Undergraduate Institution: The Ohio State University
MAPSS Graduation Year: 2013
I arrived at MAPSS with the intention to study the relationship between social inequalities and the American political system, broadly speaking. As a student in the program, I was able to hone my broad interest through exposure to literatures on racially and sexually marginalized groups in both an American and comparative context. Courses on comparative race and politics, race and politics in the United States, welfare states and inequality, and quantitative methodology provided the foundation upon which I was able to develop a more coherent research agenda. My MA thesis served as a pilot project for studying the complexities of identity politics, and was advised by Tianna Paschel. In my thesis, I argued that transnational media are a critical arena for analyzing the reproduction and contestation of racial ideologies. The project was a case study that presented evidence from a qualitative content analysis of 79 magazine articles in a source linking the United States and Brazil. Currently, I am a PhD student in the Department of Politics at Princeton University studying LGBT politics and marginalization in the United States. The intellectually stimulating environment offered through the MAPSS program helped me develop the analytical tools to be a successful doctoral student. Moreover, I learned how to critically engage texts and research questions using interdisciplinary perspectives, which has influenced how I approach my current research agenda. These skills, along with the resources provided by MAPSS, undoubtedly helped me reach this point in my academic career.