PhD Research Fellows
Dogus Aktan, Research Fellow
Dogus is from Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated from the Galatasaray University in Istanbul in 2013 with a degree in Political Science. He spent one year of my undergraduate in Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium with the Erasmus Exchange program. He recently graduated with a Master's degree in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School, where he continues to support the MEC project. In his first year at Korbel, he was a research assistant for Professor Joseph Szyliowicz. His research interests focus primarily on global governance and the role of non-state actors in the security realm.
Kyleanne Hunter, Research 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.
Paul Kemp, Research Fellow
Paul is a new PhD student and research fellow at the Sié Center, working for Dr. Erica Chenoweth on a project concerning external assistance to nonviolent movements. He is primarily interested in the relationship between money and violence, or more specifically, the coercive mechanisms by which state-issued currencies are disseminated and sustained. An avid aficionado of both music and nomadism, Paul spent the past few years as a professional touring drummer and intermittent hermit of the mountains. He holds degrees in Political Science from the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University.
Kara Kingma Neu, Research Fellow
Kara Kingma Neu 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 husband Todd and enjoys watching sports and spending time in the great outdoors.
Jonathan Pinckney, Research 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.
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.
Graduate and Undergraduate Research Assistants
Anam Ahmed, Research Assistant
Anam is an MA candidate in International Development. She is enrolled in the Peace Corps Master's International program at Korbel and is a research assistant for the Major Episodes of Contention project at the Sié Center. She grew up in Bahrain, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Buffalo with honors degrees in Environmental Studies, French and English. Prior to attending University of Denver, she was a naturalist intern and environmental educator at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Depew, NY, and afterwards served as the Assistant Executive Director of a nonprofit that focused on providing more balanced media coverage of political and social events in the Middle East for the residents of Western New York. In addition, she has also worked as an English language tutor in Switzerland and Brazil. She has assisted with a variety of research projects throughout her academic career; the topics range from analyzing depictions of smoking in French literature, media and cinema to exploring the link between weak social capital and sectarian violence in Pakistan.
Morgan Brokob, 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 pursued her MA in International Studies while exploring her research interests in human rights, conflict resolution, and gender studies.
Christian Brunner, Research Assistant
Christian grew up in Cincinnati, OH and graduated with a BA in History and Anthropology from Centre College in 2011. After working as a tennis coach, concrete general laborer, and an accountant after his undergrad; he decided to pursue a lifelong interest in international affairs by working towards an MA in International Human Rights this past January at Korbel. The past six months, he has served as a research assistant for a former Korbel graduate, now an independent human rights consultant who specializes in asylum and immigration cases. In addition to providing research for specific cases, we have collaborated on two dissertations (one on the persecution of religious minorities since the annexation of Crime and the other on degenderizing the perception of victims of honor violence) that are being submitted for publishing. His interests within international human rights specifically include women's rights in India, LGBTQ rights in Russia, youth development in Africa, and political corruption in South America.
Kaitlyn Dowd, Research Assistant
Originally from Fort Collins, CO, Kaitlyn graduated from Colorado State University with a dual degree in International Studies and Spanish with a minor in Chinese. While at CSU she spent time as a language tutor and lived abroad in Krasnodar, Russia where she studied Russian language and culture. Kaitlyn is currently pursuing a dual master's degree in International Human Rights and Business Administration. Ultimately she plans on exploring her research interests in human rights, social corporate responsibility, and global business.
Emma Dunn, 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 is pursuing a concentration in International Human Rights and to focus her studies on refugees’ rights and forced displacement.
Edward Feuer, Research Assistant
Edward graduated from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York with a BA in political science and a concentration in public affairs. He interned as a researcher at the Brookings Institution in the Metropolitan Policy Program, where he worked on several high-level projects including the world's first comprehensive analysis of FDI flows in and out of American cities. After moving to Denver, Edward interned in the Office of the Governor, where he worked towards safe and smart regulation of marijuana in Colorado. He is an MA candidate in the Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration program of Korbel, where he focuses in sustainable economic development.
Nicholas Gilroy, Research Assistant
Nicholas is from the coastal town of Marblehead, MA. He graduated summa cum laude and as a Commonwealth honors scholar from Salem State University in 2014 with a BS in Environmental Sustainability. While at SSU his research focused on the mobility of bicyclists through the City of Salem using GPS harvested data from a company called STRAVA. The geo-visualization and analysis of movement was critical in determining where best to allocate future financial resources to build bicycle infrastructure. Nicholas is currently pursuing a MS in Geographic Information Science by developing a mobile application that records GPS movements of bicyclists. In addition, Nicholas is working with Dr. Sarah Glaser and Dr. Cullen Hendrix as a GIS researcher/analyst for Lake Victoria.
Kaleb LeGore, Research Assistant
Kaleb is an 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, Research Assistant
Christine is an 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.
Aaron Moritz, Research Assistant
Aaron is an 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.
Andrew Ortendahl, 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, 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.
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.
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 VoxEU.org 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.
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.
David Strivings, Research Assistant
A native of Tempe, Arizona, David attended Arizona State University, graduating magna cum laude in 2008 with a B.S. in Geography. After graduating, David interned in the Aceh province of Indonesia for 6 months with a NGO. There he assisted agriculture extension workers and education teams in analyzing and improving programs. From 2009-2014, he worked for a software startup as the Customer Relations Manager. Currently, David is pursuing a Masters degree in International Development focusing on Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development. He is a research assistant in the ENFOCO lab with Dr. Cullen Hendrix. In his free time, David and his wife enjoy running, camping, hiking and cycling.
Rene Travis, Research Assistant
Rene is from Pass Christian, MS though she spent most of her childhood in Stavanger, Norway and Houston, TX. She graduated from Furman University in Greenville, SC with Bachelors of Art in History and Political Science where she wrote her thesis on social movements in the political sphere in Latin America. Rene is interested in electoral processes and democratization theory. She has interned at Project Vote Smart - a non-partisan U.S. based voting transparency service - and at the United Nations Development Programme in Tbilisi, Georgia with the Governance Reform Fund project and the Press Office. She is currently a MA candidate in International Studies with concentrations in development, democratization, and the Middle East. Now, she is working on the Non-Violent Action in Violent Conflicts project with Dr. Erica Chenoweth.
Will Trout, Research Assistant
Originally from Massachusetts, Will was accepted to the Dual BA/MA program at Korbel in 2014 and received a bachelors degree in International Studies from the University of Denver in June 2015. In the fall of 2013, he studied abroad in Russia at St. Petersburg State University. During the summer of 2015, Will conducted monitoring, evaluation, and project design on income generation projects as an intern for Buddhism for Social Development Action in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Will is a MA candidate in International Security and a research assistant on the Major Episodes of Contention Project.
Jennifer Zavala, 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.