working on a side project examining the tradeoff between poverty outreach and financial performance for microfinance institutions. Trish has taught three courses at the college level, including Critical Reading and Reasoning, designed to transition first-generation college students from high school to college level reasoning and reading; Voting, Elections and Public Opinion; and Introduction to American Politics.

Peter Giordano

Name: Giordano, Peter
Subfield: American

Email: pgiordan at

BA History, Utah State University
JD, IU Maurer School of Law

Peter has a BA in History from Utah State University, and a JD from the Indiana University School of Law.  His principal research interest is the study of framing, or the effects of contextual information in news media on public opinion.  He has also conducted research on other facets of public opinion and political knowledge.

Zachary Goldsmith

Name: Goldsmith, Zachary
Subfield: Philosophy

Email: zgoldsmi at

BA in Political Science, University of Michigan

Zach's main interests lie in political and social theory. Specifically, he is interested in left-wing political theory and intellectual history from Marx onward. Zach is interested in the various theoretical debates that emerged from the permutations of Marxism, including Critical Theory and Cosmopolitanism, as well as the condition of man in modern mass societies. Zach graduated from the University of Michigan (political science; 2011) with high distinction and was thereafter a Fulbright Fellow in the Republic of Armenia (2011-2012).

Name: Hansen III, Gerald
Subfield: Philosophy, Comparative

Email: gerehans at

MA Political Science, Utah State University
MA Comparative Studies (Humanities), Brigham Young University
BA International Studies (Diplomacy), Brigham Young University
AAs International Studies and French, Ricks College

Fields: Philosophy, Comparative

Minor: Non-Profit Organization Management (Civil Society)


My areas of interest are in American political thought, democratic theory and practice, and nationalism and identity politics. My particular questions center on the relationship between religion and politics, and I am especially interested in the development of LDS* political thought and civil religions. Geographically, my research has focused largely on issues in the US and Europe, but I have also done some work on predominantly-Muslim countries as well.

For my minor, I am developing a deeper understanding of civil society, faith-based organizations, and philanthropy, and this work directly supplements my efforts to articulate an LDS theory of social justice for my dissertation. I approach this latter subject by looking at theological arguments regarding welfare, humanitarianism, and political participation, and how these views have changed in response to broader cultural and political trends in the US.

As an associate instructor, I have helped with several courses while at IU, including three sections of “Introduction to Political Philosophy,” “Modern Political Thought,” “Introduction to International Studies,” “Political Parties and Interest Groups,” and “Introduction to Law.” I also assisted with a variety of other courses during my graduate at BYU and USU (listed in my CV).

Besides being a student, I lived in Romania for two years as a Mormon missionary, studied French while working in a hotel in southern Belgium, helped coordinate the first two conferences of the Rocky Mountain European Scholars Consortium and then edit the e-journal conference proceedings, and co-project managed a $20,000 grant at BYU to develop a film and curricula for teaching Romanian. I have taught several courses in the humanities, Romanian culture and history, and LDS doctrine and scripture for BYU and for a private nursing college.

I also enjoy traveling, playing baseball and basketball, learning languages, and spending time with my wife and three children.

* "LDS" or "Mormon" refers to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Name: Harris, Kirk
Subfield: IR

Email: kirkharr at

Paul Hoffman

Name: Hoffman, Paul
Subfield: IR

Email: pjhoffma at

BS US Air Force Academy, MPA University of Oklahoma
MA Air Command and Staff College

Paul Hoffman is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. He has been stationed throughout the United States and overseas, with deployments to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iraq. From 2009-2010 he was stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he served as advisor to the Afghan National Army Air Corps. He comes to Indiana from Montgomery, Alabama, where he taught in the Air Command and Staff College’s Department of Leadership and Strategy for three years. His research interests include foreign military assistance, international development, and weapons proliferation. He is married and has two children.

Carolyn Holmes

Name: Holmes, Carolyn
Subfield: Comparative

Email: ceholmes at

Prashant S. Hosur

Name: Hosur, Prashant S.
Subfield: IR, Comparative

Email: phosur at

BA Graceland College
MA Seton Hall

Prashant joins us from New Delhi, India. He completed a BA in International Studies before earning an MA in International Relations. He worked for the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi (India), where he was associated with the US & Nuclear Cluster. His broad thematic interests include US involvement in South Asia; South Asian Security; and Indian Political Philosophy.

