Luskin Center Student Researchers are engaged in numerous research projects, with topics ranging from white nationalism, to soft power in the Middle East, to voting rights.

Middle East Research Initiative

This group of students are currently researching the effect and dynamics of soft power in the Middle East both past and present.

Graduate Student Research Fellows

  • Phillip Hoffman is a first-year History PhD Student, researching land reform in modern Syria. He has previously worked in support of humanitarian aid projects in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia, and Lebanon.
  • Lily Hindy is a PhD student in history at UCLA whose research focuses on issues of national identity and minorities in the modern Middle East, specifically looking at the relationship between the government and the Kurdish population of Iraq under Baath Party rule. Before coming to UCLA Lily was a senior foreign policy associate at The Century Foundation in New York, researching and writing about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Undergraduate Student Research Fellows

  • Firyal Bawab is an undergraduate majoring in International Development Studies at UCLA. She is the Marketing chair for the Middle Eastern Students Association (MESA), a cultural org, and the Vice President of Unheard Cries’ branch at UCLA, a non-profit org dedicated to making a dent in Middle Eastern poverty. She also enjoys drawing for the Daily Bruin’s Cartoons department as Assistant editor.
  • Madison Deyo’s interests include studying Turkey and the Middle East, global politics, and international development. She will be graduating in the Spring of 2021 with degrees in International Development Studies and Political Science.
  • Mariam Aref Mahmoud is a public affairs and economics major from Cairo, Egypt. I’m interested in researching and learning about inequality, education and education policy, and economic development.
  • Talla Khelghati is a rising fourth year undergraduate economics and public affairs double major at UCLA.
  • Karina Ourfalian is an International Development Studies major and History minor graduating in Spring 2021. Her interests include studying U.S. foreign policy and development in the Near East.
  • Jessica Brouard is a third-year Political Science and Global Studies major, researching the U.S. government’s relationship with Middle Eastern minority communities.
  • Leila Achtoun

Homelessness Research Initiative

  • Dr. Kirsten Moore-Sheeley is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai and a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at UCLA. She received her PhD in the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, specializing in the history of global infectious disease control.
  • Marques Vestal

Graduate Student Research Fellows

  • Jessica Richards is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
  • Andrew Klein is a doctoral candidate in History at UCLA, studying urban development and social movements in the twentieth-century United States.
  • Kyle Nelson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at University of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation uncovers institutional and interactional determinants of eviction case outcomes in Los Angeles County through ethnographic, interviewing, and historical methods.
  • Fernanda Jahn-Verri is a doctoral candidate in the Urban Planning Department at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Her research focuses on the role of the policy and legal systems in practices of dispossession, including the displacement of informal tenants and evictions within the formal housing market.