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


Student Programs

Current Sié Fellows

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. While a student, she worked at a Nepalese NGO, Women for Human Rights, focusing on women's rights issues in conflict and post-conflict, and completed a research fellowship on gender and transitional justice. Hyshyama was also a 2009 Cape Town Fellow of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). After graduation, she worked as senior program officer at Women Defining Peace, a CIDA funding initiative in Sri Lanka, on gender-based violence and promotion of women's leadership in the peacebuilding process. As a Fulbright scholar at Korbel, Hyshyama will be pursuing 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 MA candidate in International Studies. Jonathan received his BA in International Affairs from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, graduating summa cum laude with special honors. Jonathan has lived and worked in Egypt and India, where he helped establish the Bestsemester India Studies Program. He also serves on a volunteer basis as the Director of Operations of BIRDS International, an NGO working to address issues of rural poverty in South India. His primary research interests are civil resistance, contentious politics, and political transitions, with regional focuses on the Middle East and South Asia. Upon completion of his MA degree, Jonathan plans to earn his doctorate.

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. 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 exploration, motorcycles, 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 2015

Aldo Aguirre

Aldo is a native of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, but grew up in Texas. He earned a BA in Chicano Studies from the University of Texas at El Paso. Aldo has been a Soldier in the United States Army for over 15 years, and he received a commission as an active-duty officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 2007. His military assignments have taken him around the world to places such as France, Spain, South Korea, Japan, Qatar, and Kuwait. Aldo has served in numerous leadership positions throughout his military career, and has two combat deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most recently, Aldo served as a Company Commander in a Strategic Signal Brigade at Fort Eustis, Virginia. At the Korbel School, he will pursue a MA in International Studies and plans to complete an internship with the Chamber of the Americas in Denver. Upon graduation, Aldo will serve as a Military Instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and continue his military career.

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.