Government grad students honored with fellowships

Two doctoral students in the field of government recently won fellowships for their research.

Angie Torres, a second-year student, won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000.

Angie Torres
Angie Torres
“This fellowship will relieve me from teaching responsibilities for three years and allow me to focus on my research,” said Torres, who is studying how domestic violence affects political participation in Latin America.

“Worldwide, one in three women experience domestic violence. While the literature has found that domestic violence leads to economic and health consequences, it has not focused on its effects on political participation,” she said. “I chose this topic because I want to see if domestic violence has any effect on political consequences and, in more broad terms, find how violence at the micro-level affects women's political participation.”

Torres’ work has also been supported by the American Political Science Association, National Science Foundation, Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and the Cornell Graduate School.

Cameron Mailhot was recently named a Minerva Peace and Security Scholar Fellow by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The fellowship will cover tuition and provides a stipend for Mailhot’s work during the 2020-21 academic year.

Cameron Mailhot
Cameron Mailhot
In his dissertation, “Blueprints for Peace: International Missions, Domestic Commitments, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Reforms,” Mailhot is  building a theory around the increasingly programmatic nature of international peacebuilding initiatives and examining the effect that peacebuilding missions have on state-society relations when they become embedded in post-conflict countries.

His research combines analyses of an original dataset of all post-Cold War regional and UN peacekeeping missions with archival research, interviews and a public survey in Kosovo. He was supposed to be in Kosovo from this spring through this fall, but ended up leaving March 15 because of the pandemic. He hopes to return as soon as it’s safe to finish his work in the national archives and return again in 2021 for interviews.

“Kosovo is an appropriate case, methodologically, for my research because it includes all of the necessary conditions for the theory I'm building …The UN Mission in Kosovo, The EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) and NATO have been deployed to Kosovo for a generation now in order to rebuild public institutions in the country, and they have become deeply embedded in the social and political climate of the country.”

Mailhot also has a personal interest in the region, growing up in a small Minnesota mining community with many families whose ancestors immigrated from Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. “I remember, as a child, hearing reports about the ethnic wars that were unfolding in Yugoslavia, and being confused because I would see the neighbors around me, proud of their familial heritage, getting along with one another.”

He is particularly excited to be connected to USIP, which is based in Washington, D.C. and has well-established connections to policymakers.

“Being a part of this community provides me with the connections to others conducting cutting-edge research on peacebuilding and conflict resolution so that we can learn from and build off of one another's work,” he said. ”Being a USIP Fellow also helps to strengthen the network between scholars and policymakers in this field. It provides a clear avenue through which scholars working on policy-related research can share their work with policymakers and effect change.”

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