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CSED
Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy

CSED Lab

CSED Lab
Undergraduate Fellows
Undergraduate Research
Alumni

CSED Lab

CSED was one of the greatest honors I had during my college career. I loved being able to be a part of the process helping professors and students alike in crafting better research.
Kaleigh Fox, Former Student Fellow

Join the CSED Lab

Each semester, some of BYU’s brightest students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and other students, researching the latest political science data and practicing new research methods. Participating the CSED Research Lab allows students to better their research skills and implement their own research ideas. Through hands-on experience, engaging discussions, and seminars from political science experts and professionals, CSED Fellows receive a rich educational experience.

Are you interested in becoming a CSED Fellow? Click on the link below to apply! Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Students are highly recommended to complete POLI 328 before applying, though it is not required. Applicants who have not completed POLI 200 will not be considered. Those who are most successful typically commit for at least one year.

We are now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year. Apply here!

More about the CSED Lab

An integral aspect of the CSED research lab is regular lab meetings, promoting constant communication between students and faculty. Lab participants meet frequently (usually each Friday) to monitor ongoing CSED research projects, plan future work, and discuss student research. Lab meetings also include presentations by students and faculty; these presentations range from initial research ideas to research design proposals to discussions of full paper drafts. Students are expected to participate as full and active interlocutors in seminar-type evaluation and discussion of the research projects on each meeting’s agenda.

The CSED Research Lab represents a unique opportunity for students to generate and implement their research ideas under the tutelage and close mentorship of not just one, but multiple faculty members who are united by a common set of research interests. This collective enterprise makes for a unique and extremely high-quality mentoring environment.

Being a CSED Fellow is a unique and highly rewarding experience. Participating the CSED Research Lab allows students to develop skills that allow them to excel in graduate school or other professional pursuits. Students have successfully pursued graduate studies at top universities across the nation in part due to their participation with CSED. Read about the experiences of CSED alumni .

Undergraduate Fellows

Each year, the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy selects the most elite to be undergraduate fellows with the Center. As fellows, students are able to both work for a professor as well as pursue their own research projects under the direction of a professor. With this unique set-up, the student fellows have invaluable hands on experience in research that prepares them for post-graduate work. To see a list of all CSED alumni, visit the alumni page.

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Natalie Bria

Natalie is a senior studying International Relations with an emphasis in international politics. She has worked as a research assistant for Professors Karpowitz and Pope, as a TA for Professor Mecham, and is currently the CSED administrative assistant. Her research interests include gender politics, economic development, and voter behavior. She loves learning new languages, reading, trying new foods, and producing music. After graduation, she is going to work as a community development facilitator with the Peace Corps in Moldova, and has further plans to pursue a law degree.
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Grace Burns

Grace is a junior studying international relations with an emphasis in economic and political development. She is involved as a statistical analysis TA and as a research assistant for Dr. Quin Monson and Dr. Lisa Argyle. After interning for a public opinion scholar at a DC think tank, she hopes to return to the DC think tank world after graduation to work as a research assistant and later pursue graduate studies. Her interests include religion and politics, poverty and inequity, and research methodology. Her non-political interests include tennis, hiking, and any activity on the water.
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Ashlan Gruwell

Ashlan is a senior studying Political Science, a research assistant for Professors Quin Monson and Kelly Patterson, and a teaching assistant for Professor Adam Dynes. Ashlan is also involved with BYU’s Honor Program and BYU’s Student Advisory Council, and she participated in BYU’s Washington Seminar program Winter of 2022. Her future goals include law school, working on campaigns, and being a political advisor in Washington D.C. She considers the BYU Washington Seminar to be the best experience of her college career (so far) and enjoys movies, music, TV shows, game nights, and spending time with her loved ones and friends.
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Adam Hubbs

Adam Hubbs

Adam is a Junior majoring in Political Science. He grew up in Washington State and has been involved in statewide campaigns since 2018. Some of his current and recent projects include creating a Tableau dashboard to analyze and visualize election results in real time using python, creating a voice controlled robot, and working on legal research for the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools.
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Anna Nakaya

