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Graduate Researchers

Jennifer Barnes

Jennifer Barnes is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. Jennifer’s research focuses on questions regarding state repression, human rights, and how these concepts can be best measured and evaluated. Her dissertation project evaluates how actor agency and the process of delegation affect policies of repression and the occurrence of human rights abuses by state agents, particularly physical integrity rights violations. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and an M.A. in Political Science from Vanderbilt University.


Sydney Todorov

Sydney Todorov is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. She is an active-duty military officer with research interests spanning nuclear policy, political psychology, public opinion, and crisis decision-making. Sydney’s dissertation investigates framing effects of moral arguments on nuclear policy opinions, and her work in the ROCCA lab involves identifying moral themes related to nuclear policy used within legislation, news stories, policy documents, and mass media. Sydney holds a B.S. in Psychology from Duke University, a M.A. in Human Science from Saybrook University, and a M.A. in Counseling and Leadership from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Alec Tripp

Alec Tripp is a PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University, where he studies public opinion with a substantive focus on attitudes toward immigrants and refugees. He also works on the flip side of this topic, investigating immigrant and refugee attitudes toward integration and remigration. Most of his research has a regional focus on Latin America, though he has ongoing projects in Uganda and the United States. His dissertation explores how and why individuals’ views on immigration shift in response to immigration crises, focusing on the Colombian government, media, and mass public responses to the Venezuelan crisis.

Nguyen Ha

Nguyen Ha is a PhD student in political science at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests center on the microdynamics of civil wars and political violence. Specifically, she focuses on the strategic decision-making of civilians in the midst of armed conflicts, the causes and impacts of ceasefires in conflicts with multiple parties, and the role of geography in shaping patterns of violence. She also studies the role of emotion and status in international relations, especially in the context of East Asia. Prior to moving to Nashville, Ha worked as a research assistant at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research in Uppsala, Sweden, where she completed her Master’s degree. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.