You are here: Current Doctoral Students

SPA's doctoral students are equipped with the skills to have immediate impact.

With expertise spanning public management, global health governance, regulatory policy and more, our PhD candidates bring the knowledge and action necessary to make great impact in the fields of public administration and public policy. Each of them are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of scholarship to new heights, educating the next generation of public affairs leaders, and researching the significant issues of the day.

Public Administration PhD Students

Catherine Bampoky

Catherine Bampoky is a PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. Her interests include global health governance and health policy-making in developing countries, specifically

  cb4960a@american.edu

Zachary Bauer Adjunct Instructor

Zachary Bauer is a PhD student and the Charles Levine Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. His research interests include collaborativ

  zb5144a@american.edu

Kari Dalane

Kari Dalane is a PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. Her research interest is education policy. Prior to enrolling at American University, Kari worked in schools for f

  kd5010a@american.edu

Jourdan Davis

Jourdan Davis is a doctoral student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. Her research interests include long-term care, aging-related policy, and public engage

  jd5530b@american.edu

James Ellis Director, Student Success & Assessment Provost, Office of the

Jimmy Ellis (he/him/his) is the Director of Student Success and Assessment for the Office of Undergraduate Education. He joined AU in 2011 and leads programmatic, administrative, and curricular assess

  jellis@american.edu

  (202) 885-2240

James Gordon Adjunct Instructor

James Gordon is a PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. His research interests include environmental economics and policy, health and human capital, and public finance. Ja

  jg0490a@american.edu

Michael Hatch Adjunct Instructor

Michael Hatch is a doctoral student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. His research interests concern health and social policy, particularly the intersection of food insecurity and

Ene Ikpebe

Ene Ikpebe is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. Her interests include the development and implementation of primary and higher education policy, especiall

  ei3567a@american.edu

Alberto Jacinto

Alberto Jacinto is a first year phd student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. His research interests include education and health policy, race/ethnicity and

  aj8429a@american.edu

Mariam Khan

Mariam Khan is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Public Administration & Policy. Her research interests are in the areas of labor, education, workforce development, and health. While p

  mk8335a@american.edu

Minjung Kim Adjunct Instructor

Minjung Kim is a doctoral student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. Her research interests include public and nonprofit management, citizen satisfaction, go

  mk5083a@american.edu

Aeric Koerner

Aeric Koerner is a current doctoral student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. His Interests include health policy, contracting and privatization, and social

  ak5020a@american.edu

Austin McCrea

Austin McCrea is a doctoral student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. His substantive interests include public management, organizational performance, and the relationship between

  am3471a@american.edu

Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez Adjunct Instructor

Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. Brandon’s research agenda is animated by the questions: “How does using

  br9229a@american.edu

Wallis Romzek

Wallis Romzek is a PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. Her research interests include the economic, social, and administrative implications of smart city initiatives, pa

  wromzek@american.edu

Lilli Shaffer Adjunct Instructor

Lilliandra's primary area of study is in nonprofit organizations, specifically foundations. She is also interested in public administration theory and philosophy. Prior to attending American Universit

  js4358a@american.edu

Richard Takacs

Rich Takacs is a PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. His research interests center on urban policy issues including affordable housing, food avail

  rt5054a@american.edu

Long Tran

Long Tran is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. He also teaches the Math and Statistics Boot Camp for incoming MPP/MPA students. His primary

  lt5156a@american.edu

Fei Wang

Fei Wang is a PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. Her research interests include privatization, collaborative governance, contract management, and

  fw9435a@american.edu

Rui Wang

Rui Wang is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. His research interests include public administration, policy analysis, and international devel

  rw3515a@american.edu

Carley Weted

Carley Weted is a doctoral student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University. Her research interests include investigations of environmental factors with effects on

  cw3677a@american.edu

Political Science PhD Students

Emily Bello Pardo

Emily D. Bello-Pardo is currently pursuing a doctorate in Political Science at American University, and specializes in American and Comparative Politics, as well as in Methodology. Her research intere

