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Alumni Spotlight: Thea Louise Thomaseth

Interview with the Center for Research and Creative Activities

Congratulations to Thea Louise Thomaseth ‘21 (politics, policy and international relations) for participating in her first academic conference. She presented the research she executed for her thesis at the Northeastern Political Science Association’s (NPSA) 53rd Annual Conference this past fall on an undergraduate panel titled “Democracy in the Age of Protest.” The research she presented was from her capstone thesis paper titled “911 and the Relationship Between Public Fear and Democracy in the United States.”

The paper investigated democratic policies and tactics associated with terrorism and the Patriot Act post-9/11. It concluded that public fear is a danger to democracy since people tend to be more likely to support policy that threatens civil liberties when they are afraid. Thomaseth’s thesis is thoroughly researched and her work has been thoroughly integrated into her understanding of the world.

Speaking to some of the ways in which attending the conference impacted her, Thea says, “I think I learned to have confidence in myself, honestly. Also, it was very cool to see how you can improve research, even though you feel like a project might be over. Just going to the conference and learning how other people’s papers related to my own really helped me see a lot of connections and how to improve.” Thea discusses how important it was that her professor, Vanessa Ruget, advised her to submit a proposal for the conference. Thea believes that this act gave her the confidence to submit and then to present.

Thea is currently enrolled in a Master's in Public Administration program with a focus on social activism. She hopes to work on policy activism related to sexual violence after graduating with her Master's. Thea thinks fondly of her time at Salem State, citing that “Politics and Representation in Movies” was probably her favorite class.

Congratulations, Thea!


Learn more about the Center for Research and Creative Activities. All Salem State University students, faculty, and staff are invited to email their research to be featured by the CRCA:

Chantelle Escobar Leswell
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