PhD Candidate in Political Science
Zachary “Zach” Agatstein is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University, specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics. He has a strong background and interest in human security, ethnic conflict, nationalism, and Europeanization. Zach has served as a Teaching Assistant for International Relations, Comparative Politics, and American Government.
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Zach’s research interests include genocide prevention and the root causes of genocide; his in-progress dissertation will focus on global norms regarding the prevention of genocide, as well as the impact of ethnic conflict and genocide on human security. He also has a strong interest in the politics of nationalism and nationalist groups, governmental institutions, as well as the process of Europeanization and European politics generally.
Before entering the PhD program at Northeastern University, Zach attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the only public honors college in Maryland, where he majored in political science. As part of that major, he completed a capstone project on comparative federalism, focusing on the Australian Senate and the United States Senate as federalist institutions.
He later enrolled at Northeastern as a Master’s student, where his research interests shifted to encompass nationalism and nationalist movements. His thesis, available upon request, is a critical examination of the Scottish nationalist movement and its primary actor, the Scottish National Party. He graduated in May of 2015 and immediately continued into Northeastern’s PhD program.
Zach was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island and is a lifelong New Englander, save for his college years spent in southern Maryland. Active in his college community, he served for three out of his four years at St. Mary’s as a member of the student government, including a term as Chairman of the Policy Review Committee and a member of the college’s Handbook Committee; as part of this service, he was the sole student representative to have a hand in revising college policies ahead of the 2010-2011 academic year. In addition, he was the first junior (3rd year) to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the college’s journal of the social sciences, Open Water.
In the fall of 2013, he enrolled as a Master’s student at Northeastern University, where he was awarded a Graduate Student Scholarship during each semester of the program, and served as a Teaching Assistant throughout his second and final year of MA work. His coursework and concentration focused on Comparative Politics, and he completed courses in Europeanization, nationalism, comparative electoral systems, normative regimes, and U.S. foreign policy. His final semester in the Master’s program was a thesis project on Scottish nationalism that is available upon request.
As a PhD student, he has continued his studies of nationalism, complemented by studies of genocide and ethnic conflict. Successfully achieving candidacy in April of 2017, his forthcoming dissertation will focus on norms surrounding the prevention of genocide, as well as a critical consideration of case studies of genocide in Rwanda and the Balkans. In addition to his research responsibilities, he will be teaching an undergraduate course in American Government, commencing from September of 2017.
Outside the classroom, Zach has a keen interest in national and local politics, and has volunteered for Presidential campaigns as well as worked on city council races in Boston. He was also the lead opposition researcher for Lincoln Chafee’s successful 2010 campaign to be elected Governor of Rhode Island; as a campaign staffer, he also worked on the future Governor’s education policy brief.
Degrees Earned and Institutions:
BA, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
MA, Northeastern University
Research Interests: Human security, genocide and genocide prevention, nationalism, Europeanization
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Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles took "Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South" with Professor Shalanda Baker, which pushed him to further question systems as they exist, no matter their entrenched in society.
- He did community service as part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute. He worked on the Timebank team, helping give back to local communities.
- Charles split his time for his first co-op between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, including infrastructure and childcare.
- He was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign and advocated for racial literacy courses and a restorative and transformative justice center on campus.
- Charles made his own research project- a macroeconomic index to measure democratic participation in municipal economies, partnering with NU, the Columbus Foundation and the Center for Economic Democracy.
- He worked at the Participatory Budgeting Project as a Program Associate, helping city systems and other organizations actively decide how to invest money across different spaces.
- Charles graduated in 2022. ..
- Casey took Global Markets and Local Cultures. After traveling, she better saw how the coursework mirrored real life, and knew her education was preparing her for the world.
- She went on a DOC to Argentina and Uruguay, and become highly proficient while living in Buenos Aires and visiting the glaciers of the Patagonia region.
- Casey completed her first co-op at the Museum of Fine Arts as a community arts program assistant. She gained valuable hands-on experience assisting in arts classes for local communities.
- She joined the Sociology & Anthropology Student Association during her third year. It allowed her to get to know her fellow students and mirrored the small school experience she loved.
- Casey studied abroad in Nepal for her capstone thesis. She lived alone for a month while she researched and wrote about the lived experience of climate change in the lower Himalayas.
- She worked for the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, founded by Professor Sarah Wylie. She produced promotional videos, developed a virtual research event, wrote event programming, and more.
- Casey graduated in 2020. ..
- Sunita took Revolution, Civil War, and Insurrection, taught by Professor Risa Kitagawa. The course invited students to question the motives behind acts of violence against governments.
- She traveled on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Jordan and Egypt; while there she grew interested in Middle East politics and the Arabic language.
- Sunita worked at the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney, Australia, where she analyzed data on the corruption of police forces in Mexico.
- Sunita was a member of the International Relations Council and traveled abroad with the club to compete in Model Arab League, Model NATO, and Model UN conferences.
- Sunita conducted research with Berna Turam, developing a greater understanding of the Mediterranean migrant crisis. She also researched the feminist response to Covid-19 with Val Moghadam.
- She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2022.
- Yasser was in the Foundation Year program at Northeastern. The program was a rigorous deep dive into core subject classes that helped Yasser bridge the gap between his high school and college experiences.
- He took Issues in Cities and Suburbs with Professor Erin Graves in Fall 2018. As someone deeply invested in urban life, he found the course was an enlightened look at the problems endemic to cities.
- Yasser joined the Boston Beer Company as a Program Operations and Event Assistant for his first co-op. He worked on inventory, public relations, brewery events, and workspace organization.
- He implemented community gardens all over Boston on deserted plots of land during his time as the Northeastern Campus Director for the campus’ United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
- Yasser maintained a farm in Dorchester for The Food Project. He harvested crops, distributed produce through donations and food markets, and worked on overall logistics.
- In 2020, Yasser won the Community Service Leadership award, given to students who show exemplary community engagement. He was recognized for his work at The Food Project, Northeastern Crossing, and more.
- He graduated 2022 with his Bachelor’s in International Affairs and Religious Studies and his Master’s in Security and Resilience Studies, through Northeastern’s PlusOne program...