Simon Heuberger Adjunct Instructor

Simon is a third-year PhD student with concentrations in American Government and Quantitative Methods. His research focuses on the psychological underpinnings of public opinion, the advancement of sur

  sh6943a@american.edu

Danielle Higgins Adjunct Instructor

Danielle Higgins is a doctoral student in Political Science at American University's School of Public Affairs. She specializes in Comparative Politics, with a secondary field in American Politics. Her

  dh6087a@american.edu

William Jorgeson

Will Jorgeson is a PhD student in the Department of Government. Originally from Clinton, Mississippi, before coming to American University, he received BA degrees in Philosophy and Economics from Miss

  wj6527a@american.edu

Luciano Melo

Luciano Melo is a doctoral candidate researching the survival of more democratic regions in countries that are becoming increasingly autocratic, especially in Venezuela and Russia. He is also a teach

  luciano.melo@american.edu

Ranu Nath

Ranu is a doctoral student in the Department of Government. She studies Comparative Politics with a regional focus on South Asia. Her secondary field is Policy. Her research interest include inequalit

  rn5432a@american.edu

Scott Patrick Student Wages

Scott Patrick is a doctoral student in Government with Comparative Politics as his primary concentration. Growing up in Oklahoma and the United Arab Emirates, he has a MA in Government from American U

  sp1665a@american.edu

Barbara Soares Lima Dos Santos

Barbara dos Santos is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Government studying Comparative and Environmental Politics. Her research is focused on the influence of environmental interest groups in

  bd0526a@american.edu

Daniela Stevens Adjunct Instructor

Daniela Stevens is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science in the School of Public Affairs and a recipient of the 2014 Tinker Field Research Grant, which supported her doctoral dissertation research ti

  ls8244a@american.edu

Sasa Tang

Sasa Tang is a doctoral student in the Department of Government. She studies Comparative Politics with a regional focus on Middle East North Africa, and a secondary field in International Relations. H

  sasa.tang@american.edu

Justice, Law & Criminology PhD Students

Rachel Bowman

Rachel Bowman is currently a PhD student in Justice, Law, and Criminology. Her primary research interest is the influence of race in criminal justice decision-making. She's currently interested in pro

  rb7722a@american.edu

Natalie Chwalisz

Natalie Chwalisz is a first year PhD student at the School of Public Affairs, in the Justice, Law and Criminology Department. She focuses in on forced displacement, especially of youth, resilience and

  nc5011b@american.edu

Alexander Clayton

Alex Clayton is currently a PhD student in Justice, Law & Criminology with concentrations in Law & Society and Political Violence & Nonviolence. He holds a master's degree from American University in

  ac9185a@american.edu

Jason Fritz

Jason Fritz is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. His research interests are on the intersection of political violence and the politics of policing. Prior to matricul

  jf4949a@american.edu

Avi-Yona Israel Adjunct Instructor

Avi-Yona is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology. Her research interests include philosophy of law, international law, human rights, global ethics, justice and the rule

  ai2393a@american.edu

Esther Matthews

Esther Matthews is a second-year doctoral student in the Justice, Law and Criminology PhD program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Oregon State University. Her research focus

  em1710a@american.edu

Hillary Mellinger Adjunct Instructor

Hillary Mellinger is a PhD student in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Her academic interests include comparative asylum / refugee law and policy, states’ migration control mechanisms,

  hm0137a@american.edu

Daisy Muibu Adjunct Instructor

Daisy Muibu is a third year PhD student at American University's Justice, Law and Criminology Department. Her research examines local police responses to terrorism, how police legitimacy and the perc

  dm5100a@american.edu

Alyssa Purdy Adjunct Instructor

Alyssa Purdy, originally from West Michigan, is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Justice, Law & Criminology from American University. In December of 2013, she graduated with honors fro

  ap9576a@american.edu

Victoria Smiegocki

Victoria Smiegocki is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology. Alongside her PhD, she is also completing a certificate program in Applied Statistics at American Unive

  vs5147a@american.edu

Jennifer Tilley

Jennifer Tilley is a Ph.D. student in the department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Her primary research interests include institutional and community corrections, capital punishment, parole and pr

  jt2006a@american.edu

Kristian Warpinski

Kristian Warpinski is a first year PhD student in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Her primary research interests include political violence and (counter)terrorism, the recruitment and

  kw5971a@american.edu