Research Assistants

Research assistants typically commit 3-5 hours per week to working with the Political Violence Lab. Current and previous research assistants are listed below.


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asaad al raeesi

Asaad Al Raeesi ('19) is from Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Asaad attended California State University, Long Beach prior to transferring to Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, Asaad studies Government and Public Policy. He has previously interned at the Central Bank of Oman and the Permanent Mission of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations during the 72nd Regular Session of the General Assembly. Upon graduating, Asaad will be interning in a philanthropic organization in San Francisco.

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Ellie baker

Ellie ('22) plans to major in Quantitative Social Science and minor in Middle Eastern Studies at Dartmouth College. She is excited by the interdisciplinary approach necessary to solve global problems, as well as the potential for Big Data to inform policy decisions. Focusing on international security as a Great Issues Scholar inspired her to join the Political Violence Lab. She is a member of the Dartmouth Climbing Team, and enjoys hiking and pond hockey.



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peninah benjamin

Peninah Benjamin ('20) is a junior at Dartmouth College. She is majoring in Developmental Economics with a modification in Human Centered Design, and a minor in Spanish, just coming back from a quarter of studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Peninah has always been passionate about health, medicine, and raising awareness for type 1 diabetes, since she was diagnosed with at the age of 7. This sparked her strong interest in global health and has led her to spend the last five summers setting up camps for children and adults in the Dominican Republic with a type 1 diabetes non-profit organization, AYUDA (American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad). On campus, she is on Dartmouth’s Varsity Sailing Team, involved in Hillel, DEN (Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network), and the Rockefeller center for Public Policy. This winter she is working for Close Concerns, a diabetes research and publication company, located in San Francisco, CA.  

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annie blackburn

Annie ('20) intends to major in government and minor in geography, focusing on the study of international development. She grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and developed her interest in international development through her high school's partnership with a school in Rwanda. In addition to her involvement with the Political Violence Lab, Annie is a member of DREAM peer mentoring — a group of college students that mentor local children living in affordable housing, and a member of the Varsity Women's Rowing team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, and spending time with her family and dog. After Dartmouth, Annie hopes to attend law school.

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elise burr

Elise ('19) hails from Portland, Oregon and studies Government and Arabic. On campus, she is a Presidential Scholar research assistant, an Arabic drill instructor, and a member of Casual Thursday improvisational comedy group. Her work experience includes serving as a research intern at the Institute for the Study of War and Lawyers Without Borders. In her free time, Elise enjoys playing board games and reading Dan Brown novels.

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Mary Versa Clemens-Sewall

Mary Versa ('20) is a math major and Arabic minor. Her experiences in and before college are a blend of math and science, as well as international study and exchange. She has spent terms in Ghana, Morocco, and Kuwait, exploring her interests in math education and cross-cultural learning. She hopes to use her quantitative background to investigate the effects of conflict exposure on civilians, especially as it pertains to students' experience of school after exposure to conflict. In addition to conducting research in the Political Violence Lab, she works at RWIT — the on-campus writing and research tutoring center — and dances with the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble.

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stephanie cyhn

Stephanie ('22) intends to double major in Government and Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth. Having lived in the Philippines most her life, she is deeply interested in the sociopolitical state of similarly developing nations — especially after having worked in governmental departments for a few years. She hopes to one day go back home to help improve the political system especially in the public policy area. Outside of class, Stephanie is an EcoRep in the Sustainability Council and writes creative non-fiction pieces. She also enjoys staying active, reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.

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ryan ewing

Ryan ('21) is from Sudbury, Massachusetts. At Dartmouth, he is an economics major and a geography minor. In addition to research with the Political Violence Lab, Ryan is a member of the Dartmouth Ski Patrol and is involved with the Dartmouth Investment and Philanthropy Program. Additionally, Ryan volunteers for Outdoor Leadership Experience, a community service program dedicated to mentoring local middle-schoolers. In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time outside with family and friends. After graduating from Dartmouth, he hopes to pursue a career in international development.

