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


Student Programs

Sié Fellows Alumni

Graduates from the Sié Fellows program have gone on to work at international organizations, world governments, and to pursue academic careers. 

Class of 2015

Mariana Alcoforado

Mariana was born and raised in Curitiba, Brazil. She graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University (New Orleans) in 2011, with a BA in International Relations, History and French. Mariana spent a semester abroad in Paris, France, where she had the opportunity to study International Relations and History at the Sorbonne. During her undergraduate program, she spent some time at The Hague, researching the International Court of Justice and in New York at the United Nations. Upon her return, she wrote an Honors Thesis on the effectiveness of the United Nations in humanitarian intervention. She also worked as an RA and collaborated on research on the subject of authoritarian regimes in Chile, Brazil and Argentina, on the consolidation of democracy in Latin America, and participatory budgets and government reform in Brazil. As a Sié fellow at Korbel, Mariana will be pursuing an MA in human rights and will also be working as a research assistant for the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research.

Ben Briese

Ben is a MA candidate in International Security. He earned his BA from Saint John's University in Minnesota, graduating summa cum laude. After graduating, Ben volunteered abroad for a year through the Benedictine Volunteer Corps. He went on to complete internships with the U.N. Development Programme in Bosnia-Herzegovina and an international NGO in Jordan. Since 2011, Ben has held several positions with ACTED, an international humanitarian NGO, working in Iraq, Yemen, Turkey and Syria.

Kate Castenson

Kate is a MA candidate in International International Human Rights with concentrations in international law and humanitarian assistance. She works as a research assistant for Professor Oliver Kaplan. Kate has spent the last three years in Washington, DC working at Human Rights Watch as the Coordinator of the Arms Division. She has traveled to Geneva and Oslo to support the division's advocacy work at international treaty meetings, and most recently she assisted with the launch of a civil society campaign to ban fully autonomous weapons. Prior to this, Kate graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College (CMC) with a degree in international relations and a focus on Latin America. During her undergraduate studies, she participated in CMC's Washington Semester and interned with the Washington Office on Latin America in their security studies program. She also spent a semester in Buenos Aires, where she studied human rights and interned with the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo – Línea Fundadora. After graduating from Korbel, Kate would like to conduct research and advocacy for a human rights nongovernmental organization or international organization.

Daniel Davis

Daniel Bruno Davis grew up in Washington DC, and earned a BS in English from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is a MA candidate in international studies. For the last five years, Daniel has been teaching English in different parts of China. He has taught hundreds of university students, classes ranging from oral English to European history. He spent one year living in a small town in Xinjiang, in the far West of China. There he taught English to Uyghur and Kazak students. Daniel is planning to further his knowledge of China and international relations while at Korbel. After graduating, he is hoping to continue his education and enter a career in academia.

Brittany Franck

Brittany graduated magna cum laude in 2006 with a dual degree in English and American Studies from California State University, Fullerton. Upon graduation she received the American Studies Department Academic Achievement Award. She subsequently moved to Germany as a Fulbright Scholar to teach English and pursue her research interest in environmental literature. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, where she trained primary school English teachers and worked to improve health care access and awareness for people with disabilities. At Korbel, Brittany will be pursuing a MA in International Development and a certificate in Global Health Affairs. She will also be working as a research assistant for the Project on Environment, Food and Conflict at the Sié Center.

Ashley Greve

A St. Louisan at heart, Ashley graduated with highest honors from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010 with her BA in Spanish Literature. She went on to serve two years in Peace Corps Ukraine, where she collaborated on a number of projects related to issues ranging from English-language education to civic engagement to gender and development. Her service abroad strengthened her interest in working internationally, and upon returning home Ashley moved to Denver to pursue a degree in international human rights. As a Korbel student, Ashley plans to focus her studies on contemporary slavery and human trafficking. She currently volunteers for the Denver area rape crisis hotline and works as a research assistant for the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research.

