Graduate Research Fellows Program

This program is intended for graduate students from any School or department who have demonstrated a serious interest in researching world affairs in depth and whose work connects broadly with Perry World House’s research themes. Graduate students will receive a $3,000 stipend, write a policy-relevent research paper, and participate in Perry World House activities geared towards fostering an inquiry-driven community of diverse scholars. The goal of the program is to complement students’ existing academic experiences at Penn by adding further interactive global inquiry and an in-depth research project linked to the student’s academic work at Penn. The next application cycle will open up in Spring 2018.

The 2017-18 Graduate Research Fellows are: 

  • Abiodun Azeez is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests lie at the intersection of gender, social policy, race/ethnicity, and the urban context. She plans to investigate the reciprocal relationship between ideational/cultural change and population change in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the U.S., with attention to how socioeconomic development, city policies, and social programs shape marginalized women’s experiences and life outcomes. She seeks to produce research that informs more women-centered policymaking and planning.
  • Adam Bitar is a currently enrolled in the 2nd year of the Master's of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics program at the University of Pennsylvania. He attained a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delaware, as well as minors in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics and Sustainable Energy Technology. His proposed research agenda is focused on studying and analyzing the divide between technology and policy, particularly focusing on drone warfare, and examining how to bridge the gap between the two.
  • Vivienne Born is is a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies international relations with a focus on international political economy. She earned her B.A. in International Affairs and Economics from the University of Colorado. Her current research explores the ways in which the increasing international mobility of human capital fits into our broader understanding of globalization and its consequences. As a Graduate Student Fellow at the Perry World House, Vivienne will contribute to the Global Shifts research theme by developing a working paper on the domestic and international catalysts in the proliferation of skill-selective immigration policies.
  • Clay Gruber is a masters candidate in both Architecture and Landscape Architecture. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology where his academic and post-graduation work centered around production landscapes and labor practices. As a Perry World House Fellow, he will be undergoing design strategies for addressing the spatial implications of automation and job loss on urban and rural environments. This work will envision how designers and policy makers can work in tandem to anticipate future shifts in labor practices.
  • Michelle Munyikwa is an MD/PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research explores the intersection of care and governance in Philadelphia through the lens of displacement, beginning with an ethnographic study of refugees and the institutions that serve them. She analyzes Philadelphia as a place formed through migration and displacement, from successive refugee migrations beginning in the 20th century to other movements, like the Great Migration, that have shaped demographic patterns and social life in the City of Brotherly Love. Drawing from a large, diverse archive that brings news, personal narratives, oral histories, and cultural representations into conversation with semi-structured interviews and ethnographic participant-observation at multiple sites, her work strives to understand what making refuge looks like and for whom true asylum is possible.
  • Christopher Ritter is pursuing a law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he serves as an Articles Editor on Penn Law’s Journal of International Law and a member of the school’s Civil Rights Law Group. A Pennsylvania native, Chris is also a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Scranton with a double major in political science and history. His research interests focus on the impact of globalization and its corresponding economic, cultural, and social changes on voting behavior and political decision-making. Most recently, Chris was a research assistant at Penn Law’s Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law, and has previously worked as a research associate for the Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development. He has also previously completed internships with the offices of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., Governor Thomas W. Corbett, and Judge James M. Munley of Pennsylvania’s Middle District. 
  • Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Penn, where he focuses on the evolution of surveillance and political control in North Korea. He is also an associate scholar with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and co-editor of North Korean Economy Watch ( and a contributor to IHS Jane's Intelligence Review. Benjamin has previously worked as a journalist and as a special advisor to the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation (2012-2013). Prior to coming to Penn, he received an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS."
  • Shawn Xu is an MBA/MA International Studies dual degree candidate at the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute. Prior to coming to the University of Pennsylvania, he led international expansion for technology companies in Silicon Valley, and has deep operational expertise in launching fintech, adtech, and edtech products across Asia, Europe, and Latin America. On campus, Shawn is a leader in the student entrepreneur community and an active technology investor as a Partner at the Dorm Room Fund. At the Perry World House, he conducts graduate research on autonomous vehicle regulatory policy in emerging markets, and hopes to predict the future adoption of self-driving cars in the developing world.

Graduate Associates Program

This competitive program is intended for graduate students from any School or department who have demonstrated a serious interest in exploring world affairs in depth during their time at Penn and who seek to continue broad exploration of these issues through participation in PWH events and programs. Graduate Associates will participate in Perry World House activities as part of a diverse community of internationally-minded students. The Graduate Associates Program is intended to engage a relatively large number of graduate students and to be a limited time commitment. The next application cycle will open up in Spring 2018. 

The 2017-18 Graduate Associates are: 

Jane Lief, SAS, Anthropology Shira Pindyck, SAS, Political Science Ryan Plesh, Law
Opeyemi Akanbi, Annenberg William Piekos, SAS, Political Science Quratul ain Qaiser, Perelman
Ayesha Anwar, Perelman, SP2 Nick Graetz, SAS, Demography Jenny Reich, Wharton, Law
Amy Elizabeth Barrera-Cancedda, Nursing Breanna Gray, SAS, Political Science Travis Robison, SAS, Political Science
Juan Benitez Gonzalez, Design School Maria Guerrero-Reyes, Veterinary School Billy Rosa, Nursing
Irteza Binte-Farid, GSE Carolyn Han, Wharton, Lauder Elizabeth Sahner, Law
Christopher Blair, SAS, Political Science Kirlos Haroun, Perelman Michael Schuster, Wharton, Lauder
Mark Bookman, SAS, East Asian Languages Alexander Hoppe, SAS, Sociology Katharina Schwarz, Wharton, Law
Beatriz Brown, Law Liwang Huang, SAS, Fels Erinda Semanjaku, Wharton, Lauder
Gregory Callaghan, SAS, Ancient History Indivar Jonnalagadda, SAS, Anthropology & South Asian Studies David Uriel Socol de la Osa, Law
Jose Castro, Design School, Penn IUR Christiana Kallon, GSE, IEDP Ruolin Su, Political Science
Brian Chao, SAS, Political Science Suzanne Knijnenburg, Law Martine Tchitchihe, SAS, Comparative Literature
Tiffany Cole, Perelman Bryan Lee, Wharton, Lauder Pablo Tempone, Wharton, Lauder
Cait Cronin, GSE, IEDP Chris Liu, SAS, Political Science Akshay Walia, SAS, Anthropolgy
Kartik Das, Wharton, Lauder Qingze Lv, Dental Kellen Wartnow, SAS, Fels
Morgan Dowd, Wharton, Lauder Julia Madden, Wharton Nick Wiggins, Law
Teniola Egbe, Perelman Casey Mahoney, SAS, Political Science Scott Wingo, SAS, Political Science
Akudo Ejelonu, Perelman, SP2 Hannah Menzies, SP2 Jack Winstead, Wharton, Lauder
Agnes Galej, Veterinary School John Morgan, Law Leah Wong, Law
Justina Gallegos, Wharton Julie Mullins, SAS, Criminology Shawn Xu, Wharton, Lauder
Austin Gassen, Law Prakirti Nangia, SAS, Political Science Zhongyuan Zeng, Design School
Sana Ghazi, GSE, IEDP Carmen Ng, SAS, Demography
Allison Perlin, Law John Peng, Law

Global Affairs Happy Hour

Interested in connecting with other globally-minded graduate students? Join us at Perry World House for a monthly happy hour that brings together students from across Penn’s Schools and programs. All are welcome. Join our mailing list for updates. 

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