We are incredibly proud of our Global Affairs MA award-winning graduates and would like to spotlight their successes and accomplishments during their time at Mason.
Academic Achievement Award
You can view the most recent awardees here.
Certificate of Merit Award
You can view the most recent awardees here.
Sara Salimi is graduating from the Global Affairs Master’s program with a specialization in global conflict and security. With a background in journalism, her writing focuses on the role of news reporting in international politics and conflict resolution. As an Iranian-American Muslim, Sara’s research passions revolve around the Middle East, a region she believes is most misunderstood, and its people most misrepresented in mainstream media. She hopes to be a valuable voice in narrating the stories of those who never make it to the headlines.
Isaac Gibson is a freelance researcher, analyst, and graduate student with a concentration in conflict and security. His research focuses primarily on state and non-state security dynamics throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. His favorite class was U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East (GLOA-599) with Professor Peter Mandaville and Isaac will always cherish his interactions with students and faculty from all over the world. After graduation, Isaac is eager to begin a career in civil service, supporting the intelligence community and contributing to U.S. national security. Isaac would like to thank his parents, sister, girlfriend, friends, and the George Mason community who encouraged him throughout the program.
Hannah Newman is graduating from the Global Affairs program with a specialization in Global Culture and Society. During her tenure at George Mason, Hannah worked at the Foreign Service Institute in the Language Testing and Assessments Division as the Operations Coordinator and in the Orientation Division as an Administrative Assistant. She will continue her work at the State Department after graduation. Her long-term goal is to join the Foreign Service as a Public Diplomacy Officer. Hannah would like to extend a big thank you to her professors for all of their academic support and advice during her time at George Mason. She would also like to express her gratitude to her friends, family, and coworkers for all of their support throughout her journey.
Erika Schaefer earned her Master's degree in Global Affairs specializing in Culture and Society. Throughout her degree and outside the classroom she has been particularly interested in cultural intersections such as where gender, race, and class intersect, influence, and impact each other. Her favorite classes were the ones that have left the greatest impression on her, such as Dr. Rinker’s Magic, Myth, and Mind Anthropology class. As well as Prof. Jordan’s Transnational Issues of Gender and Race. After graduating Erika is excited for the next steps in her professional career working in either non-profits or in the Global Impact departments helping corporations to become more ethically minded.
Jasmine Rihane is graduating with a Master of Arts in Global Affairs with a specialization in global culture and society. Her research interests include policy and democracy in Tunisia, as well as the greater impacts of the Arab Spring and climate change in North Africa. Her favorite part of the GLOA MA program was the seminar abroad to Sweden during the summer of 2022. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career with an international organization or think tank in Washington D.C. She would like to thank the Global Affairs community, as well as her family and friends for loving and supporting her throughout her college career.
Andrea Aparicio-Noyola is graduating from the Global Affairs program with a specialization in Global Culture and Society. Her favorite class had been EDEP 653: Culture and Intelligence because she learned that intelligence is so complex, and that people are intelligent in their own way, which does not always translate into having a high IQ. Anthony E. Kelly is truly her favorite professor because he inspired her and pushed her to think outside of the box. In this next chapter, Andrea has a deep longing to serve her community. Whether it is at the border with the migrant children or in El Salvador feeding the poor, she wants to be boots on the ground helping and loving people. Andrea would like to thank God’s guidance and favor is undeniable in Andrea’s life so glory to God for this accomplishment. She is incredibly grateful to her parents who supported her every step of the way, to her best friend who always believed in her, and to her awesome support system. Thank you CAPS for helping Andrea in her mental health journey & to Angelica Newham for assisting her in her career options.
Shunzhi Wang specialized in Global Education while pursuing the Global Affairs MA program. During his career at Mason, he received valuable assistance and enlightening guidance from his many professors. He believes wholeheartedly that his time at Mason had been intellectually and ideologically enriching. He will be forever grateful for this experience. His favorite class was Economic Globalization and Development. (GLOA 610, Fall 2021). This class has enlightened him on international trade and the globalized economic order of the world. His understanding of this knowledge has helped him tremendously in his current career at a locally renowned cross-national import trading company. He would like to thank his parents, professors, and employer for their support, guidance, and appreciation.
Wei Cheng Cheng graduated from George Mason University in winter of 2022 with a master's degree in Global Affairs and a certificate in Biodefence and Health Resiliency. In his last semester at George Mason, Wei worked with the CHSS student academic affairs, where he had the experience of working with multilateral organizations and gained an in-depth understanding of systemic issues and different dispute resolution systems. One of his biggest achievements at Mason was the Global Health and Resiliency Report he developed as part of his capstone, where he analyzed the conflict, resiliency, and preparedness over the public health context in the region of East Asia. As for the highlights of his experience, he is most grateful for the Global Affairs family, the relationship he built with Mason staff, professors, experts, and classmates across departments, and the support he received from the university as a graduate student. Aspiring to become an expert in the global health community, Wei will start his next chapter by seeking opportunities with international organizations and institutions focusing on global public health policy.
Reyhana Qreitem (M.A. Global Affairs 2022) undergrad 2021 BIS specializing Leadership and Entrepreneurship, George Mason University. Reyhana has enjoyed her time at GMU and being a part of the MA program that has already helped in launching her professional journey and achieving a great position within the United States government. In addition, Reyhana has earned a graduate certificate from the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution Specializing in Mass Atrocity and Genocide Prevention. Having grown up in Iraq and Turkey, Reyhana has a strong passion to help find peaceful solutions to conflicts occurring in that part of the world.
