Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Lauren Ann Engels

Lauren Ann Engels
Lauren Ann Engels
African Studies School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Kenya, Political Economy, International Development, East Africa, Used Clothing, Second-Hand Clothing


Dr. Hazel Gray

Dr. Thomas Molony


University of Edinburgh, Scotland (September 2018 - Present)

  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
  • Program of Emphasis: African Studies

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (August 2015 - July 2016)

  • Degree Obtained: Master of Philosophy
  • Program of Emphasis: International Relations and Politics

Alma College, United States of America (September 2011 - April 2015)

  • Degree Obtained: Bachelor of Arts
  • Program of Emphasis: Foreign Service and Public Affairs


Co-Author, 2014: "Promotion of Cooperative Enterprises in Distressed Urban and Rural Communities," Michigan State University Economic Development Administration Center for Regional Innovation, Michigan, USA. 


Perfect Storms: Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholar, University of Edinburgh (2018 - Present)

GARS Research Award, Newnham College, University of Cambridge (2015 - 2016)

Break Away Active Citizen Award (2015) 

Newman Civic Fellows Award (2015)

Work Experience:

Constituent Services Aide - Office of United States Senator Gary Peters (December 2016 - September 2018)

  • Provided constituent services: drafting correspondences, updating Intranet Quorum, and greeting visitors. 
  • Drafted Congressional Records Statements for the Senator: Mike Ilitch, Sean English, Cynthia Ray, Monroe Bicentennial, Rochester Bicentennial, and Utica Bicentennial. 
  • Wrote, edited, and submitted more than 100 letters of support for grants. 

Graduate Attaché - British Institute in Eastern Africa, Kenya (August 2016 - November 2016) 

  • Researched and analyzed the Kenya Slum Upgrading Program's (KENSUP) achievements and shortcomings through a gender perspective; conducted and transcribed interviews with Kibera residents and UN-Habitat staff; and established contacts with community members. 
  • Contributed to the upcoming BIEA publication, Nairobi Becoming, by conducting and transcribing over 25 one-hour long interviews with hair salon stylists in English and Swahili. 
  • Provided administrative support, including travel logistics, organizing seminars and the BIEA Annual PhD Conference, scheduling meetings, database management, and drafting background materials. 

Committee Chair and Mentor - Model United Nations, United States Department of State, India (October 2013, October 2014)

  • Advised and assisted the United States Department of State in organizing the 2013 and 2014 Model United Nations Conference located in New Delhi. 
  • Conducted research and created background guides on United Nations topics, including the conflict in Israel and Palestine, the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and human rights abuses in Syria. 
  • Trained and evaluated over 500 high school students on Model United Nations procedures including how to facilitate a group, write a resolution, and present a speech. 
  • Provided administrative support: booking rooms, printing place cards, and stocking supplies. 

Legislative Intern - Office of United States Senator Carl Levin, Washington D.C. (April 2014 - May 2014)

  • Conducted research and tracked legislation and regulatory rulemaking for legislative staff, focusing on employment, environment, and transportation issues. 
  • Drafted correspondence addressing the concerns of more than 1,000 constituents. 
  • Wrote and edited briefings, press release statements, and web content.

Executive Office, Press and Public Diplomacy Intern - United States Mission to the United Nations, New York (September 2013 - November 2013) 

  • Conducted research and drafted memos for Ambassador Samantha Power regarding the conflict in Syria; prepared background papers on human rights abuses in Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, and China; and edited press release statements concerning women representation in the international community.
  • Hosted a press briefing for over 100 attendees about the role of the United States in the United Nations. 
  • Accepted additional responsibilities as the Press and Public Diplomacy Intern including transcribing speeches, editing web content, and monitoring the news.