Research Fellows Join the Shorenstein Center’s COVID States Project and Public Interest Tech Lab

A group of research fellows and post-doctoral fellows have joined the Shorenstein Center to work on several resident faculty-led projects.

COVID States Project Fellows

Matthew Baum, the Marvin Kalb Professor of Global Communications at Harvard Kennedy School, is one of the lead researchers on a multi-university collaborative effort to conduct polling related to the COVID-19 pandemic in all fifty U.S. States. Four new research fellows have joined the Shorenstein Center this year to help work on the COVID States project:

Dr. Jon Green is a political scientist studying the ways in which ideas matter for politics at the individual and elite levels. This involves research using a combination of survey, text, and network-analytic methods to explore research areas such as the social construction of ideological belief systems, the dynamics of vote choice in primary elections, and why political amateurs run for office. In addition to his fellowship at the Shorenstein Center, he is also a Senior Research Scientist at the Lazer Lab at the Northeastern University Network Science Institute, which is a collaborator on the COVID States project.  Jon completed his Ph.D. at Ohio State University, and his peer-reviewed work has appeared in Science, Science Advances, Perspectives on Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Electoral Studies, and The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.

Dr. Alauna Safarpour earned her Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in 2021. Her research areas of interest include race and ethnic politics, public opinion, and participation. Specifically, her research focuses on creating better citizens by reducing prejudice and increasing civic participation. Her work has appeared in Political Behavior, the Journal of Experimental Political Science, and The Washington Post.

Alauna’s dissertation entitled “Taking Perspective: Prejudice Reduction and Political Attitudes” develops and tests a theory of how to reduce anti-Black prejudice and the impact of doing so on American political attitudes. Her research has been funded by several competitive grants including an American Political Science Association/ National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant.

She was the 2020 polling fellow at The Washington Post, and works with the Kaiser Family Foundation assisting in public opinion research concerning the COVID-19 vaccine.

Anjuli Shere is currently pursuing her doctorate in Cyber Security at the University of Oxford, researching emerging threats to journalists from new internet-connected technologies, focusing on Taiwan, Australia, the UK, and the US. Additionally, she was an intelligence analyst on Channel 4’s Hunted and Celebrity Hunted for six series (2017-2020). Inspired by her work as a research analyst at the Association for International Broadcasting, she is creating a framework for news organizations and journalists in democratic countries to improve the protection of their staff and sources against threats from the Internet of Things.

Dr. Krissy Lunz Trujil0‘s research is focused on two areas. The first investigates the underlying motivations behind health and vaccine misinformation endorsement, and how to mitigate misinformation uptake. The second examines the role of rural identity – a psychological affiliation with rural areas – in political attitudes across the urban-rural divide, particularly as it relates to populism. Her work has been published in various outlets such as Political Research Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, and Politics, Groups, and Identities. One of her papers won the Health Politics and Policy Best Paper Award presented at the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting in 2020. Further, Krissy has co-written news pieces on vaccine hesitancy that appeared in outlets such as TIME and U.S. News and World Report. She has also interviewed for outlets such as Times Radio UK and The Star Tribune.

In addition to her fellowship with the COVID States project, she also has a joint appointment with the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. Previously, she was a Visiting Instructor at Carleton College and received her PhD in Political Science at the University of Minnesota.

Public Interest Tech Lab Fellows

The Public Interest Tech Lab, run by Professor Latanya Sweeney and based at the Shorenstein Center, is teaching students and future leaders about the inner workings of the technology that is omnipresent in our world today, and supporting creative new ideas about advancing equity, accountability, and justice in and through technology.

Dr. Jinyan Zang is passionate about improving technology’s impact on society. He is an experienced researcher on algorithmic bias, data privacy, election security, digital contact tracing, and more at Harvard University and the Federal Trade Commission. He wrote one of the first Ph.D. dissertations on the new field of public interest tech at Harvard University. He successfully established Technology Science as a leading research journal in public interest tech as its founding Managing Editor, with articles published by the journal covered in TIME, The Washington Post, Forbes, BBC, and more. He was a 2017 recipient of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans for his work on public interest tech. He graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Harvard in 2013 and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard in 2021. He will be joining the Public Interest Tech Lab to create an incubator that helps grow for-profit, non-profit, and advocacy projects focused on using digital technologies to solve societal problems. He is also the host of How Tech Becomes Law, a new podcast from the Tech Lab discussing how technology can be built in the public interest with leaders in government, business, journalism, and academia.