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.

Current Team members

Makenzie Maher

Undergraduate Researcher

2022

Makenzie is currently a junior enrolled at the University of South Dakota majoring in Political Science.

Israt Jahan

Graduate Research Assistant

2022

Israt is a first-year student in the Masters of Public Administration program.

Bess Seaman

Undergraduate Researcher

2021-2022

Bess is currently a senior enrolled at USD majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice and will be starting her MPA in 2022. This summer, she is interning with the United Way of Vermillion

Former Team members

Kaleb Peterson

Undergraduate Researcher

2018-2022

Kaleb is a Political Science and Business double-major. He is graduating Spring 2022 and plans to attend law school in the fall. He was instrumental on the Student Attitudes on Public Service (SAPS) project and co-authored the related report.

Aaron Vlasman

Undergraduate Researcher

2021-2022

Aaron is a senior at the University of South Dakota majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice. He is currently a legislative intern in the St. Paul office of Sen. Tina Smith and serves as the SD College Democrats President.

Paige Schroeder

Undergraduate Researcher and Civic Engagement Coordinator

2020-2022

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.

Cohl Turnquist

Graduate Research Assistant

2020-2021

Cohl is graduating with his MPA in May 2022. He holds a B.S. in Political Science and History from USD. He currently serves as the Assistant City Manager for Flandreau, SD.

Nabila Parijat

Graduate Research Assistant

Summers 2021, 2022

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

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 in 2020.

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.