Shelli Powell Israelsen

Name: Israelsen, Shelli Powell
Subfield: IR

Email: shjpowel at

MA Georgia

Shelli, who originally comes from Jamaica, specializes in international relations and research methods. Shelli's primary research interest is the strategic use of violence in intrastate conflict. Her other interests include conflict resolution and the role of enduring internal rivalries in bringing about conflict escalation. At the University of Georgia, she assisted in the collection and coding of data on the strategic behavior of state and non-state actors in Southeast Asia as part of the Violent Intranational Political Conflict and Terrorism Laboratory: Project Civil Strife program (VIPCAT). Shelli credits her time at VIPCAT in helping to develop her interest in contentious politics. 

Cathryn Johnson

Name: Johnson, Cathryn
Subfield: Comparative, Policy

Email: catejohn at

BA International Studies and French, Whitworth University
MSc in Development Studies, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies

Cathyrn E. Johnson is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science. Prior to beginning her studies at IU, Cathryn worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs where she supported programs to strengthen political participation and democratic institutions in West Africa. Cathryn’s research interests are rooted in the democratization process. Specifically, she is interested in how formal and informal institutions influence citizen engagement in democratic processes and shape the outcomes of policies to improve citizen welfare. Cathryn earned an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA in International Studies and French from Whitworth University.

Name: Jones, Defne
Subfield: IR

Email: defjones at

Defne is interested in studying the phenomenon of the religious revival in Turkey and its greater influence on politics and how that may engender an anti-Semitic environment. The effect of these new sentiments on Turkish nationalism and the questions it raises are important in examining current and future relations between Turkey and Israel. The growing role of religion in politics and the challenges to secularism will help determine if Islam can function with democracy.

Wynand Kastart

Name: Kastart, Wynand
Subfield: Comparative, Theory & Methods

Email: wkastart at

Wynand is no Aristotle, but not for lack of trying. Before coming to IU, he spent ten years studying Political Science and Classics at Leiden University and the Ohio State University, and, since leaving academia in 2010, has been employed as a high school tutor in the Netherlands (perhaps not fully realizing that he might have been mentoring the next Alexander the Great). Wynand is interested in (ancient and modern) political history, authoritarian legacies, political regimes, public opinion, (dissident and non-dissident) mass political behavior, and individual rights violations in Europe and Latin America, his two regions of interest.

Rafael Khachaturian

Name: Khachaturian, Rafael
Subfield: Philosophy, Comparative

Email: rafkhach at

BA Liberal Arts, The New School
MA Political Science, The New School

Rafael Khachaturian focuses on modern and contemporary political thought, especially critical theory, Marxism, and post-Marxism. Beyond that, he is also interested in theories of the state, comparative historical analysis, the modern world-system, and democratization. His current research critically re-evaluates the complex history of the concept of "the state" and its use in modern social and political theory.

Mike Kovanda

Name: Kovanda, Mike
Subfield: Philosophy

Email: mkovanda at

Mike received his BA in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently a first year graduate student studying political theory. His academic interests include modern political thought, democratic theory, and post-structuralist political theory.

Ursula Kreitmar

Name: Kreitmair, Ursula (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: ukreitma at

Mitchell Krumm

Name: Krumm, Mitchell
Subfield: American, Philosophy
Teaching Portfolio

Email: mdkrumm at

Mitchell Krumm studies Political Theory and American politics.  Specifically, his research uses conceptions of groups borrowed from philosophy's literature on social metaphysics to investigate political justifications and obligations.  Currently, he is writing a dissertation on contemporary secession and separatist movements titled, "Justified Secession: Liberalism and the Consent of the Governed".  

Matthew Kuchem

Name: Kuchem, Matthew
Subfield: American, Philosophy

Email: mkuchem at

BS Political Science and Broadcast Journalism, Union University

Matthew earned a Bachelor of Science at Union University in political science and broadcast journalism before pursuing a couple of internships on Capitol Hill. He currently studies political philosophy and American politics. His current research revolves around liberalism and the debate over the primacy of the right versus the primacy of the good and the implications for both society and political theory generally, as well as democratic theory, representation, and public discourse specifically. His interests also include the political thought of St. Augustine, natural law theory, American political thought, and the intersection of politics and religion.

Name: Kweon, Yesola
Subfield: Comparative, Methods

Email: yeskweon at

BA Korea University

Name: Lee, Dae Woo (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: daewlee at

BA Political Science from Hanyang University (Seoul, South Korea)
MA International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University SAIS

Daewoo Lee’s main research interest starts from simple question, “How ideology changes social welfare policy?”. Conducting research during graduate studies, regarding Germany’s policy changes throughout reunification periods, Daewoo found great interests of studying policy making process. At SPEA, he wants to learn more about politics and policy making and to develop his idea with collaboration of professors and fellow students.

