Student Assistants

Luke Hosford

Luke Hosford is a fourth semester MA student in politics and public administration from Ireland. He is specializing in international politics and specific interests include local democracy and lower-level bureaucracies, stemming from his experience working in the Irish civil service. Luke works as a language editor and is involved the EU-SOCIETY project where Ireland is a case together with Prof. Thomann. Luke is passionate about film, Gaelic football and hurling, and good coffee.

Jonas Dieterich

Jonas Dieterich is in the second year of his MA in Politics and Public Administration. He is interested in US-American and European politics and in the functionning of public administration, particularly ministries with their immediate link to politics. He supports Prof. Thomann with the course management, the maintenance of the website and all kinds of other organizational issues. Concerning his free-time, Jonas loves sports, watching American Football, travelling and competing in a good quiz.

Frederic Schwarz

Frederic Schwarz is in his fourth semester of his MA in Politics and Public Administration. Frederic's interests lie in the qualitative areas of administrative and management research, focusing mainly on system and administrative failures. As a student assistant he supports Prof. Thomann in organizational tasks and is also involved in the data collection of the COVICORR project. Privately, Frederic enjoys traveling and has a passion for football.

Student Assistants KOMEX

Shirin Tumenbaeva

Shirin Tumenbaeva serves as the Communication Officer at KOMEX, where her role involves promoting and capturing the event's activities across social media and within the academic community. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Political Science at the Central European Universityin Austria, with research interests centered on elections, protests, voting patterns, and democratization in Central Asia, employing survey experiments. Shirin has contributed to recent publications, co-authoring an article on EU democracy promotion and a chapter on Democratization and Transformation in Central Asia. Beyond her academic pursuits, she also provides consulting services to local and international organizations.

Lilly Fels

Lilly Fels is in her third semester of her BA in Politics and Public Administration. As an event assistant, she supports Prof. Thomann during KOMEX, where she is in charge of the social events. Academically, she is especially interested in organizational behavior and leadership development and plans to further specialize in this field in her course of studies. Besides, she is passionate about journalism and is part of the editorship of the university’s student magazine. In her leisure time, Lilly enjoys practicing yoga.

Student Assistants COVICORR

© Ines Janas

Lisa Mende 

Lisa Mende is working as a researcher at the Department of Politics and Public Administration and the Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality.” In the COVICORR project, she works on the case studies for Denmark and Sweden. Her main research interests are public administration, qualitative and migration and integration research.  

Stephan Goktekin

Stephan Goktekin is conducting his BA in Economics and Public Administration as an exchange student at Konstanz University. Stephan is especially interested in (macro- and monetary) economics, governance and (fiscal) policymaking, and seeks to start a Masters in fiscal or monetary economics back in the Netherlands. Together with Prof. Thomann and Tiziano Zgaga, he conducts the case study on the Netherlands and parts of Belgium for the COVICORR project, conducting interviews and qualitative analysis. Stephan, who is a Dutch citizen, loves travelling, being with friends, and likes sports such as rowing, skydiving and swimming. 

Mitzi Ramirez Mantilla

Mitzi Ramirez Mantilla is in her second year of the MSc in Sport Science for Health at the University of Konstanz. She has worked as a research assistant in the Public Health and Prevention Medicine department at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is especially interested in interdisciplinary research and international affairs. Together with Prof. Thomann and Tiziano Zgaga, she conducts the case study on Spain for the COVICORR project. Mitzi has a passion for traveling, American Football, podcasts, and cooking.

Liisi Airas

Liisi Airas (BA of Economics) is doing her master’s degree in German Language and Culture at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. As a part of her studies, she spends an exchange year in Konstanz in 2023-2024. In the COVICORR project, Liisi Airas, a native Finn, is responsible for data collection of Finland. Liisi loves cross-country skiing, floorball, and historical novels.

Henrietta Szabó

Henrietta Szabó is a first-year MA student studying Speech and Language Processing at the University of Konstanz. In the COVICORR project, together with Prof. Thomann and Tiziano Zgaga she conducts the case study on Hungary. Henrietta (or Heni for short) is passionate about qualitative research methods, learning new languages and analyzing their linguistic system. In her free-time, she likes to play boardgames, to go on hikes and to experiment with DIY projects.

Tomas Friedman

Tomas Friedman is doing his MA in Politics and Public Administration at Konstanz University. Currently he is also studying one semester at the university of Zürich. Tomas is interested in International and Security Politics, Comparative Politics, and Political Psychology. Together with Prof. Dr. Thomann and Dr. Tiziano Zgaga, he conducts the case study on Slovakia for the COVICORR project, conducting interviews and qualitative / legal content analysis. Tomas, who is a Czech citizen, has a passion for qualitative research methods, history, and languages.

Václav Mejstřík

My name is Václav Mejstřík, and I am currently in the second year of my Master's degree in Political Science, specialising in International Relations at the University of Konstanz as part of a double-degree program. I completed my first year of the Master's program at Charles University in Prague. I am contemplating pursuing a PhD, although I haven't made a final decision yet. This uncertainty motivated me to join the COVICORR project, where I am conducting a case study of the Czech Republic under the supervision of Prof. Thomann and Tiziano Zgaga. In my leisure time, I enjoy running or playing video games.