Nikki is graduating with her M.A. in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. One of her favorite professors was Professor Robert Deitz. She had him throughout undergrad and grad school, he always kept the class engaging but more importantly, his personality was a great mesh of both a mentor and a professor. One of her memorable experiences while at Mason was her first day of grad classes, she was so intimidated but quickly realized her classmates and she was all in the same boat! After graduation, she will be working as a Competitive Market Intelligence Analyst for government contracting! She would like to thank her friends for their constant support, but most importantly, her parents; without their constant love and support, to spearhead her into believing in herself and completing her studies with confidence.
Andrew Campbell is graduating from George Mason University’s Global Affairs MA program with a specialization in economics and a concentration in Southeast Asia. He is a USAF FAO Fellow and will be continuing on to help the US build and maintain relationships with its allies and partner nations. He would like to thank his wife, Caroline, for her continuing love and support. He would also like to thank Dr. Jennifer Ashley, Dr. Niklas Hultin, and Dr. Byunghwan Son from the GLOA program and his other professors from the ESP program and the Schar School of Policy and Government for their instruction and academic guidance. He looks forward to applying the knowledge and skills he has learned through the Global Affairs program to foster positive relations abroad.
Carla is graduating from the Global Affairs program with a specialization in Global Media and Information Technology. While pursuing her degree, she worked as a research assistant and graduate professional assistant for the college. Her most memorable experience while pursuing her degree in Global Affairs, was working for the Graduate Academic Affairs team doing data analysis and visualization. Carla would like to thank the Grad Academic Affairs team for believing in her, as well as give a special thank you to her supervisor and mentor, Stephanie Hinnenkamp for providing incredible support through her professional development journey. She is deeply thankful to her family for being her rock through the highs and lows. Carla was extremely impressed by the faculty in the Global Affairs program and believes the program was pivotal in developing the confidence and skills she needed to succeed in her career. She would like to share a piece of advice given to her by one of her favorite professors, Dr. Basak Durgun, and that is, to never dim your own light!
Théa Kassas graduated from George Mason University in May 2022 with a Master’s degree in Global Affairs and a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. In her last semester at George Mason, Théa interned with the Mediation Office at the International Monetary Fund, where she had the experience of working with multilateral organizations and gained an in-depth understanding of systemic issues and different dispute resolution systems. One of her biggest achievements at Mason was the Risk and Resilience Report she developed as part of her capstone, where she analyzed the Fragility, Conflict, and Violence context in Lebanon. As for the highlights of her experience, she is mostly grateful for the Global Affairs family, the relationship she built with Mason professors, experts, and classmates across departments, and the support she received from the University as an international student.Aspiring to become an expert in the peace building field as a conflict analyst and mediation practitioner, Théa will start her next chapter by seeking opportunities with international organizations and institutions focusing on peace and conflict resolution.
Jordan Romberg is a US Air Force officer, pilot, and Foreign Area Officer with 16 years of military service. He is graduating from George Mason University’s Global Affairs MA program with a specialization in global health and a concentration in Southeast Asia. Jordan will continue his military service as an Air Attaché at the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines. In this role, he will seek to build effective relationships with global partners in support of US Air Force and US Space Force global operations. Jordan would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Ashley, Dr. Niklas Hultin, and Dr. Byunghwan Son for their thought-provoking instruction and guidance throughout the program. He would also like to thank his family for the love, support, and encouragement they provided during such a demanding year.
Laila Trombati is graduating with an MA in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. While pursuing her degree, she served as an intern at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to that, she interned at an NGO where she worked on a USAID-funded project. Her coursework in both Global Affairs and Conflict Analysis and Resolution provided a substantial foundation that allowed her to pursue her career goals and areas of interest, which include U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, human rights, and sustainable development. Laila would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Ashley for her invaluable mentorship and for encouraging her to pursue her interests, as well as all the amazing professors that she had throughout her academic journey. She would also like to thank her parents, family, and friends for their incredible and unrelenting support.
Maria Bello is a graduating master’s student with a degree in Global Affairs and a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. One of her favorite classes at George Mason was Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Resolution. It gave her a better understanding of the many dynamics of conflict and ways to dissolve it. This ultimately led her to select the concentration in conflict and security. Upon Maria's graduation, she will be continuing her role as a Procurement Administrator at an international NGO in DC. She would like to thank God, her parents, and friends who have encouraged her throughout this experience!
Hola, Zdravo, and Hello! Philip Falsetti specialized in Conflict and Security in the GLOA M.A. program. He is incredibly grateful to George Mason for allowing him to make friends out of colleagues and providing access to some of the most renowned and knowledgeable professors during his past two years. He must give a special shoutout to Dr. Ashley and Dr. Hultin, who constantly pushed him to make the most out of his time in the GLOA program, and Dr. Ashley for also acting as the faculty advisor for the GLOA student organization and providing him career guidance. One of his most memorable experiences at George Mason was his capstone class, as it was his first and only in-person class due to the pandemic. Philip has recently accepted a job as a Strategy and Analytics consultant with Deloitte in Arlington (Rosslyn), working in the Government and Public Services sector, and plans to leverage this opportunity to transition to the non-profit arena, specifically focused on the Balkan region, and conflict, reconciliation, and sustainable peacebuilding. He would like to thank his entire family, though specifically his gracious grandparents, his generous aunt and uncle, his constantly supportive partner, and his always encouraging mother, without whom none of this would be possible, quite literally.
