Meet some of the fall 2014 International Peace and Conflict Resolution student cohort!
Anet graduated from Airlangga University in Surabaya, Indonesia. She currently works as a Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia.
I chose to study International Peace and Conflict Resolution because it offers comprehensive way to analyze and resolve conflict from different perspectives. IPCR in American University also provides high-standard material, experienced faculty members and extensive networks in the field of conflict resolution. I believe that my country Indonesia still faces many challenges in this field, for example the conflict potentials with neighboring countries over borders, conflict potentials within the ASEAN and Asia region, as well as in the global level with regard to Indonesia’s role as emerging power. Indonesia can further its interest by playing more active role in the said field, through series of negotiation, mediation, and conflict facilitation, and it will need more expertise in the near future. I hope to add-value to Indonesia as a foreign policy practitioner and eventually becoming a specialist in peace and conflict issues.
Kateira is from Idaho Falls, Idaho and graduated from the University of Utah with Honors B.A in Political Science, B.A in International Studies, Certification in International Relations, 2013
Conflict on all levels is not caused by any one singular factor, nor is it easily resolved or prevented using just one limited approach. I chose American University's International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program because its emphasis on multidisciplinary study recognizes the complexity of conflict and the factors that drive it. I am interested in developing more effective methods of resolving disputes before they become violent. In this pursuit, the program has been invaluable, supplying me with the opportunity and knowledge necessary to reevaluate already recognized methods of analysis and resolution, as well as the freedom and encouragement to mold my own.
Rachel is a first year graduate student in the IPCR Program. She graduated with a B.A. from Butler University in International Studies and French, 2014. As well as a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.
She currently works as a Research assistant for Dr. Susan Thomas at American University. Her past employment position before coming to AU was as a Senior Regional Director for the Borgen Project in Indianapolis, IN. Her career interest include poverty and international development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
My life goal is to help reduce tension amongst states as well as alleviate tension between individuals in communities. I believe that in order to achieve long lasting peace, women must be included in the peace building process as well as hold positions in government. Currently, many women's voices are not heard and their gender specific needs are not addressed as a result. This not only hurts women in times of post conflict, it is also troublesome for communities. Henceforth, one of my goals is to create better opportunities for women to get their voices heard in their communities and in their states.
Although my primary interests span the fields of human rights, post-conflict development, and peace building, I am specifically interested in international conflict negotiation and mediation. I consider it my personal imperative to assist those affected by perpetuated conflict. Being from Australia, I also have a focused interest in conflict issues within the Asia/Pacific region. My short term career aspiration is to become a mediator and to work directly in the field of conflict resolution. However, I also hope that my career affords me the opportunity to develop and implement peace initiatives in conflict affected states. Long term, I intend to return to Australia and serve my country in a diplomatic role through joining the Foreign Service (DFAT).
Cameran is a first year graduate student in the IPCR program. She earned her B.S. in political science and history from Shepherd University in 2014.
I earned my B.S. in
political science and history from Shepherd University in 2014. My
concentration is in peacebuilding. I enjoy studying history, anthropology,
culture and identity. I find postcolonial sources of conflict particularly
interesting. I am passionate about research and advocacy and I have a strong
interest in Haiti and the Caribbean.
Keith is a first year graduate student in the IPCR program. He earned his B.A. in History at Valdosta State University, 2010 and received his M.A. in Middle Eastern History at Georgia Southern University, 2012. His past employer was the United States Navy and he currently works for theUnited States Department of State.
I chose the IPCR program at AU because I wanted a program that I felt would complement my study of history and what I learned with the Navy. I am very interested in the Middle East and finding ways to build stronger ties with the region. I am particularly passionate about Iran and have spent the last two years learning Persian so that I may play in building peace between Iran and the West.
Josh is a first year graduate student in the IPCR program. He earned his B.A. in Political Science at Marist College 2014. Before attending AU he was a Student Veterans Liaison for the U.S. Army Marist College.he currently works as a Veterans Adviser at the University of Maryland University College.
My career interest are United Nations Political Peace Officer, NGO’s focused on track two diplomacy, Art and Conflict Resolution NGO’. Myth, narrative, and the creation of identity have always interested me. Joining the Army was a pathway toward a method to pay for school and learn formal concepts that surrounded those interests. Along the way I’ve recognized that I’ve added the identity of Veteran to my personal list. Helping other veterans is a large part of my life now and I would be intensely interested in finding ways to help other former military members utilize art, and story to encourage demilitarization and peacebuilding.
