People - 2017-2018 Political Science Scholars

Daniel Baum

Daniel Baum is a graduate of Bloomfield Hills High School in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He is a Public Policy major with minors in Health Promotion and Justice, Law, and Public Policy. His research areas of interest involve the composition of the federal court system, specifically circuit court assignments, as well as the general public/lay person’s interactions within the judicial system. He currently works in the Dean’s Office at MSU College of Law and is planning on interning with the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and the Michigan Supreme Court Justice. After graduation, he plans to attend law school. Faculty mentor: Cory Smidt

John Binkowski

John Binkowski II is a graduate of Flushing High School in Flushing, Michigan. He is a Political Science Pre-Law major with interests in the influences of voter turnout and proposed reforms in the criminal justice system. He is also interested in statistical evidence that explains types of crime in areas of the nation. After graduation, he plans to work in the state legislature and would like to attend law school. Faculty mentor: Arthur Melzer

Adam Cole

Adam Cole is a graduate of Francis Howell North High School in Saint Charles, Missouri. He is earning a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. He is interested in the effects of policy outcomes on future elections and how political institutions are created through policy. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school in Political Science in hopes of becoming a professor. Faculty mentor: Dustin Sebell

Robin Daniels

Robin Daniels is a Public Policy major from Rochester Hills, Michigan. She is also earning a minor in French. A graduate of Rochester Adams High School, Robin hopes to begin exploring research in comparative governments and international affairs. After graduation, she plans to work in the non-profit field and work abroad. Faculty mentor: Jeff Conroy-Krutz

Ashley Fernandez

Ashley Fernandez is a double major in Political Science Pre-Law and Journalism from West Bloomfield, Michigan. Her interests include government, judicial politics, and constitutional law. Currently, she holds an internship position at the Michigan Supreme Court in downtown Lansing. Upon graduation, Ashley plans to attend law school in the fall of 2019. Faculty mentor: Sarah Reckhow

Payton Geers

Payton Geers is a double-major in Political Science and Supply Chain Management from Roscommon, Michigan. Her research interests include studying individuals’ reliance on technology. She also hopes to participate in various resources available at MSU, such as non-profit organizations and clubs. She also plans to continue serving as an executive board member of Spartans Supporting Refugees. Faculty mentor: Erica Frantz

Chayse Hurley

Chayse Hurley is a graduate of Harrison High School in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She is earning a double-major in Political Science Pre-Law and Philosophy, and is also earning a minor in Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy. She hopes to research political psychology, specifically the factors that cause people to be accepting of different perspectives. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and would like to work as a lawyer before transitioning into legislation, focusing specifically on work concerning the death penalty. Faculty mentor: Eric Chang

Hannah Jones

Hannah Jones is a graduate of Patterson Mill High School in Bel Air, Maryland. She is a double-major in Political Science Pre-Law and Criminal Justice. During her time at MSU, she has completed a research project entitled “The American Paradox: Why Do So Many Americans Appear to Hold Opinions About Taxation that Conflict with Their Financial Interests?”, which studies public opinion on tax policies. She has also participated in a research project on State of the City trends for Michigan cities, villages, and townships, as well as a project on municipal communication, specifically communication during crisis events. After graduation, Hannah plans to attend law school. Faculty mentor: Matt Grossman

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Grace Katalinich

Grace Katalinich is a graduate of Howell High School in Howell, Michigan. She is a Political Science Pre-Law major and plans to attend law school after graduation. Faculty mentor: Ryan Black

Jacqueline Lau

Jacqueline Lau is a graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory in Rochester Hills, Michigan. She is a Political Science Pre-Law major with a minor in Economics. She is interested in constitutional, criminal, and family law, and aspires to work with individuals who are less fortunate and in need of legal help. She has interned with the Michigan House of Representatives and will be an intern for the state Senate this fall. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school near Chicago or Detroit and possibly run for a political office. Faculty mentor: Melinda Hall

Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis is a graduate of Forest Hills Central in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is a Political Science Pre-Law major with a minor in Philosophy and Law. After graduation, she plans to attend law school with the hope to become a judge. She is particularly interested in criminal law, and just finished an internship with a private criminal law firm in Grand Rapids. Helping people through the law and politics is her passion. Faculty mentor: Melissa O’Shea

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Alexander Lindamood

Alexander Lindamood is a graduate of Buchanan High School in Buchanan, Michigan, earning a Political Science Pre-Law major. During his time at MSU, he has been working on a research project with two MSU faculty members that is focused on the causes of asthma hospitalizations, specifically in Michigan, and which public policies can be implemented in the future. He is also working with a faculty member from Indiana State University on research regarding Michigan governor elections. After graduation, he hopes to attend law school.

