Get to know Political Science graduate students

Eliot Assoudeh

Eliot Assoudeh, a doctoral candidate, focused his dissertation on fascism and religion in comparative perspective. He was also published in 2015 in peer-reviewed Religion Compass on "Between Political Religion and Politicized Religion: Interwar Fascism and Religion Revisited.

Mitra Assoudeh

Mitra Assoudeh, a Ph.D. student, is working on her dissertation on the impact of civil-military relations on cyber security strategy.

Mario Avila

Mario Avila

Avila is a Master of Public Administration student who graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science and sociology from the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2010. Soon after, he began working for the State of Nevada's Employment Security Division in December. His scholarly interests include: public policy, policy implementation and public personnel administration.

RJ Boyajian

RJ Boyajian

RJ Boyajian is a Ph.D. student who researches human security and particularly interested in education policy in the developing world. She also is president of the Graduate Student Association since 2013.

Gwen Brandenburg

Gwen Bradenburg is a Master of Public Administration student studying public policy with an emphasis on emergency management. She owns a consulting firm, which assists law enforcements, fire and emergency medical services agencies with technology, training and project management.

Courtenay Burns

Courtenay Burns is a fourth-year doctoral student focusing on American government. More specifically, her interest areas are public opinion and "Not in My Backyard" (NIMBY) interest groups specifically related to opinion and groups surrounding nuclear facilities.

Jeffrey A. Griffin

Jeffrey Griffin

Jeffrey A. Griffin is a Ph.D. student in international relations and comparative politics. His research interests rest under the umbrella of human security and global health governance. More specifically, he examines the politics of global health and the international response to epidemics, global health security and global health governance, as they relate to broader issues of international organization and cooperation and international security.

Travis Hagner

Travis Hagner

Travis is a fourth-year Ph.D. student focusing on American government, with a particular interest in how members of Congress use Twitter to promote their goals.

Layne Hansen

Layne Hansen is a doctoral student in American government, focusing particularly on political psychology and political behavior. His research emphasis is on how political propaganda and messaging affect voting among groups and individuals.

Nataliia Kasianenko

Nataliia Kasianenko is a Ph.D. student whose research interests include nationalism, xenophobia and democratic transitions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Amber Joiner

Amber Joiner

Amber Joiner is a doctoral student interested in the areas of public policy, health policy, public administration, federalism/intergovernmental relations and political communication.

Yi-Juan Lin

Yi-Juan Lin is a third-year Ph.D. student interested in international environmental policy.

Colleen Long

Colleen Long

Colleen Long is a Ph.D. student interested in public policy. She enjoys teaching about American government and politics at Truckee Meadows Community College and has a special interest in the U.S. Constitution, including the We the People Program.

Stallar Lufrano-Jardine

Stallar Lufrano-Jardine is starting a Ph.D. in environmental policy, focusing on campaigns, contributors and businesses that inhibit action in favor of the environment, force inaction from legislators and confuse the public about scientific research. She hopes to understand how a company's involvement in political campaigns changes actions and expose trends behind the influences of special interest groups.

Janicke Stramer

Janicke Stramer

Janicke Stramer is a fourth-year Ph.D. student who researches international security and regime-change in the Middle East, North Africa and Mediterranean regions. She is conducting dissertation fieldwork in Turkey and Tunisia.

Chengli Wang

Chengli Wang

Chengli Wang is a fourth-year Ph.D. student whose research interests lie in the intersection of politics of information and big data, with a specific focus on the political and economic influence of information control in non-democracies, and the mechanism of the political rumors on state governance, legitimacy and political trust. In the area of international relations, Wang focuses on how informal information influence the signaling in the international relation.