ASU Political Science Student Receives Annual Stephen G. Walker Scholarship



October 6, 2022

Julianne Windham, a fourth-year doctoral student, was recently awarded the Stephen G. Walker Annual Graduate Support Fellowship from the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University for the 2022-2023 academic year, for her research on international relations.

The prize fund was established by former students of the School of Politics and Global Studies in honor of Professor Emeritus Stephen Walker, who was a faculty member of the Department of Political Science from 1969 until his retirement in 2003. It is intended to support students studying abroad. relations and foreign policy in particular.

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

“His thesis project examines the harassment and restrictions that states impose on civil society organizations. Civil society organizations have long proven to be key players in promoting healthy democracies. Understanding how states restrict them is therefore a key part of the puzzle of understanding human rights and democracy. His project uses methods such as text analytics and machine learning to create new data for his project, which will be useful not only for his 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 who have donated to the School of Politics and Global Studies and the Stephen G. Walker (Graduate) Support Scholarship directly,” Windham said. “Without their support, scholarships 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 his recent research and the impact of the Stephen G. Walker Graduate Support Scholarship:

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

Answer: I am currently working on my thesis project, which focuses on the repression of civil society and human rights. Civil society groups play a role in the enforcement and protection of human rights. I am currently using machine learning methods to collect data that allows me to examine the relationship between 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 can strategically choose modes of repression against civil society that are not recorded in public records as a means of concealing the extent to which they impede access to civil society. The Stephen G. Walker Graduate Support Scholarship will be of great help to me as I work towards this ambitious project.

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

A: Past recipients of the Stephen G. Walker (Graduate) Support Fellowship have all been colleagues 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 as a form of encouragement for my research. I am now more confident and better able to pursue my career in academia.

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