Since 2008, Weiser Emerging Democracy Fellowships have been awarded annually to U-M graduate students whose work focuses on the theme of emerging democracies past or present in Europe or Eurasia. Click here for more information about the fellowships and Emerging Democracies Graduate Workshop.
WCED Graduate Fellows, 2015-16
Steven Cederquist is seeking an M.A. at the Center for the Study of Higher and Post-Secondary Education. He is interested in issues of access to and success in American universities for international students from emerging economies. Additionally, he has interests in student identity development, the role of higher education in the development of civil society, and the response of higher education to changing labor markets. Steven is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and has held positions as an English language instructor in northern Iraq and South Korea. He graduated with a B.A. in history from Michigan State University in 2005.
David Fahs is pursuing an M.A. in REES. CPT Fahs received his commission in 2007 as an Army Second Lieutenant in the Infantry Branch and served in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2013 he was selected for service as a Eurasian Foreign Area Officer. David completed the one-year Russian language course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, and was then stationed in Garmsich, Germany. He earned a B.S. in civil engineering from Wheaton College. He will begin the M.A. program at U-M in January, 2016.
Miriam Gleckman-Krut is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. She holds a B.A. in human rights and women’s gender & sexuality studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. Miriam’s work focuses on gender-based violence and the sociology of climate change in South Africa. Her undergraduate theses are titled “Constructing Corrective Rape for South Africa: An Evaluation of a Global Media Discourse around Sexual Violence in South Africa” and “They Say Johannesburg is Radioactive.” Through her doctoral studies, Miriam will consider what effective transnational activism and scholarship might mean in a circumstance of global unevenness.
Alexandra (Sasha) Jason is currently pursuing an M.A. in REES. As an undergraduate she completed her honors thesis in political science about the effects of technology usage in various Ukrainian democratization movements, and is interested in exploring these topics further through her graduate work. She has worked for human rights organizations, and has also spent time living and working in Warsaw. Sasha graduated with a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Lanora Johnson is a first-year graduate student in sociology. Prior to attending the University of Michigan, she received her bachelor’s degree in government and sociology from Morehead State University. Lanora’s interest in political and social matters was sparked by wide millennial participation into movements like the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter. At U-M, Lanora hopes to use ethnography and comparative/historical methods to explore the participation of young women and the development of youth political efficacy within these millennial movements.
Einar Manki is pursuing an M.A. in REES. He is interested in Russian foreign policy and the study of latent and unresolved conflicts in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Einar is a United States Army Foreign Area Officer, and has worked in the Offices of Defense Cooperation in the U.S. Embassies in Tashkent and Baku. He graduated with a B.A. in political science from Northern Michigan University.
Aleksandra Marciniak is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. She has spent a year in St. Petersburg, Russia as a student on the Overseas Russian Flagship Program, and two years working at a civil rights law firm. While her interests are varied, Aleksandra plans to focus her research on patriotism and nationalism in the Russian Federation. She also intends to explore the relationship between Russia and Poland in various contexts.
Sauda Nabukenya is a doctoral student in the Department of History and a Fulbright Fellow. She holds an M.A. in history and a B.A. in education from Makerere University in Uganda. Her research interests focus on political and constitutional history, specifically the historical development of African constitutions, constitutionalism, and democracy. Her M.A. thesis examined the politics and forces that shaped the development of Uganda’s national constitutions since independence. Sauda wrote a chapter in the book Constitution-Building in Africa, titled “Why Do Constitutions in Africa Not Stand the Test of Time?” Her current research interests are focused on challenges of constitution making, nationhood, national integration, peace building, and democratization in Africa; issues of identity, culture, ethnic diversity, federalism, and centralized (unitary) political institutions, under different constitutional designs.
Matt Schissler is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. From 2007-15 he worked with local organizations from Myanmar, supporting their efforts to document human rights violations, work as independent journalists and community organizers, and prevent religious violence. In 2015 he co-founded the Myanmar Media and Society Research Project, a partnership between Oxford University and the Myanmar ICT for Development Organization. His current research focuses on the mobilization of religious violence and telecommunications infrastructure. He holds an M.St. in international human rights law from Oxford and a B.A. in rhetoric and politics from Whitman College.
Roya Talibova is a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science. She received a B.A. in international relations and regional studies from Azerbaijan State University of Languages, an M.A. in international relations from Seton Hall University, and an M.P.A. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. By focusing on the post-Soviet space and Turkey, she intends to research the role of imperial legacy in violent nationalist movements that lead to ethnic civil wars.