Lily was a part of the Global Affairs Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s program in which she specialized in Global Governance and Public Management. She was also the president and continues to serve as the alumni advisor to Mason’s only Pre-Law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta. Lily’s favorite professor throughout her time in the graduate program was Dr. Patrick Ukata. She notes that she was fortunate enough to have 3 classes with him and in each one he taught her a great deal, encouraged her to investigate deeper into new and renewed topics of interest, and kept her going through tough times with his sense of humor. Lily is very grateful for Dr. Ukata and all the professors that have shared their vast knowledge with her during her 4 years at Mason. Lily is deeply appreciative of her supportive parents, family, and friends who inspire and push her to be her greatest every day. In the future, she will apply to law schools this summer and start her first year in the Fall of 2023. Lily plans to use her skills gained through her Global Affairs degrees to continue her efforts to advocate for human rights and justice both nationally and abroad.
Jin Lee is an US Air Force Civil Engineer Officer with 14 years of military service and completed the George Mason University Global Affairs Graduate program specializing in Global Conflict and Security as part of the Department of Defense Foreign Area Officer training pipeline. He will continue his military career as a Foreign Area Officer in charge of the South Korea portfolio strengthening existing alliances and attracting new partners in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility with the knowledge gained from the GLOA program. He enjoyed participating in open forum discussions with his fellow classmates and professors with diverse backgrounds. He thanks the GLOA faulty and staff for their professionalism and subject matter expertise and his family for their continuing support.
Robin Brazier is graduating with an MA in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Economics and Development and an additional Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Her favorite parts about her time at Mason were meeting classmates from around the world and getting the autonomy to pick the perfect mix of classes and research topics that fit her career and areas of interest, which has allowed her to recently get a position with a USAID implementing partner. In this new role, she is able to put her studies in international development and gender into practice. Robin would like to thank Jennifer Ashley for her rigorous research methods course and for serving as her advisor throughout her studies, and she also thanks Rachel Lewis of the Women and Gender Studies Department, who has served as an influential mentor and from whom she has learned a tremendous amount. A thanks also goes to Virginia Holm and Dr. Cortney Hughes Rinker for their support.
Stephen Labit is a United States Air Force officer (Maj), aviator, and Foreign Area Officer. He graduated from GMU's Global Affairs master's program with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. Stephen's coursework topics of interests include the impacts of misinformation, disinformation and fake news on state fragility, conflict, and violence, as well as regional issues and conflicts within Southeast Asia. His favorite class was Conflict Analysis and Resolution as he had the opportunity to interview prominent researchers and experts examining misinformation's role in state conflict. Stephen's next assignment will be in Hawaii to be part of the US Indo-Pacific Command's Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate.
Shabnam is a Global Affairs MA graduate who is originally from Azerbaijan and Bangladesh but grew up living in different countries. She specialized in Global Governance & Public Management and her favorite classes at Mason were the PUAD courses because she felt they were relevant to her professional background. During her last semester at Mason, Shabnam started working at the International Rescue Committee as a Program Assistant in the Health Unit and hopes to continue her career in the humanitarian field after graduation. She is grateful to all her professors for their patience and guidance as well as for the lifelong friends she made at Mason.
Erica graduates with an MA in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Culture and Society. During her time at George Mason, she particularly enjoyed Dr. Yasemin Ipek's instruction for her anthropology course, Refugees in the Contemporary World, and her unofficial mentorship toward Erica. Erica remembers how Dr. Ipek selected her for an opportunity with a different program to apply for a study abroad trip to Jordan to work with Syrian refugees during Spring 2020 - and she was accepted for the trip in January 2020. While COVID-19 prevented this trip from happening, Erica will always remember how she was given that opportunity and the professor who believed in her from the very beginning as an anthropological practitioner because of her previous and planned field experience with refugees, both globally and domestically. Now that Erica has finished her studies, she plans to take this degree and apply for jobs within international nonprofits and non-governmental organizations in the DMV area, ideally working with refugee populations, but she also wants to keep her options open in today's competitive job market. Erica would like to thank her family for supporting her as she concentrated on her class assignments one semester at a time.
Kristin Brierly studied Global Populations and Geography while in the Global Affairs MA Program. Her academic interests focused on transregional water conflicts and environmental security. Kristin also studied at George Mason for her undergraduate degree in Politics and International Relations with a Minor in Russian Language. She grew up in the Fairfax area and loved that Mason gave her connections to the D.C area. With the completion of her graduate degree, Kristin would like to thank all of the friends she made through the program. These wonderful people shaped her entire experience and exceeded her expectations for what her academic-social life would be like during a pandemic. Lastly, Kristin would like to thank her amazing family who continuously encouraged her to learn about the topics that interested her the most and granted her the opportunities to follow those passions.
