Synar Fellowship Recipients

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....

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.

Anna Weissman

Class of 2026
2024 Synar Graduate Research Fellowship

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. My research agenda is broadly focused on representation in American Politics, with specific interests in descriptive representation and the local politics of small-town America. Prior to coming to Berkeley, I received a B.A. in Political Science, Philosophy, and German from Tufts University. Subsequently, I spent three years as a research associate in the Political Science department at MIT, working with scholars in both American and Comparative politics.

William Brandt, Jr. and Patrice Bugelas-Brandt

In Memoriam William A. Brandt, Jr.

September 5, 1949 - May 28, 2023

William “Bill” Arthur Brandt, Jr. passed away on May 28th at the age of 73, surrounded by family. Bill was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 5th, 1949, to William Sr. and Joan Brandt. Always on the move, he considered himself a man of many homes, and loved the nomadic lifestyle his work required as he grew his company, Development Specialists, Inc. (DSI) into a leading corporate restructuring consultancy with offices around the country.

An accomplished athlete, he was an alternate to the 1964 Olympic...

2024 Percy Synar Award Ceremony and Reception

February 23, 2024 2:00pm - 4:00pm Please join us as we congratulate the 2024 recipients of the Charles H. Percy Undergraduate Grant for Public Affairs Research and the Mike Synar Graduate Research Fellowship.

The Charles H. Percy Undergraduate Grant for Public Affairs Research 2024 Recipients

Alina Zarate (Environmental Sciences, Interdisciplinary Studies): "The Multiple Fronts of the Fight for Farm Worker Rights: An Analysis of UFW Political Advocacy in the 21st Century"

Andrew Huong Yet Chen (Political Science, Psychology): "Unveiling Voter...

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...

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...

How to Apply to the Synar Fellowship


The Synar Fellowship application is due by Sunday, November 26, 2023 at 11:59pm.

The application includes:

Brief questionnaire Dissertation synopsis Statement of Purpose (including a timetable for completion of dissertation, budget, and justification of need) CV Transcript Name of recommender (must be one of your Dissertation Advisors) Recommendation

All applicants are required to secure a recommendation from a Dissertation Advisor. Your recommender must submit a letter of recommendation via the...