CDDRL Students Graduate from Fisher Family Honors Program

The Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) is proud to congratulate the 2018 class of honors students for completing their research under the CDDRL Fisher Family Honors Program. The ceremony for the honors students took place on June 15, 2018.

Each year the Center offers an interdisciplinary honors program, through which students write a thesis related to the topics of democracy, development and the rule of law. This year’s cohort wrote on a vast range of topics, including electoral reform in Chile, the rise of the far-right in Greece, and public health in Oaxaca, Mexico.


Each year the CDDRL gives one student an Outstanding Thesis Award. This year’s recipient is Marin Callaway for her work, “Whose California? Power, Property Rights, and the Legacy of the 1851 California Land Act”. Callaway researched Mexican land grant ownership in California throughout the nineteenth century, and how the 1851 California Land Act interacted with social, economic and political phenomena, which led to a loss in this ownership.

One of the CDDRL honors students, Qitong Thomas Cao will receive the Stanford University Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. This award is given to the top ten percent of all theses in social sciences, natural sciences and engineering and applied sciences. Cao’s thesis, titled “The China Wide Web: The Information Dilemma and the Domestication of Cyberspace”, addresses many of the contemporary technology and information issues within authoritarian regimes.


Furthermore, several of this year’s honors students have been the recipients of university-wide and national awards.


Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award

The Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel award is given for university-wide recognition of distinctive and exceptional contributions to undergraduate education or the quality of student life at Stanford. Each, year, two graduating seniors receive the award for their service to the university.

Alexis Kallen


Fulbright Scholarship

Fulbright scholarships provide graduates the opportunity to pursue research all over the world to foster intercultural relations and understanding with other countries.

Jason Jiajie Li—Fulbright research scholarship to Shaanxi China to implement and independently evaluate an integrated early child development intervention with community health workers to combat the effects of childhood malnutrition and a lack of quality health care.


Rhodes Scholarship

Rhodes scholarships are awarded to promising future leaders to support their academic studies at the University of Oxford.

Qitong Thomas Cao

Alexis Kallen


Schwarzman Scholars

Schwarzman Scholars continue post-graduate studies and focus on China's relations with the world at the Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing.


Lucienne Oyer


Truman Scholarship

The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing promising careers in public service.  

Alexis Kallen



Finally, a special shout out to two of our alumni. Anna Blue (2016) received a research Fulbright to Estonia, and Jelani Munroe (2016) received a Rhodes scholarship to the University of Oxford.


Suraj BulchandManagement Science and EngineeringInvestigating Citizen Support for Singapore's Regime
Marin CallawayInternational RelationsWhose California? Power, Property Rights, and the Legacy of the 1851 California Land Act
Qitong Thomas CaoPolitical ScienceThe China Wide Web: Information Dilemma and the Domestication of Cyberspace
Trey HaleInternational Relations; MusicClarity and Confusion: Accountability and Task Shifting in South Africa's Community-Based Healthcare System
Claire HowlettSymbolic SystemsEvaluating the WHO Criteria for Acute Malnutrition: Stunting and Growth Rates in Malawian Treatment Programs
Alexis KallenPolitical ScienceSilenced Survivors: Analyzing Evidence of Genocidal Rape in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
Jason LiHuman BiologyControlling the Chronic Disease Pandemic: Evaluating China’s National Health Reforms and Insurance Expansion on the Hypertension Care Cascade
Riya MehtaEarth SystemsWomen, Water, and Agricultural Development: The Effect of Solar-Powered Drop Irrigation on Dietary Diversity among Subsistence Farmers in West Africa
Lucienne OyerEconomicsElectricity Market Outcomes of Power Plant Development in Ghana
Kelsey PagePolitical ScienceElectoral Reform in Chile
Zoe SavellosPolitical ScienceGolden Dawn, Dark Horizon: Exploring the Rise of Greece’s Ultra-Right Party in the Context of Simultaneous Crises
Ben Sorensen Political ScienceLeaked Emails and American Political Knowledge.
Katie Welgan ChemistryA la protección de la salud: Indigenous Status, Insurance Affiliation, and Prenatal Care Quality in Oaxaca, Mexico