Anna is a senior studying political science with a minor in philosophy. She hopes to attend graduate school after graduation and attain a PhD in political science. Anna is a teaching assistant for Dr. Darren Hawkins, and is a research assistant for Dr. Joel Selway and Dr. David Magleby. She has also had experience helping to coordinate and presenting at an international political science conference. She is interested in all facets of political science including comparative politics, American politics, and political philosophy. Her non-political science interests include board games, writing and listening to music, and debate.
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Caleb Ringger

Caleb is a junior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Professional Writing and Rhetoric. He is working as a teaching assistant for Professor Christensen's Political Science 200 class. He is passionate about American politics, Middle Eastern politics, philosophy, and international relations. He plans to attend law school and practice international law. He is also passionate about music and sports, particularly advocating for the rights of Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the ongoing Steelers-Ravens conflict.
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Laura Pacheco

Laura is a junior studying political science with an emphasis on research and analysis and a minor in sociology. She worked as a TA for Professor Kirk Hawkins and sociology professor Dr. Leake. Currently, she is a research assistant for Dr. Busby and Professor Kirk Hawkins. Laura is interested in public opinion, political behavior, and American politics. She plans to return to the East Coast after graduating from BYU to work at a think tank in DC. In her free time, she enjoys music, movies, and cooking.

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Hannah Criser

Hannah is a junior studying Political Science with an emphasis in Research and Analysis from the mountain state of West Virginia. She currently works as Lead Teaching Assistant as well as a Research Consultant in the BYU Research and Writing Center. She also works as a research assistant for Professor Kelly Patterson within the Political Science Department. In addition, Hannah has worked on four political campaigns, most recently being Utah County Coordinator for Evan McMullin for Utah. Hannah loves genealogy, reading, traveling, and raving about the unique beauty and culture of Appalachia.
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Gavin Hickman

Gavin is a Senior from Colorado studying Political Science with a minor in Political Research and Data Analysis. He works for Dr. Darren Hawkins as a Research Assistant and a Teaching Assistant while also contributing as a Research Fellow for the Libertas Institute. Gavin was also honored with the opportunity to intern for a State Representative in the Utah State Legislature during their 2023 General Legislative Session. His research interests include the development and backsliding of Democracy, the effect of technological innovation to the economy, and the result of budget size on bill passage rates. He hopes to work for a think-tank or data firm as a Data Analyst. In his free time, Gavin enjoys playing complex board games, reading books, skiing, and spending quality time with his wonderful wife.
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Ellie Mitchell

Ellie is a junior majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in Research and Analysis and a minor in International Strategy and Diplomacy. She has worked as a research assistant for Professors Brown and Beesley and is currently a TA for Dr. Goodliffe's Data Visualization class. Her research interests include political polarization, gender in politics, and American politics in general. She also loves reading, hiking, and traveling. After graduation, she plans to attend law school.
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Alumni

After their tenure at the lab, CSED alumni go on to very advantageous and competitive fields, in part due to the preparation the Center offers. Many now established in their careers, CSED alumni offer their insight below.

I continue to use the research and analytical skills developed at CSED in my current work every day. I still consider the CSED students and faculty some of my closest friends from BYU. The other students are now off working at top-tier organizations or studying at great graduate schools. I will enjoy staying in contact with them as their lives and careers move forward.
Matthew Frei, Research Assistant at Pew Research Center



CSED was one of the greatest honors I had during my college career. I loved being able to be a part of the process helping professors and students alike in crafting better research.
Kaleigh Fox, Spanish Fork, UT



I was invited to participate in the CSED research lab after my sophomore year. I was initially intimidated by the opportunity to lend my observations to research being conducted by the professors in the lab; but after our summer course, I was amazed by the respect the undergraduate research fellows were given and the camaraderie we shared together.
Jessica Biggs, Charlottesville, VA
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CSED was instrumental in preparing me for graduate school with activities such as working closely with professors, having focused discussions, organizing experimental work, and analyzing data. My experience with CSED motivated me to attend graduate school while helping me to develop project management skills…I never imagined that CSED would give me so many interesting research opportunities that would put me in contact with exceptional faculty and students.
Josephine Shipley, Graduate Student at UCLA



