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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy


Sié Center

Student Research Assistants

Matt Bloise, Student Research Assistant
Matt is a fifth-generation Coloradan. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied English, History and Philosophy, and interned for Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO 5). After graduation, he returned to Washington as a legislative reporter for the Congress, and would eventually become a freelance journalist. Matt moved to Southern California and wrote for a variety of publications, but focused his work on local government in Santa Barbara County. Deciding to change directions, he signed up for the Peace Corps and was delighted to receive an assignment in China. He spent two years teaching English at Chongqing University of Technology, in a sprawling metropolis in western China, learning to enjoy spicy food and trying to understand the Middle Kingdom. At Korbel, Matt a Master's candidate in the Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration program, and  works as a research assistant to Dr. Rachel Epstein.

Morgan Brokob, Student Research Assistant
Originally from Longmont, Colorado, Morgan graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with a dual degree in International Studies and Arabic and a minor in Spanish. While at OU, her research on the relationship between literature and activism was published by The Honors Undergraduate Research Journal, and she worked as both an editor and a contributor for the Arabic-language student publication al-Oklahomi. She also spent time in Brazil, where she studied urban anthropology in a Latin American context and completed an ethnography of consumerism across social classes in Rio de Janeiro. At Korbel, Morgan will pursue her MA in International Studies while exploring her research interests in human rights, conflict resolution, and gender studies.

Catherine ClarkeStudent Research Assistant
A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Catherine graduated with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a BA in International Studies, concentrating in politics, nation-states, and social movements. After graduation, she spent two years serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines where she worked as an English teacher in a rural high school. During her service, Catherine collaborated on several projects designed to promote English education in rural schools and organized activities to engage local youth in environmental service. With her service completed, Catherine will pursue her MA in International Development at Korbel and explore her interests in human rights, education and global health. She is a research assistant on the Private Security Monitor project, working with Dr. Avant, and oversees PSM outreach.

Emika Du, Student Research Assistant
Emika was born in Kunming, China and has lived in Denmark, California, and Nebraska. She graduated from New York University 2012 with a Politics major and French minor. In 2010, she spent a semester in Paris, France, where she studied French history and politics at the Sorbonne. Upon graduation, she relocated to Shenzhen, China, where she worked for Peking University Graduate School’s School of Environment and Energy. There, she helped develop the International Safe Drinking Water Alliance, an international NGO jointly-affiliated with Peking University and the University of California, Davis. She returned stateside in 2014 to begin an internship with the University of Nebraska’s Food Security and Technology Department where she helped develop risk assessment models for pathogens in poultry and dairy products. At Korbel, Emika is an MA candidate in International Development. Her interests include global health affairs, environmental politics, contemporary politics of Asia and Africa, and political intrigue in King’s Landing.

Emma Dunn, Student Research Assistant
Emma graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego with an honors degree in International Relations and minors in Mathematics and Spanish in 2012. As an undergrad, she discovered a passion for forced displacement issues and published an honors thesis that looked at social movements fighting for autonomy in oppressed populations. Since graduating, her freelance position as Policy and Research Coordinator at ADRS, an economic modeling consultant, has allowed her to travel the world and work for organizations such as Equal Education, a non-profit education advocacy group in South Africa, and the Unit of Attention and Reparation to Victims, in Medellín, Colombia. At Korbel, Emma plans to pursue a concentration in International Human Rights and to focus her studies on refugees’ rights and forced displacement.

Aleksandra EgorovaStudent Research Assistant
Aleksandra is from St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated with honors from the Smolny-Bard College double diploma program, earning a BA in International Relations, Political Science, and Human Rights. During her studies at Smolny, she volunteered as a Russian language teacher to migrant children and worked as a faculty assistant helping with publications on African conflict minerals. She also studied abroad with the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City, where she interned with Seeds of Peace, a peacebuilding NGO. During her senior year, she wrote her thesis on conflict resolution and disaster diplomacy and co-authored a publication on the “New Silk Road” as part of the Stanford U.S.-Russia forum. At the Josef Korbel School, Aleksandra will be pursuing a master’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in conflict resolution and will work as a research assistant for the Project on Environment, Food, and Conflict at the Sié Center.

Benjamin EvansStudent Research Assistant
A native of Dallas, Texas, Ben is a MA candidate in International Studies. Ben graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Rhodes College in 2014, earning his BA in History and International Studies. During his time at Rhodes, Ben published independent archival research on the 1878 epidemic of yellow fever in Memphis. Additionally, he has worked as an intern in the Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, where he researched transatlantic maritime cooperation and security. At Korbel, Ben will explore his research interests in the Middle East and North Africa, political Islam, and social movements. As a Sié Fellow, Ben is a research assistant for  the  Major Episodes of Contention project, working with Dr. Erica Chenoweth.

