2017 Honors Program Cohort

Daniel Ajootian

Daniel AjootianA fourth-year in the Politics Honors program, Daniel Ajootian is also a double major in the English Distinguished Majors Program and a History minor. His work concentrates on nineteenth-century political history and thought. Emphases include empire, race, democratic theory, and Alexis de Tocqueville. He has worked as a research assistant in the Corcoran Department of History and has served as President of the English Students Association. This past summer, he worked on the Krish for Maryland gubernatorial campaign as deputy communications director. He currently interns with the Miller Center as one of five students in the new Student Leaders Program and is editor-in-chief of the Seriatim Journal of American Politics. He hopes to be a writer.

Additionally, Daniel really enjoys hearing about what people are reading! He recommends How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee.

Grant Oken

Grant OkenGrant Oken is a fourth-year from Tampa, Florida majoring in Politics Honors and Philosophy. His academic interests include liberal political theory and its critics, reproductive rights, and the relationship between constitutional orders and terrorism. He is currently writing his Honors thesis on the Scottish philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre.

Outside of class he is a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and the University Judiciary Committee. He spent the summer of 2017 working in the US Senate, and the summer of 2018 working at Audax Private Equity.

In the future, he hopes to practice law.

Remy Oliver

Remy OliverRemy Oliver is a fourth-year in the Politics Honors program. His interests include the politics of the Middle East and North Africa; factionalism within, and the demise of, the democratic state; and the politics of currency. He participated in the UVA at Oxford program, spending weekends traveling Europe, with his last winter break spent in Vietnam and Cambodia. He is a member of the Marching Cavaliers and the Hereford Student Senate. He is an avid member of the numismatic community with an interest in both U.S. and foreign coinage. In his free time writes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He is contemplating Master’s Degree programs, with the objective of serving in the US Intelligence or Law Enforcement Community.

Ankita Satpathy

Ankita SatpathyAnkita is a fourth-year student from Monroe Township, New Jersey. She is a Politics Honors major and a history minor, with particular attention to foreign affairs. She is primarily interested in issues of diplomacy and development. Her other academic interests include issues of human rights, conflict resolution and stabilization, and migration. At the University, Ankita serves as the Vice Chair for Hearings for the Honor Committee, a Resident Advisor, and a Research Assistant on a migration project in the Politics Department. She is also part of the Miller Center's Student Leaders program. Within the past year, Ankita has interned for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C, and the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ankita hopes to continue her study of international relations in graduate school and ultimately pursue a career in diplomacy or policy analysis.

Ben Tobin

Ben TobinHailing from Northern Virginia, Ben Tobin is interested in the roles of perception, public opinion, and human nature in political decision-making as well as communications policy. Outside of the classroom, he serves as the Managing Editor for The Cavalier Daily and as a teacher of public forum debate for middle school students through Charlottesville Debate League. He is all too used to heartbreak as a Dallas Cowboys fan, but listening to Broadway showtunes helps to cheer him up. In the future, he wants to be a journalist and possibly go to law school.

Eric Xu

Eric XuEric Xu is an incoming 4th year in the Honors Politics program. His academic interests include U.S.-China relations, global environmental policy, the societal impact of capitalism, and social media activism. In addition, he is fascinated by 2nd generation multi-ethnic political socialization, as well as incentive creation and molding in emerging bureaucracies. On-Grounds, Eric is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Review of Politics, an omni-partisan political review, as well as the former Editor-in-Chief of the Wilson Journal of International Affairs. He is also the President of the Raven Society and the Captain of the UVA Academic Competition Club.

Eric's research areas while at UVA have included the impact of Brexit on Chinese international student migration to the U.K., climate change and its effects on Central/South American migration into the United States, and contemporary Chinese political society. He hopes to write his thesis on contemporary Chinese environmental social media movements and their effects on government action at both a local and federal level. After graduation, Eric plans on working in business before either returning to academia or pursuing ESG-related initiatives in the business world.