Editorial Board

Avi Mediratta, Editor in Chief


Avi Mediratta is a senior from Orlando, FL majoring in Economics and Human and Organizational Development. His political interests include fiscal policy, campaign finance, and partisanship. Outside of VPR, he is involved in the Vanderbilt International Relations Association (VIRA), and Relay for Life. He also enjoys chocolate milk.


Josh Mendelson, Managing Director


Josh is a senior from Deerfield, Illinois. He is double majoring in cognitive studies and public policy studies, and minoring in Medicine, Health, and Society. His interest in politics grew from holiday discussions between his extended family and reading the Chicago Tribune every morning before school. Josh is on the club baseball team at Vanderbilt. He loves to read and hike with his Golden Retriever Sophie.


Catherine Kvam, Deputy Editor-in-Chief


Catherine Kvam is a junior and Deputy Editor-in-Chief for VPR. Previously, Kvam served as a Senior Editor after joining the staff as a contributor in 2016. She is interested in social justice topics and international affairs.



Noah van Mierlo, Deputy Editor-in-Chief


Noah van Mierlo is a senior from the Netherlands studying political science. He enjoys watching soccer and commenting on the circus of American politics on his twitter, @NoahvanMierlo


Crofton Kelly, Online Director & Senior Editor


Crofton Kelly is a senior studying economics, history, and philosophy. Crofton likes playing racket sports and reading books. After graduation, he wants to work on a presidential campaign, go to law school, and work in public service.


Lindsay Williams, Senior Editor


Lindsay is a senior from Reston, Virginia. She is majoring in Environmental Sociology and French and minoring in American Politics. She is passionate about environmental issues as well as social justice issues, particularly gender equality. She is also involved in Vanderbilt Tap That!, Vanderbilt Splash, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity.


Naveen Krishnan, Senior Editor


Naveen is a junior from Orlando majoring in Neuroscience, MHS, & Sociology affinity for politics, Netflix crime shows, and microwavable food from Commons. He’s specifically interested in areas regarding investigative journalism, international relations, and the field of Neurolaw on a global scale.



Jacqui Pittman, Senior Editor

Jacqui is a junior Communications major and Business minor from Denver, Colorado. She recently moved to Sydney, Australia and enjoys the outdoors, dogs, and dance. Jacqui has specific interests in social and environmental policy.



Alejandro Monzon, Senior Editor


Alejandro is a Junior majoring in Public Policy. Focusing on International Conflict Mitigation, Alejandro spent a semester abroad in Serbia, Bosnia & Kosovo and fell in love with the region. He hopes to become a United States Foreign Service Officer after graduating and return to the Former Yugoslavia. On campus, Alejandro is also the Elections Commission Chair for Vanderbilt Student Government and serves on the Board for Vanderbilt Student Communications, Inc.

Grace Adcox, Senior Editor


Grace is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a double major in Political Science and Asian Studies. A Nashville native, she can most often be found in local coffeeshops writing about global affairs, particularly the relationship between the U.S. and China, and China’s growing influence in South America and Africa. This is her first year on the leadership of VPR and she looks forward to working with all the excellent writers on staff and the passionate members of the editorial board.



Karim Oliver

Karim Oliver is senior at Vanderbilt studying political science. Besides contributing articles, he is passionate about politics and follows domestic and international politics.




Jordan Grapentine

Jordan Grapentine is a senior from Madison, Wisconsin, focusing on local and domestic politics. In addition to the Review, he’s a contributor to Vanderbilt Hustler Sports, a weekly host on VandyRadio, and a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Post-college, Jordan plans to build a career in health care management and policy before working in Paul Ryan’s White House.


Simon Silverberg

Simon Silverberg is a junior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He intends to major in Public Policy and considers himself a certified American history nerd. Like many, his interest in politics was sparked by the Presidential election of 2008. He participated in his high school’s student government, interned for a Louisiana Governor’s race campaign, and is also a Stambaugh RA. Simon is particularly interested in the areas of international trade policy, environmental regulation and political rhetoric. His favorite twitter personalities include Nate Silver, Colin Cowherd and Keith Olbermann. Though  from the deep South, Simon is an avid New York Mets fan (it’s a long story).


Eric Asen

Eric is a Sophomore from Cary, Illinois studying Political Science and Economics. He is interested in criminal justice, international policy, and political theory. During the summer, Eric spends his time running his beekeeping business, and in his free time, Eric enjoys playing foosball and volleyball or reading history and literature.


