Ph.D. Student, Rice University

About Allegra

I am a fourth-year Political Science PhD student at Rice University. My research agenda aims to understand how identity and trust shape political beliefs and behavior. For example, my current work focuses on causally identify how trust is shaped by culture and institutions — using the collapse of the Berlin Wall as my treatment. In a different vein, I am working on an NSF Grant that examines how individual trust in differing types of institutions impacts compliance with measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. This is part of a long-term panel study. The team finds that the institutions individuals trust significantly affects respondents’ willingness to comply with safety measures. Finally, my dissertation examines how affective attachments to candidates, instead of party, shape political behavior.

My research interests stem from my childhood, where I grew up in the only public-school district in the country that busses students from Mexico to the United States every day. The dichotomy between New Mexico’s welcoming policies towards Mexico and its citizens versus Arizona’s passage of SB-1070 in 2010, which imposed some of the strictest immigration controls in the country, helped me to understand the ways in which beliefs about neighbors across the border shapes both individual-level behaviors and state-wide policies.

In 2017, I graduated with honors from Texas Christian University with a BS in Political Science and a BA in Art History. During my undergraduate tenure, I worked with the Department of State in Albania and Zambia where I organized joint military training exercises focused on counterterrorism and on creating policies aimed to alleviate ethnic divides following electoral loss, respectively.

In my free time, you can find me baking, taking pictures, and spending time with friends and family.