Jovana Milurovic

Jovana Milurovic is doing a BA in International Relations and Politics at the University of Belgrade. Jovana is immersed in the world of diplomacy, driven by a passion for understanding global dynamics and fostering meaningful connections across cultures. Fueled by an insatiable curiosity and a profound love for exploration, she finds pleasure in traversing the globe and seeking diverse perspectives. As part of a research team, Jovana is actively engaged in a project alongside Prof. Thomann and Tiziano Zgaga, delving into public procurement corruption.

Vladimir Popel

Vladimir Popel is currently a first-semester MA student at the Faculty of Politics and Public Administration. Holding a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and European Studies, he previously studied as an exchange student in Israel and Turkey. During the latter, he also completed an internship as a Research Assistant in the Department of International Relations at Kadir Has University. Vladimir's academic interests lie in Political Economy, Regional Security, and Comparative Politics. He is currently collaborating with Dr. Tiziano Zgaga and Prof. Dr. Thomann on the analysis of Romania for the “COVICORR” project. Beyond academics, Vladimir is enthusiastic about sports, particularly football and volleyball, as well as traveling and learning languages.

Marianna Papadopoulou

Marianna Papadopoulou is doing her BA in Psychology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki but is currently in her Erasmus+ semester at Konstanz University. She is especially interested in Social Psychology and Intergroup Relations, which is the field she is planning to seek a master's degree after completing her studies. Together with Prof. Thomann and Tiziano Zgaga, she conducts the case study on Greece for the COVICORR project, conducting interviews and qualitative/legal content analysis. Marianna, who is a Greek citizen, has a passion for qualitative research, and advocating for human rights, and is currently conducting her thesis on intersectionality in Greece. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and going on walks.

Yulieth Martinez Villalba

Yulieth Martinez Villalba is a Ph.D. student in Political Science and a visiting researcher at the Department of Politics and Public Administration. Yulieth is Colombian, but she lived for a long time in Brazil, where she got her Master's degree and is pursuing her Ph.D. at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. In the COVICORR project, she is responsible for data collection on Portugal's case. Her research interests include Regional Integration, International Institutions, Gender, Comparative Studies, and Emergency Politics.

Teodora Mihaylova

Teodora Mihaylova is doing her BA in Journalism and Political Science and is currently an exchange student at the University of Konstanz. Together with Prof. Thomann and Dr. Tiziano Zgaga, she is conducting the case study on Bulgaria for the COVICORR project. Her studies focus on political journalism and media literacy. Teodora is also interested in political theory, history and anthropology.

Olga Tsaltaki

Olga Tsaltaki is a final-year BA student studying Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean. As an Erasmus student at Konstanz University, she is participating in classes from the Department of History and Sociology, while also conducting the case study on Cyprus for the COVICORR project. Olga is passionate about expanding her knowledge on all areas of human activity, with a particular interest in medical anthropology and anthropology of science.

Simona Mizaraite

Simona Mizaraite holds a Bachelor's degree in Politics and International Relations and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Russian and Post-Soviet Politics at UCL in London. She is working on the COVICORR project and is conducting a case study on Lithuania. Simona is passionate about research and driven to uncover the intricacies of corruption and economic crime, examining their profound impact on political landscapes.

In her free time, Simona enjoys exploring London's vibrant arts and cultural scene. She finds joy in immersing herself in theatre performances, musicals, and ballet. Simona frequently visits art exhibitions all over the city, where she is drawn to the rich tapestry of creativity that fuels her curiosity and enhances her understanding of diverse perspectives.

Heilika Soodla

Heilika Soodla is a BA student of Sociology in University of Konstanz. She likes to focus on many of sociological endeavours but one of her favourite study fields are Sociology of Gender and Education, which she would want to pursue in the future. With Prof. Thomann and Tiziano Zgaga, Heilika conducts the case study on Estonia for the COVICORR research project. Heilika likes to read, write fictional stories and learn about new things in the world.

Hugo Axelsson

Hugo Axelsson is a Swedish student studying a double degree MA in political science and public administration at Gothenburg and Konstanz Universities. Hugo has an interest in comparative public policy & politics and wants to follow an international professional career after graduation. After a vacancy opened in the COVICORR project, Hugo has taken over the case study on Sweden and will continue with interviewing and analyzing the development in Sweden. Aside from studying, Hugo also likes playing the clarinet, hiking, and eating flavorful food.

Ieva Jurevica

Ieva Jurevica is an experienced research journalist from Latvia. She holds a Bachelor's degree of Social Sciences in Journalism and Communication. In the COVICORR project, Ieva works on the case studies for Latvia. In her leisure time she enjoys traveling around the country and abroad, hiking, reading about history, behavioral psychology, and enjoys art and cultural events.

Alva Strand

Alva Strand is on her last year as a BA student studying political science at the University of Gothenburg. She is spending an exchange semester at the Konstanz University 2024 where she, together with Prof. Thomann and Tiziano Zgaga, conducts the case study on Sweden for the COVICORR project. In her free time Alva enjoys going to the cinema and sauna bathing.