The Political Studies Association Early Career Network (PSA ECN) is thrilled to announce new members of its Executive Committee.


As many of you will already know, while our current Communications Officer Caroline Leicht will stay on for another year to serve out her two-year elected term until April 2024, our other five committee members Taylor Borowetz (Chair), Lydia Ayame Hiraide (Secretary), Elsa Bengtsson Meuller (Treasurer), Thomas Ron (Events Officer), and Katie Pruszynski (EDI Officer) will be stepping down this summer as their terms come to an end. We are delighted to now announce who will be taking on their roles for the next elected term (2023-2025). Read on to find out more about them.


Chair: Matthew Hepplewhite, PhD student at the University of Oxford

Matthew Hepplewhite is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Oxford. He is researching the kind of people (in terms of sociodemographic characteristics, with a particular focus on gender, education, former occupation, and class) who act as politicians in modern Britain, testing whether they are the kind of people whom Britons want to act as their representatives (via a conjoint candidate choice experiment and surveys), and exploring what British politicians publicise – and don’t publicise – about themselves with regard to these sociodemographic characteristics.

Twitter: @MattH02092022


Secretary: Niamh Cashell, PhD student at the University of Manchester

Niamh Cashell is a Politics PhD student at the University of Manchester. Her research looks at election campaign adverts on new and old media, using visual methods to develop our understanding of implicit messages. Niamh’s main research interests include political communication, visual methods and social media. She has a background in supporting students for the Students’ Union Advice Service as well as working as a graduate Housing Officer supporting tenants.

Niamh says that so much knowledge about how to actually succeed in academia or industry is unwritten and passed amongst networks, and she wants to ensure that all ECRs can access this information.

Twitter: @niamh_cashell


Communications Officer: Caroline Leicht, PhD student at the University of Southampton

Caroline Leicht is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, media and politics. In her PhD project, Caroline examines the role of gender in representations of presidential candidates in political satire. Outside of academia, she has worked as an editor and reporter in print, online and television journalism. Caroline currently serves as the Communications Officer of the Early Career Network and will stay on the Committee until the end of her elected term in April 2024.

Twitter: @carolineleicht


Treasurer: Stephanie Luke, Research Associate at the University of Sheffield

Stephanie Luke is a Research Associate at the University of Sheffield. She has a PhD from the University of York which analyses how far-right parties influence mainstream party positions on European integration in Austria, Germany and the UK. Key areas of interest include far-right parties, Euroscepticism and party competition. She has also taught on several undergraduate modules at both Durham University and at the University of York.

Twitter: @DrStephanieLuke


Events Officer: Daniel Bowman, PhD student at the University of Liverpool

Daniel Bowman is a doctoral candidate based in the Department of Politics at the University of Liverpool. He is examining the politics of mental health policy and is in his final year. He has a strong background in events having co-convened previous PSA conferences and organised a range of events in the UK Parliament as the former Director of Mental Health at the Parliament Street think tank. He is passionate about the Early Career Network and wants to use his previous experience in events to deliver for PGRs and early career academics.

Twitter: @DannyBowman10


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officer: Manuel Hernández-González, PhD student at the University of Nottingham

Manuel Hernandez Gonzalez is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Nottingham. His main research interests revolve around comparative politics, especially in topics such as presidential systems, quality of democracy, political parties and elections. As an international student from Latin America, he is convinced that opening our discipline for ECRs from all backgrounds is necessary.

Twitter: @ManuelHndez



The new ECN Committee members will officially take over their roles in the summer. We will provide further information about this as well as a farewell for our current committee members in due time.