Brianna Coleman is a Global Affairs MA graduate with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. Her interests lie in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Brianna grew up in Alexandria, VA and graduated from Mount Vernon High School. She went on to complete her undergraduate studies at Florida State University, earning her degree in International Affairs and Psychology. After graduating, she returned to Northern Virginia to continue her studies. Her favorite classes while at George Mason were the Conflict Analysis and Resolution courses. Brianna would like to thank her family for their love and support throughout her studies.
Benjamin Eagan is graduating with a MA in Global Affairs, specializing in Global Conflict and Security. Benjamin’s favorite classes offered in the program were the Social Dynamics of Terrorism, Dynamics of Civil War, and Conflict in Development. After graduating Benjamin plans to seek employment at a nonprofit or NGO, ideally this would be an organization focused on promoting sustainable global development in conflict prone areas. Finally, he would like to thank all of his professors who he has learned from throughout his time at Mason, from his start as a freshman in undergrad all the way through to this final semester as a graduate student.
Alex Castellanos is graduating with a MA in Global Affairs, specializing in Global Conflict and Security. His interests lie in Foreign Affairs and Teaching. Alex grew up in Alexandria, VA, and graduated from Alexandria City High School. He went on to complete his undergraduate studies in Elementary School Teaching. After graduating, Alex started working at the Foreign Service Institute, Department of State as a Human Resources Professional. He is grateful for the patience and resilience that each professor showed during his time at George Mason. His favorite classes while at George Mason were the Case Studies in Globalization courses. Alex would like to thank his family, friends, and Faculty for an outstanding experience.
MA in Global Affairs with specialization Global Conflict and Security. From the Spring 2021 graduates, he is honored to receive the Global Affairs MA Academic Achievement Award. Without the supports of his professors, he said, none of these incredible achievements would have been possible. Therefore, he is grateful to his lecturers. In his journey at George Mason University (GMU), his top memorable experience is the Study Abroad — Cuba-Foreign Investment and Global Integration. After completing this master’s degree, he intends to operationalize his degrees in the market and apply to Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Carter School of Peace and Conflict Resolution-GMU. He was born at the end of the Cold War in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan. Like most of the children in that part of the world, he suffered the consequences of war, particularly during the blockade of the Taliban. Soon after the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime and eliminate Al Qaida, he proudly joined the U.S. Army to fight the Taliban and their terrorist allies. In September 2014, due to the security threats in his motherland, he immigrated to this great nation, the USA. In the future, he hopes his degrees help decrease the violent conflicts in Afghanistan and bring about a positive change to the trajectory of his motherland.
Lorraine Santana is a graduate student from the Accelerated Master’s Program for Global Affairs. Her concentration was Population and Geography because she has always been passionate about immigration and migration patterns. The class that she enjoyed the most was Immigration Policy, and her favorite professor was Professor Son. She took several classes with Professor Son and he was also her academic advisor, he helped her a lot throughout her master’s program. The most memorable experience for Lorraine while attending GMU was gathering with classmates/friends and working on assignments outside when the weather was nice. After graduation, Lorraine plans on beginning her career, she will begin by finding a job that involves working with immigrants. She would like to thank God in first place, then her parents, her boyfriend, her family and friends for supporting her throughout this journey.
Lisa-Carolin Petersen was born in 26.12.1994 in Bonn, Germany and is graduating with a master’s degree in ‘Global Affairs and Specialization in Conflict and Security’. During her time in the Global Affairs Program, she was continuously encouraged to come up with creative ideas and think beyond conventional solutions and methodologies. She, especially, enjoyed the Capstone Research Seminar where she was able to conduct her own research about the military coup and the role of civil society in Myanmar. For that class she received the award for top presentation during GLOA research week. Ms. Petersen would like to express her sincere gratitude and appreciation to the entire GLOA faculty who prepared her for an international career in diplomacy. She, particularly, would like to thank Dr. Cortney Hughes Rinker, Director of the Global Affairs Program for supporting her during the Graduate Fellows Program (GFP) at the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. The Global Affairs Program at George Mason University has given her the foundation to become a critical thinker who dares to act and actively contributes to society.
Juwairiyah Brown is graduating with her MA in Global Affairs and a specialization in Global Health. She especially enjoyed her specialization courses, such as BIOD 620 (Global Health Security Policy) and GCH 640 (Global Infectious Diseases). Post-graduation, she will be applying to jobs in the global and public health fields while also taking the time to enjoy more of her hobbies. Juwairiyah would like to thank her parents, family, and Mason community for encouraging her to do her best no matter the odds. She would also like to congratulate her fellow 2021 graduates!
Edna Sergio is a Global Affairs graduate program student, with a specialization in the Global Education. Her favorite class in the program was GLOA 605: Interdisciplinary Research Methods because it helped her better understand and increase her interest in research methods. As an academic advisor at George Mason University Honors College, she successfully supported undergraduate students and learn a great deal about students interests and motivations. Her specialization in Global Education and position as an academic advisor helped shaped her career path. Edna will continue to pursue a degree in education. She plans to continue her education in the MEd Special Education program at George Mason University College of Education and Human Development School of Education.
