Current PhD in International Conflict Management Students
The PhD in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University (KSU) currently has students from around the world, creating a dynamic, yet intimate, educational environment. International Conflict Management is a field that currently has few opportunities for advanced training. This PhD program offers several key elements unavailable in most other doctoral programs in this field to top-quality, advanced graduate students. Each doctoral student, after completing the core courses, is given the flexibility to focus their studies in their desired area. The ability to drive their curriculum in the direction of their dissertation and region allows them to further their expertise in their academic discipline.
Joyce De-Graft Acquah
Joyce D. Acquah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and Sociology, Master of Arts in Development Studies both from University of Ghana, and a Master of Philosophy in Peace and Conflict Transformation from University of Tromso, Norway. Prior to her PhD studies, she worked for five years as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Before joining University of Cape Coast, Joyce worked for two years as a District Facilitator with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Funded Community School Alliances Project where she mobilized community support through various community mobilization tools like Participatory Learning and Action, community drama, workshops and public forums to support good governance and improve enrollment in primary education. Between July to October 2003, she was selected to undertake research with a team of seven fresh graduates in the context of an interdisciplinary project funded by Tropenbos International (TBI) and supervised by lecturers of the Institute of Natural Resources and TBI staff. Topic: The Potential and Constraints of Agro-forestry in the Forest Fringe Communities of the Asunafo District-Ghana. From August 2011 to January 2012 she was the National Evaluation Consultant for UNIDO/UNHCR/FAO project: “Assistance to refugees of the UNHCR settlement in Buduburam and Krisan for their repatriation, local integration and resettlement through micro and small scale enterprises development in Ghana”
Joyce has won a number of meritorious leadership awards, scholarships and research grants. In 2004, she was one of the twelve Ghanaian youth selected to represent Ghana under the British Council Interaction Leadership program. She won a two-year scholarship from the Norwegian Government under the Quota Scholarship Program. She has also won awards like: thesis grant from the Center for Environment and Development, University of Tromso, Norway, and a Scholarship from the Canadian Bureau for International Education under the CIDA Youth Education Awards-Africa. Additionally, she has been a resident Study Grant Holder at the Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden.
She is a member of the Ghana Association of Social Workers (national executive member from 2004-2006), a fellow of the British Council Interaction Leadership Group, and member of the Gender Violence Survival Support Network, Ghana. Joyce speaks Twi, Krobo and English.
Areas of InterestConflict and its Impact on Livelihoods; Gender and Labor Relations; Transnational, State and Non-state Interventions in Peacebuilding and Conflict Management; the Role of Civil Society in Conflict Management and Peacebuilding
Isaac Andakian graduated from Lebanese University in 2003 with a Juris Doctorate degree, University of London (IALS) & University of Malta in 2007 with a Master’s in Human Rights and Democratization degree, and University of Manchester in 2011 with a Master’s in Political Science degree. He has been a Chevening Scholar of UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 2011. He enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State because he wants to become a scholar practitioner and would like to teach and research.
Isaac’s research interests include the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab Spring, Violence, Mass Mobilization, Youth, and Counter-Terrorism. He has written a few published academic articles (including but not limited to “The Security Council and Article 39 of the UN Charter accessible at https://www.lebarmy.gov.lb/en/author-defense/eshak-isaac-andakian). His proposed title for his dissertation research is “Politics of Hope: A New Counter-Terrorism and Conflict Management Strategy in the MENA region.”
Prior to his graduate experience, Isaac worked for sixteen years in public and private sectors in Lebanon, United States, and Cayman Islands. For eight years, Isaac worked as a political adviser for two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a minister in the Lebanese cabinet, and counselled a community court and a municipality in Lebanon. Since 2015, Isaac has been hired by Thomson Reuters (Pangea 3 / LMS) and Walkers Global Law firms as a contractor in his capacity as an Arabic speaking attorney and Arabic/Islamic cultural adviser to work on the biggest Middle Eastern Financial case (AHAB v Saad Group), a multi-billion-dollar international bankruptcy, fraud, and insolvency case. The proceedings of which were conducted in the Cayman Islands.
Isaac speaks fluent Arabic, English, and Armenian. He also speaks conversational French and Turkish.
Areas of Interest
The “Arab Spring”, Revolutions, Mass Mobilization, Fundamentalism, Violence, Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Development, and Alternative Governance with a focus on the Levant and MENA region.
Hania Bekdash is a doctoral student in the PhD program in International Conflict Management Program at Kennesaw State University where she intends to focus her research on the nexus between gender, labor, and development in the Arab world, with a focus on the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. She has an MA in International Affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where she specialized in conflict resolution and human security. Her Master’s thesis, based on original field research, explored the role of civil society in shaping transitional justice and reconciliation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Bekdash received her BA from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied Theatre Arts and French. Afterward she moved to Lebanon to volunteer with Palestinian refugees while taking courses at the American University of Beirut in Economics and Political Science. During that time, she also worked as a research assistant in the Department of Economics and co-published research related to regime transitions and democratization in the Arab world.
Once she completed her MA, Bekdash moved back to the Middle East and gained significant experience working with private and non-profit institutions. Bekdash has worked as the lead researcher and project manager for a regional project seeking to assess the impact assessment of think tanks in the GCC for an Omani think tank. Most recently, she was based in Oman consulting for UN agencies and also worked for a non-profit with youth in search of higher education opportunities. Before that, she worked in Yemen for a private strategic communications firm managing multi-stakeholder projects aimed at informing the public on topics related to the transition process. Bekdash has also been based in the UAE working for a strategic communications firm for which she facilitated communications between high level international public and private sector stakeholders in the energy sector.
