IPPSR is excited to welcome a great group of IPPSR Policy Fellows for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Our undergraduates apply research to current issues in the Michigan Legislature, our Masters of Public Policy students write state policy research reports, and our Ph.D. students maintain large datasets for research and practice.
Katie is a senior at Michigan State University double majoring in International Relations and Spanish. Her policy interests include affordable housing, community development, criminal justice, and women’s and minority’s issues. During her time at MSU, she presented original research on President Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum. She has also served as research assistant for Dr. Robert Brathwaite in James Madison College. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in the public sector.
Andrea is a Junior from Buchanan majoring in World Politics with minors in International Development and Political Economy. She is interested in sustainability and environmental protection, and hopes to one day connect that to a career in sustainable development. Andrea is also very involved in student leadership on campus, and participated in a study abroad to Brussels, Belgium where she focused on European security and European Union politics and policy.
Layla an undergraduate student in the College of Social Science working on her Bachelor’s Degree in World Politics with minors in African Studies and Women Studies. Her policy interests include anti-discriminatory legislation for minority groups and women’s issues in government. She is currently studying female parliamentarian retention in Malawi, where she interned for the 50:50 Campaign, an organization focused on increasing women’s representation in government within the country. She hopes to pursue a doctorate in Political Science.
Emily is a junior from Bloomfield Hills. She is majoring in Political Science Pre-Law with minors in Spanish, as well as Law, Justice and Public Policy. Her research interests include election-related policies ranging from recently altered early voting and registration laws, to the topic of redistricting. Throughout her undergraduate years, Emily has been involved in numerous law-related opportunities, such as Empowering Women in Law and the Political Science Scholars Program. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career as a public interest, criminal defense or immigration lawyer.
Troy is a second-year student in James Madison College and the Honors College at Michigan State University majoring in Social Relations and Policy and Comparative Cultures and Politics. He also serves as the Brotherhood Chair of Kappa Alpha Pi, MSU's professional pre-law fraternity. In July 2019, he founded the MSU Hub of the Sunrise Movement, a non-profit, youth-led group dedicated to bringing an end to climate change and creating dignified jobs in the process. His policy interests include income and wealth inequality, environmental justice, and gun legislation. He’s pursuing an academic career in public policy.
Asia is a spring 2018 graduate of Michigan State University, where she majored in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in Community Governance and Advocacy with a cognate in Political Science; and minor in African American and African Studies. While pursuing her undergraduate career she spent time mentoring children in the Lansing community, working as a Detroit Mayoral Office intern, and completed research with IPPSR. Upon graduation, she took her first position as a teacher in New Orleans, LA; where she taught both primary and secondary education. Organizing and advocating for students and families in South Louisiana gave her the motivation she needed to begin the MPP Program in the fall of 2019. Her policy interests include education and mental health.
Jonathan King entered the doctoral program in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University in the fall of 2017. He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his MA from Michigan State University. Prior to returning to school, he worked for the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an academic advisor for two years. He is interested in both American politics and research methodology. His research focuses on the judiciary -- particularly the Supreme Court of the United States. He has research interests in judicial decision-making as well as judicial nominations and interbranch relations. He was born and raised in Wisconsin.
Sejal Luthra is a second-year Master of Public Policy student who is passionate about social and economic policy. She is especially interested in working towards poverty alleviation and understanding the intersection of employment, education and poverty. She has an undergraduate in economics from University of Delhi in India and plans to apply her knowledge in economic modeling and quantitative background to real world policy making. Sejal is seeking a degree in the MSU MPP program to develop her analytical and cognitive skills and learn the necessary tools to be successful in the policy field. She hopes to work in the areas of impact evaluation and evidence based research after graduation. In her last summer she worked with Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab South Asia on a field experiment on a significant labor economics issue. Sejal is most excited about thought-provoking lectures and experiences that encourage her to think critically about important policy issues in the developing world.
Madeline March-Meenagh, MPP Fellow
Madeleine March-Meenagh earned her B.A. in Political Science and Women & Gender Studies from Ball State University. During her time there, she interned on a United States Senate campaign, led College Democrats twice as president, and served as an orientation leader. Her undergraduate experience culminated in a semester-long Honors College thesis. By synthesizing empirical research on gender and sex differences with legal research concerning the “best interests of the child” standard, she inquired whether the sex of a child should be a determining factor when awarding custody in Hoosier courts. Madeleine spent the past year working remotely as the Program Director for Hoosier Women Forward, a civic leadership training program designed to empower Democratic women across Indiana. In East Lansing, she concurrently taught at The People’s Church Preschool and volunteered at The Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. Her policy interests include family, community development, and social welfare policy. She aims to approach these topics with an intersectional framework that prioritizes accessibility, applicability, and equity.
Shayla Olson, Doctoral Student
Shayla Olson is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Political Science at MSU. She studies American political behavior, public opinion, and political communication in the context of religion and race. She uses various network analysis, text-as-data, and experimental methods to answer questions about white evangelicals in the United States. Her current work with IPPSR involves building and maintaining the State Networks database, which is a compilation of various state-to-state relational measures, including similarity measures from IPPSR's Correlates of State Policy Project. Before coming to MSU, she was a President's Scholar at Indiana State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies."
Brandon is a third-year undergraduate student at Michigan State University where he is earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science - Prelaw and a minor in Peace and Justice Studies. While earning his degree, he interned for state representative, Sheldon A. Neeley, who represents the city of Flint and for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. His policy interests include education, infrastructure, economic development and healthcare. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career with a government agency or run for election for local city council.
Maysa is a junior completing her Bachelor’s Degree in political science at Michigan State University. She also is pursuing a minor in Arabic and has worked as a research assistant and student advocate. Her policy interests include higher education and voting engagement/access. After graduation, she hopes to become an elections lawyer, focusing on gerrymandering and voting rights.
Hannah Sweeney, MPP Fellow
Hannah is a 2018 graduate of Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Communication. Hannah’s policy interests involve economic development, education, and women’s health. Prior to entering the MPP program, Hannah gained campaign experience ranging from state Senate to a Campaign Finance Fellowship for a gubernatorial race. She has also held internships at the Michigan House of Representatives, and was a Legislative Fellow and an architect of a paid family leave bill proposal. Following her first year in the MPP program, she interned in the research department of the Michigan Education Association working with education policy.
Bailey is a Political Science major at Michigan State University, with minors in Women's & Gender Studies and Environment & Health. Her policy interests include public health and women's and LGBT issues. After graduation, she hopes to work in the nonprofit sector.
Daryn Watson is a second year junior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Pre-Law) with a minor in Environment and Health. Her policy interests involve education, social welfare, and civil rights issues. While pursuing her degree she has cultivated a non-profit organization targeting urban social development. Watson has gained campaign experience during internships at the Michigan House of Representatives and Detroit City Council. She has also worked on teacher recruitment and retention projects in the Detroit Public School Community District. After graduation, she hopes to work with municipal policy groups or nonprofit organizations on policy advocacy.