Tina graduated from the University of California, San Diego receiving her B.A. in Sociology- International Studies and Minors in Ethnic Studies and Human Rights. Before coming to AU she worked at EC Language Center San Diego as an
I currently intern at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and I am a Graduate Assistant with SIS Abroad.
I am interested in combating the humanitarian issues of human trafficking, forced displacement, and migration through the bridging of grassroots organizations and policy work. Having been brought up in an immigrant community with many who have fled their countries on account of wars (including my own parents), I am passionate about the communication and visibility of a community's needs and the policies being implemented to address them. My career goals involve working with both policy makers and local non-governmental organizations to tackle the roots of these issues, and to empower affected communities.
Rachel graduated from the University of North Carolina in Dramatic Arts, Peace War & Defense, 2013. She was a volunteer English teacher at The University of Bahri in Khartoum, Sudan.
My career interest is in peacebuilding after systemic conflict, and dialogue facilitation.I am interested in fair trade practices and the impact they have on social and economic justice. After finishing my degree I would like to work in the realm of peacebuilding and dialogue facilitation. Regionally I am interested in Sudan and South Sudan, and I hope to visit Juba someday! I chose IPCR because I really loved the intersection of theory and practice that this program offers. I think the program provides the tools to truly be successful in the field of conflict resolution, but also the space to think critically about the current norms of peace and peacekeeping efforts.
I did my undergraduate work at the University of California, Davis, where I majored in International Relations and French with a minor in history. My areas of interest are human rights and women’s roles in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. I first became really interested in peace and conflict resolution during a summer abroad program on Arab-Israeli relations in Israel. Though it might sound cliché, I hope to work in policy or advocacy anywhere I could have the opportunity to make a difference.
Naomi is a first year graduate student in the IPCR Program concentrating in international negotiation. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, 2014 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
My passion for the field of international affairs is embodied in Margaret Mead’s quote that one should “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” In an age where many individuals are passive toward world issues as long as they do not feel the immediate consequences, I am driven to have a more active role in the peaceful resolution of disputes as a conflict negotiator.
After graduating from Ball State University with a degree in History and Spanish, I took a gap year to explore my interest in international affairs. I interned with Mennonite Central Committee in Washington, D.C. where I did advocacy work on the Hill. I also spent three months in Phnom Penh, Cambodia volunteering for two development NGOs. Joining the IPCR program at AU has only increased my passion for international affairs and provided me with opportunities to have a career in the field. I am pursuing a career in human rights advocacy, in the hopes of ensuring justice for those who suffer human rights abuses.
Prior to attending American University in the Peace and Conflict Resolution program, I proudly served as the Immigration Caseworker in Congresswoman Joyce Beatty’s office for the Third Congressional District of Ohio. Through my job, I helped immigrant families communicate with federal agencies and U.S. Embassies worldwide to address visa and passport issues. In addition, I mentored college students as the Internship Coordinator for the office. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with minors in Business Administration and Spanish from Otterbein University. One of my most honorable achievements while attending Otterbein University was being selected as the Class of 2012 Commencement Student Speaker. I was most recently selected as a recipient of the prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship through the Department of State in which I will receive mentoring and training to become a successful U.S. Diplomat upon graduation and serve our great nation.
Marlee earned her B.A. in Political Science and History from Loyola University New Orleans, 2014. She currently works as a Honors Counselor in the University Honors Department at AU.
My research interests center around ways in which conflict affects women’s ability to define and live their own visions of peace. Specifically, I’m interested in how women’s self-empowerment is undermined by the utilization of gender by nationalist or revolutionary groups. In the future, I wish to work with transnational women’s advocacy organizations and possibly pursue a Ph.D. in International Relations.
Karen earned her B.S. in Psychology and M.Ed in Educational Psychology at the University of Utah.
Before attending AU she worked as a psychotherapist at the Rape Recovery Center in Utah and later on as the Director of Women in Jeopardy Program at YWCA Utah. I then interned with the Library of Congress with Educational Outreach.Currently, I work as the Social Services Supervisor at Ayuda, an organization that assists immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. My goals include working to address gender violence internationally and work towards human rights and the empowerment of women on a global scale.