Prior to moving to the GCC region, she spent two years in Lebanon working at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut where she led regional projects on human rights and public policy.
She speaks fluent English, Spanish, and French, with reading, writing, and speaking competencies in Arabic.
Areas of InterestGender; Middle East; Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); Labor; Youth; Sustainable Development; Socioeconomic Impact Analysis; Human Security; Transitional Justice; Evaluation
Gianni Bisio graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 2008 with a BA in Psychology and from the University of Limerick (Ireland) with an MA in Peace and Development Studies in 2011. Following his MA, he gained human rights and community development experience through internships at Amnesty International’s Southern Regional Office (Atlanta), the North Coast AIDS Project (Eureka, CA), and through volunteer and employment opportunities at Food For People (Eureka, CA). Furthermore, Gianni served as both a Health and English educator for the Peace Corps in Cambodia (2013-2015) and as a Peace Corps Response English Volunteer in Rwanda (2016-2017).
During his study at the University of Limerick, Gianni developed a strong interest in post-conflict societies, particularly in regards to reconciliation and social development in sub-Sahara Africa. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia, his interests also expanded to Southeast Asia. Resulting from both living and working in two contemporary post-conflict societies, he gained invaluable insight into realities on the ground and the challenges, and opportunities, these countries have and the ways in which they are addressing them. His time working in public school systems these countries further narrowed his focus to the ways in which youth are addressed as agents for social change and the bearers of sustainable peace, along with female empowerment/gender-equality development.
Beginning in the Fall semester of 2017, Gianni entered the INCM PhD program with the intention of continuing his focus on the youth development in developing societies, gender equality, and education, specifically in sub-Sahara Africa and Southeast Asia, particularly through the lens of the Peace Corps. With this, he intends on seeking work in development in either US or international government organizations.
Areas of InterestPeace Corps, international actors, post-conflict reconciliation, youth development, female empowerment/gender equality, education, Southeast Asia, sub-Sahara Africa, African Great Lakes region
Brenda graduated from Kennesaw’s Master’s Program with a degree in Conflict Management in May 2017. She enrolled in the INCM Program because of her overall interest in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution. Prior to her graduate experience, Brenda worked in the federal government and a non-profit agency in the area of fair housing and equal opportunity. She would like to build upon her past graduate and work experience by focusing on public policy, public-private partnerships, cultural/religious/ethnic/racial conflict and consensus building, human rights, ethics, justice, and police-community relations. She is interested in possibly teaching, becoming a consultant, and/or trainer in one or more of the areas mentioned above. Brenda is also member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.
Areas of InterestTeaching, becoming a consultant, and/or trainer in one or more of the areas mentioned above. Brenda is also member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.
Emily Cook graduated from University of Georgia in 2008 with a Master’s in Social Work. In 2007, she participated in a symposium with the School of Social Work in Accra, Ghana and worked closely with human service agencies throughout the country. This inspired her interest in community development locally and abroad. Immediately following graduate studies, she practiced as a licensed social worker for several years before transitioning into professional higher education. She enrolled in the INCM PhD Program in Fall 2018 at Kennesaw State University because she would like to intersect her current and past experiences to integrate a holistic approach in promoting development and peacebuilding in community settings.
Emily has worked in public higher education for 7 years. Currently, she directs an international program centered on integrative pedagogy for learning and serves as the University Student Ombudsperson. She has taught multiple courses in social work, leadership, and student success skills. Prior to higher education, she worked in several non-profit and private sectors, both in rural and urban areas. She has experience providing therapeutic services for at-risk youth, addiction counseling, domestic violence, generational poverty in the Appalachian region, and HIV/AIDS education and prevention. Emily is also a 200-hour certified yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance.
Areas of Interest
Holistic wellness and mindfulness, community building and sustainable living, arts/music and other traditional practices in communities, indigenous peacemaking, Native American rights, West Africa, post-industrial leadership, gender equality, violence against women, non-profit organizations, immigration, refugees, and social justice.
In Spring 2019, Rajit started his PhD in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University, School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding, and Development. Rajit aspires to become a scholar practitioner and believes the program would provide him with additional opportunities to engage theory with practice to prepare him for dissertation study. He was awarded funding and is a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Paul McDaniel, whose current projects focuses on ways to assist and welcome immigrants to Atlanta.
Rajit’s research interests is on South Asia, U.S-India Relations, peace-building, post-conflict development, and U.S. immigration policy . He has presented scholarly papers at conferences both here and abroad.
Rajit holds an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a Graduate Certificate in Prevention, Reconstruction, and Stabilization Contexts from George Mason University, School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Furthermore, he also has a Certificate in Conflict Analysis from the United States Institute for Peace. He earned a M.A. in International Relations from St. Mary’s University, B.A. in Political Science from George Washington University, and is a member of Phi Beta Delta,
Previously, Rajit was the Director of Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation, at the Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) in Arlington, VA. He spent three years in various roles, moving his way up in the institute. He implemented monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to peace-building programs, knowledge management and organizational development after he unraveled the lessons learned from extensive program evaluations of IMTD’s Cyprus and Kashmir peace-building programs. He collaborated with the eminent scholar practitioner in track two dialogue, Dr. Christopher Mitchel, Professor Emeritus of Conflict Resolution at the School of Conflict of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University on his book that explored the role of legitimacy in peace-building. Rajit published a chapter Dr. Mitchell’s book, that examined the role of legitimacy with work done by IMTD.