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erin fitzgerald

Erin ('20) is an Anthropology & Economics modified with Development double major, interested in the intersection between social and economic development especially in conflict-vulnerable areas. At Dartmouth, she is also involved in COSO, Chi Delta, Women’s Club Lacrosse, D-LAB, and MAV.

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reid funston

Reid ('20) is from Atlanta. He is majoring in Government and English, with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies, and is a member of Dartmouth's policy debate team, which competes at the national level and has contributed to his interest in political science. Reid is particularly interested in the foreign policies of states in the Middle East, and he has studied abroad in Morocco with Dartmouth’s Arabic program.

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elizabeth garrison

Elizabeth Garrison ('21) is a sophomore from Miramar, Florida and is planning on double majoring in Government and History with a minor in Theater. She is a member of the War and Peace Fellows program at the Dickey Institute for International Understanding and an arts writer for The Dartmouth. In addition, she works for the Hopkins Center as an Usher and is a mic-runner at the Dickey Center. In the summer, Elizabeth served as an intern for Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz where she assisted with constituent outreach and immigration casework. Last fall, Elizabeth studied abroad in the Government FSP London program and took classes in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In the future, she plans to attend law school and pursue a career as a lawyer specializing in international human rights law. At the Political Violence Lab, Elizabeth will be working on the PAMANA project which evaluates the effectiveness of international development initiatives in the Philippines.

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nia gooding

Nia ('20) is majoring in government with minors in global health and geography at Dartmouth College. She intends to focus on the intersections between international politics, development and global health in her studies. Nia hails from Princeton, New Jersey and graduated from The Pingry School with honors. Following her interests in global health and international policymaking, she participated in the 2015 Global Youth Institute for the World Food Prize as a representative of the state of New Jersey, and presented a paper on factors compounding the prevalence of dietary diseases in the Caribbean for that year’s Laureate, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. At Dartmouth, Nia dances with Ujima Dance Troupe and is a Global Health Fellow with the Dickey Center for International Understanding. She also was a member of Dartmouth's delegation for the 2017 Ivy League Summit.

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maria hidalgo

Maria Teresa Hidalgo ('22) is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is intending to major in Russian Area Studies and Government, and a history minor at Dartmouth College. Maria has previously worked in the Puerto Rico Tourism Company with filing, as well as in the Sila M. Gubernatorial Library by supporting the librarian in research. At Dartmouth, she has written for the Dartmouth in The Mirror and in the Arts section. In addition, she has been a member of the Aquinas Catholic Association, La Alianza, the Allen House Executive Board, and the French Language Living Learning Community. Maria hopes to continue her studies unto Law School.

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robert hobart

Bobby ('21) studies History and Economics at Dartmouth College. He is particularly interested in researching incidents that have provoked global economic changes. He worked for two summers as an intern in the office of Congressman Edward R. Royce (CA-39) on issues related to natural resources and homeland security. He is also a member of the Dartmouth Brovertones a cappella group, Men’s Club Lacrosse, the SIBS youth mentoring program, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. After college, he hopes to work in public service, and serve in the United States military. He is also an avid fan of the Oakland Raiders.

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tim holman

Tim ('20) hails from Cleveland, Ohio. At Dartmouth, Tim is pursuing a major in Government with a minor in Public Policy. He has continued his passion for student governance as an elected member of Student Assembly and the Undergraduate Finance Committee. Additionally, he is a Dartmouth Tour Guide and a member of the Hill Winds Society.

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amy hu

Amy Hu is currently an undergraduate at Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, she intends to study government, economics, and environmental policy focusing on the intersection between economic factors, conflict, and sustainable development. She is from Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Northview High School as an AP Scholar with Distinction. She attended the Governor’s School and placed 2nd nationally in the Exploravision competition as well as the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair for a project on optimizing carbonic acid neutralization to minimize costs for corporations. On campus, Amy conducts research with Dr. Andrew Shaver, leads the Hackdartmouth Design team and tutors with Tutor Clearinghouse. She is involved with the Women in Science Program and is a Great Issues Scholar at the Dickey Center for International Understanding.

