FRANKE HONORS STUDENT SPOTLIGHT - NASLIE REZAEI
Name: Naslie Rezaei
Majors: Law and Political Science
Year in school: Senior
Clubs/Organizations: SALT Center (Tutor), University of Arizona Mock Trial (Tournament Director, general member), Honors Student Council (general member), The Psychology of Inequity and Politics (PIP) Lab, Research Assistant, Thomae Law, PLC (Legal Assistant), Pima County Superior Court (PreTrial Services Intern)
Leisure Pursuits: I love to cook (especially Iranian dishes) and I'm always developing new recipes. I also have an espresso machine that I frequently use to make different lattes and cappuccinos. In my free time, I love to roller skate!
Research Projects: I have been involved in the Psychology of Inequity and Politics (PIP) lab with Professor Frank Gonzalez for almost four years. In PIP Lab, Professor Gonzalez always talked about different projects he was involved in and encouraged us to join any of the projects we found interesting or wanted to learn more about. One of these projects uses MRIs to determine if similar brain regions process information related to race/class and hierarchy. I always knew that I was interested in political science research, but having the opportunity to work with Dr. Gonzalez has shown me my interest and curiosity in political psychology research. This is also why Dr. Gonzalez is my thesis advisor for a project on partisanship and anonymous policy statements.
Plans after graduation: After graduation, I plan on taking a gap year before attending law school in hopes of becoming an immigration attorney. I've always been interested in the inner-workings of immigration law and how complex it is. I want to use my law degree to help individuals navigate and understand a complicated system that isn't always working in their favor. I'm currently interviewing for a fellowship with the California Superior Court, and if accepted, I will be learning about court administration and earning a graduate certificate in Applied Policy and Government.
What has been your favorite Honors course or experience that you have been involved with?
My favorite Honors course would have to be ENVS 210. Since ENVS 210 was not an honors course, I had an honors contract with Dr. Haverland. Dr. Haverland wanted me to create a honors project that would reflect not only the course material but also my interests in law and political science. We planned to create an interactive learning module that explored the intersectionality between climate change and politics. This learning module aimed to teach students about the history of environmental policy and the consequences a consistently polarized Congress has had on environmental policy. Dr. Haverland's flexibility allowed me to delve environmental law/policy while simultaneously learning how to engage students in a learning module.
What is something you have done during your time at the University of Arizona of which you are especially proud?
When I was the Tournament Director for the University of Arizona's Mock Trial program last year, I ran a mock trial tournament with over 30 teams from 23 different colleges across the country. Since my tournament happened during the height of the pandemic, I had to figure out how to virtually run the tournament with 30 teams, over 120 judges, 20 volunteers, and multiple time zones. Although it was incredibly hectic, I was proud of myself and my support team that helped transform an in-person event into a successful two-day Zoom event.
What message do you have for other Franke Honors students on finding their own success?
I would tell other Honors students to introduce themselves and get to know their professors, especially for classes/topics they are interested in. Many professors are involved in research projects and are always willing to answer questions and, if you ask, might even include you in their research or offer guidance. I would never have learned about my interest and passion for political psychology research had it not been for professors such as Dr. Gonzalez. Taking that small step to introduce yourself and expressing your interest in their research or topic of knowledge can go a long way toward your future.
"Naslie is finishing her final semester at UArizona. She is a little different from Law students in that she is not 100% determined to go to law school, though it is an option open to her. So, she spent a lot of time exploring. In addition to being curious and wicked-smart, she developed very strong connections to faculty. She is kind enough to be mindful of social equality, or lack thereof, but also worked very hard to develop strong quantitative skills. While very mindful of her grades, she never let daunting courses deter her from learning skills she knows will help her with future research. Her thesis focuses on methods used to detect the implicit bias found in policy-based voting. She's been an absolute pleasure to advise over the last three or so years."
– Justin Betts, Academic Advisor II, Social & Behavioral Science
To nominate a peer for the Franke Honors Student Spotlight, please click HERE and complete the submission form. All nominations are subject to W.A. Franke Honors College review, approval, and editing for publication.