The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue

Current Fellows

 Introducing our 2023-2024 Winter-Cohen Brueggeman Fellows:


Alyssa Blandford

Youth Influences on youth voter turnout and political participation

Project Description

In the United States, there is a great disparity in political participation between older and younger voters, with older citizens voting in much larger percentages. However, in recent German elections voter turnout has been relatively equal across age groups. I will be studying what aspects of history, culture, or law influence voter turnout and political participation, especially among young people. By following the example of German elections, the United States may be able to increase political participation among youth voters, potentially making our democracy more equitable and representative of voters across age groups. 

Abby Diehl

The Role of Religion in the Formation of Nation-States and National Identity

Project Description

I plan to study the way in which religion has enabled or limited the formation of nation-states and national identities. I am explicitly contextualizing India and what role religion has played in cementing Indian national identity.

Mia Karlsson

The Impact of Independence and Other Factors in Australia and America on Modern Healthcare

Project Description

By looking at the demographics and timing involved with both America and Australia colonies, the lasting impacts of those factors on the Healthcare of both countries can be traced. Understanding how elements of the beginning of each country impacts those countries today allows for the ability to not only appreciate how far our societies have advanced but to continue to better things essential to the lives of the people in those countries. Australia’s healthcare system is ranked number two in healthcare system performance as of 2017, whereas America ranked eleventh. By seeing how Australia developed its healthcare system to where it is, America’s healthcare system has the opportunity to improve, bettering the lives of those who rely on that system. 

Reagan Oliver

Juvenile Justice: A Legal and Psychological Comparison

Project Description

The country that I will be visiting is Belgium. I have chosen this country because they are widely regarded as the best country in the world for juvenile justice from a legal and psychological perspective. I hope to gain an understanding of what Belgium is doing differently than the United States in Juvenile justice as well as some practices that I may be able to recommend to professionals in the States.

Sophia Olivia

Collectivism to Increase Access to Early Childhood Education and Care   

Project Description

Receiving comprehensive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), such as Preschool and Pre-K, is essential in developing key skills children utilize through future education and into their adolescent and adult lives. Despite the multitude of known benefits, almost half of preschool-aged children in the United States are not enrolled in ECEC programs. In Sweden, the collectivist culture values the potential of children, and the universal ECEC program aims to foster democracy, equality, solidarity, and responsibility. Studying the culture surrounding childcare in Sweden, the failures of the United States' education system can be understood and ways to increase access to ECEC can be identified. 

Isha Patel

Cultural Influences on Business Formation: An Exploration of Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth

Project Description

Over the past several decades, India has experienced significant economic growth, becoming one of the fastest-growing economies. I intend to explore the formation of businesses and the impacts of microlending on rural communities and workers. The country's entrepreneurial spirit and large consumer market offer immense opportunities for businesses to thrive and expand. However, challenges such as bureaucratic hurdles, infrastructure gaps, and regulatory complexities persist, requiring concerted efforts to form a more business-friendly environment.

Raquelia Ramlogan

The Exploration of Luthiers

Project Description

During my time in Italy, I will be studying the long-standing tradition of Luthiers, touring the modern as well as historical practices that have evolved there over hundreds of years. As a musician specializing in violin performance, the study of how the instrument is actualized will help me to gain a better perspective of the utilization of sound and projection in the process of music making. In turn, I would like to research various ways to make such instruments widely available to every musician.  

Sophia Willis

The Study of Antimicrobial and Anticoagulant Properties of Hydnellum Peckii in Scandinavia 

Project Description

The Hydnellum Peckii mushroom has promising abilities to inhibit certain types of bacteria as well as thin the blood. My research will take a closer look at this fascinating species by performing minimum inhibitory concentration tests as well as bacteria plates and anticoagulant tests. The goal of this research is to learn more about the species and open new doors in the medical industry.