Area of Interests
South Asia, U.S-India Relations, International Security – Counter-Terrorism, Peace-building, Post-Conflict Development, and U.S. immigration policy.
Taylor Downs is a Doctoral Student in the PhD Program in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University. He graduated from Georgia Southern University with a BA in History in 2011 and from North Carolina State University with an MA in International Studies in 2013. His Masters Capstone research focused on conceptions of American identity among priests and volunteers working with Latino farmworkers in Newton Grove, North Carolina. After completing his Masters, he spent several years working with organizations in the nonprofit sector on issues of poverty and substandard housing in Panajachel, Guatemala, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Johnson City, Tennessee.
Taylor enrolled in the INCM Program because he wants to learn research methodologies and techniques in the field of Conflict Resolution as he works towards a career as both a practitioner and academic. While at Kennesaw State, he plans to conduct research on Latin American democracies and how their political parties and institutions deal with nondemocratic actors, as well as how historical narratives are used to both legitimize and delegitimize these various actors, both in the region and in the United States. He is also interested in how historical narratives have been used by politicians, interest groups, and civil society organizations in the framing of debates on national security and military spending.
Areas of InterestConflict resolution, post conflict mediation and consensus building, constructions of identity, contests and control over historical narratives, extremist political parties in democracies, Latin American politics, and US military history, national security, and foreign policy.
Charles Elliott, MSCM, graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Master's of Science in Conflict Management with a focus on social psychology and personality. His academic memberships include the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Association for Psychological Science, and Association for Conflict Resolution, among others. In 2018, Charles enrolled in the International Conflict Management PhD program at Kennesaw because he was interested in studying international conflict management inside of organizational or intergroup settings, especially through decisions that involve the use of motivation or emotion. Charles would also like to examine group decision making outcomes (based on economical, social, or structural conflict analysis) using big data to solve practical conflict issues inside of international organizations. Prior to Charles' graduate research experiences, he served six years in the USAF as a data records analyst, focusing on key mobility movements during military conflicts. Charles spent this time building advanced data sets, performing complex analysis, and briefing senior leadership on data trends and functionality. Charles planned to combine his experiences with key knowledge obtained in the international PhD program.
Area of Interests
Group decision-making, emotional intelligence, dark personality, conflict analysis, and advanced quantitative methodologies (SEM or meta-analysis).
Bradley S. Gardner
Bradley Gardner graduated from Hult International Business School with a MA in International Relations. He also holds a BA in Political Science from University of Central Florida. Bradley enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State University to explore and learn the root causes of political/electoral violence and its relations to societal conflict.
His research interests include: Caribbean Politics, Political Violence in the Anglophone Caribbean, Pan-Africanism, Post-Colonial conflict(s), terrorism, Caribbean Political/National identity, Social Justice, Black/Caribbean Political Thought.
Areas of InterestJamaica; Anglophone Caribbean; Western Africa; South America
David Gethings earned his MA in Comparative Politics and a Graduate Certificate in Peacebuilding and Human Rights from American University (Washington, DC). He earned his BA from Felician College (Lodi, NJ) with a triple major in Philosophy, History, and Political Science. David enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State University to further his personal and professional goal of contributing to international development. David is a member of the American Philosophical Association; International Association of Genocide Scholars; and International Studies Association. He is a member of Golden Key International Honors Society and Kappa Gamma Pi National Honors Society.
Prior to his graduate experience, David has been an adjunct instructor at Felician College. He continues to work for the Foundation for Post Conflict Development as Advisor to the Board of Directors. He has previously held the position of Director of Special Projects and Representative to the United Nations. In 2007, David served as Civilian Protection Associate at Genocide Intervention Network in Washington, DC. In 2010, he served as Program Coordinator for the United Nations Youth Pre-Conference and was a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Committee on Conscience from 2006-2007.
Areas of InterestPolitical Philosophy; International Institutions; International Law; Human Rights; Genocide Prevention; Cosmopolitanism; the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Doctrine; Digital Technology; Social Market Economy; Civic and Political Engagement
Lon Gibson graduated from Valdosta State University in 2010 with a Bachelor in History and Georgia College and State University in 2012 with a Master in Public Administration. He served in the United States Peace Corps as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language from 2013-2014. He has been a member of the Fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi since 2008. He enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State University because he would like to continue learning and writing about international relations policy and would like to teach International Relations. He would also like to intersect and update past education and career experiences by becoming a Licensed Mediator in the state of Georgia.
Lon’s research interests include Non-Governmental Organizations in Azerbaijan and aspects of civil society development.
His dissertation title is still under the construction phase.
Lon speaks conversational Azerbaijani.
Areas of InterestNGOs, Azerbaijan, Civil Society, Islam, Western Society, and Immigration
Ziaul Haque graduated in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2010. He also completed his MSc in Peace and Development Studies from the Linnaeus University, Sweden, in 2015 with a Swedish Institute (SI) Study Scholarship. He enrolled in INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State because he wants to learn from the conflict resolution scholars at Kennesaw and receive hands-on methodological training on conflict research. He also would like to engage this advanced academic exposure in the institutionalization of conflict education in Bangladesh and contribute to the teaching and research capacity building of the Peace Studies Program in Dhaka.
