Human Rights / Norms

Research Interest

Levi Vonk

Graduate Student
Anthropology

Levi Vonk is a PhD candidate in the Joint Program in Medical Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco. His ethnographic research focuses on Central American migration through Mexico, with particular attention paid to how the migrant experience is explained in terms of violence, multiculturalism, asylum, and border externalization and militarization. His first book, which follows the journey of an undocumented migrant hacker, will be published by Bold Type Books (Hachette) in Spring 2022.

Vonk is the recipient of the 2021 IIS...

Emily Fjaellen Thompson

Graduate Student
Anthropology

Emily Fjaellen Thompson is a PhD student in socio-cultural anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her bachelor's degree in Latin American and Latino/a Studies from Vassar College, where she was awarded the Burnam Fellowship for work on the U.S.-Mexico border with unaccompanied minors seeking asylum and the Cornelisen Fellowship for extended fieldwork in the Peruvian Andes. She received her master's degree from the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, where she was granted FLAS awards to study Quechua in New York City and...

Rachel Fisher

Graduate Student
Political Science

Rachel Fisher is pursuing her PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on comparative politics and political behavior, including candidate ambition and recruitment, international development, and policy evaluation. She employs experimental methods to study gender differences in political participation.

Fisher is the recipient of the 2021 IIS Simpson Research Grant.

Matthew Kovac

Graduate Student
History

Matthew Kovac is PhD student in History at the University of California, Berkeley. His current research focuses on the Irish republican movement, decolonization, and the Global Cold War.

Kovac is the recipient of the 2021 IIS Pre-Dissertation Research Grant.

Blaze Joel

Graduate Student
History

Blaze Joel is a Ph.D. student in the History Department at the University of California Berkeley. His research focuses on nationalism, memory, violence, and national identity in twentieth-century Europe. He studies these issues in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, and the Basque Country, as well as in an international, trans-European framework. He also studies the Cold War in a global perspective.

Joel is a recipient of the 2021 IIS...

Tara Allegra Fermanto

Undergraduate Student
Political Economy
Business Administration

Tara Allegra is a senior majoring in Political Economy and Business Administration, with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. Her research interest broadly includes human rights issues, democratization, and international development. Tara is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia and Malay, and is currently studying French. Over the summer, Tara worked as a finance intern at The World Bank in Washington, DC. Currently, she is an economic research intern for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In her free time, she loves to paint, listen to music, and learn new languages!

Olivia Nouriani

Undergraduate Student
Political Science
Mathematics
Arabic

Olivia Nouriani is a fifth-year student triple majoring in Political Science, Mathematics, and Arabic. She is interested in migration and diaspora studies and Middle Eastern politics, and has previously assisted research projects on Muslim-Jewish relations in the Middle East and the the transnational circulation of transgender rights in the Global South. On campus, she is involved in migrant and labor justice movements. She hopes to pursue a PhD in social science after graduating.

Lisha Chen

Undergraduate Student
Media Studies
Gender and Women's Studies
Lisha Chen (she/her/hers) is a third year student at UC Berkeley majoring in Media Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. Her research interests are the intersectionality of queer identities, Asian-American identities, social media, and contemporary issues. In her free time, she enjoys going on self-care photoshoots with her friends and binge-watching dystopian television shows.

Joanna Vasquez

Undergraduate Student
Political Science

Joanna Vasquez is a junior from La Puente, California who is pursuing a B.A. in Political Science. Her research interests include labor law, immigration, public safety in Latin America, international relations, and foreign policy. Following her time at UC Berkeley, Vasquez hopes to work abroad as a teacher and ultimately go to law school to eventually become a labor law attorney and give back to her community.

Mallika Luthar

Undergraduate Student
Political Science

Mallika Luthar is a fourth-year student majoring in Political Science with minors in Public Policy and Human Rights. Her research interests include exploring election outcomes and the impacts of technology on political participation. She is currently working on an honors thesis focusing on the effects of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections on political preferences. Upon graduation, Mallika will be working as a technology policy consultant before going to law school to pursue tech/IP law. Outside of her academic and professional interests, Mallika loves being outdoors, playing piano...