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Student Spotlight: Geoff Lorenz

While many of us shy away from what can seem the seedy world of political lobbying – especially in a heated presidential election year – Geoff has decided to write a dissertation about it.

He studies what makes lobbying effective in the U.S. Congress, approaching from many angles the ways in which interest groups attempt to influence lawmaking. His dissertation examines how lobbying impacts what bills Congress addresses (and what bills Congress ignores), particularly at the committee stage. He describes, “Thousands of bills get introduced, but only a fraction of them get consideration in committee. My dissertation attempts to explain how interest groups influence which bills clear this critical winnowing point in the legislative process.”

Student Spotlight: Josh Wondra

Josh admits, “Applying to graduate school, I didn’t know what I was doing.” He applied big, contrary to the some misguided advice from his undergraduate professors. U-M was on the list because a faculty member talked about U-M as THE place for psychology. He explains, “When I looked on the department website, everyone was engaged in so many different topics and I thought it all was interesting. I picked a few people I wanted to work with, and it was at recruitment weekend that I really got excited. I liked the grad students – they were so smart, collaborative, and very friendly. They described a balance between hard work and real life that excited me. The culmination of resources, faculty, and grad students made me think U-M would be a great fit for me.”

Student Spotlight: Cat Saint-Croix

Philosophy was always part of her academic plans, but interest became infatuation when she found philosophy of science. She says, “this careful, analytical approach to foundational questions drew me in—I realized that I just wanted to keep studying philosophy.” She came to Michigan with two undergraduate degrees: one in Philosophy and another, self-designed baccalaureate in Logic, Philosophy of Science, and History of Science. Cat recalls, “I fell in love with the formal side of the field, and saw that U-M would be absolutely wonderful for that. I feel so fortunate to be given the opportunity to study with such brilliant people, both among the faculty and the graduate students.