Nicholas Lightfoot

Nicholas is a MA candidate in International Administration. He grew up in rural Northumberland, England and earned his BA in International Relations at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, graduating with First Class Honours. A semester of this was spent studying in French at the Science Po. de Strasbourg, France. Over the past five years, Nicholas has interned for the East of England Brussels Office, Norwich Green Party, and L'Association Pour La Démocratie Européenne. He has worked in environmentally sensitive areas on the remote West Coast of New Zealand, in the French Alps, and voluntarily for the UK National Trust. It is his love of the Great Outdoors that fires Nicholas' passion for environmental challenges which affect international politics. Alongside studying for his MA, Nicholas will be a research assistant for the Project on Environment, Food and Conflict. Post-Korbel, he hopes to work towards strengthening the political and legal frameworks which govern our relationship with the environment.

Sabrina Ragaller

Sabrina graduated from the University of Georgia with a BA in international affairs and economics. She spent her undergraduate years completing internships with the Carl Vinson Institute of Local Government, the Center for International Trade and Security, and with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. After graduation, she moved to Colorado Springs to participate in El Pomar Foundation's two-year leadership development program. Her work at the private grant-making foundation has included hosting international delegations in Colorado and organizing debates between local political candidates. At the Korbel School, Sabrina will pursue a master's degree in international studies while exploring her research interests in civil-military relations and international trade.

Peter Rocco

Peter is a MA candidate in International Human Rights. A Brooklyn native, he most recently worked in Washington, D.C. as a researcher at CQ Roll Call, a media company focused on U.S. politics and policy, where his work focused on homeland security, defense and foreign policy. He previously served as a legislative assistant for Congressman Michael E. McMahon (D-N.Y.), a former member of the Foreign Affairs committee. He also worked as an associate at Edison Research, exclusive exit pollster of the U.S. presidential election for major domestic media outlets. He is a 2007 graduate of Bowdoin College. At Korbel, Peter plans to focus on human trafficking and related issues in the former Soviet Union and Europe.

Class of 2014

Kate FinnKate Finn

Kate is a MA candidate in international human rights. She has worked at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, where she managed the Services to Survivors of Torture and Preferred Communities grant programs. Prior to that, Kate worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she managed discretionary and formula grants to police and sheriffs' departments, U.S. attorneys' offices, correctional facilities, and victims' advocacy organizations. Kate has been an active volunteer for the anti-human trafficking and anti-torture movements, as well as for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Prior to studying at Korbel, Kate also served as a volunteer reading mentor at a Washington, D.C., elementary school. Kate received her BA in economics from Randolph-Macon Woman's College.

Hyshyama HaminHyshyama Hamin

Hyshyama was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Nepal. She earned her BA (Hons) in development studies from Kathmandu University. She is currently works for Ushahidi as Programmer Officer Asia for the Making All Voices Count - a 12 country programme on technology and innovation for governance in Asia and Africa. Hyshyama has previously worked on women's rights issues in conflict and post-conflict, gender and transitional justice in Nepal and on women and peace-building projects in Sri Lanka. Hyshyama was also a 2009 Cape Town Fellow of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). As a Fulbright scholar at Korbel, Hyshyama earned her MA in International Human Rights with concentrations in international law, humanitarian assistance and gender.

Kyleanne HunterKyleanne Hunter

Kyleanne is a MA candidate in international security. She earned her BA from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Since graduation, she has 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 the last 2.5 years as the Marine Corp's 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. At the Korbel School, she is a research assistant for the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research. In addition to her studies, Kyleanne races road and cyclocross bikes for a domestic elite team based out of Golden, Colorado.

Graham MillerGraham Miller

Graham graduated cum laude from the University of Richmond in 2009 with his BA in history. Since graduating, he has worked at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., as an analyst in the corporate strategy and development group. During his time at National Geographic his responsibilities included strategic planning and corporate integration, as well as business development functions with domestic and international partners across various media ventures. At the Korbel School, Graham will be pursuing an MA in international security. He is also working as a research assistant for the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research.

Jonathan PickneyJonathan Pinckney

Jonathan Pinckney is a PhD student at the Korbel School in the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics.  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. 