Susana Masin is earning her M.A. in Global Affairs, with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. She is interested in learning the politics behind conflict resolution and humanitarian aid. Two of her favorite classes were GLOA 615 (Urban Nature, Culture and Power) and CONF 654 (Mass Atrocity: Early Warning and Prevention). In these, she learned to analyze policies and how past conflicts can help to prevent them in the future. After graduation, she plans to continue working where she started as an intern and continue learning on the job. Additionally, she hopes to travel and learn a new language. Susana would like to thank her family who always have supported her. She would also like to thank all of her professors who have always been so great at understanding her perspective of things and guided her through her education.
Rong Tian is a graduate student in the Global Affairs program, where she specializes in global governance and public management. As an international student, she experienced a special and memorable study experience at Mason during this tough time. Because of the travel ban between the U.S. and China, she had to stay in China to complete her program. In that case, she had difficulties to attend classes at midnight and answer emails from her professors and classmates on time. All the professors and classmates did their best to help her: adjusting the time of the presentation; changing the time of the group discussion, etc. She is grateful to all of her professors and classmates who supported her academic career at George Mason. In addition, she would like to thank her parents who have been supporting her decision to study abroad, so that she could have the opportunity to come to Mason and have a global vision.
Isaac Williams is graduating from the Global Affairs Master’s program with a specialization in Conflict and Security at GMU. His favorite course from the MA program was CONF 653: World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution by Dr. Marc Gopin. This course analyzed how world religions play a role in wars, peacemaking, and conflict resolution. Isaac will soon be working as a Researcher for Red Five Security, LLC, as he continues to pursue a national security and conflict resolution career. Isaac would like to thank those who helped him earn his MA. First of all, he thanks God for blessing him with a healthy mind and body. Second, Isaac thanks Dr. Byunghwan Son for guiding him through the application process and into the Global Affairs Master’s program. Third, Isaac appreciates Dr. Mahmut Cengiz for connecting him with the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, where he was able to work as a research analyst to help pay for his education. Finally, Isaac would like to thank his family and church for supporting him by pursuing a Master’s degree at GMU.
Sahureli Mendoza-Khoury is originally from the Dominican Republic and is earning her M.A. in Global Affairs, with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. She cares about internal displacement, human rights violations, and health inequities.
The academic experience that impacted her the most was the study abroad program in Cuba. This was not only an opportunity to establish friendships and experience the enriching traditions of the Cuban culture, but also to explore different global issues within the context of Cuba that she would not have been able to explore as a regular tourist.
One of her favorite classes was Psychosocial Trauma and Healing. In this class, Dr. Fuertes approaches trauma from a psychosocial, historical, and cultural perspective, while engaging the students in various activities that allow them to learn about the many ways in which trauma manifests and can be addressed. It makes you think deeper into the pain humans experience due to destruction, violence, displacement, war, and natural disasters.
After she graduates, she plans to work on becoming a certified trauma-informed leader and look for an opportunity where she can help and transform individuals and communities in conflict. In the meantime, she will continue to work as an Employment and Training Specialist at the City of Alexandria where she supports individuals who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
As a student specializing in Global Culture and Society, Om Arvind took the opportunity to explore gender studies and contextualize this new knowledge within his understandings of global processes.
In INTS 540 (Contemporary Issues in Social Justice) and WMST 640 (Transnational/Global Feminisms), he experienced some of the most intellectually challenging and satisfying work of his academic journey and thanks professors Shayna Maskell and Yevette Richards Jordan for constructing wonderful courses. Om would also like to thank Lisa Breglia for her integral work with the Cuba study-abroad program, which was a blast both inside and outside the classroom.
Finally, Om would like to thank his parents, Kris and Prasanna, for their financial and emotional support in this critical period of his young adulthood.
Tania Hassan’s GLOA concentration is in Global Conflict and Security. In her time here at George Mason, she has enjoyed all the classes and opportunities offered to her. In particular, she found GLOA 605 (Interdisciplinary Research Methods) and GLOA 615 (Urban Nature, Culture and Power) really interesting.
One memorable experience for her is meeting/interviewing a scholar on South Asian issues from the Wilson Center for her GLOA 605 project. She appreciated that Professor Ashley pushed her out of her comfort zone to gather more information for her project. After graduation she plans to continue work in the Business Information Technology (IT) field, but will search for a career path where she can tie both her IT skills and GLOA degree. She would like to thank all GLOA professors and GLOA team for the courses that were set up for this degree, and appreciates the flexibility that was offered during COVID (e.g. the online Study Abroad course offered in Summer 2020).
Tania genuinely found all the classes and projects interesting, and feels that her knowledge has grown exponentially on global issues.
Anas decided to pursue a master's degree in Global Affairs at George Mason University to advance his career as an international journalist. As a journalist, Anas wanted to expand his knowledge of governance. Also, he aimed for more public management skills. Therefore, he specialized in Governance and Public Management.
Anas's favorite classes were those addressing issues from a global perspective. However, his study abroad experience in Cuba was full of first-hand knowledge. Having the opportunity to study globalization's dynamics on the ground with the knowledgeable professor Lisa Breglia and skeptical students was one of Anas's richest learning experiences. For Anas, the journey after GMU just started, and his professional goals have been modified. Now, he is aiming for more influential roles, whether as a journalist or an international organization official.
Anas is thankful to all GMU's family for being helpful and considerate, especially Global Affairs professors. Also, Anas is grateful to his mother Samihah, father Tayseer, wife Asya, siblings, and all friends who supported him tirelessly.
Cecily Nowaczyk is earning her degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in global education.
