Under the leadership of Dean Dan Byman, the SFS launched a school-wide Undergraduate Research Scholars
program in 2016. The program enables a group of competitively selected undergraduates to conduct advanced
research, get to know faculty and master's students, and engage the intellectual life of the African Studies Program.
Initially, each fellow provides research assistance to a faculty member whose research aligns most closely
with her or his own. Over time, students are expected to develop their own research projects. AfSP Scholars are
expected to attend sponsored-talks regularly, and actively engage in the intellectual life of the program.
Claire Hazburn, SFS ‘20
Major: International Politics
Claire Hazburn is a Freshman in the SFS majoring in International Politics with a concentration in International Security. Claire hails from West Lafayette, Indiana. She first became interested in studying Africa through Public Forum debate in high school and deepened her interest this past semester by taking an early African history class.
Andy Turner, SFS ‘20
Andy Turner is from Las Vegas, Nevada. He first became interested in African Studies in his senior year of high school when he took an environmental science class which focused on energy and commerce in Africa. Sticking to his Vegas roots, Andy hopes to study desertification in the Sahel.
Ojuolape Junaid, SFS ‘19
Ojuolape Junaid is a sophomore in the SFS studying Science, Technology and International Affairs with a concentration in Business, Growth and Development. She is also pursuing a certificate in African Studies and a French minor. Ojuolape hails from the Bronx, New York and her interest in the African continent stems from her Nigerian heritage.
Toella Pliakas, SFS ‘21
Major: Culture and Politics
Toella Pliakas is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service majoring in Culture and Politics. She is interested in studying development and migration in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Zambia, where her family is from. She is originally from New Haven, Connecticut.
Bethania Michael, SFS ‘19
Major: Regional and Comparative Studies
Bethania Michael is a rising junior in the SFS majoring in Regional and Comparative Studies, focusing on both Africa and the Middle East. Her research interests include gender and migration issues in the Horn of Africa.
Evan Wadill, SFS ‘19
Major: International Politics
Evan Waddill is a sophomore in the SFS majoring in International Politics with a concentration in international law, institutions, and ethics. She is also pursuing a French Minor and a Certificate in African Studies. During her freshman fall, her proseminar entitled “States, Bugs, and Drugs in Africa” with Professor Scott Taylor deepened her interest in further studying the continent.
Zach Scherer, SFS ‘18
Zach Scherer was first drawn to African studies when he learned about the Rwandan genocide during his freshman year of high school. Since then, his understanding of the continent has evolved a lot! Today, Zach is most interested in African elections as well as energy and infrastructure policy. The fellowship has been a great opportunity for Zach to further pursue these interests.