Chisda Magid

Name: Magid, Chisda
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: nmagid at

Chisda Magid was born in Jerusalem and grew up in the Boston, Massachusetts area, and he has traveled in Europe, Turkey, Egypt, and Israel. He received his BA from Indiana University (Bloomington) in 2008. He completed two undergraduate theses, "A Theo-Democratic Iran: Democratic Institutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Prospects for the Consolidation of Democracy," and “Breaking the Cycle of Failed Peace Process and Violence: Spoilers and the Informational Model in Asymmetric Protracted Conflicts.” After completing his undergraduate work Chisda pursued a culinary career in Bloomington, Washington, D.C., and New York City, cooking in gourmet restaurants that focused on locally sourced sustainable food. In 2011, he interned at J Street, a political advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.. Chisda has published numerous articles online in the progressive Jewish magazine Tikkun. Chisda's primary areas of interest include the relationship between national protest movements and multi-national governing institutions, identity politics in popular movements, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Yehuda Magid

Name: Magid, Yehuda
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: ymagid at

Yehuda Magid was born in Israel and moved with his family to Boston in 1989. In June 2006, after completing his B.A. in Political Science at Indiana University, where he focused on middle east conflict and co-founded a local student chapter of Brit Tzedek – an organization that advocates a fair and just solution the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – Yehuda served as a combat soldier in the Special Forces Battalion of the Nahal Brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces, completing his service at the rank of first sergeant. Following his honorable discharge from the Israeli military, Yehuda worked on a youth party’s political campaign for the Israeli parliament in the 2009 national elections, as well as in the Israeli high tech sector. In 2010 Yehuda completed his Masters Degree in the Diplomacy and Conflict Studies Program at the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. His thesis was titled “American Attitudes Towards the Israeli Settlement Enterprise: Trends in American Government Policy and Public Opinion, 1967 to Present.” His primary professional interests include political violence, fundamentalist extremism, and Middle East conflict.

Rashid Marcano-Rivera

Name: Marcano-Rivera, Rashid
Subfield: Comparative, Theory & Methods

Email: rmarcano at

Rashid holds a M.A. in Political Economy from New York University, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras (UPR) campus. He also studied Applied Econometrics while at NYU, and Economics, French, and Music at UPR. During his years at UPR he also participated as one of the leaders of the Student Council and the Academic Senate and collaborated with the Foundation for Puerto Rico in its program on urbanism.
His research interests include income inequality, economic development, institutional reforms, the political economy of Latin America, colonialism and electoral behavior in Puerto Rico, varieties of capitalism, and public policy analysis.

Name: Martin, Darla S.
Subfield: Comparative, Philosophy

Email: dmarting at

Brandon Miliate

Name: Miliate, Brandon
Subfield: Comparative

Email: bmiliate at

BA, University of Southern California
MA, University of British Columbia

Brandon Joseph Miliate's primary interest is small state foreign policy; specifically, how this topic relates to the broader fields of international cooperation, security, and nationalism. He has spent the last 5 years studying Mongolian foreign policy, domestic politics, and language. At IU, he looks forward to deepening his current interests, while expanding his geographical reach to include Central and Southeast Asia. Brandon also has a particular (and currently underdeveloped) interest in applying IR and Comparative perspectives to the analysis of indigenous peoples’ politics and movements for independence/autonomy, as a way of understanding state creation and national identity.

Name: Miller, Chris (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: cjm3 at

BA Political Science from University of Chicago
JD from Case Western Reserve University

Chris Miller comes to SPEA after spending several years in the nonprofit sector, working in local organizations on issues including electoral oversight and civil liberties. He’s interested in exploring the intersection points (and political and economic implications) of two long-term trends more often examined separately—environmental depletion and emerging technology—as well as the roadblocks political institutions face in transforming research and analysis of these issues into real-world policy solutions. In the dim mists of the past he’s worked in quite a few different roles, from consulting to small businesses on communications and information technology, to serving as a student intern for U.S. Senator John Glenn.

Tim Model

Name: Model, Tim
Subfield: Comparative, Methods

Email: tmodel at

BA in Political Science and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Miami University

Tim Model studies comparative politics and methods. He received dual bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Miami University in 2012. He speaks Russian and has also taken undergraduate and graduate courses at the Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic in Russia and at Boston College, respectively. Tim’s primary research interest is the development of authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes, namely those in former Soviet states. Tim has also presented research at the annual Havighurst Colloquium and has served as an International Business Intern at the Cleveland Clinic. In his free time, Tim enjoys photography and is an avid tennis player.

