Howard Prize Recipients

Douglas J. Ahler

2014 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
David M. Howard Prize

Douglas J. Ahler (M.A. '11) was born and raised in San Diego County and attended Occidental College and UCLA before enrolling at UC Berkeley as a doctoral candidate in Political Science. Doug taught social studies at a Los Angeles public high school before becoming a graduate student at Berkeley. His dissertation topic is entitled: "The Electoral Perception: How Americans Understand the Representative Relationship and What It Means for Legislative Politics." His dissertation research analyzes how public perceptions of the political ideology of candidates for elective office, in...

David E. Broockman

2012 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
David M. Howard Prize

David E. Broockman (M.A., '12) graduated in 2011 from Yale University with a B.A. (cum laude) in Political Science. He earned a Ph.D from UC Berkeley in 2015 and is now Assistant Professor of Political Economy at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. His 2011 article "Do Politicians Racially Discriminate Against Constituents? A Field Experiment on State Legislators.” (with Daniel M. Butler) received coverage in Science, The New York Times, Washington Post, and...

Michael Dougal

2016 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
David M. Howard Prize

Michael Dougal is a Ph.D. candidate in American politics and political methodology. His dissertation develops methods of text-based machine learning to assess political coverage and better understand the ability of the media to monitor elected officials on behalf of voters. He is currently working on using text-based machine learning to provide real time analytics of media coverage across the political Internet. His other ongoing research examines changes in ideology over time. One project draws on over 1 million individual poll respondents to measure public attitudes towards the New...

Sean Freeder

2015 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
David M. Howard Prize

I grew up in the Phoenix and Seattle metropolitan areas, and briefly worked as an audio engineer before attending University of Washington as an undergraduate. I graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in political science. Before attending UC Berkeley for my PhD, I was employed in Seattle as a campaign manager and in Chicago as a high school tutor.

I am now a PhD student in Political Science at University of California, Berkeley. I study a variety of topics related to American Politics and Political Behavior, including polarization, elections, public opinion, political...

Isabel Garcia Valdivia

2021 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
David M. Howard Prize

Isabel García Valdivia is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley. She received her B.A. in Chicanx/Latinx Studies and Sociology from Pomona College. Her main research interests include immigration, Latinx sociology, family, race and ethnicity, and sociology of aging and life course.

Based on semi-structured interviews, her dissertation explores the effects of immigration status for elderly Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and return migrants to Mexico. In particular, how they come to understand their immigration status – especially undocumented adults – and...

Christian Hosam

2022 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
2023 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship
David M. Howard Prize

Christian Hosam is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include race and politics, with particular interests in Black elite politics, coalition and conflict between communities of color, public health, and the politics of representation. His dissertation focuses on the Congressional Black Caucus, particularly how the activities of the Congressional Black Caucus align with those of the Black community and how that relationship has changed over time His research has been supported by the Social Science...

Joshua Kalla

2017 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
David M. Howard Prize

Joshua Kalla is a Ph.D. student in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, where his primary focus in American politics is on the use of randomized field experiments conducted in cooperation with politicians, campaigns, and interest groups to study the causal effect of interactions between citizens, politicians, and campaigns on voter engagement, political participation, and opinion change. His research has been published in Science and the American Journal of Political Science and has been covered by The New York Times, NPR, and other...

Nicole Rangel

2018 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
David M. Howard Prize

Nicole Rangel is an educator and Ph.D. candidate in the Social and Cultural Studies of Education program at UC Berkeley. She also holds a master's in sociology from San Diego State University. Nicole is an interdisciplinary scholar whose past research brought together theories of decolonization and play in order to generate more holistic approaches to education. Currently, Nicole is working on her dissertation, which explores how academic freedom is valued and practiced at two U.S. "public-ivy” schools marked with free speech controversies. Using a comparative case study approach,...

Karen Villegas

2023 David M. Howard Prize Recipient
David M. Howard Prize

Karen Villegas is a doctoral candidate in the Berkeley School of Education at UC Berkeley. She received her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA. Karen’s overarching work explores issues of language, citizenship, and nation-building processes.

Karen’s dissertation, supported by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, is a study of the ideological conceptions of language and literacy practices in adult, English as a Second Language (ESL) citizenship classes. Adults enroll in these classes to prepare for the...