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The College of Arts Sciences

APSA Announces the 2018 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Scholars

By: Annalisa Dias-Mandoly,
Fri, 03/30/2018

The American Political Science Association (APSA) is pleased to announce that Vanessa A. Navarro Rodriguez, a senior at Cornell University, has been named as a 2018 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) Scholar.

Vanessa A. Navarro Rodriguez is a senior studying government at Cornell University and is interested in American politics and its effects on marginalized communities. She has spent over two years working with Dr. Jamila Michener, in Cornell’s government department, on various projects like researching federal laws regarding civil legal aid and conducting a policy analysis for the city of St. Petersburg, Florida. Following her research on civil legal aid, Vanessa spent a semester in Washington D.C., interning in the government relations department of the Legal Services Corporation, a congressionally funded non-profit. During this time Vanessa worked on the budget request for fiscal year 2019 and also drafted memos on the importance of civil legal aid. Vanessa plans to write her senior thesis on sexual violence in universities and the role of race in the outcome of the accusations. Aside from her research experience, she also serves on Cornell’s Presidential Task Force, where she is contributing to creating a more inclusive and diverse institution. Vanessa aspires to become a scholar and understand the limits and functions of the law in protecting marginalized populations in the United States.  

The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI), now in its 32nd year, is an annual, intensive five-week program held at Duke University. It is designed to introduce to the world of doctoral study in political science those undergraduate students from under-represented racial and ethnic groups or those interested in broadening participation in political science and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting under-represented groups. Participants in the RBSI are drawn from a competitive national applicant pool.

Founded in 1903, the American Political Science Association (APSA) is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 13,000 members in more than 80 countries. For additional information on APSA diversity and inclusion programs, please visit us online at or email


Photo: Vanessa A. Navarro Rodriguez