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caterina barrena hyneman

Caterina Barrena Hyneman ('21) is a Latino American student from Southern California who is happy to call Dartmouth College her home while pursuing a Government major and Computer Science minor. Hyneman just finished studying abroad in Madrid, and was a First Year Fellow through the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, working as an Investigative Intern at the Project on Government Oversight during her freshman summer. She has found community on campus at the Rockefeller Center as a facilitator for Dartmouth Leadership, Attitudes, and Behaviors program (DLAB) where she mentors first years to become leaders in the Dartmouth community and beyond.

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zachary jaynes

Zac ('21) is from Irmo, SC where he graduated from Dutch Fork High School. After graduation, Zac enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served as a team leader in 3rdBattalion, 75th Ranger Regiment over the course of three combat deployments to Afghanistan. At Dartmouth, Zac is a Government major focusing on security studies with an emphasis on the Middle East. After Dartmouth, Zac hopes to pursue a masters and eventually continue his public service with the State Department.

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Vineela Kanagala

Vineela ('20) is from Connecticut and is Quantitative Social Science major with a focus in Anthropology at the College. She hopes to use data and quantitative analysis to understand the world around her. Outside of the Political Violence Lab, Vineela does research in gene editing at Geisel and works for a start-up called Nudg through the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network. In her free-time she loves to run around Pine Park, spend time outside with her friends, and do yoga.

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Abhimanyu Kapur

Abhimanyu ('21) studies Computer Science, Psychology, Human-Centered Design and Creative Writing at Dartmouth. In addition to his work at the Political Violence Lab, Abhimanyu is a Director in the Mental Health Union, a member of the urban dance group, Street Soul, and is learning to play the saxophone. For the academic year 2017-18, he was a Dickey Center Great Issues Scholar, a Rufus Choates Scholar and an Emerging Leader. After graduation, he is interested in pursuing graduate school.

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Lamees Kareem

Lamees ('22) is an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She is a member of the Great Issues Scholars Program at the Dickey Center for International Understanding. Lamees draws editorial cartoons for The Dartmouth and writes for the Dartmouth Admissions's blog. She is also an Arabic drill instructor and tutor. Lamees plans on pursuing a degree in Economics & Government, possibly focusing on the Middle East. During her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, visiting art exhibits, and playing the piano.

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Dhwani Kharel

Dhwani ('22) is from Brookings, South Dakota. At Dartmouth, she plans to major in Government and minor in Public Policy. She is interested in law, social justice issues, and international relations. In high school, Dhwani competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate, which sparked her interest in international politics and national security. After college, Dhwani hopes to work in a public service field, and eventually, attend law school. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, coaching high school debate, and watching bad romantic comedies.

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DJ kim

DJ (DhungJoo, '19) is studying Engineering Sciences at Dartmouth College, with a Studio Art modification. At Dartmouth, in addition to working with the Political Violence Lab, he is the co-Director of HackDartmouth, an organization that hosts an annual 300 person hackathon at Dartmouth. DJ tutors students in Economics and Computer Science and is a teaching assistant for CS21. He is also a member of the Dartmouth Committee on Standards and the Organizational Adjudication Committee. His previous work experience entails interning at Wolf Den Associates as a consulting intern and The Vanguard Group as a UX Strategy intern. Additionally, he is working on a small e-commerce start-up company after designing and filing a patent for a product. After college, DJ will be working as a Quantitative Data Analyst at a start-up accelerator in Boston. In his free time, he enjoys snowboarding, photography, and cooking. 

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Daniel Kramer

Daniel ('21) studies Government and Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth. Outside of the Political Violence Lab, he is a member of the Varsity Heavyweight Rowing team, participates in the Dart to Hart mentoring program, and was a first-year Trips leader. He enjoys hiking, eating Italian food, and viewing fine art.

