Graduate Research Fellows
Michael (Mike) Denly is a PhD student in the Department of Government. Mike's research focuses on the political economy of development and democratization. At IPD, Mike leads the Governance Team, which is currently undertaking projects related to natural resources, patronage, state capacity, and corruption. Prior to joining UT Austin, Mike consulted on matters concerning governance, anti-corruption, climate finance, and education for the World Bank. Mike holds a dual MA in Development Management and Policy from Georgetown University and Universidad Nacional de San Martín in Argentina, an MSc in Public Policy and Human Development from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and a BA in International Studies from the University of Denver. Primarily as a result of studying and working in various countries in Europe, Latin America, and Africa, Mike is fluent in French, Spanish, and Italian, and also speaks basic Dutch. Read Mike's CV here.
Calvin Thrall is a PhD student in the department of Government. Calvin is interested in studying the effects of economic globalization on domestic political institutions such as labor regulation and public service provision; he is also interested in computational social science. Prior to attending UT, Calvin received his BA from Temple University in Philadelphia. At IPD, Calvin currently leads the Property Rights and Poverty team. Read Calvin's CV here.
Umme Salama is a first-year master's student at the LBJ school who holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology and has over three years of experience working as a public health researcher and technology implementer. Before coming to grad school, she closely worked with underserved communities in Pakistan and Uganda, involved in national and regional projects that were geared towards enhancing patient-centered care and extending adequate access to quality health services. Her expertise lies in engaging with applied research and digital platforms to improve the delivery of quality care services and health outcomes within resource-constrained settings. Her interests primarily lie in using action-oriented, evidence-based research to shape public policies and reduce health disparities in a global context. Read Umme's CV here.
Brandon Podojil is currently a graduate student pursuing an MPAff from the LBJ School. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the United States Military Academy and commissioned as an Army Officer in 2011. Brandon has field experience as a military officer in Afghanistan and Kuwait and as a student intern working for the Greater Camden Partnership in Camden, New Jersey, where he worked on poverty relief and economic development policy projects. Brandon has a working knowledge of Spanish and lost most of the skills he gained from four semesters of studying Russian. Brandon is particularly interested in economic stabilization and growth in regions that are either in conflict or just emerging from conflict and the US military's role in fostering economic growth in conjunction with other government, non-government, and non-profit entities. Following his time at the University of Texas, Brandon will serve as an economics instructor at West Point. Read Brandon's CV here.
Carolina Moehlecke is a PhD student in the Department of Government. She has a BA in International Relations from Centro Universitario La Salle, in Brazil, her home country, and a MA in Government from UT. Her research focuses on the intersection of international political economy and international institutions. Specifically, she looks at how corporations use international law to affect domestic regulation in countries where they invest in and trade with, with a special look on the regulatory regimes of environmental protection and public health. Before coming to UT, Carolina worked in the private sector for several years in Brazil and in Argentina, where she had experiences both in industry and in education. She also has fieldwork experience with elite-interviewing in Latin America. Carolina is a native Portuguese speaker, speaks fluent Spanish and has a basic knowledge of French. She leads the Law4Development team at IPD and aims at pursuing an academic career where she can teach and conduct policy-relevant research. Read Carolina's CV here.
Caleb Ray has a BA in Anthropology from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. He is currently pursuing an MA in Global Policy Studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a JD from the University of Texas Law School. He learned French as an Agroforesty Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea. He is interested in sustainable management and use of natural resources to facilitate development and in using data to better evaluate aid outcomes and the flow of aid money. His ultimate goal is to work as a foreign service officer or in another role that allows him to be directly involved with implementing policy in a foreign country. Read Caleb's CV here.
Juan Lozano is a third year mathematics student in the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas in Austin. His interests lie in the intersection of data analysis, economics, and policy. He is especially interested in the quantification of various economic, social justice measures, and the limitations of the use of big data. In addition, he is also very interested in the theoretical advancement of regression technique. Read Juan's CV here.
Hillary Corwin is a third year Ph.D. student in the department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in international political economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. Hillary has worked with the United States Agency for International Development on economic development policies and social inclusion projects for vulnerable populations in the Latin American and Caribbean region. She is broadly interested in the political economy of international development and human rights. Her current research focuses on the distributional impacts of economic development programs and on how the collective action properties of potential recipient groups affect patterns of aid allocation. Hillary leads the Agriculture, Food, and Innovation team at IPD. Read Hillary's CV here.