Jessica Rettig

Jessica is a MA candidate in global finance, trade and economic integration. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown University in 2009 with a BA in English and an honors certificate in Latin American Studies. As an undergraduate student, she was a member of The Pearl Project, a journalistic investigation into the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002. After graduating, she joined the politics and policy staff of U.S. News & World Report, where she reported on major national issues including foreign affairs, energy, and elections. She left U.S. News in December 2011 to travel to Colombia, where she worked as a freelance writer in Bogotá and in Cartagena at the Summit of the Americas. In addition to U.S. News & World Report, Jessica has contributed to The White House Bulletin, World Politics Review, City Paper Bogotá, The National (UAE), Café Abroad, The Hoya, and The Georgetown Independent. She currently serves on the national board of directors for the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS), and works as a research assistant at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures based at the Josef Korbel School.

Paul TanghePaul Tanghe

Paul is a PhD student in International Studies at the Korbel School. His research interests include environmental governance, comparative politics, and Southeast Asia. A cavalry officer in the U.S. Army, Paul has led reconnaissance and tank units in Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea. Paul is a native of Edina, Minn., and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2004 with a BS in political science. In his free time, Paul enjoys firefighting, exploration, transportation, and design. 

Ying HuiYing Hui Tng

Ying Hui is from Singapore. Her upbringing there has inspired her to seek a career in journalism and become an advocate for freedom of the press. She earned her BA in political science at the National University of Singapore, and while a student also worked as an independent journalist for The Online Citizen, the most popular alternative news website in Singapore. After graduation, she worked at CNBC for almost a year. Ying Hui has also written for Al Jazeera and Asian Correspondent, reporting on sensitive issues such as human rights in China and Singapore. At the Korbel School, she will be earning her master's degree in international studies.

Matt WaljeMatthew Walje

Matt is a recent graduate of William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., where he earned his BA in international relations and political science. As a student at William Jewell, he was named the Outstanding Junior in Political Science in 2010 and Outstanding Senior in 2011. He also studied in Santiago, Chile, and Chania, Greece, through The Fund for American Studies. During his time as a student, Matt also served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserves and remains a senior analyst for 24th Marines. He has been deployed in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to Norway with Operation Cold Response. For his work in Iraq, Matt received a Navy and Marine Corps' Achievement Medal. At the Korbel School, Matt is earning his MA in international human rights. He is also working as a project coordinator for the NGO Oceans Beyond Piracy and at the Sié Center on the Private Security Monitor research project.

Matt WollmersMatthew Wollmers

Matthew was born and raised in the suburbs of New York, N.Y. He completed his undergraduate degree in sociology, with a minor in history, at St. Joseph's College. He went on to earn a master of public policy degree from George Mason University, with a concentration in regional economic development. During his graduate studies, Matt researched the effectiveness of long-term peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cambodia, and separately studied Denver-Boulder economic development strategies. For the last few years, Matt has directed the veterans affairs division at the law firm at which he works, advocating on behalf of disabled veterans in their claims before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has also worked as an organizer in the last two U.S. presidential elections. At the Korbel School, Matt concentrates his studies on international diplomacy and development.

Class of 2013

MayelaMayela Arbona-Montero

Mayela is a native of Queretaro, Mexico. She completed her undergraduate degree in integrated social sciences from Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, where she had the unique opportunity to live and study with students from more than 100 countries. While a student, she interned at the Embassy of Mexico in Berlin, and post-graduation interned at Pemex, the Mexican state-owned oil company. Mayela decided to enroll at the Korbel School to develop her theoretical and practical understanding of world politics, and hopes to enter the Mexican Foreign Service upon her completion of the degree program.

Hanna CampHanna Camp

Hanna earned her bachelor's degrees in Linguistics and Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. While an undergraduate student, Hanna spent a semester abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, sparking her interest in the Middle East. She went on to serve as an intern at the Carter Center's Conflict Resolution Program, and later moved to Syria to study Arabic and write for an English-language newspaper. At Korbel, she worked as a research assistant for the Pardee Center for International Futures and completed an internship with the Atlantic Council's Strategic Foresight Initiative. Hanna graduated Korbel in June of 2013 with an MA in Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration, and is now in South Africa working with the Institute for Security Studies and the governments of the Western Cape and Gauteng provinces, on issues relating to provincial forecasting and policy planning.

