Anthony Toumazatos ‘25
Prospective Political Science and Economics Major
Hi! My name is Anthony Toumazatos, a sophomore who is interested in politics and economics. I am from Bethpage, New York, where I live with my mother and sister. In my free time I enjoy playing soccer, reading philosophy or history books, or just spending time with my family or friends.
To me, the DCI plays a vital role in campus and our Davidson community. It is useful to have an outlet for people to come together and feel secure that their views will be discussed with respect and care. The DCI is a medium in which political discourse, which can sometimes feel like something closer to conflict, can be tempered and its main attributes such as mutual understanding can be emphasized.
Brody Bassett ‘25
Intended History and Political Science Double Major
Highland Ranch, Colorado
Hi, I’m Brody Bassett, an adventurous and hard-working sophomore at Davidson College who intends to double major in History and Political Science due to my enjoyment of connecting historical events to political ideals. Along with studying History and Political Science, I study Modern Standard Arabic. Last summer, I spent two months in Jordan, improving my skills in the Arabic language and learning more about the culture. In my free time, I love to explore the outdoors of my home state Colorado by backcountry skiing, fly fishing, and hiking.
I joined the DCI to bring Davidson students together to discuss contentious political topics in order to take away the stigma around discussing particular subjects. Through the discussions between people with different life experiences and perspectives, I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about the different political ideas that I encounter every day. I have confidence that the DCI is creating a safe place for people from different life experiences to come together to discuss difficult political topics in the hope of creating better understanding and I am excited to be a part of it!
Clyde Dwyer ‘25
Intended Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Major
My name is Clyde Dwyer, and I am an intended Politics, Philosophy and Economics major from Brooklyn, New York. On campus I’m involved in Club Soccer, C2i, Jewish Student Union and Intramural Soccer. In my free time, I love cooking, riding my bike, playing soccer and watching soccer (lots of World Cup recently).
I joined the DCI because I wanted to have more conversations with people I disagreed with, and better conversations with everyone I talked to. I found that in New York City, I wasn’t really able to engage in dialogue with people who shared different opinions–– which meant I never really had to defend or justify my own beliefs. Coming to Davidson, I’ve experienced a wider array of thoughts and opinions than before. The experience of confronting differing viewpoints forced me to confront, and in some cases, change my own viewpoints. The personal growth I’ve experienced as a result of deliberation pushed me to join DCI and foster deliberation across our campus community.
Daniel Lee ‘26
Prospective Political Science and French and Francophone Studies Double Major
Ames, IA; Seoul, South Korea
I am a freshman at Davidson, proudly representing Iowa and South Korea. As a political theory, music, and soccer enthusiast (among many other things), I am excited to start my journey at Davidson and grow a lot through the process.
I joined the DCI because I strongly believe in the power of conversations created out of diversity and spontaneity. Amidst an age consumed by artificial images of the world, I strive for the depths of reality and hope to bring back the eloquent art of deliberation to develop a stronger sense of public happiness in our communities.
Divin Lionel Dushimimana ‘26
Prospective Economics and Public Health Double Major
My name is Divin Lionel Dushimimana, a freshman here at Davidson College from Kigali, Rwanda. My passions are global health equity and economic development and that’s why I’m thinking of Economics and Public Health as my intended majors.
I joined the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative because I’m fascinated by meaningful conversations and deliberations around the world’s issues and how they can be solved. I believe there is no straight line to solving the world’s most challenging problems and that’s why I’m always open to what other people think. I’m a very liberal human being who seeks to change his viewpoint or worldview after learning from other people’s perspectives.
Additionally, I joined DCI to practice my facilitation skills and learn from a huge group of informed individuals on various topics. For example, before coming to the US, I had only a limited knowledge about democracy and the US elections system, but this is no longer the case after facilitating 3 meeting and reading various guides. As a DCI fellow, I seek to keep learning and learning.
Heidi Meyer ‘23
I am a senior psychology major. On campus, I am a Student Government Senator, an Activities Tax Council member, and a Community Engagement Ambassador at the Hurt Hub. I also work as a nanny and run a podcast called Careers Explained which seeks to simplify the job-search process for students by interviewing professionals in a wide range of industries about their career paths and current roles.
Deliberation has always been important to me because I grew up around distinctly different viewpoints and had to learn to handle those deeply personal disagreements in a manner that could maintain bonds despite such differences. I think the country is going down a dangerous path of polarization and that civil discourse between views that disagree is paramount to solving this problem and I want to be a part of this productive change.
Jingting (Toffy) Chen ‘25
Intended Psychology and Data Science Double Major
I am a sophomore student and a Chidsey Leadership Fellow. I care about gender inequality, gendered phenomenon, and women’s rights. Specifically, I researched gendered roles in the family and gendered representation at computer science conferences. I am now exploring my interest in psychology and looking for opportunities in organizational behavior, human resources, or management.
