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Undergraduate Researchers

Below are the short bios of our Fall 2021 ROCCA Undergraduate Researchers, or the ROCCA’teers!

 

Ehab Alhosaini (he/him/his) is a junior majoring in Public Policy and Economics. He is currently part of the Alliances and Refugees teams with Dr. Benson and Dr. Larson. He is interested in international relations, economic development, and relations between rural and urban individuals. He also loves to hang out with friends, play soccer, and catch up on the news.

 

 

Martín Alemán is a junior majoring in Economics and Political Science with minors in Computer Science, Scientific Computing, Data Science, and History. He works on Professor Benson’s research team on Small Arms Trade Networks and Political Violence, as well as Margaret Frost’s State vs. Organized Crime. Outside of Rocca, Martín enjoys being outside and exploring beaches and mountains in his home country Panama.

 

 

Claire Cho (she/her/hers) is a sophomore majoring in Political Science and Economics with a minor in Business. She is part of Professor Ritter’s Evolution of International Organizations and Professor Coe’s Economic Origins of War and Peace. Outside of ROCCA, she writes for the Vanderbilt Hustler and enjoys longboarding around campus.

 

 

 Zhi-Ying Chua (she/her/hers) is a junior studying Political Science and Economics. In the ROCCA Lab, she is a researcher on Professor Larson’s and Professor Coe’s teams. Zhi-Ying enjoys swimming, hiking, and curating poetry recommendations for her friends.

 

Justine Del Monte (she/her/hers) is a senior studying Public Policy and Medicine, Health, and Society. She is part of Professor Ritter’s Evolution of International Organizations project and Professor Dorff’s State vs. Organized Crime Confrontation Data project. Outside of ROCCA, she enjoys walking in Centennial Park, working as the Copy Life Editor for The Hustler, and serving as a Transfer Student Orientation Leader.

 

 

Cate Delafield (she/her/hers) is a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Arabic. She is a researcher on Professor Coe’s “For Whom Does Terrorism Work” and Professor Schram’s teams. Cate is a member of Vanderbilt’s Arabic Club, as well as the club tennis and equestrian teams.

 

 

 

Holly (Xinyi) Deng (she/her/hers) is a senior majoring in Political Science and Economics. She is working on Professor Coe’s For Whom Does Terrorism Work project and Economic Origins of War and Peace project. Outside of the lab, Holly is involved in Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations.

 

 

 

 

Oliver Dong (he/him/his) is a junior majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. In ROCCA, he is in Professor Larson’s team on Reducing Prejudice toward Refugees and Professor Benson’s team on Alliances. Outside of ROCCA, he is working toward a software engineering career.

 

 

 

Sarah Fishbein (she/her/hers) is a senior pursuing a double major in Medicine Health and Society and Political Science. Sarah serves as the Assistant Director of the ROCCA Lab. She also works with Professor Coe to lead the Terrorism team and works on Professor Schram’s Native American Wars team. Outside of the lab, she is involved in AKPsi and Student Alumni Board. Sarah enjoys running, playing Bananagrams, and yoga.

 

 

 

 

Warren Gignac (he/him/his) is a junior majoring in Political Science and Economics with a minor in Data Science. He is a member of Professor Larson’s Refugees team and Professor Benson’s Small Arms Team. Outside of ROCCA, Warren plays lacrosse, conducts international policy research through AugNación, and is a member of the College Scholars program. His hobbies include hiking and photography.

 

 

 

 

Chloe Hall (she/her/hers) is a junior majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Data Science. In the ROCCA Lab, she is the Director of the student-run Lab Outreach team and a member of Professor Smith’s Arms Transfer and Alliances project. On-campus, she is a writer for the Vanderbilt Political Review and works as a writing consultant for the Vanderbilt Writing Studio.

 

 

Henry Hunter (he/him/his) is a senior double majoring in Educational Studies and Political Science. He currently serves as Assistant Director of the ROCCA Lab, while also working on Prof. Coe’s Economic Origins of War and Peace team and Prof. Dorff’s conflictNET team. Outside of the ROCCA Lab, Henry enjoys to cook, play basketball, and try to complete the NYT crosswords.

 

 

Ameera Ilyas (she/her/hers) is a Junior Majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society and Public Policy with minors in Business and Neuroscience. She is part of the Refugees and IO Adaption team as well as part of other organizations on campus such as One For the World and Dore for a Day. She is very interested in the immigrant and refugee population in Nashville and works closely with them through her time volunteering at Siloam Health as a Spanish Interpreter and also through her connections at Nashville International Center of Empowerment. In the future, she hopes to open her own clinic for immigrants and refugees to help reduce the health disparities they face.