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Sophia kriz

Sophia ('22) graduated from Millard North High School in Omaha, NE with both AP honors and an International Baccalaureate Diploma. At Dartmouth, she intends to major in government with a minor in public policy. Throughout high school she participated in policy debate, and is continuing this participation into college as a traveling member of the Dartmouth Forensics Union. She is also a member of the Thought Project at Dartmouth.

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caroline lee

Caroline ('20) is a junior at Dartmouth and is a Quantitative Social Science and French double major.  Currently, she is on the Counterinsurgent Learning Team conducting research for Professor Chris Price. Other than the PVL, Caroline is involved in a variety of activities on campus. She is currently a board member on the Dartmouth Student Organization Accountability Board, in Alpha Phi sorority, a peer advisor in the Sexual Assault Peer Alliance, and works as a student French tutor. Caroline hopes to pursue a career in finance and aims to learn more about global geopolitical economic risk through her research.

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juliann li

Juliann ('21) is from San Diego, California. She intends to major in Government and French and minor in Anthropology. She is especially interested in the way different cultural perceptions affect foreign policies and international relations. In the future, Juliann hopes to do more research into the way that cultures are constructed, and how they are used effectively or deleteriously as political tools. Her dream is to work in different countries and for different governments, and to constantly expand her perspective. Currently, Juliann is doing research on the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on the states of Turkey and Afghanistan to analyze how culture and national identity have played, or failed to play a role in the process of state-building.

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steven li

Stephen ('21) grew up in Beijing, Hong Kong, and California before coming to Dartmouth. At the College, he studies Government, Mathematics, and Middle Eastern Studies. He is particularly interested in areas of political philosophy and international relations. Outside the Political Violence Lab, Stephen is involved with Dartmouth Law Journal, oral history projects with Dartmouth librarians, and works as a teaching assistant for the Music Department. A big fan of classical music, Stephen also takes private piano lessons with Dartmouth professors and sings in the Glee Club. After graduating, Stephen plans on pursuing advanced degrees in law and international relations. In his free time, Stephen enjoys photography, learning new languages and tasting Asian noodles.

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sabrina li shen

Sabrina ('21) comes from Wellesley, Massachusetts and graduated from Noble and Greenough School as a Cum Laude Scholar and a recipient of the Alumni Prize for Excellence in History. At Dartmouth, Sabrina plans to pursue a double major in Government and Neuroscience. In addition to working as a Research Assistant at the Political Violence Lab, she is an associate editor for the Dartmouth Law Journal, an intern with NextGen America, an opinion writer for The Dartmouth, and a member of the Collis Student Programming Board. Sabrina also does work with sexual violence prevention and she is a member of the College’s Student Advisory Board. After graduation, Sabrina plans to attend law school and pursue a career in law.

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lynette Long

Lynette ('20) is a BA candidate in Classical Language and Literature and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, with a minor in Government. In addition to her involvement with the Political Violence Lab, she is also the President of her sorority, the VP of Operations for the Dartmouth Mock Trial Society, a Presidential Scholar for the Classics Department, and a writer, editor, and graphic designer for multiple student journals — including the Dartmouth Law Journal, the Dartmouth Political Times, World Outlook, and the Apologia. Outside of her interest in studying conflict and political violence, she is also interested in classical myth and philosophy and sustainable development. Outside of academics, she enjoys training for endurance races, skiing, and oil painting.

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talia lorch

Talia ('20) is pursuing a double major in Government and Psychology and a minor in French, with a focus on international relations, international law, and political psychology at the College. On campus, Talia is active in Hillel, World Outlook: Dartmouth’s Undergraduate International Affairs Journal, and Relay for Life. After graduation, Talia hopes to pursue a law degree, and, eventually, a career in international human rights law.

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max lurie

Max ('19) is majoring in Government and minoring in Middle Eastern studies. He is interested in international relations with a focus on American foreign policy in the Middle East. Max became interested in the Political Violence Lab because of its focus on counterinsurgency in the Middle East and the impact that it has on American policy. Outside of class, Max is a goalkeeper on the men’s varsity soccer team, leader of Dartmouth’s chapter of AIPAC on campus, and a member of Chi Heorot fraternity.

