In 1994 the National Science Foundation awarded a five year grant to UC Irvine to develop a graduate training program on democracy and democratization. When the NSF grant finished, community and business leaders in Southern California provided new funds to support Democracy Fellows.

The students from this program are establishing new careers as university faculty at Arizona State University, Colgate University, Hunter College, the University of Washington, Weslyan, and other campuses. Other students have positions as polling experts, federal court clerks, the federal government, or in private consultancy.


Fellows by Class


Fall 2018

Melina Much

Melina Much
B.A. Political Science and Economics, Francis Marion University.
Interests: Political Behavior with an emphasis on women’s political participation.

Michael Spitz

Michael Spitz
B.A. Political Science, California State University, Fullerton.
Interests: Comparative Politics, Democracy Studies, Mexico Border.


Fall 2017

2017 Fellow

Kaylin Bourdon (B.A., University of San Diego) Interests: Political Sociology


Fall 2016

2016 Fellows

Maneesh Arora (B.A., University of Oregon) Interests: Race and ethnicity, public opinion, and political behavior

Jessica Callahan (B.A., Tulane University) Interests: Social movements, sexuality, and family

Nathan Chan (B.A., University of California, Los Angeles) Interests: Race and ethnicity politics and American and comparative political behavior. I am particularly interested in studying political participation of Asian Americans as well as political protest and democratization in Hong Kong.

Sofia Pedroza (B.A., Sofia Pedroza) Interests: Political sociology, sociology of law, democracy, and reproductive rights


Fall 2015

2015 Fellows

Lauren Anderson
(University of Georgia, BA International Affairs)
Interests: Political Sociology, Culture and Equality

Colin Bernatzky
(Vassar College, BA Sociology and Religion)
Interests: culture and social movements


Fall 2014

2014 Fellows

Jennifer Garcia
(UC Berkeley, BA Political Science, and UC Irvine, MA Political Science)
Interests: American politics and race and ethnic politics. Racial and ethnic representation in American political institutions (not pictured)

Robert Nyenhuis
(University of Missouri, BA Political Science, UC Irvine, MA Political Science)
Interests: Electoral choice in democratizing nations, the role of political parties in developing democracies, and institutional development and democratization


Fall 2013

2013 Fellows

Kathryn Hoban
(BA, Psychology and Peace Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley, AM, Social Service Adminstration, University of Chicago)
Interest: Social Movements, Political Sociology, Group Process, and Organizational Theory

Megan Brooker
(BA, Anthropology, Haverford Colleg, MPA, Public Affairs, Washington State University)
Interests: Social Movements, Social Change, Political Sociology, Participatory Democracy

Jason Mueller
(BA, Political Science & Sociology, Stony Brook University)
Interests: Global political economy, development, contentious politics, political violence, historical and comparative methods, Sub-Saharan Africa


Fall 2012

2012 Fellows

Burrel Vann Jr.
(B.A., California State University, Fullerton, 2010, M.A. California State University, Fullerton, 2012)
Interests: Social Movements, Political Sociology, Statistics, Social Networks

Lila P. Kooklan
(B.A., University of California, Irvine, 2009)
Interests: Race/Ethnicity in American politics, Middle Eastern diasporas, racialization, political participation, incorporation, democratization, media and politics  


Fall 2011

2011 Fellows

Anna Tan
(B.A., York University)
Interests: political sociology, social movements

Eulalie Jean Laschever
(B.A., Pacific University)
Interests: social movements, media, culture, political sociology

Katelyn Finley
(B.A., Washington and Lee University)
Interests: democracy studies


Fall 2010

2010 Fellows

Ralph Ittonen Hosoki
(B.A., Carleton College, M.A., University of Tokyo)
Interests: Labor unions and workers' movements, immigration and citizenship, Japan

Dana Marie Moss
(B.A., Loyola College, Maryland: M.A., Villanova University)
Interests: Sociology of religion, social movements and collective action, ethnic conflict, Yemen

Neil Chaturvedi
(B.A., UC Riverside)
Interests: American politics, political behavior, public opinion, elections, public choice

Ryan Shirah
(B.A., University of Georgia, M.A., Florida State)
Interests: Comparative Politics, mass political behavior, formal theory, democratization

Daisy Reyes
(B.A., UC Santa Barbara, M.A., UC Irvine)
Interests: Social Movements; political sociology; race, class, and sexuality; latino politics; education; qualitative methodologies


Fall 2009

2009 Fellows

Kenneth Chaiprasert
(B.A., University of California, Los Angeles; J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Interests: Comparative politics and democracy studies

Beth Gardner
(B.A., New York University)
Interests: Social movements, inequality, urban sociology

Henry Hail
(B.A., Boston College)
Interests: Social movements and culture

Danvy Le
(B.A., California State University, Fresno)
Interests: Immigration, race and ethnicity, political participation


FALL 2008
Yiyang Hu (B.A., Hangzhou Dianzi University): Public opinion, Chinese Poitics support, and International Political Economy.
Peter Miller (B.A., Reed College): American Politics, Comparative Politics.
Kathy Rim (B.A., University of Californa, Irvine; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles): Racial/Ethnic Politics, Asian American Political Behavior, Immigrant Political Incorporation.
Benjamin Thomas (B.A., University of Calfornia, San Diego): Environmental politics and policy, political economy.


