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Student Spotlight: Babe Kawaii-Bogue

It took Babe three tries to get into Michigan. Along the way, she went to Columbia for her Master’s degree to raise her GPA and obtain further research experience. Babe received other Ph.D. program offers during the years she applied to graduate schools, but says she “really wanted to come here; the psychology department is so well known. I came to U-M because apart from the unbeatable financial package, I wanted to be amongst a larger student body of African Americans, and the psych program at U-M has the largest number black Ph.D. students next to Howard. I went to UC Berkeley for my undergraduate studies, and my entire time there, didn’t really get to know African American students. As an African American I really need that as a part of my education.”

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.”

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