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duncan mccallum

Duncan ('20) is pursuing degrees in History and Government at Dartmouth College, with particular focuses on European political history and international relations. These passions lead him to compete on Dartmouth's policy debate team, the Dartmouth Forensics Union. Duncan is also an Associate Editor at the Dartmouth Law Journal and is a member of the Ultimate Frisbee Team. When he's not playing ultimate, he prefers to spend his time outside skiing, hiking, and playing soccer. From Massachusetts, he is also an avid Boston sports fan.

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hugh mckenzie

Hugh McKenzie ('22) is currently a first-year undergraduate at Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth College, he intends to study Economics, Government and Chinese. His passion for international development began when he attended the 2016 Women Deliver Conference. Since then he has explored his interest in global health by interning at Pathfinder International and joining the Afrika Tikkun Junior Board committee. On campus he is a part of the Dartmouth Men’s Varsity Swimming & Diving team.

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sam morton

Sam ('21) is from Larchmont, NY. He intends to major in Computer Science and minor in Government. Two of his passions are music and sports, and throughout high school, Sam played violin in his school’s symphony orchestra and ran for the cross country and track teams. At Dartmouth, he is on the cross country and track teams, running events from 3000m through 8000m, in addition to conducting research at the Political Violence Lab.

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nick nobles

Nick ('21) is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and studies Government at the College. Prior to Dartmouth, he spent 6 years in the United States Air Force as an aircraft mechanic. This is his second year as a Research Assistant at the Political Violence Lab, where he is currently a member of the PAMANA research team. In the past, he has worked on projects examining drones strikes in Pakistan, refugee flows in Africa, and counterinsurgency strategy. In addition to his involvement with the Political Violence Lab, Nick is a Posse Foundation Veteran Scholar, War and Peace Fellow, member of Dartmouth EMS, and an avid salsa dancer. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in public service.

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Rachel Pakianathan

Rachel ('21) is from Princeton, New Jersey. She intends to pursue a double major in Economics and English at the College. In addition to her involvement with the Political Violence Lab, Rachel is a member of The Dartmouth News Staff, a volunteer for DOC first-year trips program, and an assistant for the Office of Visa and Immigration Services. She spent the past summer working as a communications intern in the DC office of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12). In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and playing the piano.

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meghna ray

Meghna ('20) is a BA candidate in Quantitative Social Science and Chemistry minor at Dartmouth College, with a focus on global health and international development. In addition to her position at the Political Violence Lab, she is a member of Dartmouth EMS and a Global Health Fellow at the John Sloan Global Health Fellow. Meghna works for the Healthy Heart Initiative, an NGO focused on cardiovascular health awareness among school children and communities, early detection of various risk factors, and amelioration of morbidity and mortality. After college, Meghna hopes to attend medical school.

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Ruan Rodrigues

Ruan Rodrigues '21 is originally from Belém, Brazil. At Dartmouth, his academic interests include Geopolitics, International Development, and Middle Eastern as well as Latin American studies. During his freshman year, he was part of the Dickey Center's Great Issues Scholars program. He also worked as a research assistant for the Government Department, investigating links between social media and conspiracy theories in Brazilian society. On his freshman summer, he was part of a group of Dartmouth students who went to Jamkhed, India, through the Dickey Center Global Health Initiative, to work in a public health NGO. As a sophomore, Ruan went to Israel study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he explored Middle Eastern Politics and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. On campus, Ruan has worked as a language drill instructor. He is part of Dartmouth's Gospel Choir in addition to engaging in theater initiatives.

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Alex Rounaghi

Alex Rounaghi ('20) studies government, history, and public policy, with a particular focus on the Middle East, at the College. Outside of the Political Violence lab, he is involved with College Democrats, the Dartmouth Law Journal, and the Ethics Institute's Supreme Court Seminar. Alex also served as a Judicial Intern for Judge John Mott of the D.C. Superior Court through the Rockefeller Center’s First Year Fellows program. Alex loves going to the beach (during breaks), hiking, and running. After graduating Dartmouth, he hopes to find exciting ways to pursue his interests in law and national security. 