His research interests include conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peacebuilding, negotiation, peace process, spoilers and cultural dynamics of conflict management.
His master’s dissertation at Linnaeus – Spoilers in the Peace Process of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) –tested the usability of an ‘analytical framework,’ drawn from the spoiler literature, in the CHT peace process of Bangladesh. He looks into how the debate on the conceptualization of multiple spoilers and complex subtle spoiling is relevant and applicable to the categorization of nonviolent spoilers and the complexity of less visible spoiling in that peace process.
Prior to his joining as a faculty member in Dhaka University, he worked in security think tank and coordinated, as being part of a team, an international training program on counter-terrorism capacity building.
Areas of InterestConflict Resolution, Conflict Transformation, Regime Resilience, Cultural Dynamics of Conflict, Methodology on Conflict Research, Negotiation of Protracted Conflict, Nonviolent Spoiling, Conflict Education
Keesha Burke Henderson
Keesha Burke Henderson has served as a Communication Lecturer for over 15 years. She spent ten years at Morehouse College teaching intercultural, organizational and professional communication courses. She assisted the school in developing its current minor in Communication. She holds an M.A. in Communication, and has completed advanced studies in business administration, with a focus on organizational development and behavior. She has experience in building science, technology, innovation and arts programs as a fellow at NYU’s Tisch ITP Innovation Lab.
She began her career in nonprofit management, serving as Continuing Education Manager for New York State Society of CPA’s. After study abroad at Roehampton University in the UK, she held the Executive Director position at North Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, YMCA-Best Kids program, assisting low income women and children in transition.
As the Assistant Director for the Morehouse Pan-African study abroad program, she worked in Ghana with a Queen Mothers’ association to collaborate in solving education, transportation and water access needs. The experience with the women of the community, fueled her interest in international issues and the role of gender.
Her current scholarship is centered on coloniality, and its impact on gender, leadership and conflict.
Areas of InterestColoniality, and its impact on gender, leadership and conflict.
Shea Holland graduated from Webster University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in International Relations, and in 2014, she graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Master’s in Mass Communication. She has been a member of Pi Kappa Delta, National Forensics Honorary Society, and Missouri Omega Chapter since 2010. She enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State University because she would like to continue developing research about international communication in areas of conflict.
Shea’s research interests include media messages, international communication, government communication, Middle Eastern political relations, and the Arab Spring.
Prior to her graduate experience at Kennesaw State, Shea interned with the British Consulate General-Atlanta in the Press, Political and Public Affairs department and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH). She holds Dale Carnegie certification in Effective Human Communication and has served on the International Board of Carnegians Inc. as the Vice-President. She is also a Pi Kappa Delta national public speaking champion and has a background in coaching collegiate debate.
Areas of InterestSocial Media, International Communication, Democratization, Middle East, Arab Spring, Government Communication
Bryan has graduate degrees in History and International Relations as well as undergraduate degrees in Nursing and Religious Studies. He is the devoted father of thee amazing and very patient kids. A Lt Col in the US Air Force, he commands the 911th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron where he is responsible for maintaining a combat rescue force of 100 medics ready to respond to any global crisis within 72 hours. Across 22 years and 10 deployments he has engaged in multiple peacekeeping and stability operations with NATO, Humanitarian Interventions with the UN and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies alongside NGO's. Among other awards he has earned the Air Medal for sustained meritorious flight, the Humanitarian Service Medal for disaster relief work in Haiti and has been decorated for Valor in Afghanistan. His particular expertise surrounds the issues of Civil-Military cooperation, the Securitization of Humanitarian Space, Refugees and Human Displacement. He enrolled in the INCM PhD Program to move past practical expertise towards academic expertise.
Bryan is currently writing about Securitization Theory, Discourse Analysis, Humanitarian and/or Development interventions, and US military operations. His dissertation title is: “Securitizing Development or The Development of Securitization: Inventorying Post-9/11 US Military Operations"
Areas of InterestSyria; Afghanistan; Haiti; Foreign Policy; Civil-Military cooperation; US Military Interventions; NGOs & INGOs; Humanitarian Space; Development Assistance; Religious History; Refugee Resettlement.
Vittorio is from Bergamo, Italy. He is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) expert and practitioner. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy). His post-graduate educational background comprehends degrees obtained both in Italy and the USA. He successfully completed a Master degree program in Business Law at the University of Bergamo (Master universitario di secondo livello in “Diritto della gestione fiscale e finanziaria di impresa”). He was awarded with the Rankin Gibson scholarship by the University of Missouri- School of Law (USA), where he obtained his second post-graduate degree (LLM) in Dispute Resolution. He also integrated his educational background attending some prestigious courses and workshops, such as the ones held at the Program On Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University.
Prior his graduate experience, he collaborated with a law firm specialized in civil matters. He became a civil and commercial mediator in 2009 and he mediated in Italy several disputes, especially in business-to business and business-to-consumer disputes. In 2015, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) formally asked him his availability for potential appointments as a mediator in commercial disputes. He has experience as a trainer and coach in negotiation and mediation. He has acted as a judge in some prestigious national and international mediation competitions, such as the International Mediation Competition held annually in Paris at the International Chamber of Commerce and the IBA-VIAC Negotiation and Mediation Competition in Vienna.
