APSA is pleased to announce the members of the 2022-2023 Class of the APSA-Sponsored Congressional Fellows!
The American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellowship Program is a highly selective, nonpartisan program devoted to expanding knowledge and awareness of Congress. Since 1953, it has brought select political scientists, journalists, federal employees, health specialists, and other professionals to Capitol Hill to experience Congress at work through fellowship placements on congressional staffs.
Political Scientists Fellows
Sharif Amlani is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on the influence of money in politics. His current work explores to what extent out-of-district contributors distort representation between U.S. House members and their constituents. His research also explores vote-by-mail laws, COVID-19, and congressional elections. He is also a proficient methodologist who utilizes a variety of tools in his scholarship including R, Python, causal inference, network analysis, GIS, and web scraping. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of New Mexico in 2015 and is expected to graduate with his Ph.D. in 2022.
Lilia Arakelyan teaches International Relations at Florida International University and serves as a consultant for the United Nations. Most recently she played a key role conducting research for the U.S. government and the United Nations in the development of improved education policies in Abkhazia. Dr. Arakelyan earned her MA at the University of Arizona and her PhD at the University of Miami. She is the author of Russian Foreign Policy in Eurasia: National Interests and Regional Integration (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2017), as well as numerous book chapters and scholarly articles. Her research interests include Russian foreign policy in the post-Soviet space, different aspects of nationalism, ethno-political conflicts in Eurasia, and international security more broadly. Dr. Arakelyan is the founder of the Caucasus Security Studies Initiative, housed in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University.
Mary Layton “Mel” Atkinson is associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her research focuses on questions related to substantive representation in the United States. This includes questions centered around the influences of news coverage and public opinion on policymaking, and the impacts of gender diversity in Congress on the legislative agenda and on substantive policy debate. Dr. Atkinson is the author of Combative Politics: The Media and Public Perceptions of Lawmaking (University of Chicago Press, 2017) and co-author of The Dynamics of Public Opinion (Cambridge, 2021). Her research has also been published in several journals, include Political Communication, Policy Studies Journal, Political Behavior, and Political Research Quarterly. She received her Ph.D. in political science from UNC Chapel Hill in 2013 and her M.A. in political science from The American University in 2008. She earned her B.A. in economics and political science from Guilford College. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Atkinson worked as a writer for a K Street communications firm and as a campaign manager in North Carolina.
Nicole Kliewer received her doctoral education in politics at Princeton University. She studies the role of the military in US politics, focusing on campaigns, elections, and legislative behavior. Her current work examines the strategic use of military service records in congressional campaigns and evaluates how candidate backgrounds contribute to effective law-making. In particular, her dissertation examines how parties and candidates can capitalize on public trust and stereotypical traits of military service members in campaign messaging for partisan and personal gain at the expense of the military and future policymaking. She holds an MA in Politics from Princeton University as well as a BA in Political Science and a BS in International Affairs from Florida State University.
Elliot Mamet is a political scientist serving as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and a William A. Steiger Fellow at the Centennial Center for Political Science & Public Affairs.
Mamet’s teaching and scholarship examine the edges of democratic politics in the United States. His research interests include incarceration, democratic theory, American political development, and the legacies of U.S. empire. His articles on these topics have appeared or are forthcoming in Political Theory, American Political Thought, and State Politics & Policy Quarterly.
Mamet holds a Ph.D. and A.M. in political science from Duke University, and a B.A. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Colorado College. Before graduate school, he served on the staff of the American Political Science Association in Washington, D.C. and completed a Humanity in Action Fellowship researching anti-Semitism in Warsaw, Poland.
Tyler Mentzer received his doctorate in political science from West Virginia University in 2021, specializing in American politics and public policy. His research examines legislative institutions, with a focus on political parties and policymaking within the United States Congress. In his dissertation, he studies how political polarization affects the productivity of the legislative branch. He finds that during sessions with high polarization, Congress is restricted in what kind of policy it can pass, committee output decreases, and unrelated legislation is more likely to be bundled into appropriation bills. Tyler also holds an MA in political science from West Virginia University, as well as a BA in political science and sociology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Aaron Stuvland is a lecturer in political science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He teaches courses in American politics, comparative politics, democratic theory, and research methods.
Aaron’s research interests include populism/extremism, parties and party systems, religion and politics, text analysis, and political science pedagogy. His recent research seeks to better understand and measure populism with the broader goal of mitigating its threat for liberal democratic politics. His dissertation research explores when and why parties “talk like populists”—or use populist ideas, concepts, and frames to appeal to voters. To answer these questions, he analyzed campaign speeches and party manifestos over the last 20 years in Austria, France, Germany, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.
Aaron received his PhD in political science from The Schar School in December 2021. He took subfield exams in comparative politics and international relations with coursework focusing on regime transitions (both democratization and autocratization), the dynamics of authoritarian regimes, and obstacles to effective representation in complex societies.
Elizabeth Beyer is a reporter at the Wisconsin State Journal, where she covered K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic amid the growing politicization of school boards and the push to control, limit or change curriculum in public schools. Prior to shifting into the K-12 beat, she worked as a general assignment reporter at the State Journal where she developed an award winning podcast, shot and edited videos to accompany her colleague’s reporting as well as her own, and wrote about the lead up to the 2020 election in a swing state.
Before her time at the State Journal, she worked as a general assignment reporter for the La Crosse Tribune, where she covered the effect of the 2018 trade war on family farms in southwestern Wisconsin, among other topics. She graduated with her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2018, where she reported on Illinois politics and relocated to Medill’s Washington, D.C., newsroom to cover federal politics. She completed her master’s as an intern for BBC News in London, U.K., through Medill’s global residency program. She received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago and Columbus State Community College.