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Alexandra L

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at University of California San Diego (UCSD)

Expertise

politics, international relations, public opinion, quantitative social science, political psychology, data visualization

Bio

In addition to mentoring students on their independent research projects, I am also a college counselor and help families navigate the crazy world of college admissions. In 2023, I defended my dissertation at the University of California, San Diego where I used insights from psychology to understand public opinion about foreign policy. While at UCSD, I also explored how e-learning tools influenced student learning during the covid-19 pandemic. Teaching and mentorship were my favorite parts of working at UCSD, and I'm excited to help students at Polygence identify and develop their academic passions. Before UCSD, I attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where I pursued a major in Government and a minor in History. In my free time, I love reading and am currently working on my first novel. I look forward to working with you!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Does the truth matter in politics?

Do voters care when politicians lie? Why is there so much misinformation in politics? And is there anything we can do about it? This project would involve reviewing relevant scholarly literature, gathering and analyzing data, and presenting results in the form of a scientific research paper, blog, social media account, or other platform of your choosing. If interested, you could use tools such as data visualization, text analysis, machine learning, or survey design to collect and analyze your data.

Why is America so polarized?

Why does political polarization matter? And can we do anything about it? This project could involve reviewing scholarly literature, gathering and analyzing data, and presenting results in the form of a scientific research paper, blog, social media account, or other platform of your choosing. You might identify potential interventions that could help decrease polarization in your school or community. If interested, you could use research methods such as data visualization, text analysis, questionnaire design, or interviews.

Why is the U.S. supporting the war in Ukraine?

In general, why do countries go to war? And when do other countries decide to help them? This project might entail reading scholarly literature, gathering and analyzing data, and presenting results in the form of an essay, op-ed, or other platform of your choosing. If interested, you could explore these questions from a historical perspective using online archival resources.

Coding skills

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Teaching experience

I have been working with high school students on their research projects & college admissions strategies since early 2023. Prior to that, I served as an instructor of record, teaching assistant, grader, discussion leader, and independent study research mentor for the Department of Political Science at UCSD. As a research project mentor, I mentored UCSD students to develop an independent research project related to politics over a period of ten weeks.

Credentials

Work experience

LW Admissions Consulting (2023 - Current)
Co-founder + Independent College Consultant
PYMNTS (2023 - 2023)
Sr Research Analyst (market research, about finance/fintechs)

Education

Dartmouth College
BA Bachelor of Arts (2017)
Government
University of California San Diego (UCSD)
MA Master of Arts (2019)
Political Science
University of California San Diego (UCSD)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2023)
Political Science

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