Interdisciplinary and International by Design

Meet our incredible cadre of UT Austin students who diligently work to make each of our projects successful.
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Task Team Leaders

 

Raghav Aggarwal
Raghav Aggarwal

Team Tearline

Raghav Aggarwal is a junior triple-majoring in International Relations & Global Studies, Economics, and Asian Studies, with a specialization in international security. Throughout his time at UT, he has developed his interest in political and social interactions between China, India, and the United States, from historical and contemporary perspectives. As a TTL in GDIL, Raghav helped publish two intelligence briefings for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency about the Ukraine Refugee Crisis. Raghav is also an Undergraduate Fellow at the Clements Center for National Security. After graduation, he hopes to attend graduate school for security studies, later embarking on a career of furthering U.S. engagement in the Asia Pacific. In his free time, Raghav likes to practice his Hindi and Mandarin language skills, dance and sing to Bollywood music, or play too many video games.

Cullan Bendig
Cullan Bendig

Team Vanga

Cullan is a dual-degree master’s student with the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. He is interested in digital nationalism and the ways that new media shapes public historical memory.

Erica Buckland
Erica Buckland

Team Bearclaws

Erica joined GDIL in Spring 2022 and is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and Security Studies. She also works as a research assistant in the Anxiety and Health Behaviors lab. Additionally, Erica is conducting a departmental honors thesis exploring the affective and cognitive impact of uncertainty language in Russian disinformation.

Zach Daum
Zach Daum

Team Tearline

Zachary Daum is a second-year undergraduate mathematics major at UT Austin pursuing a minor in Arabic and certificates in Security Studies and Elements of Computing. He is one of the Tasking Team Leads for Project Tearline where he focuses on satellite imagery and geospatial-intelligence analysis. He is also working towards an undergraduate thesis in the field of intelligence analysis with a particular focus on methodologies for quantitative data analysis in intelligence.

Taylor Ham
Taylor Ham

Student Leadership and TTL Queen

Taylor Ham Taylor is a second-year M.A. student at the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas – Austin. She received a Master of Global Policy Studies degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she focused on national security, counterterrorism, and intelligence. Before attending the University of Texas, she had a career in banking where led the underwriting department at a bank in Waco, Texas working as an Assistant Vice President and Credit Officer. She is interested in studying Russian foreign policy in the Middle East and Russia’s intelligence operations and asymmetric warfare used on the African continent.

Adam Hanzel
Adam Hanzel

Team Vanga

Adam Hanzel is a masters student in the Department of Slavics and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in mixed methods approaches combining region qualitative analysis with machine learning. His master’s thesis analyzes the rhetorical function and narrative of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in digital contexts.

Kevin Lentz
Kevin Lentz

Team Cyber Pacific

Kevin Lentz is a dual master’s degree student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs studying Global Policy and Asian Studies. His current research interest is the role of US military alliances in cyberspace in the Indo-Pacific theatre. Prior to LBJ he lived in Sydney, Australia for two years working in restaurants and pursuing the study of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

Mykhaylo (Misha) Simanovskyy
Mykhaylo (Misha) Simanovskyy

Team Pravda and Team #BoycottBiz

Mykhaylo (Misha) Simanovskyy is a dual Master’s student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and a graduate researcher at the Global Disinformation Lab. Currently, he leads two projects (#BoycottBiz and Pravda) mentored by Ukrainian scholars-in-residence. Misha’s interest in disinformation stems from his passion for conflict resolution, which is closely tied with combating mis- and disinformation

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams

Team Evergreen and Student Leadership

Ryan Williams is a PhD student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He is passionate about research that develops understanding at the intersection of emerging technology and global policy. Ryan researches how information disorders affect global policy. Ryan received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Russian from Texas A&M University. In 2018 Ryan was awarded an MA in Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and an MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. While at UT, Ryan specialized in emerging technology policy. He contributed to research as a graduate research fellow with Innovations for Peace and Development and as a Research Delegate to the Stanford US Russia Forum. Ryan also helped launch the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies digital humanities lab, the Fusion Room. After completing his MA program, Ryan joined New Knowledge as a Computational Disinformation Analyst and Data Science Team Lead. While at New Knowledge, he conducted information operations investigations and developed tools and procedures for studying narratives and affinity groups online.

Liz Wong
Liz Wong

Team Barnowl

Liz Wong is a second-year Master of Global Policy Studies student at the LBJ School. Liz has worked as a digital marketer on both sides of the Great Firewall and brings her varied expertise in SEO, marketing, and linguistics to UT Austin as a Cyber and Brumley Fellow. She is passionate about identifying unique disinformation campaign structures through marketing signals.

GDIL Student Researchers

Check back soon for our full list of Spring 2023 GDIL Student Researchers!