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vanessa smiley

Vanessa ('21) intends to double major in Economics and English. She is a writer for the Mirror section of The Dartmouth and has been heavily involved in Chinese journalism and translation projects in the past. She hopes her research will allow her to better understand the nuanced differences between central and local politics, as well as the role of local cultures in shaping notions of legitimacy.

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sarah solomon

Sarah ('21) is from Sharon, Massachusetts. She intends to major in Quantitative Social Science with a focus on Government and minor in Public Policy and Middle Eastern studies. These interests prompted Sarah to intern at the Congressional Research Service's Government and Finance division as a First-Year Fellow with the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy. Sarah has also conducted research with the Tsokos Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston and with the Mark Spaller Research Group as a Women in Science Project intern at Dartmouth. Sarah currently analyzes data for the Rockefeller Center's Legacy Preservation Project. Outside of research, Sarah works as a teacher's aide and as a member of the 2021 Class Council. In her free time, Sarah performs with DStyle, Dartmouth's freestyle rap group, and cooks in her Living Learning Community, Foley House.

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dania torres

Dania ('20) studies Arabic and Government with a focus on comparative politics, particularly in the Middle East and Latin America at the College. She is a member of the Hill Winds Society and has served as an events intern at the Dickey Center for International Understanding. She works as a tutor for America Reads, digital communications intern for Dartmouth Advancement, and tutor for the Spanish Department. She recently interned with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence. Through her research, she hopes to deepen her understanding of civilian effects and responses arising from political violence across different populations. 

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ben vagle

Ben ('22) is from Denver, Colorado, and became interested in international relations through his reading on history and current events. He intends to study international relations, security, and economics at the College. In addition to conducting research with the Political Violence Lab, he is involved with World Outlook: Dartmouth’s Undergraduate International Affairs Journal, and Dartmouth’s Climbing Team. In his free-time, Ben enjoys reading and hiking and mountain biking around New Hampshire.

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Luis Valdovinos

Luis ('20) hails from Los Angeles, California, and studies government and philosophy at Dartmouth College, with an interest in political theory and the philosophy of language. On campus, he is involved with La Alianza Latina, the Latinx Heritage Month planning committee, was the Undergraduate Advisor for the college's LALAC house. He is also involved with OPAL Ambassadors, facilitating workshops to promote inclusivity on campus. In his free time, he enjoys trail running and making new connections.

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andrew xiang

Andrew ('20) plans to double major in Government and English with a minor in Public Policy at Dartmouth College. Outside of the Political Violence Lab, Andrew is also a managing editor of the Dartmouth Law Journal and a traveling member of the Dartmouth Forensics Union, Dartmouth’s nationally competitive policy debate team. Andrew also worked at the National Disability Institute in Washington D.C. for a summer after being selected through the Rockefeller Center’s First Year Fellows program. In his free time, Andrew enjoys listening to music, swimming, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

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Lily Hyewon Yoon

Lily ('21) is an exchange student from Yonsei University, South Korea. She is a political science and international relations major and a prospective economics minor. Her focus lies in state violence and its relationship with civic movements, nationalism, along with security issues between Northeast Asian countries and the US. In addition to the Political Violence Lab, she is involved with the Political Economy Project on campus. After graduation, she plans to obtain a degree in law and eventually pursue her current interests, helping develop sustainable legal & security models through international law organizations.

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Timothy Zepf

Timothy Zepf ('21) is from Londonderry, New Hampshire. At Dartmouth, he plans on majoring in Government and Economics. He is also the track and field team at the College. Timothy enjoys hiking and spending time at the lake during the summer.

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Brandon Zhou

Brandon ('22) is from Vancouver, Canada, and is currently undecided on his major. However, he is interested in international relations — more specifically, diplomatic relations between countries on the global stage. Outside the Political Violence Lab, Brandon is on the parliamentary debate team and is involved with DartMUN. Brandon’s interest in international affairs comes from his travels around the world, exploring new geographies and different cultures.