Meet DFP Spring Fellow, Kaia Kirk, Syracuse University

The APSA Diversity Fellows Program (DFP) is a fellowship competition for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds applying to or in the early stages of doctoral programs in political science. The DFP was established in 1969 (originally as the Black Graduate Fellowship) to increase the number of minority scholars in the discipline. Since its inception, the APSA DFP has designated more than 600 fellows and contributed to the successful completion of doctoral political science programs for over 100 individuals.

Kaia Kirk is a first-year Ph.D. student in the political science department at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her subfields of concentration are American politics and public administration and policy, with research interests in Black American citizenship and media and politics. Her broader research interests include Black politics, public opinion and communication, political behavior, and social movements. Currently, Kirk is investigating the long-term impact that voting restrictions have on Black American voters in the state of Georgia. She has also begun to investigate the ways in which different generations of Black Americans perceive political information, focusing on how social media mediates the effects of exposure to depictions of traumatic events among Black youth and young adults. Kirk graduated summa cum laude with a BA in political science from Jackson State University, where she was a McNair scholar. She hopes to pursue a career as an educator at a research institute, where she can develop projects that will be pertinent to grassroot organizations and policymakers speaking for local underrepresented and misrepresented communities.