Undergraduate Institution: University of Florida
Undergraduate Major: Political Science; Journalism and Communications
MAPSS Graduation Year: 2009
I entered the MAPSS program in 2008, after having spent five months volunteering at the Haifa Women’s Coalition in Israel. My initial goal was to write a thesis on ethnic tensions within the Israeli women’s movement. During my time at MAPSS, however, I became more interested in studying how protest tactics spread across countries and across political movements. I developed these new interests though discussions with my preceptor and advisors, and by enrolling in courses such as Social Movements, Comparative Politics: Middle East and North Africa, and Perspectives in Social Science Analysis. My MA thesis, which I wrote under the guidance of A. Holly Shissler, argues that the new Turkish women’s movement was an important initiator in the protest cycle that emerged in Turkey following the 1980 coup. In this initiator capacity, the movement channeled repertoires used globally, drew on tactics from past protest cycles in Turkey, and developed new repertoires for other social movements to use and adapt. After graduating from MAPSS, I moved to Turkey for two years where I studied Turkish intensively, volunteered as a translator, and worked as a language instructor and research assistant. I am currently a PhD Candidate in Government at the University of Texas and a 2014-2015 Boren Fellow. My dissertation analyzes the rise of pro-Islamist political movements in competitive elections in Turkey and Tunisia—two countries with a history of state-managed secularism. I am grateful to the MAPSS program for helping me to hone my academic interests and for providing me with a valuable analytical skill-set that has served me well in my doctoral studies.