Congratulations to Undergraduate Students Maya Mikelson and Karis Rivers, who will be part of APSA's 2024 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) Class!

The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program (RBSI) is an annual, intensive five-week program at Duke University. It is named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner, former APSA President, and the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in political science, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche. It is designed to introduce aspiring political scientists to the world of doctoral study. The program is open to students interested in broadening participation in political science and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting underrepresented groups or tribal sovereignty and governance. Participants are drawn from a competitive national applicant pool. This year, 14 undergraduate students will participate in Duke University's annual, intensive five-week program. The 2024 institute will be held May 26 – June 27, 2024, under the direction of Dr. Paula D. McClain.

Maya Mikelson is a rising senior at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, majoring in political science and minoring in data science. While at Michigan, she researched the ratification of human rights treaties with Professor Chris Fariss and developed her knowledge of various quantitative analysis tools, including R. As a rising junior, she participated in an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer Program in Accountability, Behavior & Conflict in Democratic Politics at Vanderbilt University with Professor Emily Ritter. In this program, Maya completed an independent project examining the effect of militarization on interstate conflict. She presented her results from this work in a poster session at the 2023 American Political Science Association meeting in Los Angeles, CA. Maya is a data editor for the Michigan Daily, responsible for leading the Data Team in data analysis, data visualization, and publishing data-based journalism. As part of her work for the Michigan Daily, she received a national 3rd place award for best interactive infographic. After graduation, she plans to complete a Ph.D. in political science focusing on international conflict and security and the effects of minority representation and rights and indigenous group's sovereignty on government stability.

Karis Rivers is a rising senior at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, majoring in political science and minoring in quantitative methods in social sciences. Throughout her academic career, she has maintained a James B. Angell Scholar status, earning University Honors for five consecutive semesters. She is currently a Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society member. Karis is dedicated to social justice and equitable education, as demonstrated by her participation in campus organizations, such as working as a peer mentor for the Michigan Community Scholars Program and a columnist for Michigan in Color, a section of the Michigan Daily. She currently works as a College Access & Success Ambassador at UM's Center for Educational Outreach, where she can interact with and guide others from typically excluded backgrounds—informed by her identity and passion for education, her research interests center on the intersections of the criminal justice system and education and the experiences of marginalized people within these institutions. After graduating, Karis plans to pursue a doctoral degree in political science.