Sarah FriendStudent Research Assistant
Sarah is from Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated magna cum laude from Ohio State University, earning her BA in International Relations and Diplomacy, with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. Following graduation, Sarah served as a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. During her service, she ran after school programs for youth, organized several day and overnight camps, and taught aerobics classes at a local women's associations. She is now be pursuing her Master's degree in International Development and works as a research assistant on  the  Major Episodes of Contention project  at the  Sié  Center.

Ky Hunter Kyleanne HunterResearch Fellow
Kyleanne is a PhD Student at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. She earned her MA in international security from the Korbel School and her BS from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Her research interests focus on the role of women in influencing tactics of political violence and shaping post-conflict societies. In addition to her own research, Kyleanne manages the project on Nonviolent Action in Violent Conflicts hosted at the Sié Center and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In addition to her academic work, Kyleanne works with Mountain2Mountain as in-field consultant for the Afghan Women’s National Cycling team.  She has served as both a mechanic and coach in Afghanistan, helping the grass-roots team to achieve international recognition. Prior entering academia, she worked for a tech start-up, a defense contractor, and spent more than a decade as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, serving as an AH-1W Super Cobra attack pilot on multiple deployments in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. She spent her last 3 years in the Marine Corps as the liaison officer to the House of Representatives. In addition to her liaison duties, she served as the military escort for several international congressional delegations for the chairman of the Armed Services, Rules and Veterans' Affairs Committees. Kyleanne lives in Denver, Co, where she continues to compete in elite-level mountain bike races. 

Kara KingmaKara Kingma , Research Fellow 
Kara Kingma is a PhD candidate in International Studies at the Josef Korbel School and research fellow with the Private Security Monitor project. She graduated summa cum laude from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2010 with a BA in Government/International Affairs. She earned her MA in International Studies from Korbel in 2012, where her research focused on democratic transitions in states divided along racial, ethnic, and religious lines. Her studies also focused more generally on the Middle East, and she served as a member and cochair of the Middle East Discussion Group from 2010-2012. Kara remains interested in the consolidation of new democracies and levels of government effectiveness and citizen satisfaction in these new systems. She recently coauthored a journal article with Professor Devin Joshi in African and Asian Studies on levels of representation of women in Asian parliaments. Kara also serves as the PhD Representative on the Sie Center Governing Board at Korbel. Kara lives in Denver with her fiancé, Todd, and enjoys watching sports and spending time in the great outdoors.

Kaleb LeGore, Student Research Assistant
Kaleb is a MA candidate in International Security and research assistant on the  Major Episodes of Contention project  at the  Sié  Center. He earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Kaleb received a commission as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army and served in Afghanistan. Kaleb’s research interests include terrorism, insurgencies, and the dynamics of state interaction with contentious political organizations. 

Christine Loftus, Student Research Assistant
Christine is a MA candidate in International Development and research assistant on the Nonviolent Action in Violent Contexts project at the Sié Center. She graduated cum laude from Tufts University in 2011 with dual degrees in International Relations and Spanish. Following her graduation, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, working on projects ranging from English teacher training to sports therapy for the disabled. She completed her service in 2013 and moved to Honduras where she began working as a Program Associate for Global Brigades. In this role, she worked with the Public Health, Water, Architecture and Microfinance Programs. She soon developed a passion for microfinance and business development as a means of promoting gender equality and reducing poverty. She plans to deepen her knowledge of the nexus between inclusion and economic development while at the Korbel School before pursuing a career in this field.

Pauline MoorePauline Moore, Research Fellow
Pauline Moore is a PhD candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and research fellow on the Major Episodes of Contention project at the Sié Center. She completed her MA in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), as well as a Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis at the University of Maryland's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). She holds a B.A. in International Studies and Russian from Middlebury College. Pauline's research interests include political violence and terrorism, in particular the reasons behind the use of violent and nonviolent forms of political contestation in civil wars. Pauline joined Consultancy Africa Intelligence's Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor publication in 2012, where she has published several articles on conflict in North and West Africa. Prior to this, she spent seven years working in the field of international development in Africa and Latin America. As a carbon markets specialist at Conservation International, Pauline managed sustainable land-use and conservation initiatives in countries such as Peru, Colombia, Madagascar, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She also spent four years as a consultant in a clean energy development firm based in the U.S., focusing primarily on the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Mali and Morocco. In addition to English and her native French, Pauline also speaks Russian, Spanish and Italian. She is married to Isaac Moore, and they live in Denver with their daughter Sophia.

