Synar Graduate Fellowship

Annie Benn

2022 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

Annie Benn is a PhD candidate in political science at UC Berkeley. She studies US political institutions, with a particular interest in executive branch policymaking. Prior to Berkeley, she worked for the energy and climate nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute. She holds an MPA from New York University, and a BA with Honors from Swarthmore College.

Annie's Research: An important area of focus in the study of American political institutions is the expansion of presidential power, and the Congressional response (or lack thereof) to this expansion. Existing research on Congressional...

Bonnie Cherry

2023 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

Bonnie Cherry is a PhD candidate in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at Berkeley Law, with a Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion. Bonnie is a recipient of the Berkeley Mentored Research Award and the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, and is currently a Berkeley Empirical Legal Scholars fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Society. She received her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley where she received the Departmental Citation for Distinguished Undergraduate Research and graduated summa cum laude.


Isaac Dalke

2023 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

I am a doctoral candidate in sociology at UC-Berkeley. Across my work, I use an array of methods to understand how different actors within and outside of the criminal-legal system in the U.S. attempt to manage and make sense of violence, and how those efforts are intertwined with American racial and class hierarchies. Meanwhile, I am also broadly interested in using emerging computational text analysis methods to ask novel questions and generate new ways of understanding social life. Prior to graduate school, I worked in prison condition monitoring, community development, and...

David Robert Foster

2021 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

David’s work uses game theory to understand American political institutions. Its focus has been the opportunities for policy and political change that exist given gridlock in Congress. In particular, his dissertation examines presidential unilateral action. Before starting his PhD, he studied economics and government at Hamilton College, graduating summa cum laude in 2010; he then consulted in New York and Washington, DC on securities and antitrust litigation, respectively.

Research Summary: Contemporary American politics is characterized by gridlock at the federal level. Yet while...

Anthony Gregory

2019 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

Thesis: From the War on Crime to the Liberal Security State: The New Deal and American Political Legitimacy

Charlotte Hill

2020 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

Thesis: Block the Vote: Low Youth Turnout and the Costs of Voting

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...

Kirstin Krussell

Class of 2025
2024 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

Kirstin Krusell is a PhD candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley. Kirstin’s research is united by an interest in risk and uncertainty—from how risk is felt at an everyday level to its political economy. Previously she has studied how labor unions are navigating the challenges of AI and automation in the workplace, and her current research examines the rise of doomsday prepping across the American political spectrum. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.

Joe LaBriola

2021 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley. My research examines the origins of socioeconomic and racial inequalities in the United States, drawing from urban sociology, sociology of the family, and the sociology of work. One strand of my research is geared towards understanding how advantaged households maintain their economic standing and transmit their advantages to future generations. In my dissertation, For Rent: Local Residential Development, Rising Housing Costs, and Inequality, I investigate how affluent homeowners across the United States fight to block nearby...

Lawrence Jonefan Liu

Class of 2025
2024 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

Lawrence J. Liu is a Ph.D. candidate in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at Berkeley Law. His research interests include regulatory politics and administrative law, globalization, state-society relations, the legal profession, and contemporary Chinese law and politics. His research has been published by or is forthcoming in the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law, the Yale Journal of International Law, The China Quarterly, Law & Social Inquiry, and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Previously, Lawrence served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew D....