Synar Fellowship Recipients

Kate Pennington

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Thesis: Poisoned by Policy: The Impact of the Flint Water Crisis on Political Participation

Samuel Trachtman

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Thesis: When State Policy Makes National Politics

Caleb Scoville

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Thesis: Facing Extinction in California’s Delta: Endangered Species Law, Water Policy and the Politics of Science in Uncertain Time

Anthony Gregory

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

Alexander Sahn

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Thesis: Land Use and Local Government in the United States

Charlotte Hill

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

Isabel García Valdivia

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Thesis: The Effects of Legal Status on Older Mexican Immigrants in the U.S. and Mexico

Mary Shi

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Mary Shi is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley. Mary's research examines the intersection of society, space, and politics in multiple domains, from the political economy of the San Francisco Bay Area to the historical formation of the American state. Mary received her BA from Yale University in Political Science and Molecular Biochemistry & Biophysics. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Global Urban Humanities Initiative at UC Berkeley, and has appeared in ACME: An International Journal of Critical Geographies.


Joseph Warren

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I grew up in Bethel, Alaska, where I exercised an interest in politics by serving as a student representative on the local school board. I later interned in the DC offices of Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young. Prior to UC Berkeley, I attended Reed College, where I majored in political science and economics.

Research Summary: My research uses game theory and history to study political institutions. In particular, I am interested in causes of durable shifts in the distribution of power over long stretches of time. My dissertation uses formal models to analyze different...

David Robert Foster

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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...