Name: Moskowitz, James
Subfield: IR, Philosophy

Email: jamoskow at

Fathima Musthaq

Name: Musthaq, Fathima
Subfield: IR, Comparative

Email: fmusthaq at

Fathima’s research interests are primarily focused on economic reform in democracies in South Asia. She is interested in studying how political incentives, in part shaped by and channeled through political institutions, guide economic reform. Fathima graduated from Williams College, MA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (Comparative Politics) and a concentration in Environmental Studies. After graduation, she worked in Maldives at an anticorruption NGO for a year before moving to Sri Lanka to work as a political and economic analyst for the Maldives at the U.S. Embassy.

Name: Nekbakhtshoev, Navruz
Subfield: Comparative

Email: nanekbak at

Name: O'Neill, Nathan (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: naoneill at

BA Political Science, Chemistry Minor, from DePauw University
MA International Relations from American Graduate School in Paris

Nathan O’Neill recently returned to the US after two years of study in Paris, France. He has worked in a research capacity for DePauw University, the City of Indianapolis Environment Program, the Institute for Alternative Futures, and the Council of Great Lakes Governors. His academic research efforts include comparative water policy studies and detailed political analyses of trans-boundary watersheds. Nathan maintains a variety of scholarly interests and is looking forward to a rewarding interdisciplinary experience in the Public Policy program. Nathan lives with his wife in Bloomington.

Name: Onishi, Kayo
Subfield:Comparative, IR

Email: konishi at

Name: Rees, Kristoffer
Subfield: Comparative, Philosophy

Email: rees at

Kristoffer Rees (BA, 2002, Whitman College; MA, 2008, Indiana University) studies comparative politics and political philosophy at Indiana University. He is currently pursuing a dual-PhD in Political Science and Central Eurasian Studies. His research interests include language policy, mechanisms of representation, and conceptions of citizenship. He is particularly interested how language policy reforms in post-Soviet Central Asia have affected individual notions of citizenship and citizens rights. Mr. Rees has substantial knowledge of both the Kyrgyz and the Kazakh languages.

David Ruigh

Name: Ruigh, David
Subfield: Comparative

Email: druigh at

BA in History, University of Kansas
BS in Journalism, University of Kansas
MA in International Affairs, Marquette University

David Ruigh is a first-year graduate student in the Department. His research interests concern how social and cultural identities manifest themselves politically in a context of increasing economic and political integration, particularly in Western and Southern Europe. He has a BA in History and a BS in Journalism from the University of Kansas, and an MA in International Affairs from Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Kentaro Sakuwa

Name: Sakuwa, Kentaro
Subfield: IR, Methods

Email: ksakuwa at

Name: Sanders, Ottawa
Subfield: IR, Policy

Email: ottasand at

Eric Schmidt

Name: Schmidt, Eric
Subfield: American, Political Philosophy

Email: errschmi at

Eric Schmidt is thrilled to be an incoming doctoral student at IU.  Born and raised in the suburbs of Milwaukee, he did his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then additional graduate work at Duke's Political Institutions and Public Choice (PIPC) program. Eric intends to concentrate on American politics and research methods, with crossover work in other subfields when opportunities arise.  Currently, he is interested in questions of religion, public opinion and political behavior - especially the influence of different variations of evangelical thought. In his spare time, Eric enjoys watching movies, listening to classical music, and golfing.   

Volker Schmitz

Name: Schmitz, Volker
Subfield: Philosophy, Comparative

Email: vschmitz at

Volker studied Political Science, Modern History, and Psychology at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. In 2008, he completed his M.A. degree with a thesis on political violence in the work of Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.  After two years of living and working in Tel Aviv and Berlin, he went on to earn his M.A. degree in North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.  His research interests include Marxism, Critical Theory, Politics and Culture, Political Economy, intellectual history, and labor and social movements.

Justin Schon

Name: Schon, Justin
Subfield: IR, Comparative

Email: jschon at

Name: Scofield, Katie
Subfield: Philosophy

Email: kbscofie at

Luke Shimeck

Name: Shimek, Luke
Subfield: Policy, Empirical Theory and Methods, Public Management


Email: lshimek at


MA in Economics - Indiana University (2011)
BS in Mathematics, Economics and International Studies - Wheaton College (2006)

Matthew Slaboch

Name: Slaboch, Matthew
Subfield: Comparative, Philosophy

Email: mslaboch at

Matthew Slaboch has research and teaching interests in comparative politics and political philosophy. His dissertation compares nineteenth century German, Russian, and American critiques of the idea of progress. His M.A. thesis, written at the University of Kansas, examines nationalist movements in East Central Europe. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, he received his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he majored in Political Science and Philosophy.

