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American Democracy Fellows


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Alejandra Aldridge

Political Science

Alejandra Aldridge is a PhD candidate in the Political Science department at Stanford University. Her dissertation examines how citizens think about democratic norms and how presidents can influence those conceptions about democratic norms. Broadly, her research interests include  executive politics, presidential elections, experimental methods, survey methodology, and gender and politics. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Political Science.

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Ruth Elisabeth Appel


Ruth Appel is a PhD Student in Stanford's Department of Communication. She is interested in the intersection of Behavioral Science and Computer Science, with the aim of leveraging psychological targeting ethically and for the common good. She is particularly passionate about encouraging prosocial behavior and political participation and promoting wellbeing and mental health. 

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Levi Boxell


Levi Boxell is a PhD Candidate in Economics at Stanford University and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. The Center for American Democracy grant will help fund a survey experiment (joint with Jacob Conway) examining how political ideology shapes consumer behavior. His broader research agenda incorporates areas of political economy and development, with a particular emphasis on political conflict and the role of information technologies. 

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Charles Chu

Graduate School of Business

Charles Chu is a PhD student in Micro-Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research interests center on how social structures (e.g., contract work, modern work arrangements) influence people’s sense of identity and meaning in life. His work through the Center for American Democracy at IRiSS examines whether challenges to the existing racial hierarchy (e.g., presenting information about demographic shifts) disrupt Americans’ experience of meaning in life and whether the presence of strong social connections might mitigate such an effect.

Christianne Corbett

Christianne Corbett is a PhD Candidate in Stanford’s Department of Sociology. Her dissertation project focuses on the role of empathy and perspective-taking in creating inclusive work environments.   Her broader research agenda focuses on occupational gender segregation and barriers to women in leadership. Her survey experiment explores gender differences in penalties assessed to women and men presidential candidates when they fail to meet voter expectations.

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Katie Hedgecock

Political Science

Katie Hedgecock is a PhD Student in Stanford's Department of Political Science and an active duty Army officer.  Her research examines the strategic logic of international cyber operations. Katie's current projects seek to understand the motivations for public attribution of state-sponsored cyber operations and the relationship between the state, private entities, and the public in the cyber domain. 

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Lisa Hummel


Lisa Hummel is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Stanford. Her dissertation project looks at the intersection of identity and ideology for political minorities; specifically she studies lay theories of inequality among political conservatives in California. She uses mixed methods including qualitative interviews and experimental methods. Using a conjoint experiment, she seeks to answer why conservatives are less likely than liberals to support women in leadership positions in politics.

Jonathan Lee


Jonathan Lee is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Policy (Health Economics Track) and a M.A. in Political Science, while also a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Stanford Health Care. He is interested in understanding how people acquire, utilize, and adjust mental heuristics used to interpret politically-relevant cues. His current survey experiment seeks to evaluate how people's political beliefs and information-seeking behaviors respond to sponsor disclosures in political advertisements, as well as testing the malleability of those responses.

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Ryan Moore


Ryan Moore is a PhD student in Stanford’s Department of Communication. His research primarily explores how individuals engage with information about politics and news in the new media environment. He is grateful for support from SCAD, which he is using to conduct a survey experiment on citizens’ perceptions of different types of political falsehoods.

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Daphna Spivack

Psychology, Law

Daphna Spivack is a joint JD & PhD student in the Psychology Department at Stanford, where she studies the ways in which different psychological biases affect our judicial and political systems. She looks at how biased processing affects our preferred policy outcomes and influences prosecutor and juror decision making in the courtroom. For her research with the Center for American Democracy, she focuses on the ways in which political polarization and motivated reasoning influence perceptions of executive power. 

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Lauren Sukin

Political Science

Lauren Sukin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science. She studies International Security, with a focus on nuclear policy. Her dissertation project examines the politics of nuclear nonproliferation. 

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Marissa Thompson

Graduate School of Education

Marissa Thompson is a PhD candidate in Sociology of Education at Stanford University. Her research investigates inequality in access and returns to education by race and socioeconomic status. Her survey experiment, co-authored with Sam Trejo, explores how information about local school segregation affects parents’ opinions on desegregation policies. 

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Jan Gerrit Voelkel


Jan is a PhD student in Sociology. He uses experiments, conducts text-analyses, and organizes crowd-sourced tournaments to examine the following research questions: (1) Why do people disagree on moral and political issues? (2) Under which conditions do people change their moral and political attitudes? (3) Under which conditions do people with different ideologies successfully cooperate with each other?

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Hesu Yoon


Hesu Yoon is a PhD Candidate in Stanford's Department of Sociology. She is broadly interested in the role of race/ethnicity, social media, and urban consumption in facilitating neighborhood changes like gentrification, segregation, and integration. In her current project, Hesu uses an online survey experiment to investigate how local businesses and their social media reviews affect how young elites perceive and evaluate neighborhoods. 

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Lynne Zummo

Graduate School of Education

Lynne Zummo is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Education. Her research examines the relationships between political ideology and learning of climate science for young people. Her current survey experiments test the effects of framing on data analysis and interpretation by young adults from diverse political backgrounds.