Meet the Researchers

Cathy J. Cohen

Principal Investigator/Founder

Jonathan Lykes

Partnerships Lead

Bianca DiGiovanni

Graduate Research Assistant

Vladimir Medenica

Research Consultant

Terri Smith

Pre-doctoral Scholar

Jenn Jackson

Research Consultant

Diane Wong

Research Consultant

Laura Chen

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Samhitha Krishnan

Researcher/Website Coordinator

Matt Nelsen

Postdoctoral Researcher

Patricia Posey

Research Consultant

Former Affiliates

Matthew Fowler

Postdoctoral Scholar

Matthew Fowler is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University in August 2017. His research examines the politics of race and ethnicity, political polarization, and ideology in American politics. He has published articles in PS: Political Science & Politics, American Review of Politics, and Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies.

Jon Rogowski

Research Consultant

Jon Rogowski is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His research interests are in American politics, where he studies representation and accountability, political institutions, and American political history. Jon has written two books on the American presidency and published articles in journals including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. Jon’s current research projects study the growth of bureaucratic institutions and the use of presidential power in the contemporary and historical periods. He regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on presidential and congressional elections, the American presidency, executive branch politics, and research methods.
Jon received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago in 2012. Before returning to Chicago, he held faculty positions in the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis and the Department of Government at Harvard University.

Paola Del Toro

Research Assistant/Web Coordinator

Paola Del Toro graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in English Language and Literature, focusing on contemporary US literature and culture. She graduated as a Mellon Mays Fellow and currently provides consultant work for the Fellowship at UChicago. Her academic interests include critical theory, media related to financial crises, and diaspora & race studies.

Paola manages GenForward’s website and social media, and assists with other writing, communication, and administrative duties.

Jordie Davies

Graduate Research Assistant

Jordie Davies is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago, studying American political behavior. She is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the GenForward Survey of Millennials.

Jordie’s research interests include Black politics, social movements, political participation, and political communication. Specifically, she focuses on the influence of social movements and new media on political attitudes and participation. For GenForward, Davies does work on the Movement for Black Lives and on the politics of racial redress (with Jenn Jackson and David Knight), considering millennial understandings of structural racism and potential forms of justice.

Davies received a BA in Political Science from Emory University, in Atlanta, GA, with a minor in Educational Studies.

Margaret Brower

Graduate Research Assistant

Margaret Brower is a PhD student studying American and Comparative politics at the University of Chicago. She is also a UChicago Urban fellow. She has a Master of Arts degree in higher education and public policy from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and education from Colgate University. Prior to joining the program at the University of Chicago, she led a series of qualitative and qualitative research projects at the the National Forum for Higher Education and the Public Good and the Institute for Higher Education and Democracy (IDHE) focused on urban challenges, participatory action, policy feedback, immigration, college student voting, and youth political development. At the University of Chicago, as a student and as a researcher for GenForward, she focuses on the political socialization of young people, especially youth of color, and the ways in which urban settings contextualize and shape this experience.

David J. Knight

Graduate Research Assistant

David J. Knight is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Before coming to Chicago, David was a certified high school teacher in San Francisco and Boston. This experience teaching and working in urban communities profoundly informs his research. David is particularly interested in demographic change, urban politics, intergroup coalition building, and the political lives of urban young people. A native of the New Orleans area, David received his AB in history from Dartmouth, trained as a teacher at Stanford, and began his research career as a master’s student at Harvard.

Urvi Kumbhat

Website Coordinator

Urvi Kumbhat holds a BA from the University of Chicago and is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Lit Hub, The Margins, Poet Lore, Protean Magazine, and elsewhere. She is currently at work on a collection of short stories set in Calcutta, where she grew up.