Noah Butler

Noah is a junior studying Political Science and French. He has worked as a campaign Field Organizer and as a District Intern for U.S. Congressman and Budget Chairman, Diane Black. His interests include European politics, comparative studies, environmentalism, and holding contrarian opinions.



Aditya Gokhale

Aditya Gokhale is a sophomore from Saint Louis, Missouri, planning on majoring in Computer Science with possibly a double in Public Policy. He enjoys music and tennis, and is interested in political topics related to social justice and fiscal policy.



Danny Harris 

Danny is a Junior from Memphis, TN. He is majoring in Philosophy and Political Science with minors in Business and History. On campus, he is active in Reformed University Fellowship and is a New Member advocate in his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order. Further, he is Secretary of Vanderbilt College Republicans. Danny is interested in attending law school, and is passionate about the philosophical and ethical questions that surround politics and the law.


Shiva Sachdeva

Shiva Sachdeva is a junior student from Wallingford, Connecticut planning to major in political science. Other than writing for VPR, Shiva serves on the Freshman Steering Committee  of the College Republicans and plays on the club squash team. Shiva is most interested in domestic policy and legal issues.



Connor Saeman

Connor Saeman is a senior from Huntington Beach, California currently studying History and Economics with a minor in Corporate Strategy. He identifies as moderately conservative and has strong interest in areas including the intersections of business and policy, LGBT issues, and American foreign policy. In his spare time, he loves to read, play sports video games, play volleyball and basketball, and watch Game of Thrones.


Ben Lackner

Ben Lackner is a junior from Buffalo, New York who plans to study public policy with a minor in history. He developed a love for politics while listening to his dad argue about current events with his in-laws every thanksgiving. When he is not studying or writing for the VPR, he enjoys torturing himself by watching Buffalo sports and reading. Additionally, he plays defense for Vanderbilt’s club hockey team and is involved in Greek Life.


Joe Lovinger

Joe is a junior from Purchase, New York double majoring in English and Political Science. Outside of VPR, Joe is the founder and chairman of the Vanderbilt Student Library Committee and a member of the prose staff for the Vanderbilt Review. He is particularly interested in the interaction between American politics, popular culture, and media.


Palmer Montalbano

Palmer Montalbano is a sophomore from New Orleans, Louisiana planning on double majoring in Political Science and Communications. He was inspired to write after witnessing the chaotic presidential election filled with false news stories and hopes to bring quality news stories to the Vanderbilt community. He is Vice President of a local New Orleans non-profit, Hams For Fams. He also writes poetry in his free time.


Ram Reddy

Ram is a junior from Upland, CA majoring in History and minoring in Hindi. His political interests include geopolitics, nationalist and ethnic conflicts, the military in terms of foreign policy, and civil liberties/constitutional originality. In addition to writing for the Vanderbilt Political Review, he competes on the Vanderbilt Trapshooting Team, is the president of Turning Point’s Vandy chapter, and is a member of the College Republicans. He watches old gangster movies, listens to classic rock, and works on cars in his spare time.


Keshav Kundassery

Keshav is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience and Philosophy. Outside of writing for VPR, he works in a neuroscience lab, planning to attend medical school after college. He also coaches a high school debate team part-time. Outside of work, he enjoys books, movies, and classical music.


Gavin Yuan

Gavin is a Junior Political Science/Medicine Health and Society double major from Fair Lawn, New Jersey. He is interested in how international occurrences affect local communities and is currently on the Pre-med track. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and meeting new people.

Riley Alexander

Riley Alexander is a Freshman from Glenview, Illinois majoring in Economics with a possible minor in Human and Organizational Development. She developed an interest for politics through watching the 2008 presidential election.  Her interests lie in socioeconomic stratification and the impact of pop culture on politics.  Outside of VPR, she is a member of Vanderbilt Mock Trial and co-hosts a radio show on VandyRadio about pop culture, politics, and pasta.


Roshan Natarajan

Roshan Natarajan is a sophomore from Memphis, Tennessee who is majoring in Political Science. His passion for politics started after he met President Jimmy Carter at a Habitat for Humanity build site in his hometown. He is interested in international relations, LGBT issues, and the American judicial system. In his free time, you may find him watching Arsenal soccer matches, studying a foreign language, or eating at Chipotle.


Rebecca Brisman

Rebecca is a junior from Armonk, New York majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society, and minoring in Biology. She is on the pre-veterinary track, and is very passionate about her love for animals. Her political interests include social justice topics and environmentalism. Outside of VPR, she is a member of TAP, where she tutors children from North Nashville. She enjoys the outdoors, hiking, swimming, and scuba diving. 