Aaron Moritz, Student Research Assistant
Aaron is a MA candidate in International Development and a research assistant on the NAVCO data project. He was raised in Wisconsin and earned a BA in English: Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, where he graduated with highest honors. He cites a summer of building hiking trails with the Student Conservation Association in Utah’s Manti-La Sal National Forest as the catalyst for his desire to experience the world, a desire which ultimately led to him studying abroad in Paris, working on a goat farm in Southern France, and serving in Peace Corps. In Peace Corps, Aaron was placed in Guinea’s Fouta Djallon region, where he was partnered with a small gardening cooperative. There he discovered an interest in food security, a subject he hopes to explore at Korbel.

Christine Myers Student Research Assistant
Christine graduated summa cum laude from Pepperdine University with degrees in International Politics and Spanish. During her undergraduate career, she spent a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina studying Spanish and Latin American culture and politics and implemented programs in her role as student body president. She also published and presented research reports on Intervention in Libya and Sex-selective Abortion in India in her undergraduate academic journal. Christine has performed research on counter-terrorism at a policy institute in Israel and has contributed to Latin America regional programs as an intern at Vital Voices and as a project assistant at the National Democratic Institute. While pursuing her MA in International Security at the Korbel School, Christine focuses on conflict issues with particular emphasis on Latin America and the Middle East. As a Sié Fellow, Christine is a research assistant for   the  Major Episodes of Contention project , working  with Dr. Erica Chenoweth.

Andrew Ortendahl, Student Research Assistant
Originally from Boston, Andrew earned his BA from Oberlin College, graduating in 2011 with departmental high honors in Politics, a minor in French, and a concentration in International Studies. Prior to attending the Korbel School, he worked at CRDF Global, a non-profit in Arlington, Virginia that focuses on nonproliferation and international science issues, and is an implementer for the U.S. Department of State’s Global Threat Reduction programs. He also previously interned at the Institute for Science and International Security, a nonproliferation and arms control think tank in Washington, D.C. Andrew’s fields of interest include international relations theory, international security, and nuclear nonproliferation and arms control. He is a candidate for the MA in International Security at Korbel.

Patrick Pierson, Student Research Assistant
A native of Rome, GA, Patrick graduated from the University of Georgia with a BA in International Affairs and a minor in Spanish. While a student, Patrick completed internships in rural regions of Guatemala, Kenya, and Uganda. After graduating he spent a year with Athens PBJs, a nonprofit that brings together people - no matter age, skin color, bank account size - to experience and be transformed by friendship. Shortly thereafter, Patrick joined the Atlanta Mission where he has led partner integration into a new best practices service model, leveraging external expertise towards clearly defined client outcomes. At the Korbel School, Patrick will pursue a master's degree in international studies while exploring development in post-conflict societies. In his free time, Patrick enjoys spending time with his wife Anna and dog Tucker. He also enjoys a good coffee shop, Braves baseball, and running.

Jonathan PickneyJonathan PinckneyResearch Fellow
Jonathan is a PhD student at the Korbel School in the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics and a research fellow on the NAVCO data project. His research interests focus on extra-institutional means of political contention, primarily nonviolent civil resistance and political violence. Jonathan's work has been published in the Journal of Peace Research and the Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Jonathan received his BA in International Affairs from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, graduating summa cum laude with special honors, and was a 2012 recipient of the Korbel School's Sié Fellowship. Prior to entering graduate school Jonathan worked for study abroad programs in Egypt and India, and helped found BIRDS International, an NGO addressing issues related to rural poverty in South India. 

Trishna Rana, Student Research Assistant
Trishna was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. She graduated with honors from Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts) in 2010 where she majored in Political Science with a minor in Gender Studies. After graduation, she worked for a year as a volunteer English teacher at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. She then returned to Kathmandu, where she joined an English language weekly called Nepali Times as a reporter and editor. She wrote editorials and op-ed pieces on the country’s elections, post-war reconciliation process, and women in politics. Trishna has also worked as a media fellow for PANOS South Asia and traveled across Nepal studying the accomplishments and limitations of the country’s transitional justice mechanism. The project culminated in a book chapter which examines the gendered narratives of Nepal’s decade long conflict by looking at biographies and diaries of women. At Korbel, Trishna is pursuing a Master’s in International Studies and exploring her research interests in post-conflict societies and the gendered implications of violence. She also works as a RA on the Innovations in Peacebuilding project with Professor Timothy Sisk.

