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ASU political science student receives annual Stephen G. Walker Fellowship

Portrait of ASU student Julianne Windham.

Julianne Windham

October 06, 2022

Fourth-year PhD student Julianne Windham was recently awarded the annual Stephen G. Walker Graduate Support Fellowship from the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University for the 2022–23 school year, for her research into international relations.

The fund for the award was established by former School of Politics and Global Studies students in honor of Emeritus Professor Stephen Walker, who was a faculty member in the political science department from 1969 until his retirement in 2003. It is intended to support students studying international relations and foreign policy in particular.

“Julianne is an excellent researcher and thinker,” said Windham’s advisor, Thorin Wright, associate professor and associate director of graduate studies in the School of Politics and Global Studies.

“Her dissertation project examines the harassment and restrictions that states place on civil society organizations. Civil society organizations have long shown to be key actors in promoting healthy democracies, so understanding how states restrict them is a key piece of the puzzle of understanding human rights and democracy. Her project employs methods like text analysis and machine learning to build new data for her project, which will be of service not only for her study but for the field as a whole.”

Windham holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in comparative politics, both from Oklahoma State University.

“I would like to thank those that donated to the School of Politics and Global Studies and to the Stephen G. Walker (Graduate) Support Fellowship directly,” Windham said. “Without their support, fellowships like this would not be possible. I would also like to thank my advisor, Dr. Thorin Wright, and Dr. Luke Perez for their mentorship.”

Windham shared with ASU News more about her recent research and the impact of the Stephen G. Walker Graduate Support Fellowship:

Question: What is the current research project you are working on?

Answer: I am currently working on my dissertation project, which focuses on civil society repression and human rights. Civil society groups play a role in the enforcement and protection of human rights. I am currently utilizing machine learning methods to collect data that allows me to look at the relationship of identity and access to civil society. I focus specifically on the experiences of women and racial/ethnic minorities. My third chapter argues that country leaders may be strategically choosing modes of repression on civil society that are not recorded in public records as a means to conceal the extent to which they are impeding access to civil society. The Stephen G. Walker Graduate Support Fellowship will be a great help to me as I work to complete this ambitious project. 

Q: What does it mean to you to be chosen for this award?

A: The past recipients of the Stephen G. Walker (Graduate) Support Fellowship have all been colleagues that I admire, with very impressive research. I felt very humbled and honored to also be selected for this award named after an inspiring scholar. I consider this a form of encouragement towards my research. I am now more confident and more enabled to continue my pursuits of a career in academia. 

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