His desire is to become a highly specialized scholar and professional in the field of Dispute Resolution.
Areas of InterestNegotiation, mediation, arbitration, ombudsman, hybrid systems of dispute resolution, organizational conflict resolution, dispute system design, ADR training and coaching, culture and dispute resolution, comparative studies on ADR policies.
Dlorah Jenkins holds a Master of Public Health from Georgia State University as well as a B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture from Georgia Tech. She enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw to build upon her previous research on the influence of socioeconomic and political factors on population health in developing regions, specifically with respect to environmental health and infectious diseases. Additionally, Dlorah is interested in evaluating the broader implications of conflict and underdevelopment. As a part of the International Conflict Analysis and Transformation (ICAT) research group, Dlorah works to develop models to simulate the impact of policy implementation on pertinent health, social, and economic issues.
Areas of InterestSub-Saharan Africa; Conflict and Public Health; Global Health Security; Socioeconomic Impact Analysis; Conflict Epidemiology; Environmental Sustainability and Health; Political Economy
Nicole Junker holds a BA in History from San Diego State University and an MA in Central and Eastern European Studies from La Salle University. In addition, she holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice from the International Peace and Security Institute and is a proud recipient of the Clendenin Scholarship at Kennesaw State University. Nicole completed research on human trafficking in the Republic of Moldova for her Master’s Thesis and which led to the peer-reviewed publication of her article “Human Trafficking Legislation in the Republic of Moldova.” Currently, she is conducting research on the impact of media on survivors of trafficking returning from Islamic State captivity in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her dissertation topic involves the creation of an adaptable model for the rehabilitation of sex trafficking victims in conflicts throughout the world. Prior to joining the INCM Program, Nicole served as the Communications Specialist for the USAID funded Access to Justice Program in Iraq and as the Director of Communications for the Identity Theft Resource Center. Her volunteer work includes involvment with the International Visitor Leadership Program teaching international delegates how to create communications products involving survivors of gender based and sexual violence and working with domestic sex trafficking survivors in rehabilitation, which she has done for nearly a decade.
Areas of InterestConflict Related Sexual Violence; Human Trafficking; Central and Eastern Europe; Trauma; Media and Communications.
Kumar Khadka graduated from Tribhuvan University in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies (a program funded by Norway and executed in collaboration with University of Life Sciences-Norway, Tribhuvan University-Nepal, Eastern University and University of Ruhuna-Sri Lanka). He has undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Relations. In addition, he earned an eighteen months diploma in Community Development.
He enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State University to better understand the theoretical foundation of international conflict management and its practice in the field as well as to enhance the skills and techniques of practice, research, and analysis. His research interest includes foreign aid, peacebuilding, identity and ethnic conflicts, political violence, governance and regime change.
His dissertation topic is Foreign Aid and Peacebuilding and will assess types of regimes and their interaction with foreign aid in post-conflict peacebuilding. He has selected Nepal as a case study and also doing a comparative analysis of 55 (including past and present) post-conflict peacebuilding countries quantitatively.
Before joining Kennesaw State’s INCM PhD Program in 2013, he worked with different national and international organizations in various positions. He started his career as a social worker in 2002. He was Secretary of National Steering Committee for Volunteerism under National Planning Commission of Nepal. He worked with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nepal as a Program Coordinator for Local Governance and Community Development Program (LGCDP), which was executed by the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development. He also worked with United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme in Nepal as a National Coordinator. He was a Youth Focal Point for United Nations Youth Advisory Panel in Nepal and also served as a member of High Level Volunteerism Policy Formulatiuon Task Force under National Planning Commission of Nepal. He worked as a Program Coordinator in Community Development Resource Center, which is a national level NGO in Nepal.
Moreover, he is the founder & central secretariat member of Youth NGO Federation of Nepal and central member and advisor of Population Studies and Management Federation of Nepal. He is also the founding member of Social Mobilizer’s Association of Nepal.
Areas of InterestNepal; Developing Countries; Post-conflict Reconstruction; Peacebuilding; Foreign Aid; Ethno-religious Violence; Identity conflicts; Regime Change; Governance; Policy Reforms
Kate earned bachelor’s degrees in both philosophy and music at Valdosta State University (2008). For her master’s degree in musicology at Northern Arizona University (2011) she did fieldwork in Ghana. Kate has also studied in France, Italy, and Hungary and has taught ESL in Honduras. She has contributed to international education publications including The Native Foreigner, Melibee Global, Go Overseas, and Study in the USA. Kate has also presented at the annual conference for the Georgia Association of International Educators, and is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. She currently works at the Georgia Tech Language Institute as a Designated School Official.
Areas of Interest
Ethics, Ethno-Religious Conflicts, International Higher Education Risk Management, Music, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Social Identity Theory
Cynthia LeMay graduated first in her class from Syracuse University's M.B.A. Program in Syracuse, New York and received her B.A. in Economics from Union College in Schenectady, New York. She is a Registered Neutral in the State of Georgia and a Certified Mediator for Cobb County, Georgia, with a certificate in domestic violence.
Cynthia’s research is focused on the conflict resolution strategies, political engagement, and social media use of the Millennial generation. Her paper titled “Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Strategies of Millennials in the Workplace” won first place in the graduate student paper competition at the 2018 Georgia Sociological Association Annual conference.
