Graduate Fellows and Assistants
Learn about our Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships here.
Laura Acosta Gonzalez studies the causes of the most persistent and hard-to-solve civil wars across the world. Her dissertation project looks both across and inside civil wars to investigate why some civil wars perpetuate,and to expose the factors that lead to their self-reproduction. Using evidence from historical archives and a combination of text and network analysis, she examines why, in the aftermath of bi-partisan conflict, relatively better peace-building efforts in Colombia led to the perpetuation of the conflict, while Mexico sustained peace for the remainder of the twentieth century. Previous empirical projects also include a study of the 2016 peace plebiscite in Colombia to understand how discrepancies between collective trauma and personal victimization affect the chances of conflict resolution and post-war reconstruction. Laura holds master’s degrees from both Northwestern and the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizations from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Prior to graduate study, Laura worked as a consultant for private business consulting firms in Chicago and Bogotá, as well as a manager of business strategy and performance for one of the largest airlines in Latin America.Sarah Moore is an aspiring scholar of Comparative Politics in Latin America, specializing in the legacies of political violence, mixed-methods research, and wartime social order. Sarah is concurrently pursuing a PhD in Political Science and a Master of Science in Statistics. Her ongoing dissertation project is comprised of essays that devise quantitative and qualitative methods to make research among hard-to-reach populations more legible and transparent in regard to measurement and inference. This dissertation project has substantive applications to the study of individuals’ post-war attitudes regarding rule of law, as well as the political and economic consequences of land dispossession. Additionally, Sarah has ongoing projects related to narratives in contentious political mobilization in El Salvador and the effects of rebel governance on the presence of illicit markets in Colombia. She is originally from New Mexico, an alumna of the University of New Mexico, and a Research Fellow with el Centro de Estudios sobre Seguridad y Drogas with Universidad de los Andes in Colombia.
Research Team Graduate Assistant
Nnaemeka (Emeka) Ekwelumis a transnational, multidisciplinary researcher, educator, artist, and curator from Boston, MA. He currently lives in Chicago, IL, where he is pursuing a PhD in Black Studies (African American Studies) at Northwestern University. Emeka’s scholarly and creative interests converge at the intersection of history, critical theory, creative expression, comparative ethnography, and curatorial practice. And his current research project examines aesthetic patterns and decolonial strategies embedded within transnational Black contemporary and craft art practices. Prior to beginning his doctorate at Northwestern, Emeka held a professional career as an educator in his home state of Massachusetts, formally and informally working with youth and adult learners across a range of cultural contexts in the Boston/Greater Boston Area. His teaching philosophy is a reflection of his training in Comparative Ethnic Studies (Columbia University, B.A.) and Arts in Education (Harvard University, Ed.M.), drawing on theories of Black feminist and political thought to interrogate ideas of power, privilege, and personhood through art and artmaking.
Nnaemeka (Emeka) Ekwelum
Department of African American Studies, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Sustainability Graduate AssistantZhihang Ruan is a graduate student in the Political Science department. He studies land institutions and migrant labors in China and Vietnam, using both qualitative and quantitative data to understand how land institutions shape the welfare provision for rural-to-urban migrants in the two countries and the broader impacts on the political economy of China and Vietnam. He also works on projects related to China’s foreign aid.
Disproportionate Impacts of Environmental Challenges Graduate AssistantsAnne-Marie Singh (Boyer) is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society Program at Northwestern University and is working at the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact. She has several years of experience working in environmental nonprofits as a communicator, and as a science journalist in public media. Her research interests include organizational communication and cross-sector collaborations in the nonprofit sector. Anne-Marie has an M.S. degree in Science Journalism from Boston University and a B.A. in English Literature from Delhi University, India.Weston Twardowski is a candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama at Northwestern University. He holds dual degrees in History and Theatre Performance from Louisiana State University and an M.A. from the University of Houston in Theatre Studies. His research argues for the central role of performance in post-Katrina New Orleans as a tool of both spiritual survival and political activism amidst a rapidly changing civic-identity within the city. His work has been published in Theatre Journal, Theatre History Studies, and Ecumenica. A professional director and dramaturg, he maintains a robust artistic portfolio through his work as a co-founder and the literary manager of Third Culture Theatre in Los Angeles.
Living with Plagues Graduate AssistantAudrey Nicolaides is a social and political theorist committed to public-facing scholarship. She is currently a PhD candidate in the political science department at Northwestern University where she works at the intersection of critical theory, international relations, and the philosophy of the social sciences. Her current research focuses on the history and theory of progressive internationalisms. Other interests include history, geography, political economy, and aesthetics. She received her M.A. in political theory from the University of Chicago and her B.F.A. in visual and critical studies from the School of Visual Arts.
Gender Justice and Digital Life Graduate AssistantAndrene Wright is a fourth-year PhD candidate specializing in American Politics, specifically, Urban Politics and political behavior at the intersection of race, gender, and class. Her dissertation project addresses the role of Black women mayors in African American politics and the response of Black constituents living in those cities. She’s interested in how policy-interest structures, as understood in Political Science, can take up a new framework to best account for Black women’s multi-faceted decision making. Additionally, Andrene serves as a program facilitator for UnSilence, an educational nonprofit committed to social change by shedding light on a broad range of injustices that are often overlooked. She last facilitated a conversation at Victory Gardens in Chicago on sexual violence against Black women and girls and community-based prevention strategies.