The Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP) is delighted to introduce the inaugural cohort of Undergraduate Research Fellows. This new initiative, launched in the fall term 2020, is designed to engage and encourage Princeton seniors who are considering doctoral study in political science in the field of American politics.
These outstanding Princeton seniors will have unique opportunities for discussion with CSDP faculty, visiting fellows, current PhD students, guest faculty speakers, and other distinguished guests. Undergraduate fellows will attend CSDP weekly research seminars and other events and will be paired with a faculty mentor who can offer guidance about considering and applying to graduate programs, based on the student’s area of interest. Each may also work as a Research Assistant with CSDP faculty, pending a match between their interests and current faculty research opportunities.
Chris Flores is a senior in the politics department originally from Miami, FL. Their senior thesis seeks to understand how campaigns target Latino voters, and whether these appeals are effective, using survey experiments and large datasets. They are broadly interested in identity politics, political psychology, causal inference, and democratic theory.
Risa Gelles-Watnick is a senior in the Politics Department pursuing certificates in Statistics and Machine Learning, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Visual Arts. Her research has primarily focused on how traditionally marginalized groups speak and are spoken about in U.S. politics. She is currently working on her senior thesis, which quantitatively analyzes the effect of gender and race on communication during jury deliberations. She is also interning at the Brennan Center for Justice, conducting research on voting rights and judicial diversity. After graduation, she hopes to work in advocacy research for a few years before going on to graduate school in American political science.
Tori Gorton is a senior from Devon, England studying American politics and quantitative methods. Her independent research at Princeton has included a JP studying the news media framing of incidents of police use of lethal force, and a thesis that is investigating the powers held by police oversight boards and what makes for an effective one. Tori plans to pursue a PhD in American politics to further her exploration of issues related to criminal justice, identity politics, and political behavior.
Preston Johnston is a senior studying Politics. In the Politics Department, he is a student in the Program for Quantitative and Analytical Political Science (QAPS). He is also pursuing a certificate in Statistics and Machine Learning. His research interests center on the interplay between economic inequality, special interest politics, corruption, and redistribution. He is also interested in formal methods, particularly the application of machine learning and game theory to the study of politics. Outside of class, he is an avid competitive debater for Princeton’s debate team, and plays viola in the Princeton University Orchestra. After graduating from Princeton, he plans to pursue a PhD in political science. Preston lives in Nashville, TN.
Shreyas Kumar is a senior from Nashville studying International Relations and Formal Methods, with a focus on game theory. He is also pursuing certificates in Statistics and Machine Learning and Values and Public Life (ethics). His research interests include domestic constraints on international policy-making, Asian-American political representation, and judicial politics. His senior thesis will (probably) study strategic authoritarian behavior.
Ashley Scott is a senior in the School of Public and International Affairs. She is writing her thesis on felony disenfranchisement and its impact on individuals and communities. She will also receive a certificate in French Language and Culture. Ashley’s interests include American elections, policy, and international alliances. She is excited to learn more about American democracy and democracy around the world. In addition to being a CSDP Undergraduate Fellow, Ashley is a Residential College Advisor (RCA) in Butler College, a coxswain on the Women’s Lightweight Crew Team, and a member of the University Priorities Committee.