 

Yuna Jeon (she/her/hers) is a junior double-majoring in Human & Organizational Development and Spanish & Portuguese. She is a member of the “The Significance of Deaths in Bolivian Political Conflict” project directed by Professor Bjork-James, as well as the Outreach team directed by Professor Coe. Outside of ROCCA, Yuna works with the Next Steps program and is involved in the Asian American Student Association, AMIGOS, and the Student Basic Needs Coalition.

 

Clara (Jiale) Jiang (she/her/hers) is a junior majoring in Mathematics and Political Science, with minors in Philosophy and Data Science. She is a member of Professor Coe’s Economic Origins of War and Peace Project, and Professor Ritter’s The Evolution of International Organizations Project. Outside of ROCCA, she is the VP of Global China Connection and an editor of Vanderbilt Lives and enjoys watching films at Belcourt.

 

 

Hunter Johnson (he/him/his) is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. He is pursuing a double major in Russian Language and Music, anticipating to graduate May of 2023. Upon graduation, he will commission into the Navy as a member of Vanderbilt’s NROTC program.

 

 

 

Isabelle Krieger (she/her/hers) is a senior studying  French and European Studies with minors in clarinet performance and musicology. She is part of Professor Coe’s Nuclear Proliferation and Professor Dorff’s Conflict Evolution teams. When she is not deeply pondering the philosophy behind Spongebob quotes, she can be found playing recorder in the middle of the night, sleeping in the grass after reading too many French comics, or throwing dice after losing a round of Settlers of Catan.

 

Ancher (Peixuan) Li (he/him/his) is a senior studying Political Science and Economics with interests in international relations and political economy. He is involved with Professor Larson’s Reducing Prejudice toward Refugees project and Professor Dorff’s ConflictNet project. He is also a member of the Vanderbilt Debate Team and VP of Undergraduate Political Science Association.

 

Ish Malhotra (she/her/hers) is a junior studying Economics and Political Science with a minor in Business. She has been a part of the ROCCA Lab for three years and has worked on projects with Dr. Benson, Dr. Coe, and Dr. Ritter. On campus, Ish is a Resident Advisor, a part of Women in Business, and Tikkum Olam Makers.

 

 

 

Ria Mehrotra (she/her/hers) is a junior pursuing majors in Political Science and Economics with a minor in Data Science. She graduates in 2023 and hopes to have a career in intelligence or diplomacy. Currently, she is working on the Outsourcing Repression project with Dr. Ritter and Reducing Prejudice Towards Refugees with Professor Larson. Outside of research she likes to read, dance, and go hiking!

 

Mariam Nadi (she/her/hers) is a junior majoring in Political Science, Philosophy, and Art. She is working with Professor Larson on her research n Reducing Prejudice towards refugees, focusing on the situation with South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda and with Professor Ritter on Bureaucratic Repression focusing on the Israel/Palestine dynamic. Outside of ROCCA, Mariam is the President of United Mission for Relief and Development and a member of MUN and UNICEF. She loves to read and make french fries and looks forward to being a part of the research team!

 

 

 

Tejas Ogale (he/him/his) is a junior studying Economics. In ROCCA, he is currently working on Professor Coe’s Economic Origins of War and Peace team and Professor Ritter’s Evolution of International Organizations team. He is also a writer on the Vanderbilt Political Review and loves to watch sports and play poker.

 

 

Maxwell Qian (he/him/his) is a senior majoring in economics and history and minoring in data science and psychology. He is a member of the Economic Origins of War and Peace and Reducing Prejudice Towards Refugees teams. Maxwell is also a member of the Vanderbilt Business Review and his interests include sports and foreign languages.

 

 

 

Netra Rastogi (she/her/hers) is a senior at Vanderbilt with majors in Political Science and Medicine, Health, and Society, as well as minors in Spanish and Arabic. In the ROCCA lab, she works on Professor Coe’s project For Whom Does Terrorism Work and Professor Dorff’s project State vs. Organized Crime Confrontation project. Outside of the lab, Netra is a Senior Editor for the Vanderbilt Political Review. In her free time, she likes to take her dog Cinnabon on walks and dance with Vida Latin Dance.

 

 

Aryan Sadh (he/him/his) is a junior majoring in Political Science and Economics with minors in Computer Science and Data Science. In the ROCCA Lab, he is a member of Professor Coe’s ‘Economic Origins of War and Peace’ team and Professor Larson’s ‘Reducing Prejudice Towards Refugees’ team. Outside of the Lab, he is a Resident Advisor at E. Bronson Ingram College.

