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John Ball

John Ball is a recent graduate of Harvard College, where he studied psychology, neuroscience, and government. John’s two biggest passions are comedy and politics. In high school, John pursued model legislature and debate, and was elected youth governor of the Ohio YMCA Youth and Government Program. He also took first place in the national debate competition of Youth and Government students, which took submissions from nearly 20,000 students nationwide, for his proposal to reduce mental health discrimination among colleges in America. At Harvard, John continued his work in policy, as well as comedy and political satire. John wrote for the Harvard Lampoon, America’s longest-published humor magazine, and was president of the Harvard College Stand-Up Comics’ Society (Harvard SUCS). He also organized the Weatherhead Center for International Affair’s “International Comedy Night,” where he opened for noted comics Ronny Chieng and Harry Kondabolu.


John was also able to combine his passions of comedy and neuroscience when he was awarded the Query On Inc. “Boston Genius Grant” to pursue his research project looking at the intersection of comedy and mental illness among amateur and famous comedians. For work, John has spent much of his time doing policy analysis, with a particular focus on mental health policy areas. He is particularly passionate about improving access to mental health care resources to all individuals, specifically in outpatient settings in addition to emergency inpatient care.


John currently works to train individuals from under-represented communities to run for public office. He is also continuing to work towards his passions for stand-up comedy and comedy writing. For anyone with too much free time, John can be seen performing stand-up comedy in and around Columbus, Ohio.

My Courses

Evolutionary Psychology: the Human Brain and the Animal Kingdom (Grades: All)

In this course, we’ll explore how the unique features of the human brain arose from an evolutionary psychology perspective: and how different (and similar!) human brains are to other animals.


Have you ever wondered what makes human brains so special compared to animals? We’ll explore what makes human brains human, and how our brains became so “special.” The human brain is one of the biggest mysteries in the universe, but from language to cooking, we’ll do our best to figure out its origins.

Intro to Electoral Politics (Grades: All)

Let’s explore the key concepts of getting elected into office and passing laws.


Politicians make a lot of promises, from building a border wall to universal basic income. And once they’re in office, some campaign promises are kept, and some aren’t. In this course, we’ll explore what makes it so that some politicians are able to pass bills as large in scope as the affordable care act, and why others are left in gridlock.

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