My belief is in the value of stepping into another's world, putting on their lenses and exposing myself to their outlook. Exposing myself to the inner workings of the International relations/theory, becoming a person with knowledge and ability to bring peace, reconciliation and strong positive relations to the world stage is my interest.
I am engaging and strengthening my understanding of peaceful methods with the education and insights from American Universities IPCR program. Currently, I have studied conflicts in South Africa, Iran, Philippines, Bahrain, Argentina, Arab Spring Nations and the United States involvement with conflict spotted nations. My career aspirations are to not only study and properly understand alternatives to violence, but to embrace comprehensive views to fully understand issues, help disseminate and become an actor of this information so these skills will foster a war-free, positive peace existence for all that truly is interdependent and based on notions of shared humanity.
Matthew is a first year graduate student in the IPCR program.
My career goal is to conduct research in trends related to conflict resolution and global security. I am primarily interested in ethno-political conflicts and separatist movements, particularly those in larger polyethnic states, and how they impact global security. I am also interested in the ways in which the international community attempts to settle such disputes (legal norms and response mechanisms), and how developments in democracy, civil liberties, and economics affect the possibilities for peaceful settlements.
Francis Gortaire Valencia
Francis graduated from Florida State University with her B.A. in International Affairs and Humanities and a B.S. in Social Sciences, 2011.She currently works as an Intake Specialist at the Immigrant Children’s Legal Program, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
I was born and raised in Ecuador, strongly believe that no sustainable peace may be created without the support and effort of all groups and individuals affected in a conflict. Upon realizing my affinity for art created in, and depicting, conflict and instability,I completed my undergraduate degrees in Humanities (focus in Art History), International Affairs (focus in Political Science) and Social Sciences at Florida State University in 2011. Since then, I have developed interests in the development of Civil Society, Governance and Democracy, and Political Empowerment. My career goal is to work with civil society, the public and youth in unstable and conflict areas so that they may influence and support their own societies’ progress. I would like to significantly contribute to international efforts to create a developed, peaceful and equitable world. I am confident that the skills and interests I am currently building while at the School of International Service and in Washington, D.C. will greatly contribute to my success.
Lawrence Taylor Williams
Taylor is a first year graduate student in the IPCR program. He earned his B.A. in International Studies from Birmingham-Southern College, 2014
I am interested in transitional justice in Sub-Saharan Africa. Exploring the histories of cultures fascinates me, and I love to meet people from cultures that are very different from my own! I want to work in some way in crisis recovery. I want to help people recover from disasters, whether they are climatic, political, or social interests me the most!
Michelle "Zephyr" Williams
With several years of peace/justice nonprofit work and a variety of international work/travels - among other random experiences - behind me, I've decided to create a more focused path and integrate my hands-on learning and xenophilia with more academic knowledge in order to pursue a career combining the areas of conflict resolution, economics, and development. My region of interest is the Middle East/North Africa and I'm especially grateful for the support and expertise of AU professors & staff in my efforts to use my knowledge, skills, passion for peace & justice, and languages (French and Persian) in upcoming overseas opportunities that will inspire me, add to my language skills, and allow me to develop more practical experience in my areas of interest.
Cheyenne Boyce is a first year student in the IPCR program. She
received her Bachelor of Arts degree in May 2014 from Spelman College in
Atlanta, Georgia where she majored in International Studies and minored in
Cheyenne’s interest in peace and conflict resolution stems
from her interest in international development and the idea that conflict works
in direct opposition to development. As a result, while studying at American
University she will combine both of these interests by complementing her IPCR
degree with a concentration in development. After completing the program
Cheyenne will pursue a career in non-profit consulting where she hopes to
support and establish non-profit organizations working in developing countries
that are also impacted by both non-violent and violent conflict.
Cheyenne’s research interests include ethnic conflict in South
and Southeast Asian countries—specifically ethnic tension in primary and secondary
schools in Malaysia. She plans on furthering this research while working as an
English teaching assistant in Malaysia as a Fulbright Fellow from
January-November 2015. Cheyenne’s other areas of interest include women’s
education and the role of culture in shaping and mitigating conflicts.
Cheyenne’s ultimate goal is to serve as a leader who uses
education and knowledge to improve tolerance, understanding, and to shed light
on the beauty that can be found within each of our differences.