2022 Recipients of the APSA Lee Ann Fujii Diversity Fellowship Program Travel Grant

APSA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 APSA Lee Ann Fujii Diversity Fellowship Program Travel Grant. This grant was made possible by the generous contributions of the Fujii Family and Dr. Fujii's colleagues and friends.

  • Michelle Bueno VasquezNorthwestern University
  • Jordie Davies, John Hopkins University
  • Pamela Nwakanma, Harvard University
  • Tye RushUniversity of California, Los Angeles
  • Jessica TaghvaieeUniversity of California, Irvine
  • Taylor Vincent, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Andrene Wright, Northwestern University
  • Marques Zarate, Rice University


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Michelle Bueno Vasquez is a Ph.D. candidate in political science and a master’s candidate in statistics. Michelle's research explores the development of racial categories transnationally between the United States and Latin America. Her work deals specifically with the export of white supremacist and anti-Black standards through U.S. military occupations in the area and their influence on the political and social development in Latin American nations. She also explores the evolution of Census racial categories, particularly looking at Afro-Latino erasure in statistical methodology. In her dissertation, she examines these themes through the case study of the Dominican Republic and its diaspora in the U.S., providing insights into how Afro-Latinos make sense of their racial identity and Black consciousness in the here and now. 




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Dr. Jordie Davies is a postdoctoral scholar in the P3 Lab at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. In 2023, she will join the faculty at the University of California Irvine as an Assistant Professor of Political Science. Jordie received her PhD in political science from the University of Chicago. Jordie’s research and writing interests include Black politics and political thought, US social movements, solidarity, and Black feminism. Her research agenda focuses on the influence of social movements on political attitudes, activism, and political participation. Jordie’s book project Alienated Activism: The Political Possibilities of Black Lives Matter proposes the framework “Alienated Activism” to describe Black social movements and political participation in response to crises in legitimation and neoliberalism, especially the Black Lives Matter movement. She is in the process of converting her dissertation into a book manuscript. Jordie will use the Lee Ann Fujii grant for travel and participation in APSA 2022.  


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Adaugo Pamela Nwakanma is a Leading Edge Fellow at the American Council for Learned Societies. She earned her Ph.D. from the department of government with a secondary field in the department of African and African American studies at Harvard University. She researches and teaches on the political economy of gender and development in various emerging economies with particular emphasis on the African context and the African diaspora. Her work has been published in journals such as Perspectives on Politics and Politics, Groups, and Identities, as well as edited volumes such as the Palgrave Handbook of African Women's Studies and Routledge's African Scholars and Intellectuals in the North American Academy: Reflections of Exile and Migration. Her interdisciplinary research thus far has won multiple awards from the American Political Science Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the African Studies Association. Prior to her doctoral studies, Nwakanma worked as an Urban Education Fellow and Vice-HBO Translator in New York City. She received her B.A in international studies-economics with a secondary field in linguistics from the University of California, San Diego in 2014. She intends to use the grant to facilitate her participation in the 118th APSA Annual Meeting.  


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Tye Rush is a PhD candidate in the department of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. His current work focuses on the politics of voting laws, examining voting rights and election administration. His dissertation asks why legislators author, sponsor, and pass voter ID laws. For this dissertation project, he was awarded the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and the Princeton Dissertation Scholars Award, through the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University. Tye currently serves as a Senior Policy Fellow at the UCLA Voting Rights Project, where he conducts research that informs policy on voting rights, redistricting, elections, and electoral institutions. Previously, he held an appointment as a research fellow at the UCLA Institute for Inequality and Democracy at Luskin and as the Voting and Redistricting Fellow at Common Cause, a government watchdog organization that supports national, state, and local efforts to strengthen our democracy. Born and raised in San Bernardino, CA, Tye holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and public service from the University of California, Riverside. He will use the Lee Ann Fujii DFP Grant at the 2022 APSA Annual Meeting to access professional development workshops at the APSA Career Café. 


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Jessica Taghvaiee (pronouns: she/her) is a Ph.D. student in political science at the University of California, Irvine. She studies American and comparative politics, particularly racial/ethnic, gender, and immigration politics. Jessica graduated summa cum laude from Westminster College with a triple major in political science with a pre-law emphasis, Spanish-Latin American studies, and an Honors degree. She is a proud Spring 2020 APSA DFP alum. At UCI, Jessica has served as a Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience (DECADE) student representative and a lead of the Political Science Womxn’s Caucus. As the daughter of immigrants, Jessica is passionate about immigration politics. Her research centers on how racialized and vulnerable migrant populations in the U.S. navigate and are affected by the politics of citizenship and borders. Presently she is studying how temporal politics shape the experiences of “illegalized” Latinx migrants excluded from U.S. legal-status granting policies like IRCA and DACA. This grant will help Jessica attend 2022 APSA to present her paper on the political participation of illegalized youth via social media. As a scholar and an activist, Jessica strives to produce valuable innovative and interdisciplinary research to help create policies which put the needs and humanity of migrants first.  



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Taylor Vincent is a second-year PhD student focusing on international relations and comparative politics at the University of Maryland. She is interested in civil conflict, gender, democratization and post-conflict societies and institutions. More specifically, Taylor looks at how civil conflict processes shape post-conflict societies and the security of women. Taylor will use this grant to present her paper, "Political Elite Competition and Post-Conflict Women’s Security," at the 2022 APSA Annual Meeting in Montreal. Taylor is also a pre-doctoral fellow at the Gender and the Security Sector Lab at Cornell University (Fall 2022). At Maryland, Taylor has served as a research assistant and teaching assistant, and has served in various service positions within her department. Prior to her PhD, Taylor received her master's degree in political science from Duke University in 2019 and her bachelor's degree from Purdue University in 2015. 


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Andrene Wright is a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University specializing in urban politics and political behavior at the intersection of race, gender, and class. Wright’s dissertation centers on Black women mayors’ role in African American politics. This work seeks to advance the discipline’s understanding of identity politics, explore the internal dynamics of Black politics more precisely, and situate a Black feminist consciousness in political decision-making. Once completed, she sees this work contributing to the race and gender scholarship championing techniques that best account for intra-group differences within marginalized communities. Wright’s work has been funded by the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy (CSDD)(2021), the Center for American Women and Politics (2021), and the Election Public Opinion and Voting Behavior (EPOVB) section of APSA (2022). Wright received the Bryan Jackson Dissertation award by the Urban and Local Politics (2022) section of APSA and is also a former recipient of the American Political Science Association (APSA) Minority Fellowship (2018).  




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Marques Zárate is a Ph.D. candidate at Rice University planning to graduate in Spring 2023 where he specializes in racial and ethnic politics and political behavior. His research agenda broadly focuses on how people form candidate evaluations and how the formation process may differ by race or ethnic group. His dissertation examines how people form perceptions of political pandering and what the implications of these perceptions are for political trust. He will be presenting a chapter of his dissertation at the 2022 APSA Annual Meeting in a panel on “Perceived Representation and Support for Democracy.” In this chapter, he builds on work that distinguishes issues as either principled (ideological) or pragmatic (welfare-maximizing) by testing how a politicians inconsistent voting record on these issues shape perceptions of pandering and whether this varies by the politicians’ political party. He ultimately hopes to understand what types of information are most important for helping citizens navigate the complicated political environment.