The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Senior Honors Thesis Grant Recipients

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The Rockefeller Center is proud to announce the Fall 2017 recipients of the Senior Honors Thesis Grants. The program provides grants of up to $1,000 for undergraduate students writing a senior honors thesis in the social sciences. 

Alexander Agadjanian, a member of the Class of 2018, is a double major in Government and Quantitative Social Science from Tempe, AZ whose research interests lie in public opinion, political psychology, and survey research/experiments. His QSS senior thesis will examine the extent to which partisans blindly follow their party leaders’ cues when forming their opinion on issues. Specifically in the context of the Trump presidency, Agadjanian will assess how this “follow the leader” effect varies when partisans receive conflicting policy information and signals. He has done similar research but with negative elite cues in the context of Trump shaping foreign public opinion of the U.S. That research started as an independent study under the supervision of Professor Yusaku Horiuchi, for whom he also works as a research assistant, and led to a co-authored academic research paper currently under review at a peer-reviewed journal. Outside this research, Agadjanian runs and analyzes surveys for The Dartmouth as survey editor.  Advisor:  Dean Lacy

Milan Chuttani is a member of the Class of 2018 who enjoys studying Government and Computer Science. Milan is passionate about refugee resettlement, immigration reform, and software development. Interning as a caseworker at the International Rescue Committee inspired Milan to write a thesis, which focuses on how refugees view their own ethnic identities. On campus, Milan enjoys leading Lodj Croo for the DOC First Year Trips program, researching 20th century Ethiopian rebel groups as a James O. Freeman Presidential Scholar, mentoring students in the Upper Valley through DREAM, and participating in the War and Peace Fellows program. After graduation, Milan would love to develop software for non-governmental organizations around the world. Advisor: Jeremy Ferwerda

Katie Clayton, a member of the Class of 2018, is a Government and French major from Sleepy Hollow, New York. Using a series of large-scale online survey experiments administered to French citizens, she seeks to determine whether social contact with immigrant populations moderates French citizens’ susceptibility to false information concerning immigration, how they view negative media frames about immigrants, and the immigrant attributes that they prioritize when considering which individuals they would admit to France. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in political science and ultimately become a professor. So far, Clayton has conducted research under Professors Horiuchi, Carey, and Nyhan, and she attended the APSA conference in San Francisco this summer to present her research on media bias and misinformation. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, biking, and running as captain of Dartmouth’s Triathlon team. She will compete at the Age Group World Championships for triathlon in Gold Coast, Australia, in September 2018.  Advisor:  Yusaku Horiuchi

Jase Davis, a member of the Class of 2018, is a Government major and International Studies minor from Fredericksburg, Virginia. His senior thesis will examine how Americans’ perception of security and foreign relations changes due to the proliferation across the globe of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies, more commonly known as drones.  His inspiration for the project comes from his experience working for TechInt Solutions Group over his junior summer. TechInt is a small defense contractor in Virginia that specializes in counter-UAV solutions and training, as well as intelligence gathering, on global UAV proliferation and operations. At TechInt, David learned the real world implications of drones on the battlefield, and gained insight on the changing international security landscape due to evolving drone technologies. Outside of the classroom, he is a member of the Varsity Men’s Lacrosse Team and has served on the Student Athlete Advisory Council since his freshman year. Advisor: Kathleen Powers

Kendall Ernst is a member of the Class of 2018, and is a Quantitative Social Sciences major from Dallas, TX with focuses in Linguistics and Economics. She is interested in studying female modesty in a professional setting. Her senior thesis will investigate (1) whether female job applicants attribute their accomplishments to a group or team more often than men do, rather than taking individual credit, and (2) whether individuals who take credit for their achievements are perceived as more professional or more qualified than those who attribute achievements to a group or team. On campus Kendall is a member of Casual Thursday, an improvisational comedy group, Dartmouth Broadcasting, and Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.  Advisor:  Kimberly Rogers

Brooke Hadley is a member of the Class of 2018, and a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She and her parents now live in Denton, Texas. Hadley is a Native American Studies major and is currently working on research regarding her tribe’s interactions with Christianity post-removal to Indian Territory (now known as Oklahoma). She is one of the Presidents of Native Americans at Dartmouth and is also a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Hadley is dedicated to educating the public on the Native History of North America, primarily because she believes it is important to understanding the problems Native peoples face today. With her work, she would like to show that Natives have been here long before colonialism and are still here, surviving, resisting, and refusing to be confined to a timeless archetype. Advisor:  Colin Calloway

Alyssa Heinze, Class of 2018, is a Government and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies double major from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, who is interested in the intersection of governance, gender, and development. Through her thesis, she will use an intersectional approach to investigate political gender quotas in India, answering the question: What non-gender characteristics (like class, race, caste, and political experience) impact the performance of female leaders elected into reserved seats? On campus, Heinze is active in Rockefeller Leadership Fellows, Human Development Fellows, War and Peace Fellows and the Guarini Institute for International Education. She has also studied issues of gender and development at the University of Hyderabad, through the WGSS/AMES FSP. Additionally, she captains the Women’s Club Ice Hockey and Women’s Club Lacrosse teams. After graduating from Dartmouth, Heinze hopes to continue her studies through a graduate program, allowing her to pursue a career that influences development policy as it relates to gender. Advisor:  Simon Chauchard/Lisa Baldez