Adam Ratzlaff, Student Research Assistant
Originally from Las Vegas, NM, Adam holds a BA from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, where he triple majored in International Relations, Economics and Latin American studies. Before attending Tulane, Adam spent a year living in Minas Gerais Brazil as a Rotary Foreign Exchange Student. Prior to pursuing an MA in International Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies as a Sié Fellow, he conducted political and economic analysis of Latin America for several groups including the Inter American Development Bank, the World Bank, Southern Pulse Correspondents and the Commitment to Equity Project. His work has been featured on and in Hemispheres: The Tufts University Journal of International Affairs. Adam's interests include US-Latin American foreign policy, Pan-American cooperation and economic and social development in Latin America.

Molly RobbinsStudent Research Assistant
Molly is a MA candidate in International Development. She holds a BA with High Honors in political science, sociology, and anthropology from Swarthmore College. Molly has worked with a number of development nonprofits, including Limitless Horizons Ixil, a Guatemalan organization where she now serves on the Board of Directors. She has also worked as coordinator for a human rights advocacy project in Salt Lake City, UT, as well as with nonprofits in Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. Molly's research interests include community development and environmental issues, with an emphasis on project design and evaluation. A Maine native and lover of the Mountain West, Molly enjoys hiking, skiing, and ultimate frisbee. As a Sie Fellow, Molly is a research assistant for Korbel's NAVCO Data Project.

Andrew Scott, Student Research Assistant
Andrew is a MA candidate in international development with a geographic concentration in China and South East Asia and a research assistant on the  NAVCO data project. Originally from Maryland, Andrew earned his B.A. in 2011 from the College of William and Mary, where he studied international relations and economics. During his time at William and Mary, Andrew studied abroad in Beijing, China and volunteered with a Chinese organization advocating for people with disabilities. After graduation, he worked as a consultant for AidData in the Lao PDR and Uganda supporting the government-led implementation of development aid management tools to strengthen national aid effectiveness. In addition to studying for his M.A. he hopes to pursue research interests in non-traditional aid and microfinance. In his spare time he enjoys photography, playing volleyball, and watching Chelsea FC.

Christopher Shay,  Research Fellow
Christopher Shay is a PhD student in International Studies at Korbel and a research fellow on the  NAVCO data project. He received his bachelor’s degree from Hanover College (Indiana) in 2009, where he studied International Studies and Geology.  Between 2009-2010 Shay worked on fire ecology and other conservation issues with the Student Conservation Association and in partnership with the National Parks Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Shay re-focused on peace and conflict studies in 2010 when he began attendance as a Master’s student at Uppsala University’s Department of Peace and Conflict Research (Sweden).  Over the course of four years as a student and professional at Uppsala University, Shay studied armed conflict in South Asia, as well as post-conflict and transitional justice mechanisms around the world.  Currently, he is researching the relationship between civilians and security forces in transitional states, and the role human rights trials play in reforming or corroding this relationship.  His future doctoral studies at the University of Denver will focus on interactions between security forces, rebels, and civilians during and after conflicts and political turmoil.

Natalie Southwick, Student Research Assistant
Natalie is a MA candidate in International Human Rights. Born and raised just outside of Boston, she has all the defining characteristics of a Massachusetts native, including extreme emotional attachments to professional sports teams and serious candlepin bowling skills. She graduated cum laude from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and worked at The Boston Globe before beginning an AmeriCorps year of service with a program for middle-school students in Boston. After finishing AmeriCorps, she moved to Bogotá, Colombia, to spend a year as a volunteer English teacher with WorldTeach. She ended up staying for 2.5 more years, working with a USAID-funded development project, a human rights NGO focused on US policy in Latin America, as a freelance journalist and, most recently, as the editor of a website covering news in Latin America. She is interested in exploring the relationship between advocacy, communications and human rights in Latin America, and is perpetually counting down the days until she can go back to Colombia.

Jennifer ZavalaStudent Research Assistant
Jennifer is pursuing a MA in International Development and works as a RA on the Private Security Monitor project at the Sié Center. She graduated from Whitworth University in 2012 with a BA in Spanish and a BA in Theology. She also participated in two study abroad programs in Central America (studying political and sociological history and development) while completing her undergraduate degrees. After graduation, she moved to Colombia to work in a home for abandoned girls. Upon returning to the U.S., she worked for a translation company and helped design an ELL program at a school in Ogden, Utah. When she is not working or studying, she is mountain biking, skiing, or climbing.