Tony Owusu

Tony Owusu is a freshman from Alexandria, VA majoring in Biomedical Engineering on the pre-med track. He is interested in issues that affect Vanderbilt students as well as minority groups across the world.



Bianca Herloy

Bianca Herlory is a junior from Denver, Colorado.  She is majoring in Clarinet Performance, and European Studies with a minor in Italian Studies. Being a French citizen, she is particularly interested in European politics and international relations. She is also working for the Political Science Department in the Latin American Public Opinion Project here at Vandy.


Adriel Bineza

Adriel Bineza is a junior from La Vergne, Tennessee, majoring in Biological Sciences. He has been involved in VSVS and served on Vanderbilt Student Government’s Economic Inclusivity Committee. He is interested in attending law school and pursuing a career in intellectual property and patent law after graduation.


Jamie Jacobson

Jamie Jacobson is a junior from Denver, Colorado majoring in Public Policy Studies. Jamie developed her love for politics as a high school speech and debate nerd. She is most interested in domestic policy and politics, especially health care policy and public health advocacy. Jamie also serves as a member of Speaker’s Committee at Vanderbilt. In her free time, Jamie enjoys reading The Atlantic and baking cakes, cookies, and other pastries (always from scratch).



Robert Lu

Robert Lu is a senior from Cary, North Carolina, majoring in Economics and Political Science. He is interested in domestic politics, elections and Constitutional law. In addition to Vanderbilt Political Review, he’s an active member of the Vanderbilt Investment Club, Vanderbilt College Republicans, and Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. After college, Robert plans to attend law school before playing quarterback for the New England Patriots once Tom Brady retires at 50.


Drew Perez

Drew is a first-year from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, planning on majoring in Economics. On campus, he is involved in College Democrats and Investment Club. Drew enjoys reading Nate Silver and playing with his bernedoodle puppy, Tess.



Maya Sandel

Maya Sandel is a sophomore from Malibu, California majoring in Earth and Environmental Sciences. After spending a year in D.C. at the George Washington University, Maya became incredibly interested about politics. She has pursed this passion as a member of the Vanderbilt Student Government and as an active participant in the environmental and women’s rights movements. In her free time you will find Maya playing soccer, hiking or working in Vanderbilt’s Community Garden.

Janet Stefanov

Stephen Reisner

Ryan Harper

Katie Ward

Eric Ponce

Eric is a freshman hailing from Dallas, Texas. Pursuing a double major in Philosophy and English, Eric can most often be found reading long novels or losing himself in thought about said novels. As a contributor to VPR, Eric hopes to add his voice to the growing chorus of active citizenship on campus.

Kate Weaver

Kate is a junior from Louisville majoring in Political Science and European Studies. In addition to her interest in immigration, international, and constitutional law, Kate is also passionate about cheese, dogs, college football, and nature. On campus, she is the VP of Programming for College Democrats and a member of VSG and VPB. After college and law school, she is planning on eventually teaching and practicing immigration/asylum law.

Jacques Friedman

Jacques is a junior history major and political science minor from Dallas, Texas. He is interested in Middle Eastern politics, stemming from having family in the region. Jacques enjoys traveling to politically relevant countries, including Cuba, Tunisia, Israel, and Russia.

Will Fritzler

Will Fritzler is a first-year who enjoys political science, business, and math. From the unrivaled city of Portland, Oregon, Will is a devout sports fan and loves basketball, the Pacific Ocean, and indulging his sweet tooth. In politics, he’s especially interested in the presidency. Will’s spirit animal is Dwight Schrute.

Jai Bansal 

Jai Bansal is a freshman from Short Hills, New Jersey, majoring in economics and mathematics. His political interests include immigration, second amendment rights, and drug policy.  Outside of VPR, Jai is a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and coaches a high school debate program located in Massachusetts. He is interested in attending law school after he graduates.

Mary Elaine Hanna

Mary is a junior from Nashville, TN. She is studying Political Science and Medicine, Health & Society with a minor in Spanish. She is passionate about social justice, particularly as it pertains to refugees and immigrants. Outside of VPR, you can find her working at the English Language Center on campus, doing service in the community, or watching the game show Jeopardy. 
Aiyappa Bollera
Aiyappa Bollera, or Appa to his friends, is a junior from Edison, New Jersey, majoring in Political Science and Economics & History. He is the President of the Vanderbilt College Democrats, as well as a passionate member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He is an avid movie lover, Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Lakers fan, and a legally ordained minister.