The following students were named as 2016-2017 APSA Minority Fellowship Program recipients. These fellows plan on entering a PhD program in political science in the fall of 2016.
Estefania Castañeda Pérez received a B.A. in political science with a minor in honors interdisciplinary studies at San Diego State University (SDSU). Growing up in Tijuana, Mexico, and adopting the trans-border lifestyle to attend school in San Diego, CA prompted to write an senior honors thesis investigating the different experiences and perceptions of border policing from cross-border commuters in the pedestrian lanes at the Tijuana-San Ysidro border. Her thesis won Best Student Paper Award at the Association for Borderlands Studies Conference. After graduating from SDSU, she was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Madrid, Spain and worked to prepare high school students to compete in Model United Nations competitions. Estefania will focus her graduate studies on cross-border migration, border theory, human rights, and national security.
Alejandra Gimenez is a senior from Connecticut studying political science at Brigham Young University. She has been an undergraduate research fellow with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at BYU since January 2014. Her research interests include American political behavior, public opinion, campaigns and elections, candidate emergence, and survey research methods. She and her co-author won first place in the 2015 Pacific Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Student Paper Competition for their work on the effects of positive and negative cues on support for an increase in the federal minimum wage using a survey experiment that was fielded on the 2014 Utah Colleges Exit Poll. She has presented her work at MPSA, and in November 2015 she was selected to present at the University of Michigan’s Emerging Scholars Conference. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in American Politics.
Kenisha Gransberry is a graduating senior majoring in political science and minoring in History. She is very active in the political science department serving as the president of the Model United Nations Club, where they have won several awards for the last three years. In addition to working in her major field, Kenisha currently serves as the Student Government Association president. Given her leadership and passion for political science, she believes that her experiences will prepare her for the advancement the field. Ms. Gransberry hopes to pursue a Masters and Ph.D. in political science, and to utilize the foundation of these degrees to impact her community on the state and national level, through public service as a senator and through advocacy.
Jesse Lopez is currently an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. He will graduate in Summer 2016 with his BA in political science. He holds an Associate’s Degree with high honors from Santa Monica Community College. Jesse has served as a research apprentice on a project involving the role of gender stereotypes in California elections, and has conducted independent research at APSA’s 2015 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI). He was then invited to present this research, which focuses on the relationship between race, ethnicity, and retrospective voting, at the 2015 APSA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. He has also spent a semester at Sciences Po in Paris, building a broader understanding of political behavior. He plans to focus his graduate research on the role of racial identity in people’s political perceptions and behaviors.
Donna York received a BA in international studies, with a minor in French in 2013. She joined the Peace Corps for international experience and has participated in a number of other international learning experiences throughout her early years. In 2011, she lived abroad for the first time in South Korea learning about East Asian culture, economics, history, and learning the Korean language. Afterwards, she began to study Middle East and European cultures by learning Arabic and French. In 2012, she studied in France to learn about European affairs. In her tour in the Peace Corps, she taught over 30 hours of English and related projects to her community in Benin, West Africa. Her Peace Corps experience prepared her for a comprehensive practical experience in the field of political science.
IPSA joins APSA to congratulate them all and wish them the best of success.