Curriculum Vitae

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science & International Affairs

Meridith LaVelle is a PhD student at the University of Georgia’s Political Science and International Affairs program. She primarily studies human rights, contentious politics, and political violence.

  • M.A., University of Georgia, Political Science and International Affairs, 2020
  • B.A., University of Georgia, 2016, International Affairs
  • B.A., University of Georgia, 2015, German Language
  • Certificate, University of Georgia, 2015, Music Business
More About

Meridith is originally from Dalton, Georgia. After making a career change from the music industry, she decided to go back to school to figure out what to do next. In fall of 2015, Meridith began the International Affairs undergraduate program at the University of Georgia and quickly found that she wanted to work in human rights. During her time as a SPIA undergraduate, she received opportunities to study in Stellenbosch, South Africa and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Those experiences contextualized some of the concepts that she had been learning in the classrooms of UGA and only cemented her career interest in the field of human rights.

Following completion of her undergraduate program, Meridith relocated to Denver, Colorado where she worked as a research advisor for a non-profit. Through her position, she worked with the foundation to research and vet organizations ranging in a variety of causes, such as homelessness assistance, climate change/environmental awareness, arts in education, addiction, and refugee resettlement to receive donations.

Most recently, she spent the last two years earning her MA in Political Science and International Affairs, maintaining her focus on human rights research while broadening her research agenda to include international human rights law, contentious politics, political violence, democratization and quantitative methodology. As a graduate student, she began working as a research assistant on the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI), where she assisted in survey development for the civil and political rights team, served as the testing lead for HRMI’s 2020 Expert Survey, and helped with qualitative data analysis.

When Meridith is not working, she enjoys live music, kayaking, skiing, watching soccer, hiking, and traveling.

Honors, Awards, and Achievements

Clute-Nigro Grant for research, 2019

Research Interests

Meridith’s research interests primarily centers around human rights, contentious politics, and political violence as well as political methodology. She’s particularly interested in the intersection of human rights, democratization, and tech/social media.