Katelyn Stauffer

Name: Stauffer, Katelyn
Subfield: American, Theory and Methods

Email: kastauff at

BA, History and Political Science, Gettysburg College

Katelyn is a second year Ph.D student studying American Politics with an emphasis on gender and issues of representation. Of particular interest to Katelyn is the interaction between gender and political parties. Over the course of the previous academic year she has studied this relationship both in the electoral and legislative context. 

Katie Stewart

Name: Stewart, Katie
Subfield: Comparative, IR


Email: katlstew at

BA Dickinson College

Katie specializes in comparative politics and international relations. Her research interests include nationalism, nation-building strategies, political contention, and federalism. Under the supervision of Regina Smyth, she is pursuing these interests with a dissertation on comparative nation-building strategies and mass responses in the regions of the Russian Federation. Katie is currently teaching an undergraduate course on democratization. In 2010, she graduated summa cum laude with honors in political science from Dickinson College. 

Name: Stone, Jason
Subfield: IR

Email: jgstone at

Alyssa Strunk

Name: Strunk, Alissa
Subfield: Comparative, Theory & Methods

Email: alistrun at

Alissa is a first year PhD candidate studying comparative politics with a focus on North African politics and democratic transition. Over the course of her academic career, Alissa has studied and worked in both Tunisia and Morocco. Most recently, Alissa spent the year following Tunisia’s revolution while running an American cultural center, holding and organizing programming on topics such as constitution-writing and civil society promotion. In addition to her experience abroad, Alissa served as an intern on Middle East Progress, a special project for the Center for American Progress. Alissa’s research interests include examining the past, present and future roles of Islamist parties in North Africa, and their impact on restructuring in the region, as they possibly alter their countries’ stances on key foreign policy issues. Alissa did her undergraduate work at the University of Oregon.

Name: Suzuki, Kohei
Subfield: Comparative Politics, Policy

Email: suzukik at

BA Law from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan)
MA International Affairs from George Washington University

Kohei Suzuki is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy at Indiana University. His studies focus on the roles of local governments in developing civil society at the local level among industrialized countries.

Kohei has worked for policy think tanks in Tokyo for eight years, conducting more than 50 policy research projects in the field of local revitalization and civil society for the Japanese Cabinet Office, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and other government agencies in Japan. After observing the peculiar roles of local governments to foster civil society as opposed to a national government, he decided to return to school to theoretically and empirically pursue this issue in comparative perspective.

Kevin Taber

Name: Taber, Kevin
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: cktaber at

Before coming to Indiana University, Kevin completed his B.A. and M.A. in International Affairs at Murray State University (in Murray, KY) and Washington University in St. Louis, respectively. While earning his M.A. at Washington University, Kevin worked in both St. Louis and Haiti with the nonprofit development and aid organization, Meds & Food for Kids.

Kevin’s research interests center around national identity movements, immigration, exchange (institutional, economic, cultural, and political), and various forms of conflict which may arise within a neo-/post-colonial context. This setting frames the relationships and interactions between and among former colonies (including various forms of overseas territories still in existence) and former colonial powers, the latter of which are largely concentrated in Western Europe.

Ben Toll

Name: Toll, Ben
Subfield: American

Email: btoll at

BA, Political Science and Sociology, Taylor University
MA, Church-State Studies, Baylor University

As an undergraduate, Ben had the opportunity to study quality of life and its impact on voting choice in local elections. As a graduate student, Ben studied the role that religion plays in politics throughout the world. Ben will be studying American Politics at IU with special interest in Political Behavior, Public Opinion, and Advocacy groups. He will be serving as an AI in the 2010-2011 school year.

Name: Tong, Jing
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: jitong at

Alexis Turner

Name: Turner, Alexis
Subfield: Comparative, Philosophy

Email: at27 at

BA Sarah Lawrence
MA Chicago

Alexis began her career studying science and the history of science. She is still drawn to these disciplines for the affinities between them and how her own mind puts things together; the way they tackle problems is indispensible to her work. That said, their answers have a deceptive appearance of finality, which provides a moment of frisson when discovered, but then the thing is fixed, lifeless. So in the intervening years she has poked at various things, but only fell in love when she discovered the existence of other people, to whom no answer can be pinned.

