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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 no longer accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year at this time.

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 sophomore studying International Relations with an emphasis in economic and political development and a minor in Professional Writing & Rhetoric. She has worked as a research assistant for Professors Karpowitz and Pope for the American Family Survey and is currently the CSED administrative assistant. Her research interests include identity politics, economic development, and voter behavior. She loves learning new languages, appreciating other cultures (especially their cuisine!) and making music. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and work as a human rights lawyer and participate in public policymaking.
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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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Clara Cullen

Clara is a senior studying Political Science with an emphasis in Research and Analysis and a minor in Family Studies. Over the summer, Clara enjoyed working at a political consulting firm in D.C, but she is excited to return to CSED and academic research for another year. She currently works as a research assistant for Dr. Jessica Preece, assessing congressional credit claiming and unorthodox lawmaking. Her interests include research methodology, identity politics, political psychology, and gender in politics. In her free time, Clara enjoys music, dance, and being outdoors.
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Elle Diether

Elle is currently a senior studying Political Science with a minor in Mathematics. She has been previously involved in BYU Political Review and is currently working as a research assistant for Professor Pope and Professor Monson. She hopes to attend graduate school in Political Science and become a professor. Her interests include political conversations, electoral rules, and hegemonic transitions. During her free time, she enjoys touring Civil War battlefields, playing video games, and lip singing to Broadway soundtracks.
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kathryn fontano

Kathryn Fontano

Kathryn is a senior from Las Vegas, Nevada studying Political Science with an emphasis in Political Strategy. She has worked as a research assistant for Chris Karpowitz and Jeremy Pope, as well as an intern for the Utah 3rd District Court. She is the publicity officer for the Women in Politics Club on campus and a teaching assistant for Political Science 328 - Statistical Analysis. In her free time, she loves roller skating and being outside with friends.
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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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Isaac Lamoreaux

Isaac is a current senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Political Strategy. Isaac has interned with the Pew Research Center where he joined the Religious Demography team. Isaac is a TA for POLI 328, and has worked for three campaigns. In his free time, Isaac enjoys being with friends, playing guitar, and hiking.
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Jacob Lunt

Jacob is a senior from Dallas studying Political Science with an emphasis on legal studies and a minor in Philosophy. His interests include judicial politics, and political philosophy He has worked previously as a teaching assistant for Dr. Busby. He currently works as a research assistant with Dr. Karpowitz studying judicial politics. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a J.D. In his free time, he enjoys reading, trying new foods, and biking.
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bethany pearson

Bethany Pearson

Bethany is a senior from Nebraska studying Political Science. She is minoring in International Strategy and Diplomacy and Asian Studies and is currently working as a research assistant for Dr. Adam Dynes. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and pursue a career in international law. Bethany enjoys learning languages, trying new foods, playing piano, and painting.
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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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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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