This is my first time getting to know what deliberation is, and I am excited about it. Topics I am passionate about are often controversial, so I understand how hard it is to collect diverse perspectives and bring everyone around the table. Deliberation is a useful and meaningful channel to gather people with different experiences together, providing us an opportunity to throw out questions, answer questions, and exchange perspectives.
Kayleigh Davies ‘25
Intended Biology and Math Double Major
Wales, United Kingdom
Hi! I am a sophomore, intended Biology and Math double major, and I’m from Wales, UK. Deliberation plays a role in my daily life, and I have always tried to implement it in places where I feel more polarisation present. I believe that, when done correctly, deliberation can unite people in spite of opposing views. At its core deliberation works for us to see each other as human beings, and as equals, before anything else, and I find that notion very admirable.
Laegan Smith ‘24
Public Health Major
My name is Laegan Smith, and I am a junior public health major from LaGrange, Georgia. At Davidson, I am involved in Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA), Androgyny A Cappella, WALT1610 Radio, Turner House, and now the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative (DCI). My academic interests include women’s health and public health policy.
My interest in the DCI stemmed from a growing frustration with my experience of discussion of controversial issues. I have always enjoyed engaging in conversation about complex and divisive topics, yet the environment for doing so can be hostile and unwelcoming. I joined the DCI to help make Davidson’s campus a more accepting and encouraging environment in which students feel that they can engage in deliberation without fear of judgment.
Lauren Collver ‘25
I am a sophomore Biology major with a specific interest in conservation and evolutionary ecology and an intended minor in studio art. On campus I am a scene shop assistant and stage manager for Davidson Theatre, and am involved in organizations including the Sustainability Co-op, Queers and Allies, and Share-a-Square. Additional interests include civic engagement and non-profit organizations.
I believe that understanding how people’s lived experiences shape their deeply held values is essential to conducting our lives compassionately and progress-focused. Deliberation poses unique opportunities to learn from each other and better understand our own values, and I am interested in building my skills in leadership and community building.
LJ Phillips ‘25
I am a sophomore and a Mathematics major at Davidson College. I am from Dover, Delaware, but attended a Catholic high school in PA. I was intrigued by the opportunity DCI gives students and alumni alike to be able to deliberate issues that otherwise might be unthinkable to discuss without confrontation. I believe in the mission of the initiative and everything DCI stands for. I think it is important for our communities, country, and world to become better deliberators. I believe the ability to be able to converse and problem-solve an issue is a skill of supreme importance for this generation.
Mae Corley ‘25
Political Science major and Economics minor
I am a current sophomore. At Davidson, I am a tour guide, involved with the Davidson Investment and Finance club, and the Women in Business club. I love to read, do arts and crafts, and go to museums!
I chose to join the DCI for two key reasons. First, I was involved in a similar movement at my high school and enjoyed facilitating discussions about current issues and events. Second, I took Dr. Bullock’s American Politics class last spring, and, through that course, I joined a D Team last spring. I did not expect to enjoy my conversations as much as I did, and I realized I wanted to be more involved in this program. I’m so excited to continue as a fellow this year!
Miles Charles ‘25
Political Science and History Double Major
Chapel Hill, NC
Hi! My name is Miles Charles, and I am a Political Science History double major. Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I am a die-hard Tar Heels fan and since I can first remember have looked up to Roy Williams, the legendary, former UNC men’s Basketball coach. A quote from Roy Williams that I have internalized is, “A smart man makes mistakes, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.”
As a politics/history nerd, I am well in tune with the political vein of the US. As I have grown up, I have watched the political climate within the US grow increasingly polarized, pushing everyday Americans farther and farther apart. The harm caused by this split is the primary motivator for my participation in the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative. By participating as a facilitator, I hope to learn skills that can be utilized to mend this split in everyday instances such as morning coffee or a commons lunch.
Peter Beck ‘25
Prospective Political Science Major
I am a Sophomore and prospective Political Science major here at Davidson College. I was born and raised in Charleston, SC, where interactions with politics, law, race, and history helped shape my worldview. Growing up in Charleston, with a diverse array of political opinions and experiences, taught me early on about the importance of deliberation and reaching across the aisle. Additionally, this past summer I worked as a law clerk for a criminal defense firm in Charleston. I care deeply and plan to devote my career to upholding the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
Peyton Carter ‘23
Political Science Major
Hello! My name is Peyton Carter, and I am a Political Science major from Jacksonville, Florida. Here at Davidson in addition to being a fellow and a co-convener for the DCI, I am on the Women’s Basketball team, a member of the Black Student Coalition (BSC), as well as a part of our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Outside of academics, I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, watching movies, and have recently been trying to get into reading more books!
I chose to join the DCI for many reasons. The first is that I am really invested in helping to foster healthy and respectful conversations among people. In today’s world, it can often seem as though when anyone goes to have a conversation about something, especially heavy and/or political topics, it ends in an argument or each party not even listening to the other. With the DCI we learn to facilitate, as well as participate in, conversations where people can sit and really hear one another’s opinions and perspectives, which is extremely valuable.