During her time in the program she enjoyed all her classes in the GLOA department especially the seminar abroad in Cuba. It was an opportunity only found with George Mason and their incredible network. The experience provided a real world perspective to the concepts and theories of the classroom.
After graduation she is relocating to Florida to see what opportunities await her there. She would like to thank all the faculty and staff that have worked tirelessly to maintain a productive learning environment during these unusual times.
Matthew is a master’s student in the Global Affairs department, specializing in Global Conflict and Security.
One of his favorite classes was a case study approach to intellectual property rights, where he learned how he could tie his interests to claim and counterclaim making. One memorable experience he had during his time at Mason was visiting Havana, Cuba on a study abroad trip.
After graduation he plans to begin working for the government in Washington D.C. He would like to thank his girlfriend Nancy Duan, who is also in the program, for supporting him during his time at Mason.
Valeria was born in Peru and came to the US age 13, facing struggles as an immigrant made her want to educate herself and dedicate her professional career to help minorities, which is why she got a MA in Global affairs with a concentration in Global inequalities. She also cares about the protection of environment, sustainability, and human rights.
Her favorite class has been Critical Race Studies with Dr. Wendi N. Manuel Scott, she has enjoyed every piece of literature and every class conversation. Dr. Scott’s knowledge, professionalism and charisma has empowered Valeria, making her feel even more proud of her roots and about being an immigrant, and she will be forever thankful for that.
One of her most memorable and proud accomplishments while at Mason, was to be invited to study abroad at Oxford University, due to the current pandemic she was not able to attend but it was still an honor to be considered.
After graduation, she hopes to work with immigrants, refugees, or minorities and apply her education to her profession.
She would like to thank her mom, for always believing, pushing, and never giving up on her. Her dad, sister, Mo, Dante, Sehwa and especially Sophia, for always being by her side when she wrote all her essays. To her abuelo Roberto y Ruperto, mami Maruja, abuelita Chela and mamama Leonor. Thank you to her Arce and Nacurena family.
Sehwa Oh is from South Korea, and came to the United States to get a master’s degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in Education. Since this was her first time studying abroad, everything was new and challenging. However, she adjusted quickly and enjoyed her first semester with help from Dr. Ashley and Dr. Hultin.
She was just getting used to campus life and making friends when suddenly all her classes had to pivot to online courses, and she needed to learn to adjust to the new situation. Without Aunt, Uncle, Valeria, Jasmine and Julia, she couldn't have made it this far. She feels so happy to have them in her life. She would like to thank Dr. Son, Dr. Lukacs and Dr. Smith in particular for giving her many valuable opportunities to open her eyes to the world around her. Moreover, she would like to thank her friends Sarah and Hyunji who always gave her advice on her assignments.
Lastly, she would like to take this opportunity to express her appreciation for the love and support of her parents, Kyungbok, Dayoung, and brother, Seunguk.
She says her wonderful journey in the Global Affairs programs will be forever with her.
Cody Mattern is in the process of working toward attaining his Master’s Degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. In addition to his studies, Cody works full-time for the International Rescue Committee, an organization focused on refugee resettlement. He has had numerous memorable experiences at George Mason University but has been the most grateful for the opportunity to meet and interact with the many truly incredible and amazing people that make up the George Mason community.
He is unsure where life will take him and what’s next for him after graduation, but he would like to convey his heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of the excellent instructors he’s worked with during his time at George Mason who went above and beyond in supporting him and his fellow students: Dr. Lisa Breglia, Dr. John Gordon, Dr. Matthew West, Dr. Jennifer Ashley, Dr. Jonathon Repinecz, Dr. Byunghwan Son, Dr. Mark Katz, and Dr. Kathalene Razzano.
Seth is graduating with a MA in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. He began his degree as an Accelerated Master’s student while completing his BA in Government and International Politics at Mason’s Schar School. After completing his undergraduate degree Seth began working full time as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton while continuing his MA.
The Global Affairs program presented countless opportunities to learn from some of Mason’s finest instructors from across academic departments. He would like to thank Dr. Ashley, Dr. Razzano, and Dr. Rockwell for helping him develop academically and pursue his interests. After graduation, Seth will continue to work at Booz Allen Hamilton as a Senior Consultant. He plans to take a short break from academia before starting his next academic endeavor in 2021.
Seth would like to thank all of the GLOA faculty and students for making class both educational and enjoyable at the same time. Having a great group of people around really made the program that much better. Lastly, as musical genius Capital Bra would say, du weißt bescheid bra, wir haben alles rasiert.
Kelsie is graduating with an M.A. in Global Affairs, as well as an M.A. in Spanish after completing a Dual Master’s program. Kelsie has enjoyed getting to explore her interests in human rights, law/policy, and Latin America through the various extensive research projects she has had the opportunities to complete during her time at Mason, to include projects on the federal death penalty in Puerto Rico and transitional justice and human rights in Colombia. Kelsie’s most memorable experience was traveling to Cuba with the Global Affairs program to learn about foreign investment. She feels extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to learn more about Cuba, experience its beauty, and make connections with people throughout her visit.
Kelsie currently works as a paralegal for a local law firm and hopes to continue to work in law or a similar field that allows her to continue speaking Spanish while also defending people’s rights and interests. She would like to thank her professors in the Global Affairs and Spanish departments for always supporting her ambitious interests, as well as her family, friends, and others in her life who have provided their unwavering support.
