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Research Team

Image by Ashley Lane


Lead Anthropologist

Holly Swyers is a Professor of Anthropology at Lake Forest College. Her focus is contemporary US culture, looking particularly at aspects of life that are often taken for granted (going to school, following sports, becoming adult). She is the author of Wrigley Regulars. Click here to read her introduction to the Beyond Political Divides project.

Image by Diana Parkhouse



Jacqueline Vazquez helped usher this project into existence before graduating from Lake Forest College in 2019. Click here to read her introduction to the Beyond Political Divides project.

Image by Patrick Stillhart


Research Assistant

In 2019, Cassidy Herberth was a student at Lake Forest College, majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Spanish and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She was born in Northern California and grew up in a town filled with people who had different ideas and opinions. Herberth hopes that this book reaches the masses and can provide a way for people to learn empathy.   

Image by Jan Valečka


Research Assistant

In 2019, Emily McCusker was a student at Lake Forest College studying History, Sociology, and Anthropology. She was born and raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. She loves traveling, especially road trips, and one day wants to visit all 50 states. She also loves reading, binge-watching TV shows, coffee, documentaries, listening to music, puns, and flowers. Her people are her favorite and most important part of her life. 

Image by Dustin Humes


Research Assistant

In 2019, Amya Quillin was a Sociology and Anthropology Major at Lake Forest College. Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, she spends much of her free time delving into world of art. Amya enjoyed working on this project because she appreciates the complexity of humans and how it makes each one of us beautifully unique. In the future, she hopes to be a public health advocate for woman and children around the world.  

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