2021-2022 Intern Biographies

BOLOGNA

Lauren Ailslieger, Research Assistant

Lauren is a first year MAIR student at Johns Hopkins SAIS working as a Research Assistant at the CCSDD. Lauren is from Topeka, Kansas. She graduated from Kansas State University in 2021 with a BA, double majoring in Economics and International Studies and minoring in Russian.  

Lauren began her studies of Russian and the former Soviet Union in 2016 when she studied in Kirov, Russia on the National Security Language Initiative for Youth. Then, during her time at Kansas State, received a Critical Language Scholarship to study Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Studying in Kyrgyzstan is what sparked her interest in the development of the former Soviet Union region. She is particularly interested in how the individual states in the region transitioned – or not – towards democracy. 

Maame Ekua Ampem, Research Assistant

Maame is a Political Science and Chinese language graduate from the University of Ghana, currently enrolled in the Master of Arts International Relations program at SAIS, interested in Chinese Politics and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

She graduated from the University of Ghana in 2018 with a double major in Political Science and Chinese. She also studied Chinese Language and Culture at the Zhejiang University of Technology in China for an academic year. After graduating from the University of Ghana in 2018, Maame worked as a Teaching and Administrative Assistant at the University’s Department of Political Science for one year. She worked with two Chinese companies in Ghana as a bilingual Assistant.  

Maame aspires to be a Policy Analyst and Advisor, and she is currently assisting at the CCSDD with Research on Ghana and other African countries by extension. 

Marin Lovejoy Christensen, Research Assistant

Marin is an MEPP candidate (Masters of European Public Policy) at Johns Hopkins SAIS from Portland, Oregon. She will be assisting in research on Central and Eastern Europe surrounding constitutions and judicial affairs. Marin graduated from George Washington University in Washington D.C. this past Spring with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science, History, and Public Health.

While attending GWU, Marin chose to study abroad at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, where she developed her interest in Central and Eastern Europe. During her time in Washington, Marin worked within the U.S. Congress, Homeland Security, and several non-profit organizations focused on judicial advocacy.

At Johns Hopkins SAIS, Marin has chosen to specialize in the laws and institutions of the European Union and is excited to continue pursuing her interests at the CCSDD. Marin enjoys taking her black German Shepherd, Kenai, around Bologna and hunting down rare books in her personal time. 

Timothy Feng, Research Assistant

Tim Feng is a first-year MAIR student at Johns Hopkins SAIS from Washington, D.C. He joins the CCSDD team as a Research Assistant. 

Tim graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in International Studies, Chinese, and History. He has also spent time studying in Xi’an, China, and Barcelona, Spain. Tim’s prior experience includes interning at the U.S. Army War College’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, where he worked on research regarding post-conflict development in Liberia. After graduating, Tim joined the Peace Corps as an English Teacher Trainer. He moved to Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, in 2019 and devoted his time to teaching at local community schools within the region.  

Drawing on his professional and academic background, he wishes to analyze how constitutions can help create or destroy democratic stability within different world regions. In his free time, Tim enjoys mixology.

Olivia Ingram, Research Assistant

Olivia is a first-year Masters of International Relations student at Johns Hopkins SAIS. She joins the CCSDD to research Ukrainian constitutionalism and decentralization. Her academic concentration is international development and democratization as related to Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Olivia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism and International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before her time at SAIS, she served as a community economic development volunteer with Peace Corps Ukraine. In the socio-economic development cabinet of a mayoral office in northeastern Ukraine, she and colleagues worked on understanding the potential local outcomes of national policy. 

In addition to her home country, the United States, Olivia has studied and worked in the United Kingdom, China, Italy and Ukraine.

Yonatan Litwin, Communications Intern

Yonatan is a first-year MAIR student at Johns Hopkins SAIS concentrating in International Economics and Finance and Latin America. Yonatan assists the CCSDD’s internal and external communications.

Yonatan graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2017. He worked at the Economist Intelligence Unit, where he worked in the Public Policy, Economics and Politics division that provides bespoke research projects for clients in the public and private sectors. Yonatan had also worked as a visiting researcher for Libertad y Desarrollo, a think tank based in Santiago, Chile, where he had helped produce policy memos on issues of public policy in Latin America. In 2019, he joined Altshuler Shaham, an asset management firm located in Tel Aviv, as an analyst focusing on regulatory risks in the US, Latin America, and Europe.

At SAIS, Yonatan plans on studying the political economy of financial markets, regulatory regimes, and infrastructure in emerging markets and developing countries–particularly in Latin America and Europe. Outside the classroom, Yonatan enjoys biking, crosswords, and exploring boutique stores in Bologna.

Julianna Rak, Research Assistant

Julianna is a first-year MAIA student at Johns Hopkins SAIS with interests in European and Eurasian studies and international law. Originally from Maryland, Julianna joined CCSDD as an intern assisting in research on Ukraine’s Constitutional Court and writing for the CCSDD blog.  

Julianna graduated from Trinity University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. At the CCSDD, she hopes to further improve her research skills and acquire knowledge on the topics of constitutional law and democratization. Drawing from her academic background in international law and the social sciences, she hopes to learn more about the growing intersections between national constitutions and international governance. When not working or studying, she likes to spend time exploring Bologna’s food scene and traveling to other cities throughout Europe.

Yifang Wang, Research Assistant

Yifang is a first-year MAIR student at Johns Hopkins SAIS concentrating on Asia, Latin America and their respective processes of democratization. Originally from Hangzhou, China, he is joining the CCSDD team as a research assistant in the Fall of 2021.  

Yifang graduated from Macau University of Science of Technology in 2021 with a BA degree in Portuguese Language and Literature, and a minor in Communications and Journalism. He worked as a Research Assistant for Intellisia Institute and Charhar Institute writing on social movements and constitutional crises. He also spent some time as an intern at the ASEAN-China Centre, facilitating and researching the topic of media cooperation. Aside from academics, Yifang is also interested in competitive debating and photography.

Carlee WrightResearch Assistant

Carlee Wright, from Norman, Oklahoma, is a first-year MAIA student working as a Research Assistant at the CCSDD. Carlee graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in International Studies and Italian before moving to South Korea to work full-time with North Korean refugees. 

At the CCSDD, Carlee is combining her work with her previous experience in the field. Currently, she is creating an exhaustive list of the South Korean Supreme Court’s judgements referencing its constitutional preamble, while quantifying how many times the ruling referenced it and analyzing how exactly the judgement used it. When not working or studying, she is likely updating her list of best gelaterias in Bologna. 

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