Sam Brewbaker is a third-year from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and is majoring in Politics Honors, with minors in Economics and English. His academic interests include religious political theory, the rise and continuity of right-wing nationalist movements worldwide, and authoritarianism. He is particularly interested in right-wing nationalist movements in India and the United States, and their recent growth.
At the University, Sam is a member of the University Guides Service, where he gives admissions tours to prospective students and historical tours to local visitors. He is active within his fraternity, previously serving as the organization’s recruitment chair, and also serves as an active member of Reformed University Fellowship on grounds. Additionally, Sam is an avid golfer.
After college, Sam hopes to pursue a career in business before attending law school. After law school, Sam hopes to enter the public sector.
Jenny Glazier is a rising third year from Richmond, Virginia majoring in the Politics Honors program with a minor in Spanish. Her interests lie largely in asylum law, Constitutional law, and immigration policy. From a young age, Jenny became fascinated with politics. In high school, she began volunteering at a Latinx community center, an experience that sparked her interest in asylum policy, and her work at an immigration law firm in her senior year solidified this passion of working with under-privileged communities. Through her research in the Batten School, focusing on Central American asylum-seekers affected by the Remain-in-Mexico policy and the role of emigration on home country democratization, she has explored the different ways in which policy interacts with individual migration decisions.
At UVA, Jenny has further enjoyed studying free speech protections, the role of federalism in the courts, and trends of executive power. Currently, Jenny serves as President of Moot Court and is a regular member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. In her free time, she loves to go hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains with friends.
After graduation, Jenny hopes to pursue a law degree and spend time working both at home and abroad.
Hailing from Edina, Minnesota, Ben Gustafson first developed an interest in politics listening to tales about his grandfather’s days as a Minnesota State Senator and about his father’s experience as a finance director for a U.S. Senator. Ben has been fascinated specifically by the international side of politics ever since his high school world history teacher recommended that he start reading The Economist magazine. While at UVA, Ben has become particularly interested in international relations theory, national security policy, and conflict resolution.
The summer after his first-year, Ben studied peacebuilding in Bogotá, Colombia. The following summer, Ben interned at UVA’s Center for Politics serving as both an editor and researcher for Professor Larry Sabato’s next book on corruption in the intelligence community during the JFK assassination investigation. Outside of the classroom, Ben serves as a Managing Editor for the Virginia Journal of International Affairs, a Support Officer for the Honor Committee, and a Tour Guide for the University Guide Service. Ben also volunteers as a tutor at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and coordinates volunteer activities for the Charlottesville nonprofit International Neighbors. Ben hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy or nonprofit management.
I am a third-year from Richmond, Virginia majoring in Politics Honors and minoring in Chinese. My interest in politics was first sparked by a high school debate program called We the People. Here, I had the opportunity to dive deep into Constitutional Law and develop a passion not only for theory and debate, but also for the protection of civil liberties. I am fascinated by free expression rights and the unique extent to which they are protected in American society, as well as privacy rights in an increasingly digital world. I enjoy studying both the theoretical and historical foundations of fundamental rights such as these as well as their practical implications, particularly in the realm of criminal justice.
Outside of the classroom, I’ve had the opportunity to join the Virginia Holistic Justice Initiative, a nonprofit in Richmond seeking to end the incarceration of nonviolent individuals. My involvement with VHJI has pushed me to reexamine conventional ideas of crime and punishment and consider a holistic approach that instead targets the root causes of crime. At UVA, I am a part of Moot Court where I get to study constitutional law further and travel to compete in tournaments with a tight-knit group of like minded students. In addition, I am a member of Kappa Delta sorority, a supportive and confident group of women, and the University Salsa Club where I get to pursue my love of dance in a fun and creative way.
In the future, I hope to attend law school and pursue a career defending civil liberties.
Sarita Mehta is a third year from Austin, Texas double majoring in the Politics Honors Program and Economics. Her interests broadly concern the politics of migration, with a particular focus on exploring the intersection of social psychology and concepts such as xenophobia, nativism, and populism. She is also passionate about studying theoretical and practical aspects of burden-sharing and accountability among nations. Her passion for international politics was solidified after working in Marrakech, Morocco promoting sustainable development and women’s economic empowerment, via grant writing and grassroots engagement. This summer she interned in Congress, working closely with the House Foreign Affairs Committee, allowing her to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of federal politics. She currently works for the Indian American Impact Fund, an organization that promotes and supports Indian American political platforms and campaigns.
At the University, Sarita is a researcher at the BASH Lab, and has authored papers concerning race, intersectionality, and social relations. She is a member of the Honor Committee, an editor for the Virginia Review of Politics, a writer for the Arts & Entertainment column of the Cavalier Daily, and has served on the First Year Judiciary Committee, among other involvements. Outside of this, Sarita is a big fan of stand-up comedy and a die-hard NYT Crossword enthusiast. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in law and public service.
Alex Williams is a rising third year from Fairfax, Virginia. He first became interested in politics in 2004, when on election day, his preschool teacher convinced him and his peers that they all wanted to see President Bush win re-election—a desire Alex’s father was quick to disagree with. Alex has since been fascinated by the obsession, and polarization, the American Presidency instigates.
Alex also has a profound interest in social contract theory and constitutional law, and desires to further research how classical theories of the social contract exclude minoritized groups. He believes understanding how these exclusionary connotations have been institutionalized within law and government is vastly important, as it provides a framework for aligning contemporary political theory with the inclusionary principles of justice we hold today.
During his time at UVA, Alex has been an undergraduate researcher for both the Corcoran Department of History as well as the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, conducting research on antiliberal movements across the globe with the former, and investigating institutional response to COVID-19 for the latter. He teaches English to Spanish speaking members of the Charlottesville community through Madison House’s ‘Migrant Camps’ program. In his free time, you can frequently find Alex on the tennis courts or exploring Charlottesville’s extensive food scene.
Alex hopes to further his academic and career interests by attending law school after graduation.