Global Impacts Graduate Fellows
Learn about the 2023–24 cohort of Global Impacts Graduate Fellows below, or you may view the 2020–21 cohort, 2021–22 cohort or 2022–23 cohort.
Sofyan Ansori is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at Northwestern University. His dissertation project examines relationships between humans and fires in light of the current climate crisis, specifically on how Indigenous Dayak in Central Kalimantan navigate their thoughts and actions amid the burning forests, the vibrant fires, and the state’s ongoing desire to enforce anti-fire policies.
Ming-hsi Chu (he/him/his) is a PhD candidate specializing in Chinese legal, financial, and economic history. With academic visiting experiences in Japan, Germany, Hungary, and mainland China, Ming-hsi brings a unique perspective shaped by his previous career as a practicing lawyer in Taiwan prior to joining Northwestern University.
Alexandra De Leon is a PhD candidate in History at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on memory of the Asia-Pacific War, exploring issues of historical commemoration, reconciliation, and U.S.-Japan relations through material culture. Her dissertation examines souvenirs (mostly the personal belongings of Japanese soldiers, such as flags, photos, and letters) taken from the Pacific Theater of WWII, and the attempts to return these items to the families of the deceased.
Qin Huang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science with a substantive focus on political economy, institutional change, and bureaucratic politics, particularly in the context of China. On the methodological research front, he is keen on exploring the potential of machine-learning algorithms in complementing qualitative induction.
Samantha Kassirer is a PhD candidate in Management and Organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Using a variety of research methods, such as laboratory, longitudinal, field and cross-cultural experiments, she studies questions that touch on prosociality and moral psychology. Specifically, Samantha's research examines three key questions: 1. When does receiving help positively vs. negatively impact aid recipients’ psychological experience and, in turn, their acceptance or utilization of the help? 2. What factors increase (longterm, effective) prosocial and charitable behaviors? and 3. How do new moral stances develop and evolve in adulthood?
Paula Maia is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology. Her research focuses on food (in)security and the political ecology of the gut microbiome. She uses mixed methods approaches to assess how global economic forces, such as tourism, affect food (in)security and subsequently impact biology and health through diet and the gut microbiome.
Carlo Medici is a PhD candidate in the Kellogg School of Management. His research focuses on topics in labor economics and political economy, such as the factors driving the formation and development of labor unions, the impacts of immigration restrictions on the economy, and the effects of public sector hiring constraints on local labor markets. Before joining Northwestern, he earned a BA and a MSc in Economics from Bocconi University.
Julie Anh Nguyen is a PhD candidate in the Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering's Applied Math Department. Her research focus is on federated learning, a distributed machine learning approach where multiple entities collaborate to solve a problem without sharing their local data. The approach combines methods from fields such as distributed computing and differential privacy to allow for increased efficiency and more protection against privacy breaches, compared to traditional centralized methods.
Dhondup T. Rekjong is a Tibetan scholar and doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies. His interest lies at the intersection of colonialism, modernity, religious studies, and 20th century Tibet. His research explores how a generation of scholars preserved and cultivated Tibetan Buddhism and language under Chinese rule. His writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Journal of Asian Studies, The Journal of Cultural Anthropology, Lion’s Roar, The Treasury of Lives and others.
Cordelia Rizzo is a scholar, activist and maker. She is a PhD Candidate in Performance Studies. Her research studies how the sense of touch resists the work of militarized violence, such as enforced disappearances, through textile work and other types of activist performances in her native Mexico.
Andrew Saab is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and an MS candidate in the Department of Statistics and Data Science. His interests lie in political economy, information economics, causal inference, computational social science and game theory. His research explores how institutional designs and electoral rules act as information structures that relay information to both voters and political elites, thus influencing election outcomes and strategic political behavior.
Mia Tuccillo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Her research uses lake sediment cores from Greenland and northern Canada to determine how climate changes control the biological productivity of Arctic freshwater ecosystems and the current ramifications of these dynamics for water supplies in freshwater-limited Arctic communities.
Dinara Urazova, a native of Kazakhstan currently pursuing a dual-PhD in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and École Normale Supérieure, has studied and conducted research in seven countries, worked in the media and engaged in projects to better understand the deeper currents that drive social processes. She likes to sing, read, play with cats, have fun with her friends and family, and let her mind wander.
Plant Biology and Conservation Program, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciencesrafaelurbinac@gmail.com
Rafael Urbina-Casanova is a PhD candidate in the Plant Biology and Conservation Program. His research aims to improve seed production for ecological restoration and the recovery of threatened species. He uses modern genomic techniques to describe spatial patterns of genetic diversity that allow maximizing adaptability to climate change, while respecting “recent” evolutionary history of species.
Christian Vásquez Infante is a cultural promoter and a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. His research explores the role of grassroots literary projects in addressing violence and systemic racism in Colombia. He is deeply interested in researching and developing Public Humanities projects that foster connections between academia and other creative fields within the arts and culture sector.
Luna Vincent is a PhD candidate in theDepartment of Sociology studying how different systems of racial ideas shape racial justice social movement and race laws in the United States. Their dissertations specifically examines how French colonial racial ideas shaped Black American resistance to early Jim Crow segregation and racial violence at the turn of the 20th century.