With twenty-five years of experience in the corporate retirement industry, Cynthia last served as Vice President for Principal Financial Group. Prior to Principal Financial, she was Regional Vice President of Retirement Plans for Northern Trust Retirement Consulting. During her career, she has negotiated billion-dollar agreements, participated in union negotiations, and led a Human Resources Department. She has earned lifetime certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the Society for Human Resource Management.
While working as a leader in the retirement industry, Cynthia simultaneously started Battle Saint™, a not-for-profit organization raising funds for servicemen and women suffering post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. She has appeared on numerous national and local TV and radio stations for this cause.
Areas of Interest
Millennial generation, generational conflict, political change, post-traumatic stress, social media
Kevin McMahon is a doctoral student in the Ph.D. program in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University. He received a B.S. in Accounting cum laude from Boston College and holds an MBA in Finance from the Lubin School of business at Pace University, a Masters in Theology from Fordham University, and a Sarbanes-Oxley Certificate from Tulane University Law School.
Prior to entering the INCM program, McMahon served as Treasurer for a Global Fortune 500 financial institution. He also has extensive experience in investment banking as a trader, computer programmer, and quantitative analyst with Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and Salomon Brothers in New York, Boston, and London.
Kevin’s research interests include the use of social media in violence prevention and containment, the responsibilities of global corporations in peace building processes, the role of local religious leaders as a balance to violence promoters, research addressing the extent that the emerging spread of cyberwar changes the playbook for conflict management, the utility of big data tools for conflict warning and mitigation, and the interplay between culture, religion, and internet communication technologies.
McMahon has served on numerous community boards including the Chattanooga Red Cross, the Finance Committee of Memorial Hospital, and the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. Closer to home, his volunteer work in the female wards of Tennessee prisons has led to a research interest in gender sentencing differentials.
Areas of InterestSocial media in violence prevention and containment, the responsibilities of global corporations in peace building processes, gender sentencing differentials
Eric graduated from Old Dominion University with an MA in International Studies with a concentration in Conflict and Cooperation. He also holds an MBA from the University of Southern Indiana and a BA in Political Science with a minor in History from Purdue University. He enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State University because of its focus on international peacebuilding and development. When finished, Eric would like to work in academia or international development.
His research interests include Kosovo/Serbia relations, the Balkans in general, ethnic conflicts, U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War and automation as it pertains to possible future conflicts arising.
While still early in the process, his proposed dissertation research will likely comprise of how to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia.
Prior to his graduate work at KSU, Eric served in the Peace Corps for two years in Kosovo as a TEFL volunteer. Besides teaching English, he was involved in community development projects with his local municipality and leadership roles through the Peace Corps. Aside from this international experience, he also spent time in Morocco studying abroad during his MA program. He is fluent in Albanian.
Areas of Interest
Kosovo, the Balkans, U.S. foreign policy, decolonization in Africa, automation, the Cold War, U.S. diplomatic history, the MENA region
Rabia Mujahid graduated from National Defense University, Islamabad in 2015 with a Master’s in Public Policy. She enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State University because of its outstanding faculty and research facilities. Rabia believes that her PhD will enable her to tackle the development issues being faced by Pakistan. She wants to work for a legislative framework that provides basic human rights to every women and child of Pakistan; which also includes free access to education, health and a good wage structure. A legislation structure that makes sure that no vulnerable woman ever dies out of acid attack, domestic violence or honor killing.
Her research interests include Women empowerment, Role of women in politics & peace building, and Poverty alleviation.
Her proposed dissertation research is “What role does Democracy play in the alleviation of corruption and political empowerment of women: A Comparative Analysis of Pakistan and Rwanda Parliament”. She will use a qualitative method of study for this proposed dissertation.
Prior to her graduate experience, she worked for five years in public and private universities of Pakistan as a visiting lecturer.
Areas of Interest
Women empowerment, Role of women in politics & peace building, and Poverty alleviation
Edwin N. Njonguo graduated egregia cum laude from Salisbury University, Maryland, U.S.A., in May of 2015 with a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution (M.A. CADR). Prior to his M.A. in CADR, Edwin pursued a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Political Science, with specialization in International Relations, at the University of Buea, Cameroon. He enrolled in the INCM Ph.D. Program at Kennesaw State University, Georgia, U.S.A., to further research and propagate Alternative Dispute Resolution as a genuine alternative to the default power-based approaches to conflict, which continue to plunge the world into increased turmoil. He has been deeply involved in, and would like to continue researching, practicing, training and teaching Conflict Management and Peace Building.
Edwin's research interests include unequal power relations in the international geopolitical system, extremism and counter terrorism strategies, (un)constitutional political power change and the democratic process, intergovernmental and multi-lateral organizations, structural and systemic dispute systems design, human rights advancement and the rule of law, multi-track diplomacy, transitional justice, gender, conflict prevention, peacemaking (negotiation, mediation, facilitation, intervention), peace building, peace keeping, conflict spoilers, transnational migration, African traditional methods of conflict resolution, non-proliferation of small arms in Africa, and post-conflict reconstruction and development.
Having served in various capacities with the nonprofit sector and the academia, Edwin holds over ten years of working experience. Amongst others, he holds dual certification in Advanced Mediation from Salisbury University and Community Mediation Maryland, certificate in Conflict Analysis from the United States Institute of Peace, and a certificate in Human Rights Leadership from the UNESCO Chair and Institute of Comparative Human Rights at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Edwin N. Njonguo speaks four languages - English, French, Pidgin and M'muock.
