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Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Meet Garrett Garlock, one of 10 students selected for a 2020 Summer Research Fellowship. Garrett’s project, “Terrorism’s Impact on Individual Participation in African Civil Society,” was mentored by Dr. Michael Aleprete, professor of political science. A junior political science major from Kasilof, Alaska, Garrett is president of the Pre-Law Association and serves as a Student Global Engagement Fellow, a Student Government Senator and a Model UN Delegate.

Why did you apply for the Summer Research Fellowship?
I applied for the opportunity to spend my summer completely immersed in my field of study. I applied to grow as a researcher and refine my data analysis skills while researching something I am truly passionate about. The skills I learn this summer will also help position myself to create an exceptional senior capstone.
Talk about your research.
My project, “Terrorism’s Impact on Individual Participation in African Civil Society,” analyzes individuals in African countries who have experienced varying levels of terrorism and their participation in civil society. The project will try to answer questions regarding how terrorism affects individual’s participation in civil society—such as the likelihood of joining voluntary organizations or attending a protest. My research will work to identify indicators or factors that may influence participation.

Tell us about your faculty mentor.
In both my major courses and as a fellow I’ve had the chance to learn from and work with Dr. Michael Aleprete and explore my interest in international relations theory, terrorism, and international development. It has been a very enriching opportunity applying the skills Dr. Aleprete has helped me develop outside of the classroom. Dr. Shannon Smithey, another faculty member in the political science department, has been a very helpful resource as I have developed my statistical models.
What are your post-Westminster plans?
After graduation I hope to attend a joint Juris Doctorate/ Master in Public Health program and someday work in international development and public health policy.

To learn more about Westminster’s political science major, visit

Sponsored by the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research, Summer Research Fellowships at Westminster College allow students to conduct hands-on research and creative projects under the guidance of our experienced faculty mentors.