Brian ErnstBrian Patrick Ernst

Brian is an MA Candidate in International Security. He is also a former Peace Corps volunteer. He spent two years with the Peace Corps in Madagascar, serving in local communities to improve English-language programs and assisting with other capacity-building measures. Before his service abroad, Brian earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Vanderbilt University. Now, as a student at the Korbel School, Brian explores ideas of building democratic governance and providing electoral assistance. Post-graduation, he hopes to work in the field of democratic development in countries around the globe.

Harrison FriedHarrison Fried

Harrison is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2002, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and upon graduation was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force, he served three years in South Korea and deployed twice to Iraq. In 2011, Harrison decided to attend the Korbel School full-time to pursue a Master of Arts in International Security. Having completed his studies at Korbel in 2013, Harrison is now pursuing an International MBA at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business.

Pallavi GulatiPallavi Gulati

Pallavi was born in New Delhi, India and moved to London, England at a young age. In 2009, she earned her undergraduate degree, with First Class Honours, in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester. She interned at the Parliamentary office of the former Minister of State for International Development, Gareth Thomas MP and on "The World Today" program at the BBC World Service. Upon graduation from Manchester, she worked as a political consultant at Insight Public Affairs, a London-based public affairs company. In addition to the Sié Fellowship, Pallavi has been awarded a US-UK Fulbright Scholarship and a scholarship by the British Universities North America Club Educational Trust.

Tinuviel LathropTinuviel Lathrop

Tinuviel graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in 2011 with a BA in Political Science and minors in Peace Studies, Arabic studies and Philosophy. As a student, Tinuviel was instrumental in assisting to establish a Peace and Conflict Studies Institute at UMass Lowell. At the Korbel School, in addition to her position as a Sié Fellow, Tinuviel is a Research Assistant at the Pardee Center for International Futures. Following completion of a master's in international security at the Korbel School, she hopes to work for the U.S. government and later pursue a doctoral degree.

Boyeon LimBoyeon Lim

Boyeon is a native of South Korea and attended college at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, where she majored in Chinese Language and Literature. While completing her degree, Boyeon spent a year and a half in Beijing and Suzhou, China as an exchange student. This experience revealed to her the stark differences that can exist between societies, and sparked her interest in international relations. Upon returning to Korea, she declared a second major in political science and international relations, and following graduation enrolled in the MA program at the Korbel School to further study diplomacy and conflict resolution.

Pedro PereraPedro Perera

Pedro is a native of Caracas, Venezuela, but spent many of his formative years living and attending school in Muscat, Oman. In 2009, Pedro earned his BA from Northeastern University in Boston. He subsequently moved to Denver, Colo., to work for the Denver Biennial of the Americas as the assistant to the program director. Pedro now works at the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for the people of Mexico through effective philanthropy and binational partnerships. Pedro will be focusing his studies at the Korbel School on Latin American and Western European politics. Upon graduation, he would like to work as a policy analyst for an organization that promotes regional cooperation in the Americas.

DyahDyah Dinanti Puspitasari

Dyah is a MA candidate in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration (GFTEI) at the Korbel School of International Studies. Prior to coming to Korbel as a Fulbright Scholar and Sié Fellow, Dyah was a diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, serving in the Office of the Director-General of ASEAN Cooperation. Her expertise is mainly in economic cooperation and integration in Southeast Asia, as well as democracy and political development in that region.

Joeongsoon JangJeongsoon Jang

Jeongsoon was born in South Korea, but spent most of her life in Malaysia and in China. As a result of her international upbringing, she speaks four languages (Korean, English, Chinese and Malay) and has a genuine interest in global issues, particularly in international business and cross-cultural awareness. After earning her BA from Korea University, Jeong became a certified financial consultant for Shinhan Bank in Seoul, where she was tasked with various responsibilities in the field of foreign investment. She also interned at the ASEAN-Korea Centre, an intergovernmental organization that aims to increase trade, investment, and cultural exchange between South Korea and ASEAN Member States. Upon completion of the MA program at the Korbel School, Jeong plans to earn her PhD.

Class of 2012

Marzia Borsoi

is a native of Rome, Italy. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Affairs with minors in History and Psychology at the John Cabot University. In 2007, she earned a second undergraduate degree, with First Class Honors, in International Relations from the University of Wales. Upon graduation, she was hired at the U.S. Embassy Rome as a Protocol Clerk. In 2008, she won a scholarship to the University of North Carolina, where she earned an M.A. in History of the Contemporary Middle East. Upon graduation in 2010, Marzia was awarded a Sié Fellowship to pursue an M.A. in International Security at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Marzia is focusing her studies at the Korbel School on Middle Eastern and European diplomacy and intelligence studies.