Jahna is completing her Master’s Degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Governance and Public Management. While Jahna enjoyed all of her classes within the Global Affairs department, her favorite has been International Development Projects in Practice with Professor J.P. Singh, whose extensive knowledge of international development, brilliant teaching style, and incredible personality provided the perfect setting to learn from.
Although there are countless experiences Jahna has enjoyed during her academic career at Mason, her most memorable has undoubtedly been interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds, whether it be cultural, political, or academic.
Upon graduation, Jahna plans to pursue a job in the international development sector addressing the issue of child marriage. While returning to academia is not in her near future, she may decide to continue her education at a later date. Jahna would like to offer her sincere gratitude towards her parents and friends she made at Mason for their endless support, as well as the Global Affairs faculty whose courses provided a challenging, yet rewarding experience.
Emmanuel Donkoh-Moore was born and grew up in Ghana before migrating to the United States. He completed his BA in International Studies with a minor in Political Science. His passion for women and child rights served as his motivation for applying to the Global Affairs program where he specialized in Global Security and Conflict. He chose George Mason and the Global Affairs program for the diversity and location.
He enjoyed all the classes he enrolled in while in the Global Affairs program and enjoyed the discussions during the class sessions. The most memorable ones were during the final presentations in most of the classes where he shared his research with his colleagues. Emmanuel plans to join the work force right after graduation however, he hopes to further his education in the near future.
Emmanuel extends his appreciation to all the professors and staff within the Global Affairs program for their encouragement and assistance throughout the program. He extends his appreciation to Dr. Niklas Hultin for the opportunity to serve as a graduate assistant under his leadership and the working on a host of papers with him.
Rachael is getting her master’s degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in Conflict and Security. Her favorite experience from the program was the GLOA 720 Europe at a Crossroads summer course in Madrid taught by Dr. Jennifer Ashley.
After graduation, Rachael is seeking to begin work in the humanitarian/global nonprofit sector or international diplomacy. Rachael would like to thank her parents Greg and Carolyn, her younger brother and Mason art student Jared, her friends, and all of the wonderful and kindhearted colleagues in the Global Affairs program that have supported her and contributed to her educational experience at George Mason University.
Monica Kamal is a graduate student in the global affairs program with a specialization in conflict and security. Her favorite class during the program was Gender, Sex, and Religion: Ancient Egypt with Dr. Williamson because she learned a multitude of fascinating insights regarding the great Ancient Egyptian civilization, how to apply this knowledge, and improve and excel in graduate-level writing!
Overall, Monica really enjoyed the Global Affairs graduate program because it showed her the world from a different perspective. After graduation, she plans to find a job in counterterrorism in or around the DC area.
Ruiyang Liu entered George Mason University as a Global Affairs graduate student with a specialization in Global Media. As an international student visiting from the People’s Republic of China, Ruiyang was intrigued by the various perspectives of his Global Affairs professors such as Breglia, Son, Ashley, West, and Razzano. Ruiyang participated in the study abroad program, under the leadership of Professor Breglia, to visit the beautiful island nation of Cuba.
After graduation, Ruiyang plans to return to the PRC with his new knowledge and interest in global affairs in order to accelerate his career. He would like to thank all the professors for their inexhaustible patience and tolerance with his limited English skills in addition to being welcoming of his foreign political views. Finally, he wants to thank his amazing parents for supporting his interest to continue his education in America.
Amie Mbye will be graduating in May 2020 from George Mason University with her Master’s degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Culture and Society along with a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. One of her most memorable experiences at Mason was the study abroad trip to Madrid, Spain in the summer of 2019. She would like to thank all the wonderful professors she has had during her two years at Mason for expanding her knowledge of the world with their bright minds and the New Student and Family Programs team that helped her develop her skills as a professional staff member.
She would also like to give a HUGE thank you to all of her friends in her cohort that have made her experience at Mason so full of joy and unforgettable memories. Lastly, she would like to thank her family for their unconditional love and support as she pursues her goals in higher education. Amie is planning to move back to her home state, Rhode Island, to pursue work in either nonprofit or the education field helping students of color in their journey to pursue higher education.
Amy is graduating with a Master’s degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in Conflict and Security. Although, Amy enjoyed all of her course experiences at GMU, her favorite class was the GLOA 710 study abroad program in Madrid, Spain. During her time in Madrid Amy learned about Spain’s political make-up and its cultural heritage. Not only did she gain a deep understanding of the people of Spain, but she also gained lifelong friendships throughout the program.
One of her most memorable experiences was interviewing strangers in the streets of Madrid for research purposes, which took her out of her comfort zone and helped her grow as a person. But, for Amy, the most important aspect of GLOA 710 was Dr. Jennifer Ashley who never ceased to encourage her students and help them in their research. Amy would like to first and foremost thank her Mom and Dad for their never failing support and for their selfless love. She would also like to thank her friends Elena, Abla, Mohammad, and Dieu Donne for their friendship and all the memories they share. Lastly, Amy would like to thank the Global Affairs faculty and staff for their hard-work and support throughout.