Areas of InterestUnequal power relations in the international geopolitical system, extremism and counter terrorism strategies, (un)constitutional political power change and the democratic process, intergovernmental and multi-lateral organizations, structural and systemic dispute systems design
Joe Osborne is a PhD Student in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University. He has a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Post Graduate School and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Florida State University. Prior to joining the INCM program Joe worked in various executive capacities in the security and defense sector and is a retired Army Special Forces Colonel. He remains a shadowy, mysterious figure, often caught in glimpses on the fringes of world events. He has proven equally at ease testifying on the Hill or riding a Hazara pony in the Hindu Kush. A poet warrior in the classical sense, his pursuit of a PhD dovetails nicely with regularly getting beat up on the Jui Jitsu mat. His research focus is centered on the strategic factors and executive decision making that impact the success or failure of special operations in the context of national security interests. Joe recently published a teaching case study on the impact of the Kobani battle. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, The Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Ranger and Special Forces Tabs. He is a Master Parachutist and has earned military parachute badges from Thailand and the Republic of Korea.
Areas of InterestAreas of Interest: Strategic Theory, Special Operations, Unconventional Warfare, use of force intervention scenarios, Smart Power, cyber in emerging global insurgency, the nexus of international criminal organizations and insurgent organizations
Audrey Redmond graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2014 with a Master of Arts in Social Science with an emphasis in Political Science. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, with an emphasis in Diplomatic and International Service, from Kennesaw State University in 2012. Audrey is originally from Milledgeville, Georgia. Her academic memberships include the American Conference for Irish Studies, as well as the International Studies Association with additional membership to the Active Learning in International Affairs and Feminist Theory and Gender Studies sections.
She enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State University because she would like to continue learning and researching global issues. Audrey’s career goal is to become an instructor of International Affairs courses, and her research interests include political identity formation, roles of women in politics, digital conflict, and Irish studies. Audrey is a native English speaker and also speaks conversational and written Spanish.
She currently serves as a research assistant in the INCM program and is investigating the role of digital technology in conflict. Prior to enrolling in the INCM PhD program, Audrey worked for two years in the First-Year Experience (FYE) department at Georgia Southern University as a graduate assistant. During her time at Georgia Southern she taught multiple FYE courses, trained student leaders to serve as teaching assistants, and developed course content on the D2L platform. She competed in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference as a delegate from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the UN-HABITAT committee. Audrey worked as an intern with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), member of the Senate Committee on foreign relations, to gain a greater understanding of the role that Congress plays in shaping foreign policy. Audrey also founded the ONE Campaign on Kennesaw State University's campus to engage students to take an active role in the fight against global poverty.
Areas of InterestInternational Affairs; Ireland; Northern Ireland; Nationalism; Transatlantic Identity Formation; Political Identity; Women in Politics; Scotland; Catalonia; Independence Referendums; Digital Conflict
Cyrel San Gabriel
Cyrel San Gabriel is a doctoral student in the PhD Program in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University. Her areas of interest include fragility and conflict, public policy, and governance in Asia and the Pacific. She is also doing consulting work for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a research and communications specialist for fragile and conflict-affected situations. She conducts fragility assessments of ADB member countries, produces regular reports on an ADB technical assistance project, provides peer reviews, and manages the ADB website on fragile situations (http://fragilesituations.adb.org).
San Gabriel did fragility assessments for Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, and Afghanistan, and developed a practical guide for conducting fragility assessments. She developed the ADB website on fragile situations, produced videos on fragility and conflict, wrote blogs that have been published on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and ADB websites, prepared briefing notes and speeches for ADB management and regular project reports, edited several ADB publications, and supported the implementation of a high-level forum and expert workshop. San Gabriel also worked as editorial consultant for ADB’s Department of External Relations from 2006 to 2010.
Prior to joining ADB as a full-time consultant in 2011, she did consulting work for seven years for international organizations, government, nongovernment organizations, and the private sector on research, training, and knowledge management covering agriculture, corporate, education, governance, health, and information and communication technology sectors. She did short-term consulting projects with Asian Productivity Organization, European Union, United Nations Development Programme, World Health Organization, Department of Health, Department of Education, Center for Conscious Living Foundation, Integrated Recycling Industries, and Jollibee Foods Corporation. San Gabriel was also project manager in the Development Academy of the Philippines for eight years for communication and capacity building programs on governance and productivity.
She received her Master's Degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines. San Gabriel has been selected as a 2016 Rotary Peace Fellow by the Rotary Foundation “to more effectively promote tolerance and cooperation among peoples and advance the goals of world understanding and peace.” She also volunteered as facilitator for the Glorious Hope program for five years, providing psychological aid for people with hurts, habits, and hang-ups and/or those that have been victims of domestic and substance abuse.
Areas of InterestFragility and conflict in Asia and the Pacific, climate change, public policy, and governance.
Abdullah Saleh graduated in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He received his Bachelor of Social Sciences (B.S.S.) Honors & Master of Social Sciences (M.S.S.) in Peace and Conflict Studies from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Coming from Bangladesh, which has been overwhelmed by Myanmar's stateless Rohingya minority, Abdullah developed a genuine interest in the right to citizenship of the Rohingya people. His interest has been further sparked and fueled by working on several projects, including his master’s thesis (entitled “Understanding Myanmar’s Rejection of The United Nations Conventions on Statelessness”) at Brandeis University. He enrolled in the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State because he would like to be grounded in policy-relevant, state-of-the-art research that has a real impact on the lives of individuals and the fabric of communities.
