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. Dr. Hellwege employs several (primarily undergraduate) research assistants thanks to the generous contributions from the Allene R. Chiesman Center and through the Government Research Bureau 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.

Allison Horkey

GRB Research Assistant

2022

Allison is a junior at USD majoring in Political Science and English. She is the managing editor at the Volante student newspaper.

Dillon Grubb

Undergraduate Researcher

2022

Dillon is currently a sophomore enrolled at the University of South Dakota majoring in Political Science. He is the SGA Government Affairs Chair and President of the Political Science League.

Trixie Schlechter

Undergraduate Researcher

2022

Trixie is currently a senior enrolled at the University of South Dakota majoring in Criminal Justice.

Bree Spinler

GRB Research Assistant

2022

Bree is a senior at USD majoring in Sustainability with minors in Political Science and Economics.

Former Team members

Kaleb Peterson

Undergraduate Researcher

2018-2022

Kaleb is a first year student at the Knudson School of Law at USD. He graduated Spring 2022 with degrees in Political Science and Business. He was instrumental for the Student Attitudes on Public Service (SAPS) project and co-authored the related report.

Aaron Vlasman

Undergraduate Researcher

2021-2022

Aaron is Field Director for the SD Democratic Party. He graduated in 2022 with degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice. He previously served as a legislative intern in the St. Paul office of Sen. Tina Smith and SD College Democrats President.

Bess Seaman

Graduate Student Researcher

2021-2022

Bess is first-year MPA student. This summer, she completed an internship with the United Way of Vermillion

Cohl Turnquist

Graduate Research Assistant

2020-2021

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

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.

Jalatama "Jolly" Omar

Graduate Research Assistant

2018-2020

Jolly is currently serving as the Economic Development Specialist for the City of Pleasant Hill, Iowa. He graduated from USD 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.

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.

Hannah Booth

Undergraduate Researcher

2020-2021

Hannah is currently employed by 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.