Conner Micallef

Conner Micallef is originally from Chandler, Arizona, and graduated from JM Atherton High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He is majoring in Political Science. During his time at MSU, he worked on crafting a set of feasible changes to Public Act 436 with Dr. Josh Sapotichne. After graduation, he plans to either attend law school or enlist as an officer in the Air Force. Faculty mentor: Josh Sapotichne

Natalie Noble

Natalie Noble is a graduate of Shepherd High School in Shepard, Michigan. She is a World Politics major with a minor in Muslim Studies. She is interested in Middle East and Islamic politics. This summer, Natalie studied Arabic abroad in Jordan, and is hoping to study abroad again during her time at MSU. After graduation, she would like to work abroad for an NGO or for the United Nations. Faculty mentor: Ani Sarkissian

Kiley Novak

Kiley Novak is a graduate of L’Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Twp., Michigan. She is majoring in Political Science Pre-Law. Her interests include civil rights and constitutional law. She is also very interested in public opinion and voting behavior, and is currently working in the Office of Institutional Equity at MSU. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school and would like to work as a civil rights attorney or a university equity office. Faculty mentor: Steve Kautz

Iris Robare

Iris Robare is a graduate of Gladstone High School in Gladstone, Michigan. She is a Public Policy major with interests in mental health and disabilities. Her goal is to be a voice for those who are unable to advocate for themselves. She is a mental health and disabilities advocate, and aspires to research and craft policies to help the most vulnerable populations of society. Upon graduation, she plans to research public health policies and attend law school to become a mental health attorney.

Lauren Semack

Lauren Semack is an English and Political Science major from Grosse Pointe, Michigan. A graduate of Grosse Pointe North High School, her interests are in the Supreme Court of the United States, national security, and international relations. Additionally, she finds interest in campaign politics and “fixers” in the field of law. She hopes to pursue public affairs in Washington, D.C. after graduating and possibly a law degree after getting more field experience. Faculty mentor: Cory Smidt

Haylee Sieg

Haylee Sieg is a graduate of Normal Community West High School in Normal, Illinois. She is a Political Science Pre-Law major, and is also earning a minor in Spanish. Her interests include social policy, specifically in immigration, race relations, and gender equality. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and work in government. Faculty mentor: Cristina Bodea

Cassi Smith

Cassi Smith is a graduate of Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan, majoring in World Politics. She is interested in studying developing countries, and what help and/or hinders their growth. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to continue at Michigan State University in a master’s program that allows her to further her learning in her area of interest. Faculty mentor: Ben Appel

Alexis Smith

Alexis Smith is a World Politics and Economics major from Charlevoix, Michigan. She is also earning a minor in Spanish. A graduate of Stoney Creek High School, her interests include international relations and foreign policy, and how economy impacts global politics. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to study international relations or attend law school. Faculty mentor: Ian Ostrander

Davin Surio

Davin Surio is a graduate of Bloomfield Hills High School and is currently majoring in Political Science Pre-Law. Davin has a passion for issue advocacy and non-profit work. He plans on pursuing research with a focal point in minority political participation and race relations in the United States. In addition, Davin plans on attending law school after graduation with aspirations of one day working for a non-profit organization with an emphasis on helping indigent citizens and improving measures for postsecondary success. Faculty mentor: Christian Houle

Ryan Tinsley

Ryan Tinsley is a graduate of Davis Senior High School in Davis, California. He is a double-major in Political Science Pre-Law major and Arabic, and is also earning a minor in Economics. His primary interests include foreign policy and international relations, with specific interests in humanitarian policy, foreign economic policy, and international conflict resolution. Faculty mentor: Jakana Thomas

Alice Yao

Alice Yao is a graduate of Raffles Institution in Singapore, Singapore. She is majoring in Political Science Pre-Law with a minor in Philosophy and Law. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and use her law degree towards public sector policy-making. She is interested in the interaction and differences between different generations of Americans, and how that shapes personal and societal identities. Faculty mentor: Josh Sapotichne