Before coming to the United States Abdullah spent three years as the National Coordinator of Activista Bangladesh, the global youth network of ActionAid International.
Areas of Interest
Statelessness; political exclusion and extremism; identity, intergroup conflict and co-existence; community-based reconciliation; regional integration; international organizations and global governance.
Cortney Stewart graduated from Florida State University in 2007 with a BA in International Affairs and Political Science. Upon graduation she lived in northern India for three years working with college students on development issues. In 2010, she returned to the U.S. to work on her Master’s degree in San Francisco as a satellite program from Union University. She graduated in 2012 with an MA in Intercultural Studies. She briefly worked as an instructor for one term at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology in Pyongyang, North Korea before moving to Baghdad, Iraq where she worked for three years with a relief and development agency. There she worked with the U.S. Embassy Microaccess Scholarship Program as a program coordinator and worked with members of Parliament and other government agencies on cultural, political and English-language trainings.
Areas of InterestMiddle Eastern studies, Identity Negotiation issues among Refugees and host Countries, Sustainable Development and the role of aid
Hogr Tarkhani, is an International Conflict Management Ph.D. student at Kennesaw State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science at Sulaimani University and graduated as a top student. As one of the best students in his major, Hogr received a full scholarship by the Iraqi government to study his master’s degree in the United States. He received his master’s in international studies (International Commerce and Policy- Policy track) at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. He graduated as a top student in his major and received a special honor by the president of Valparaiso University. He also, became one of the best Iraqi students in the US for the year of 2016, and received several awards in the ceremony at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington DC, by the Iraqi Ambassador in the US, Iraqi ambassador to the UN, the US Deputy Secretary of Iraq affairs, and academics from the US Universities.
His master thesis was on “the viability of pursuing foreign relations for sub-national governments- A case of Kurdistan Region”. His goal was to answer questions regarding the validity of pursuing foreign relations for sub-state actors, and regions.
Prior to his graduate experience, Hogr goes back to his country and worked at one the governmental universities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, as an assistant lecturer and Director of Career Development Center and worked closely with the IREX (A US-based organization in the areas of global education and development)
Hogr enrolled in the INCM Ph.D. Program at Kennesaw State University to better equip him to understand conflicts that are happening around the world. He intends to focus his research on soft power and hard power in building countries foreign relations and how hard power can diminish countries reputations overseas, with a focus on the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. He also, would like to transfer his knowledge from the INCM school of peacebuilding and development to the grounds of Iraq and apply it over there.
Area of Interests
Foreign Relations, Soft and Hard Power, Diplomacy, War and Peace, Terrorism, Iraq, The US Foreign Relations, Peacebuilding, and development.
Lina Tuschling graduated from the University of Hamburg, Germany in 2014 with a MA in Peace Studies and Security Policy. In 2013 Lina completed her Bachelor’s in International Business and Languages at the International Business School at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Lina enrolled in the INCM PhD program at Kennesaw State to continue learning and writing about ethno-religious conflict and the impact of social identity on conflict.She also teaches International Relations at Kennesaw State.
Lina’s academic research interests include social identity theories, nationalism and patriotism, and fraternal social relationships in nationalistic societies and their impact on intra- and inter-national conflicts, specifically in the Middle East. Her dissertation explores motivations and different social identities displayed by members of a nonviolent movement in the Middle East.
Prior to her graduate experience, Lina worked at the Institute for Theology and Peace in Hamburg, Germany and interned at the German-Israeli Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tel Aviv, Israel. Lina is a native German speaker and speaks fluent English. She also speaks some Modern Hebrew, Spanish and French.
Areas of InterestNational Identity theories, Nonviolent Movements, Nationalism, Patriotism, Ethno-religious Conflicts, Social Identity, Reconciliation, Military Identity, Religious Identity and Religious Extremism, Middle East, Israel, Civil-Military relations
Banti C.V. Zehyoue
Banti C. V. Zehyoue is a native of Monrovia, Liberia and enrolled as a doctoral student in the KSU SCMPD program in January of 2017. Banti completed her undergraduate studies at Southern University, Baton Rouge with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology graduating with honors. She later earned her Masters of Social Work from Louisiana State University.
Banti enrolled in the INCM PhD program because she would like to intersect her education and experiences as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with conflict resolution, with particular interest in post conflict reconciliation. She is also interested in evaluating successful strategies for integration that could be vital in helping parents and children who experience challenges in the United States after entering as immigrants or refugees.
Being a survivor of the civil war in Liberia, Banti understands the effects of conflict on the individual, families, countries, and cultures. She has been a first-hand witness to the atrocities of war, but also a firm believer in an educational and treatment system that can help one recover from trauma and contribute to society in meaningful ways. As a clinician, she has the empathy and compassion necessary in working with victims of trauma.
Prior to her graduate experience, Banti worked for over ten years in direct practice providing counseling and supportive services in hospitals, schools, community agencies and non-profit organizations. She has worked in crisis supports, refugee resettlement and adoption services.
Areas of InterestAreas of interest: diaspora & refugee studies; Sub-Saharan Africa; Humanitarian Interventions; post conflict reconciliation; gender equality; women empowerment; and Immigration.