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Doctoral student Pablo McConnie-Saad, the first Whittington Fellow at the Biden Institute, is looking deeply into democracy in the U.S. to better understand how to strengthen it. This photograph was taken before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic necessitated wearing masks and social distancing.
Article by Tracey Bryant | Pre-pandemic photo by Evan Krape
Editor’s note: This article appears in the new, all-digital issue of the University of Delaware Research magazine. This issue spotlights UD’s graduate students, an essential group of researchers who come from around the world, bringing fresh energy and new perspectives to their studies. It includes a special section on UD’s growing muscle in robotics and also reports on COVID-19 research with impact in Delaware, the nation and the world.
Reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, set in the Congo in the 1890s, left an indelible impression on Pablo McConnie-Saad when he was in high school. The story, which exposed the horrors of Belgium’s colonial rule over the Congolese — who were forced into labor for the ivory and rubber trade — ignited his interest in politics and set him on a journey to better understand democracy.
He earned his Master of Public Administration degree at UD and was impressed by the fact that he could work on his professional degree at a strong research institution and have access to real policymakers. Now, as a doctoral student in urban affairs and public policy at UD, and the first Whittington Graduate Fellow at the Biden Institute, he is exploring what the process of democracy truly is in his study of state voting policies and how they interact with indicators of economic inequality.
Learn more: https://research.udel.edu/2020/12/01/changing-the-world/
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