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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Our Gates US Scholars-elect 2017

Thirty-six of the most academically outstanding and socially committed US citizens have been selected to be part of the 2017 class of Gates Cambridge Scholars at the University of Cambridge - and six will be joining the Department of POLIS. 

Mr Montana Wilson

MPhil Development Studies

Montana Duke Wilson is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre tribe of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and is descendent of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Prior to receiving his bachelor degrees, Montana held commissions as a criminal prosecutor and public defender for the Fort Peck Tribes. Upon the successful completion of his MPhil, Montana plans to return to his reservation to pursue a career in economic development for his tribes.

Mr Nicholas Ahamed

MPhil International Relations and Politics

Nicholas Ahamed joins Cambridge from Stanford University where his research focused on bringing rigorous methodologies to questions of politics, race and voting. His thesis examining Islamophobia in America synthesized the lessons of his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and his minor in Statistics. Subsequently, he served as a data scientist at Civis Analytics providing data-driven strategic recommendations and targeting guidance to PACs in the 2016 election.

Ms Anna Forringer-Beal

MPhil Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies

Anna Forringer-Beal’s undergraduate research at the University of Michigan focused on understanding the experiences of Central American women as they migrated to the United States. While researching at the Undocumented Migration Project, she was able to explore how cultural perceptions of immigration and gender influenced modern policy. As an MPhil student at Cambridge, Anna’s research will compare human trafficking policy in the United Kingdom and the United States to better understand their impact.

Ms Rebecca Resnik

MPhil Public Policy

Rebecca Resnik has served the United States in the Department of Defense and as a Foreign Service Officer at the Department of State. After graduating from Georgetown University with a degree in international politics and security studies, she began her career in the world of intelligence, concentrating on counter-terrorism and combating proliferation. Rebecca currently serves as the Public Diplomacy Coordinator for Mainland Southeast Asia, developing outreach programs that promote U.S. Government priorities in the region.

Ms Chelsie Riche

MPhil African Studies

At Rutgers University, Chelsie Riche received her BSc degree in Africana Studies and History. She served as president of the Galvanizing and Organizing Youth Activism (GOYA) organization, where she planned 5k walks to promote literacy, and collected school supplies for local and global communities. At Cambridge, Chelsie’s research will centre on the contemporary student led #FeesMustFall movement in post-apartheid South Africa.

Ms Jessica Van Meir

MPhil Development Studies

As an undergraduate at Duke University majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Psychology and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, Jessica Van Meir has focused on using policy for the advancement of gender equality, whether through combatting campus sexual assault, advocating for transgender rights in Ecuador, or increasing menstrual product access for girls and women in Kenya and the US. Through the MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge, Jessica plans to further study how states and citizens negotiate space in cities and explore methods for combatting poverty in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.