Research Team Members

Dr. Hellwege works closely with student research assistants as a way to not only support her research agenda, but as a way to teach and mentor students. Thanks to the generous contributions from the Allene R. Chiesman Center, Dr. Hellwege is able to employ several (primarily undergraduate) research assistants in addition to MPA graduate student assistants hired through the Department of Political Science.

Jalatama "Jolly" Omar

Graduate Research Assistant

2018-2020

Jolly is currently serving as the Management Analyst for the City of Davenport, Iowa. He graduated from the University of South Dakota with his Master of Public Administration.

Cohl Turnquist

Graduate Research Assistant

2020-2022

Cohl is a second year MPA student enrolled at the University of South Dakota. He graduated from USD with a B.S. in Political Science and History and is primarily interested in city management.

Nabila Parijat

Graduate Research Assistant

Summer 2021

Nabila is a first year MPA student enrolled at the University of South Dakota. She is currently working as a Research and MEL Officer at Democracy International.

Carissa Occhipinto

Undergraduate Researcher

2020-2021

Carissa is currently a J.D. Candidate at the Washburn University School of Law. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a B.A. in Political Science.

Hannah Booth

Undergraduate Researcher

2020-2021

Hannah is currently employed at AmeriCorps as a City Year Member. She is a 2020 graduate from the University of South Dakota with degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice.

Aaron Vlasman

Undergraduate Researcher

2021-2022

Aaron is a senior at the University of South Dakota majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice. His career objectives are public policy and housing advocacy and he currently serves as the SD College Democrats President.

Paige Schroeder

Undergraduate Researcher

2020-2021

Paige is currently enrolled at the University of South Dakota and is majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. She is the Director of Operations for the Student Government Association, and also serves as the Advocacy Corps Organizer for the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Bess Seaman

Undergraduate Researcher

2021-2022

Bess is currently a senior enrolled at the University of South Dakota majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice. In 2021, she was an intern at the SD state legislature. She is currently interning for the South Dakota Democratic Party.