2022-23 Doctoral Research Fellows

Photo of D'Arlyn BellD'Arlyn Bell
Public Affairs and Administration
Advisor: Dr. Charles Epp

D'Arlyn Bell is member of the Cherokee Nation, a first-generation, nontraditional fourth-year doctoral student in the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Her research focuses on public/nonprofit organizations, law and social equity using organizations, specifically nonprofit organizations, as the primary unit of analysis to understand how interaction with the law and legal environments can achieve or impede social equity for marginalized groups. Her broader work considers poverty, economic inequality, social movements, and the politics of public administration. D'Arlyn is a board member of the Indigenous Community Center in Lawrence, KS, a community advisory board member for the Shawnee Police Department and has been involved in various advocacy and educational initiatives the Lawrence and Kansas City area.
Photo of April DiazApril Diaz
Social Welfare
Advisor: Dr. Meg Paceley

April Diaz is in her fourth and final year as a PhD student in the School of Social Welfare. Broadly, her research pertains to power and privilege in social change work, both in the U.S. and abroad. We tend to assume that activists and social movements are inherently progressive and unproblematic, but my research complicates this narrative by looking at oppression within activist groups and processes. Specific sub-domains of her research include: anti-oppressive practices within social change work; youth organizing, activism, and civic engagement; political empowerment and critical consciousness in historically marginalized youth; intersectionality in activist experiences; humane education; international social work; nonprofit management/organizational practice; and empowerment studies.
Photo of Sam KendrickSam Kendrick
Advisors: Dr. Joane Nagel

Sam Kendrick is a third year doctoral student in the department of Sociology. Her research focuses on cultural meanings of sex and love in the context of changing patterns of courtship and what these changing patterns mean for gender inequality at the intersections of race and class. Her current project examines the extent to which structural changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted the current sexual and gender order in the context of courtship culture.
Photo of Andrew KimAndrew Kim
Advisor: Dr. ChangHwan Kim

Andrew Kim is a Ph.D. candidate in the sociology department with a broad research interest in studying labor market inequality through statistical methods. For his dissertation, he is working on three papers exploring how the intersection of race and gender manifests in the labor market. His other research projects include: how increased returns to overwork affect family income inequality, aging and income inequality in South Korea, and the relationship between coder mismatch and occupational mobility.
Photo of Rigao LiuRigao Liu
Political Science
Advisor: Dr. John James Kennedy

Rigao is a fourth-year doctoral student studying Comparative Politics and International Relations from the Department of Political Science. He is also a Graduate Researcher of KU Trade War Lab. His research explores on public opinion, social development, and political economy in China. Some of his current projects investigate the impact of digital use on elderly’s mental health in rural China as well as the impact of the domestic political economy on multinational corporations exits after the outbreak of the U.S.-China Trade War.
Photo of Shawna Shipley-GatesShawna Shipley-Gates
Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Advisor: Dr. Ayesha Hardison

Shawna Shipley-Gates, MA, MPH, CHES (she/her) is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a concentration in Psychology. Her research places eroticism in conversation with Black feminist theoretical frameworks, critical health psychology, and digital humanities. Shawna’s current dissertation project explores digital erotic content production as a form of resistance against sexual oppression to address sexual health disparities among Black women.
Photo of Srishti SlariaSrishti Slaria
Advisor: Dr. Tsvetan Tsvetanov

Srishti is a fourth-year doctoral student in Economics and her research is at the intersection of Economics, Psychology, and Public Policy. Srishti's broad research interests include applying behavioral theories and interventions to areas of environment and energy, climate change, sustainable development, public health, education, and gender. She is currently working on a research project involving a behavioral nudge to encourage water conservation by households in India. A future project Srishti is considering involves the use of behavioral interventions in increasing women’s participation in Economics and the physical sciences.
Photo of Maggie SwensonMaggie Swenson
School of Public Affairs and Administration
Advisor: Dr. Dorothy Daley

Maggie is a fourth year doctoral student in Public Affairs and Administration. Her broader research interests include collaborative governance, health equity, the social determinants of health, and health policy. Some of her current projects examine topics such as local health department collaborations on health equity, adoption of COVID-19 mitigation policies, and climate change and health equity.

Click here to view past IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows.

Links on this page:

  1. ipsr@ku.edu