Tonya is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington with specializations in comparative politics and research methods. Her work engages with research on voting behavior, democratic erosion, electoral violence, civic engagement, competitive elections, and clientelism. More specifically, she studies how the use different elicit electoral strategies impact voting decisions in competitive elections and democratic governance in sub-Saharan Africa. Her dissertation, in particular, examines the impact of electoral violence and intimidation on African voters, suggesting that civic engagement will have a mediating impact on how violence is perceived and responded to by voters. She uses mixed methods to explain this variation in how democratic citizens react to tactics of intimidation and violence in electoral contestations by first examining cross-national variation in these key concepts using Afrobarometer survey data. In addition, she investigates the case for Senegal by examining both the tactics of intimidation used and motives of civil society organizations in a comparative study of the 2012 and 2019 Senegalese presidential elections. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Louisiana State University and is a Louisiana native.