FALL 2007
Seth Alexander (B.A., University of Redlands) Democratization, political change, and enduring authoritarianism.
Moon-Young Choi(B.A., University of Californa, Los Angeles): Race/Ethnic Politics. Immigration Policy. (Not Pictured)
Sharmaine Jackson (B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder; J.D., Rutgers School of Law – Newark): Political sociology, public policy, globalization, human rights, international law and crime.
Alice Motes (B.A., Smith College): Political sociology, social movements, religion, and identity.
Dana Nakano (B.A. & B.A.S., University of Pennsylvania; M.A., San Francisco State University): Political sociology, social movements, race and ethnicity, Asian American studies
Fatima Rahman (B.A., UC San Diego; MA, University of Californa, Riverside): Islam and democracy, democratization in the Islamic world, religion and politics, Southwest Asia.
Elizabeth Sowers (B.A., UC Santa Barbara; M.A., University of Cambridge, UK): Globalization, labor, economic sociology, political economy.


FALL 2006
Amy Alexander (B.A., M.A., California State University) Women and Politics, Comparative Development, Comparative Institutions, Comparative Legislative Behavior, Social Values.
Jerry Benzl (B.A., UC Berkeley): International Economics, Political Economy, Conflict Theory, Law and Economics. (not pictured)
Kristine Coulter (B.A., University of Minnesota): Gender, Race and Ethnic Politics
Gregory Ferenstein (B.A., UC Santa Cruz): Democracy Studies, Democratic Institutions
Karl Kruse (B.A., TCU): Northeast Asia, International Relations, Domestic Coalitions
Jared Olesen (B.A., Illinois State University): Globalization, Collective Action, and the Socio-political Consequences of Global Justice Groups
Michelle Peria (B.A., University of Washington): Political Sociology, Ethnography, Social Movements, Mass Media and Politics
Kimberly Shella (B.A., Oberlin College, A.M. University of Chicago, M.A. Columbia University): Democracy Studies, Race and Ethnic Politics

FALL 2005
Lorien Jasny (B.A., Columbia University): Social Networks, Mathematical Sociology, Political Sociology, Social Movements and Organizations.
Reuben Kline (B.A., Hiram College): Public Choice, Comparative Politics, Electoral Systems, Federalism and Political Accountability.


FALL 2004
William Chiu (B.A., UC Berkeley): comparative politics, democratization.
Jill Harper (B.A., Michigan State University): comparative politics, international relations, democratization.
Hsin-Yeh Hsieh (B.A., National Taiwan University): East Asian politics, electoral systems, democratization in East Asia, International Political Economy.
Willi Jou (B.A., UC San Diego): European union, international relations.
Chris Stout (B.A., UC Riverside): American politics, minority political behavior.


FALL 2003
Matthew Cardinale (B.A., Tulane University)
John Ensch (B.A., UC Davis): comparative politics, empirical democratic theory, international relations.
Bryan Leifer (B.A., UC Berkeley)
Adam Martin (B.A., Cal Lutheran): American & comparative politics.
Kelly Ramsey (B.A., University of Nebraska): political sociology, international democratization processes


FALL 2002
Catherine Corrigall-Brown (B.A., University of Ontario): political sociology, participation, and youth.
Natalie Masuoka (B.A., California State University): minority politics, Asian American grassroots mobilization, and political participation.
Alix van Sickle (B.A., San Diego State University): civil society & democracy, Latin American politics, comparative politics.

FALL 2001
Matt Barreto (B.A., University of New Mexico)
Nhu-Ngoc Ong (B.A., California State University, Fullerton): democratization process, Asian values debate, socio-political attitudes, Vietnamese-American politics, and the World Values Survey in Vietnam.
Bogdan Radu (B.A., University of Bucharest, Romania): democratization, public opinion, Eastern Europe & Romania.


FALL 2000
Bruce Hemmer (B.A., University of Virginia): political culture, democratization, ethnic conflict, civil society, democracy & diversity within associations.
Michael Jensen (B.A., University of Iowa): internet politics, democratic theory, and the history of the discipline.
Susan Kupperstein (B.A., UC San Diego): democratization in developing countries, African politics & foreign policy.
Michael Latner (B.A., California State University): American and Comparative Political Institutions, Political Geography, Urban Politics.
Lindsey Lupo (B.A., UC Santa Barbara): American & comparative politics, political violence, & political institutions.


FALL 1999
Erik Faleski (B.A., SUNY Binghamton)
Steve Plette (B.A., UC Irvine): participation in community-level political activities, American electoral politics.
Deana Rohlinger (B.A., California State University)


FALL 1998

1998 Fellows

Andrew Drummond (B.A., Indiana University)
Interests: political parties & electoral systems, political behavior & attitudes, representation & democratic theory.

Sharon Lean (B.A., Brown University)

Michael J. Struett (B.A., U.C. Berkeley)
Interests: international relations, East Asian Politics (not pictured)

Steve Weldon (B.A., Wittenberg College)
Interests: political parties, German & European politics, comparative immigration and ethnicity issues.


FALL 1997

1997 Fellows

Greg Gardner (B.A., UCLA)

Steve Recchia (B.A., University of Michigan)

David McKey (B.A., Austin College)



FALL 1996

1996 Fellows

Brian Adams (B.A., University of Southern California)(not pictured)

Lawrence Fan (B.A., California State University)

Randall Gibbs (B.A., Brigham Young)

Marcus Harper (B.A., Texas A&M University)



FALL 1995

1995 Fellows

Miki Caul (B.A., Arizona State University)

Rachel Cichowski (B.A., UC San Diego)

Mark Gray (B.A., UCLA)(not pictured)

Debbie Kaplan (B.A., Union College)

Lina Newton (B.A., Wesslyn College)

Anthony Salvanto (B.A., Tufts University)


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766