To be political is not to set and fix people, nor permit complete unruliness. It is the endeavor of living with them in this impossibility.

So her interests, while wide-ranging across the history of political thought, are currently focused on unraveling this confounding middle area. Somewhere between rule and not rule is the physics of moderation--the structure, movement, tensions, and balance that consistently characterize restrained political systems.

Hassan Wahab

Name: Wahab, Hassan
Subfield: American, Comparative

Email: hwahab at

Qun Wang

Name: Wang, Qun
Subfield: Policy

Email: qunwang at

Maria Waqar

Name: Waqar, Maria
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: mwaqar at

BS, Lahore University of Management Sciences
MA, National University of Singapore

Maria did her BSc. at Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore (her native city) and then earned an MA in political science from National University of Singapore. Most of her work experience has been in journalism. She has edited, researched and written for several sections of a newspaper. She also has taught undergraduate students, in journalism in Karachi and political science in Singapore. Her research interests focus on the politics of authoritarian and democratizing regimes. She is specifically interested in research puzzles relating to the durability of authoritarian regimes, endurance of mass protests and politics of development spending in nascent democracies.

Name: Way, Edwin
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: eway at

BA Economics, Swarthmore College
MA Political Science, University of Oregon

Edwin's interest in international and comparative politics grew out of experiences growing up overseas in Egypt, Burkina Faso and Denmark. Since graduating college he has spent considerable time in China first living and working in Hangzhou, and then working as a study-abroad program coordinator in the summers of 2007 and 2008 in Shandong province. Through a Federal Language and Area Studies grant, he spent a summer studying and conducting research in Taiwan, work that helped contribute to a Master's thesis examining ethnic politics in Taiwan and Northern Ireland. Possible research topics include Chinese industrial and technology policy and ethnic political conflict. In 2010-2011 he will be working as a research assistant for Professor Scott Kennedy's Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business.

Name: Webeck, Sean (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: spwebeck at

Brendon Westler

Name: Westler, Brendon
Subfield: Philosophy, Comparative

Email: bwestler at

Keith Wilson

Name: Wilson, Keith
Subfield: IR, Comparative

Email: wilsothk at

Major Keith Wilson arrives at Indiana University as part of a prestigious Air Force sponsored PhD program.  His most recent assignment was to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama where he completed work at the Air Command and Staff College. Previously, he served as Director of Operations at the 566th Intelligence Squadron, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. Other assignments have included deployments to the Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, tours with the National Security Agency, and another with the 97th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.  His military service began when he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Michigan in 2001, where he received a BA in Political Science and History, before going on to earn the MA in International Relations from Creighton University in 2009. Keith intends to focus on IR and Comparative Politics; he has a special interest in the role of religion in the politics of the Islamic world. Following completion of his doctorate, he is likely to be leveraged by the Air Force in support of joint, coalition, and interagency analysis, planning, and policy efforts.  Originally from Wyandotte, Michigan, he has been married over 12 years to Jennifer and has two daughters, Avery (10) and Mallory (8).

Name: Woldense, Josef
Subfield: Comparative

Email: jwoldens at

Thomas Wonder

Name: Wonder, Thomas
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: tewonder at

BA in Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia

Tom comes to Bloomington from the Washington D.C. area, where he worked in the government contracting sector. Prior to that, he taught English for two years in Moscow, Russia. He received a B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, with a minor in Russian and East European Studies. In his free time, Tom enjoys cycling, running, hiking, travelling, and watching sports, particularly soccer. His major research interests involve post-Soviet politics as well as ethnicity, nationalism, and religion.

Luke Wood

Name: Wood, Luke
Subfield: IR, Comparative

Email: lukwood at

BA Political Science, University of Minnesota
MA West European Studies, Indiana University

Luke Wood graduated with a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota.  He spent a portion of his undergraduate studies surveying West European Politics in Freiburg, Germany.  Before enrolling in Indiana University's Center for European Studies as an MA student, Wood studied Scandinavian politics at the University of Minnesota and the University of Iceland, Reykjavik.  Wood is a student of Comparative Politics and International Relations with a strong interest in West European politics, American foreign policy, and international conflict processes. 

Rafia Zakaria

Name: Zakaria, Rafia
Subfield: Comparative, IR

Email: rzakaria at

Name: Zhao, Shuang (Joint Ph.D.)
Subfield: Policy

Email: zhaosh at