Michael Pope’s time at the University of New Hampshire has been full of surprises. Hailing from Concord, New Hampshire, Michael discovered a passion for surfing as soon as he arrived in Durham, close to the Atlantic coast. Try as it might, New England’s harsh weather has yet to succeed in dissuading him from riding the waves. Michael chose UNH for its proximity to family and for his own fondness for New England “though not necessarily its weather!” Due to an affection for the Spanish language acquired in high school, he entered UNH as a Spanish major. After two classes in international affairs with Dr. Benjamin Cole in his freshman year, however, Michael settled on a political science and international affairs dual major, with a minor in Spanish. As Dr. Cole’s research assistant, Michael spent the summer following his freshman year coding a dataset on state fragility. He continued his research with Dr. Cole as a sophomore with an Undergraduate Research Award from the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research on elections and party systems coding another dataset to be used in analyzing factors that are associated with successful democratic transition. During his junior year, he received an International Research Opportunities Program (IROP) grant to spend the summer of 2012 interviewing former members of the Irish Republican Army in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Michael joined the Inquiry editorial board to see the research process from a new angle. This is his second year as an editor for the journal. Now a senior, Michael, a member of the University Honors Program, is completing a thesis that incorporates his four years of research. After graduating, he hopes to travel the world and return to Northern Ireland for post-graduate studies.