 

 

 

Defne Salli (she/her/hers) is a junior double majoring in Political Science and Environmental Sociology with a minor in Economics. She’s a part of Professor Larson’s Reducing Prejudice toward Refugees and Professor Ritter’s Bureaucratic Repression teams. Outside of ROCCA she is a researcher in the ASCEND initiative, an executive member of SPEAR, loves cooking and listening to music -often simultaneously.

 

 

Akaash Seemakurty (he/him/his) is a freshman, studying Computer Science and Economics. He is currently working with Professor Dorff’s Rebel Direct project and Professor Larson’s Refugee Team. Outside of ROCCA, Akaash is involved in Code Ignite and also enjoys going on runs in his free time.

 

 

 

 

 

Talia Sosinsky (she/her/hers) is a Junior (Class of ’23) studying Economics and Public Policy, with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. In ROCCA, she works on Professor Coe’s Economic Original of War and Peace project, as well as Professor Ritter’s Evolution of International Organizations project. She leads client relations for Vanderbilt Student Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations and loves hiking.

 

 

Anthea Walker (she/her/hers) is a sophomore studying Public Policy; Medicine, Health, & Society; and Spanish. In the ROCCA Lab, she is working with Professor Dorff’s State vs. Organized Crime Confrontation and Professor Bjork-James’ Ultimate Consequences teams. Outside the lab, Anthea works on the Vanderbilt Prison Project’s Community Education committee, volunteers for CollegeGuild, and Vanderbilt’s Hellenic Student Association. She also loves to cook, bike, and watch movies (currently having seen 189 of the 504 on her list!).

 

 

 

Maggie Victory (she/her/hers) is a sophomore double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. In the ROCCA Lab, she is currently working on Professor Larson’s “Reducing Prejudice Towards Refugees” research and Professor Bils’ “Variation in Interstate Alliances” research. Outside of the ROCCA lab, she is a writer for the Vanderbilt Hustler and is a volunteer for the Nashville Dolphins.

 

 

Tanya Tejani (she/her/hers) is a senior majoring in Political Science, Economics, and Environmental Sociology. Tanya is working with Professor Bjork-James on her research regarding Bolivian conflict and with Professor Larson on her research regarding refugees. Outside of ROCCA, Tanya is the president of the Undergraduate Honor Council and is the Senior Advisor of Vanderbilt Women in Government.

 

 

 


Drake White 
(he/him/his) is a senior in the ROCCA lab. He is currently leading Prof. Larson’s subteam on “Taking the Temperature of Tennessee” for her project on Reducing Prejudice for Refugees and is leading Prof. Ritter’s team on the Evolution of International Organizations. Drake is triple majoring in Political Science; Law, History, and Society; and Classical and Mediterranean Studies and is expected to graduate in Spring 2022. Outside of the lab, he is involved in the Student-Alumni Board and Tour Guides.

 

 

Jessie Wu (she/her/hers) is a senior majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society and Political Science. This year, she’s on Professor Benson’s and Ritter’s labs about East Asian relations and bureaucratic repression, respectively. On campus, she is also involved in Alternative Spring Break as its Site and Service Development Chair.

 

 

 

Stefani Yan (she/her/hers) is a junior double majoring in Political Science and Economics with minors in Sociology and Business. In ROCCA, she is in Professor Larson’s team on Reducing Prejudice toward Refugees and Professor Coe’s Economic Origins of War and Peace. Outside of ROCCA, Stefani is involved in the Vanderbilt Prison Project and enjoys cycling.

 

 

Jack (Yuantao) Yang (he/him/his) is a junior double majoring in Political Science and History with a minor in Asian Studies. He is a member of Professor Coe’s Economic Origins on War and Peace team and Professor Larson’s project on Refugees. He enjoys cycling and watching soccer in his free time and travels a lot during holidays.

 

 

 

Amy Zhang (she/her/hers) is a junior at Vanderbilt double majoring in Political Science and Economics and minoring in French. She is a member of Professor Coe’s Economic Origins of War and Peace team and Professor Larson’s Reducing Prejudice Toward Refugees team. Outside of ROCCA, Amy is also a research fellow and research assistant at LAPOP and a writer for Vanderbilt Political Review.

 

 

 

Victoria Zang (she/her/hers) is a sophomore studying Economics and Political Science with a minor in Quantitative Methods. She is working with Professor Coe’s team on Nuclear Proliferation and Professor Benson’s team on the Politics of East Asia. Outside of the lab, Victoria a reviewer for Vanderbilt’s undergraduate research journal, a member of Women in Business, and is an avid reader.

 

 

 

Kevin Zhang (he/him/his) is a senior studying Political Science and Computer Science. He is a part of Dr. Ritter’s research on international organization reform and Dr. Larson’s research on refugees. Outside of ROCCA, Kevin is also involved in Product Space, AKPsi, and Tour Guides.