At the end of many of my classes I just kept asking myself, “So what?” CSED was that answer for me. Not only did CSED provide a great outlet to have interesting discussions with knowledgeable faculty in an intimate setting, but it also gave me the chance to do my own research on topics that were interesting to me.
Erin Wells, Management Analyst and Special Events Coordinator, Lehi City, UT



My experience at CSED prepared me to participate in quantitative research immediately upon entering graduate school. This put me ahead in my program. I’ve benefited greatly from the hands-on experiences I had while at CSED.
John Holbein, University of Virginia Faculty Member



In putting together my application to Duke, I found that almost all the accomplishments I listed were a direct result of my participation in CSED. To all considering applying for CSED fellowship, I say that it will be the best thing you can do to prepare for any kind of social science research-oriented career or graduate program.
Robbie Richards, Graduate Student at Duke University
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In a variety of ways, CSED offers a unique opportunity to go beyond coursework and see what graduate work and life are like.
David Lassen, Graduate Student, Madison, WI



Since graduating from BYU I’ve worked in a Congressional office, worked on two winning campaigns in Virginia, served a mission for [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints] and am now in graduate school. CSED helped me apply the data analysis skills I learned in 328, and those same skills have helped me in grad school in the research I am doing now on human trafficking in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Ashley Burton, Graduate Student, Henrico, VA

Undergraduate Alumni

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2014-2015

Geoffery Cannon
Tyler Simms
John Griffith
Alejandra Aldridge
James Martherus
Katherine Westmoreland
Morgan Hoffman
Hayden Galloway
Matthew Beck
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2015-2016

Kaleigh Crystal
Tatiana Flexman
Hayden Galloway
Alejandra Aldridge
Andrew Jensen
James Martherus
Nick Roweton
Teresa Dix
Trevor Morgan
Christopher Durrans
Timothy Dudley
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2016-2017

Peter Gregory
Jenah House
Steven Jamieson
Tatiana Flexman
Alessandra Carbajal
Soren Schmidt
Sarah Curry
Amanda Eatough
Devon Tenney
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2017-2018

Alessandra Carbajal
Megan Davis
James Lee
Amanda Eatough
Sydney Roper
Marianna van Brederode
Rehtaeh Beers
Daniel Zarkou
Bradley Sanderson
Nichole Christensen
Samantha Frazier
Brittany Bair
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2018-2019

Matthew Baldwin

Alena Smith

Savannah Knapp
Kelly Duncan
Danielle Hogan
Megan Davis
Matthew Easton
Samantha Frazier
Margaret Jarvis
Jacquelyn Asto Laura
Camilla Alarcon
Pearce Solomon
Alex Bass
Jeremiah Scanlan
Naomi Hilton
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2019-2020

Alex Bass
Camilla Alarcon
Danielle Hogan
Margaret Jarvis
Elisabeth Anne Jarman
Drew Petersen
Pearce Solomon
Naomi Hilton
Seth Gillespie
Jeremiah Scanlan
Fiona Huston
Katrina Cole
Ethan Meldrum
Heather Walker
Thomas Nanto
Kesley Townsend
Elizabeth Ellison
Ember Englis
Alyssa Jean
Chistopher Heinz Howse II
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2020-2021

Olivia Jensen
Kelsey Eyre
Camilla Alarcon
Ethan Meldrum
Abraham Burton
Layla Shaaban
Kesley Townsend
Heather Walker
Isabel Williams
Ezekiel Peters
Thomas Nanto
Eric Grant Baldwin
Hannah Forsyth
Jacob Lunt
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2021-2022

Ezekiel Peters
Jacob Lunt
Clara Cullen
Jordan Gygi
Thomas Nanto
Jeremy Pratt
Jessica Dofelmire
Kelsey Eyre
Christopher Vazquez
Morgan Rushforth
Kesley Townsend
Eric Grant Baldwin
Hannah Forsyth
Isabel Williams
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2022-2023

Clara Cullen
Elle Diether
Jacob Lunt
Ashlan Gruwell
Grace Burns
Isaac Lamoreaux
Natalie Bria
Caleb Ringger
Bethany Pearson
Anna Nakaya
Adam Hubbs
Kathryn Fontano
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