Katherine Goodman

Katherine holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, Texas. After earning her undergraduate degree in 2007, Katherine spent three years working as a Media Liaison and Assistant to the Director of the Press Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston.Katherine's area of expertise is U.S.-Taiwan-China relations, and she studied this topic while a student at the Korbel School. She also spent two legislative sessions serving as an aide to Colorado State Representative Jeanne Labuda. Katherine graduated from Korbel with her MA in International Security and a Certificate in Global Health Affairs in June 2012.After graduation, Katherine spent a short time working as a communications specialist at the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (CELL) in Denver, Colorado. She now resides in San Mateo, California, where she is a consultant and humorous content writer for Shmoop, a digital publishing company.

Lai King Lam

Lai was born in Hong Kong and moved to the United States at the age of nine. Lai completed her undergraduate degree in international affairs with a minor in religion at the University of Georgia. Before moving to Denver to pursue her MA in International Security at the Korbel School, Lai worked in Washington, D.C. for the Office of U.S. Senator Max Baucus, where she served as the Assistant to the Chief of Staff. While a student at the Korbel School, Lai is focusing her studies on East Asia, U.S. diplomacy, and intelligence and has had the opportunity to intern for the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service.

Mickey Kupecz

Mickey, a native of Denver, now lives in Washington DC and works as a consultant with LMI supporting clients across the Department of Defense. He received an MA in International Security focused on South Asia, particularly Pakistan, and complex and interagency operations. While at the Korbel School, he interned at the Center for Complex Operations at the National Defense University, as well as the New America Foundation's Middle East Task Force.

Balazs Martonffy

Balazs was born and raised in Budakeszi, Hungary. After completing high school in Hungary, he attended Washington University in St. Louis as an Eliot Scholar, graduating with honors in History. He also spent a year studying international affairs at Vesalius College in Belgium, focusing his coursework on European security and defense. Balazs earned a master's degree in International Security from the Josef Korbel School in 2012, was a visiting researcher at the United States Air Force Academy, and also worked for the Sie Center. After leaving Denver, he went on to complete a defence policy internship at NATO, and now works for the Defence Policy Division of the Hungarian Ministry of Defence. In his spare time, Balazs plays tennis and squash.

David Mayen

David is a native of South Sudan. He received his primary and secondary education there, and attended college at Kampala International University, Uganda. David has extensive experience in the international arena, having worked as a logistician and storekeeper for Médecins Sans Frontières at the Dadaab refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya; as an operations specialist for the private security firm DynCorp in South Sudan; and most recently (and currently) as the Director for Legislation for the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly. David is pursuing his Masters in International Security at the Korbel School, and upon graduation will return to South Sudan.

Gretchen Peters

Gretchen conducts research and analysis on illicit networks in support of the U.S. Department of Defense. She has served as a subject matter expert (SME) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counter-Narcotics and Global Threats and CENTCOM's J2, and has supported SOCOM's Counternarcotics and Transnational Threats team. She is also an affiliate instructor at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University, School of Public Policy. She is the author of Seeds of Terror, a ground-breaking book that traces the role the opium trade has played in three decades of conflict in Afghanistan. An award-winning journalist, Gretchen covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, first for The Associated Press and later for ABC News. Gretchen holds a Masters' Degree in International Relations from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, where she was awarded the Sié Chéou-Kang security and diplomacy fellowship and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers Life's Choices Foundation Scholarship to examine illicit networks and transnational organized crime.

Ambar Velazquez

Ambar Velazquez is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, and completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Studies at New College of Florida in 2009. As a student at the Korbel School, Ambar is pursuing an MA in International Security, along with a Certificate in Global Health and a concentration in Humanitarian Assistance. Following graduation, Ambar intends to complete a degree in medicine, thereby melding her dual interests in health and humanitarian assistance. Ambar's research interests focus on the ethics and implications of US military involvement in medical missions abroad.