Jessica Lu is in the Class of 2018 and from Concord, MA, majoring in Government and Geography. She has studied abroad on the Government FSP and with the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange at Keble College, and received the Andrew Warden Edson Memorial Prize sophomore year. At Dartmouth, Lu aca-bops with the Sing Dynasty, edits and writes for The Dartmouth’s Opinion section, is the Vice-Chair of the Greek Leadership Council, is a tutor through Dartmouth Clearinghouse, and is RWIT’s Head of PR. In her free time, you can find her re-watching Parks and Rec, eating large quantities of Collis sushi, and busting a move in Zumba class. After graduation, Lu will be working at Bain & Company and one day hopes to attend law school and work for the ACLU.Rachel Scholz-Bright, Class of 2018, comes from Weymouth, Massachusetts and graduated from the Winsor School as a National Merit Scholar. She has interned for the Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Boston office, in the National Science Foundation’s Office of Legislative and Public Affairs as a Rockefeller Center First Year Fellow, on the Clinton campaign as a Fall Fellow and a Get Out the Vote Fellow, and at the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. At Dartmouth, Scholz-Bright is a Government and Chemistry double major with a Public Policy minor, is an Undergraduate Advisor in the Global Village, and is involved with the College Democrats and club ice hockey. She is also a James Freedman Presidential Scholar, a Women In Science Project Intern, and has been worked in the Rockefeller Center Policy Research Shop. After Dartmouth, Scholz-Bright plans to attend law school and pursue a career in civil rights law and policy.  Advisor:  Brendan Nyhan

Alex Sclafani, Class of 2018, is a senior from Florida pursuing majors in Environmental Studies and Geography, and is broadly interested in the intersection of environmental and social issues surrounding food and agriculture systems. Her thesis focuses on praxes of social and ecological care in agri-food systems in New Hampshire and Vermont, with an emphasis on networks of food redistribution. This thesis allows her to explore these issues both philosophically and materially in a local context. In addition to this project, she also has a longstanding commitment to research in the ENVS Kapuscinski Lab, working with brewery wastewater as a nutrient source for microalgae. While at Dartmouth, Sclafani has been involved with a Center for Service group called Growing Change, the Aquinas House Catholic student organization, and the Sustainability Office. After graduation, she plans to pursue graduate studies in Geography.  Advisor:  Patricia Lopez

Saadjo Sow is a Geography and Government double major from the Bronx, NYC.  From the Class of 2018, she is passionate about tackling social injustices across many realms, from immigration to health. Her senior thesis aims to analyze approaches to addressing the health issues that arise from skin-lightening amongst women in Dakar, Senegal. In the future, Sow hopes to pursue a master’s degree in international development or public health.  Advisor:  Coleen Fox

Amanda Wang, Class of 2018, is a Geography modified with Economics major from Dallas, Texas. As a pre-med student, her research focus is to study the relationship between health and social, political, economic, and environmental interactions. She has participated in research projects on maternal and infant health at DHMC, and analyzed the impact of development and change on Chinese grocery shopping habits for a class. Her senior thesis research brings these interests together as a project assessing the impact of air pollution on maternal and infant health outcomes in China, using spatial analysis methods. Wang is also a WISE Crisis Line Advocate, an EMT at Upper Valley Ambulance, and former Managing Editor of the Dartmouth Apologia. After graduation, she hopes to pursue MD and MPH degrees and a career in public health. Advisor:  Xun Shi

Mikala Williams is a double-major in African-American Studies and Sociology, from the Class of 2018. In addition to being an undergraduate at the college, she is also a TA for an Intro to African Studies class, as well as a peer tutor in Introduction to Sociology, Math 3, and Math 8. Outside of Dartmouth, Williams is a community organizer. This past summer and winter, she worked with several organizations including the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center, Feedom Freedom Growers, and Riverwise magazine. This winter and spring, Williams will be writing a Senior Honors Thesis in AAAS in which she explores the ways in which African Americans entangled in the Southern prison-farm system resist this oppressive and dehumanizing aspect of this total institution, by maintaining social ties during the period of incarceration.  Advisor:  Deborah King

Ziqin Yuan is a Quantitative Social Sciences and Government double major from Edison, New Jersey, and is a member of the Class of 2018. Her senior thesis will examine case outcomes for defense attorneys at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia to see whether equally qualified male and female defense attorneys are equally successful in criminal court. Yuan became interested in this topic after a previous internship with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she observed that emotion seems to play an outsize role in jury decisions. On campus, she is an Opinion editor for the Dartmouth and a Pan Asian Community student coordinator. After graduating, Yuan hopes to find a role where she can combine her interest in social impact and data analysis at work. Advisor: David Cottrell

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