The Minority Fellows Program (MFP) is a fellowship competition for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds applying to or in the early stages of doctoral programs in political science. The MFP was established in 1969 to increase the number of minority scholars in the discipline. Recently, APSA introduced a new spring round of the MFP awards for graduate students in the pre-dissertation stage of their career. The spring fellowships, in the amount of $2,000, will support expenses related to PhD graduate study for first and second year political science PhD students from underrepresented groups.
Geidy Mendez, Rutgers University
Geidy Mendez attends the School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University and is a double major in political science and Latino & Caribbean Studies. She is a 2017 intern and work-study student for the Center for American Women and Politics and is actively involved in various organizations around campus such as the Latin American Women Organization, G.O.Y.A. (Galvanizing and Organizing Youth Activism), and the First Generation Student Union. In addition, she is the Class of 2019 Representative for the Douglass Governing Council. She has interned at El Centro Hispano Americano where she worked on domestic abuse cases for undocumented individuals ensuring that they are heard regardless of their immigration status. She hopes to pursue graduate study and focus on immigration patterns that affect minority communities.
Zoe Walker, University of Notre Dame
Zoe Walker is a junior at the University of Notre Dame studying English and political science. Passionate about both research and community involvement, Zoe has devoted her time at Notre Dame to pursuing both service and academics. She has served as an intake volunteer at Indiana Legal Services in South Bend; worked as an intern for a public defender in St. Joseph County and has worked for the Northern Indiana Reentry and Restorative Justice Clinic, a nonprofit organization that helps former offenders to expunge their criminal. Zoe’s real-life experiences have shaped her interest in academic research. Inspired by her time working with both the legal aid clinic and the public defender, Zoe pursued research on the importance of considering intersectionality in family court proceedings and the vulnerabilities black women face in the family court system. For both this work and her high academic standing, she was named as one of Notre Dame’s Doan’s Scholars and was selected to present her research at Notre Dame’s Undergraduate Scholars Conference. Zoe has also worked as a research assistant for Professor Traci Burch at the American Bar Foundation where she analyzed local newspaper coverage of police brutality, fatal police encounters and subsequent protests. As a writer, Zoe also enjoys working with her peers as a tutor in the university Writing Center and as an editor for her university’s undergraduate political science journal Beyond Politics. She looks forward to pursuing a joint JD/PhD program to unite her interests in the relationships between communities and legal systems and the politics that drive the construction of these systems.
Catalina Udani, University of Central Florida
Catalina Udani is an honors junior at the University of Central Florida studying human communication, intelligence and national security, and terrorism studies. She has received the Lawrence J. Chastang Global Fellowship and the India Fellowship for Political Science Research, working with the Global Perspectives Office at UCF specializing on international conflict communication. A Dean’s List and National Merit scholar, she recently completed her undergraduate honors thesis, which was a thematic analysis of digital ISIS propaganda, framed with theories of communication. One of five members of her university’s Ethics Team, which placed fifth in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, Catalina developed research interests in political ethics, public relations, and justice through mediation. She spent last summer working in Munich, Germany in international public relations as a translator and a bilingual writer. After immigrating to the United States as a child, Catalina became interested in the ways emergent media could affect international communication, particularly in the amelioration of conflicts in foreign relations. Upon graduation, she plans to use her research interest to pursue a graduate degree in peace and conflict studies.
Analisa I. Quintero, Northern Arizona University
Analisa I. Quintero is a rising senior, International Affairs major, and Spanish language minor at Northern Arizona University. As a student recognized by her college’s Dean’s List every semester of her college career, she has focused much of her time working to provide resources and representation on campus for underrepresented groups of people. Analisa currently serves as a senator for Associated Students of Northern Arizona University for the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences. Analisa is the founder and president of NAU’s Spanish Language Club, as well as the executive board secretary for Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society’s NAU chapter. She is a resident assistant on campus and works to help freshman students acclimate to college life, get involved at school, and in the Flagstaff community. After graduation, Analisa hopes to earn a doctoral degree in political science and serve in public office.
Michael Strawbridge, Beloit College
Michael Strawbridge is a junior at Beloit College double majoring in political science and media studies. Michael currently serves as the vice president of the Alpha Zeta chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity and as vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. His other activities include being on the football team and track and field team. As a McNair scholar, he researched the progress made in Ferguson, MO since 2014, assessing the city’s progress and challenges in enacting reforms moving forward. Michael’s research interests include American politics, elections, criminal justice and police Reform. Once he completes his undergraduate studies, Michael plans to pursue a doctoral degree in political science and teach at the collegiate level. Aside from teaching Michael also plans to run for office
Vanessa A. Navarro Rodriguez, Cornell University
Vanessa A. Navarro Rodriguez is a senior studying government at Cornell University and is interested in American politics and its effects on marginalized communities. She has spent over two years working with Dr. Jamila Michener, in Cornell’s government department, on various projects like researching federal laws regarding civil legal aid and conducting a policy analysis for the city of St. Petersburg, Florida. Following her research on civil legal aid, Vanessa spent a semester in Washington D.C., interning in the government relations department of the Legal Services Corporation, a congressionally funded non-profit. During this time Vanessa worked on the budget request for fiscal year 2019 and also drafted memos on the importance of civil legal aid. Vanessa plans to write her senior thesis on sexual violence in universities and the role of race in the outcome of the accusations. Aside from her research experience, she also serves on Cornell’s Presidential Task Force, where she is contributing to creating a more inclusive and diverse institution. Vanessa aspires to become a scholar and understand the limits and functions of the law in protecting marginalized populations in the United States.
Crystal Robertson, New York University
Crystal Robertson is a rising senior political science major at the University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on racially centered activism and white allies, specifically the motivations of white allies in race focused social movements. Last summer, Crystal had the privilege of working under Dr. Mara Ostfeld and Nicole Yadon investigating the relationship between skin color and political preferences. She currently serves the Michigan Research Community as a Residential Advisor supporting first and second year students pursuing research opportunities. In the future she hopes to earn a doctoral degree in political science and continue encouraging students to pursue research as a professor.