Carolyn is graduating with a degree in Global Affairs and a specialization in Global Health. Her favorite classes have definitely been infectious disease classes, as she hopes to pursue the things she has learned in those classes in her future work. Carloyn's most notable experience while at Mason was the Cuba study abroad trip led by Dr. Breglia – it was a trip she will never forget.
After graduation, she hopes to go to work in the public health sector. She also hopes to take lots from her current GA position into that work. Lastly, Carolyn would like to thank her parents, boss at the OSC, and Dr. Breglia for helping and supporting her so much throughout her Mason career.
Michael is a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer with a regional focus in Southeast Asia. He is currently a global affairs graduate student with a concentration in global conflict and security. Growing up in Japan and spending a considerable amount of time in Europe and Afghanistan, Michael saw the ever-changing nature of the globalized economy and the cultural impacts it has had on all societies. GLOA courses such as "Economic Globalization and Development" and "Globalization in Asia" has helped shape his understanding and appreciation of the intricate, yet vital role of globalization.
Michael would like to thank all of the Global Affairs professors and classmates who have enabled him to better understand the world through the lens of globalization. He is excited to take his newfound knowledge and experiences from the GLOA program and apply them to his follow-on assignments at U.S. embassies in Southeast Asia.
Christian specialized in Conflict and Security, motivated by a long-standing interest in national security. While he enjoyed all of the GLOA classes, his favorites were GLOA 610 and 615 with Dr. Son, whose sense of humor and unfailingly good mood made class fun every week.
His most fond memory of Mason will be the friends he made within GLOA, who he hopes to keep in touch with. After graduation, he looks forward to beginning public service within the federal government.
Sulaiman will graduate from the Global Affairs program with a concentration in conflict and security. He is thankful for the many opportunities that are made available to not only global affairs students but also all George Mason students. With funding from the Global Education Office’s travel grant for independent research, Sulaiman was able to travel to Athens, Greece to interview members of anarchist squatter communes for his dissertation project.
One of the most memorable moments from his time at GMU was the Cuba study abroad trip he took in January 2020. The program offered a great opportunity to learn about Cuban economics while also sharing a great travel experience with his Global Affairs cohort. Sulaiman will be continuing coursework at GMU in order to complete a graduate certificate in mass atrocity and genocide prevention. Sulaiman would like to specifically thank Jennifer Ashely, Lisa Breglia, and Paul Smith.
Elena Kemmerzell, Mohammad Al Rowaily, Cecelia Kimes, Kelsie Hohenberger, and Abla Triki.
For Rebecca, coming from southern Virginia to DC was originally a culture shock. Now that she has completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Global Affairs she feels like she has all the skills necessary to get her dream job.
Global Affairs has helped Rebecca learn more about the world and see it in new ways. Though she originally thought about a career as a Japanese translator, she realized she had a bigger passion for the environment, in part due to her participation in the Global Politics Fellows program and her internship as a State Department.
During her time at Mason, Rebecca had a once in a lifetime opportunity of going to Cuba in the MA seminar abroad. As her first time out of the country she was able to experience a whole new culture and meet the most welcoming people.
When Rebecca is not in the GLOA office working as an undergraduate advisor, she is walking around parks and watching wildlife or taking care of her pets. Her passion in life is to work to protect the environment on a global scale and work with nonprofit organizations to protect animals. Rebecca would like to thank Dr. Breglia for the trip to Cuba, Dr. Ashley for pushing her outside her comfort zones and interviewing scholars, Erika Marquina for helping her with advising, and Professor Razzano for providing support when she needed it most.
Sabrine started off as an Accelerated Master’s student working to finish her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology while also working to earn her Master's in Global Affairs with a specialization in Conflict and Security. Sabrine is interested in many things but two of these things include global mental health and American foreign policy. After graduation, she would like to work for a Think Tank here in DC and expand her knowledge on research and advocacy for foreign policy issues. Joining the Global Affairs Master's program changed the direction of her career aspirations and brought her new insights and understandings that have allowed her to better comprehend the world in which we live. She would like to thank her parents and her professors for supporting her and pushing her forward on this journey.
Since Aaron’s first day at Mason in August 2014, he has met some of the most intelligent and caring people he has come to call his colleagues and friends. He is happy to say he has stayed with the Global Affairs program since his very first day of class freshman year. He has been proud to represent Global Affairs and Mason as a whole throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies. His favorite class in the program was Dr. Son's Economic Globalization and Development class; though each class developed a critical aspect of his modern academic portfolio in some way. Like many graduates this year, his main goal for the future is staying away from Unemployment Assistance, hopefully through a career that applies the professional and personal lessons he has learned in this program. Aaron would like to thank the GLOA professors and staff who helped him to succeed throughout his time at Mason, specifically Dr. Breglia, Dr. Ashley, Dr. Son, Dr. Hultin, Dr. Razzano, and Ms. Lister. He looks forward to seeing everyone again in the near future!
Jessica Ostrowski-Wright is graduating with a Master’s in Global Affairsand a Graduate Certificate in Women & Gender Studies. Having studied abroad in Italy and Sweden during her undergraduate career at James Madison University, Jess discovered her passion for Global Affairs. While on campus, she spends time working in the Global Education Office helping students prepare for their study abroad experiences, or working on countless written assignments in Fenwick Library. While not working on campus, she can be found volunteering with social justice-focused organizations, or reading and spending time with her new kitten. While there are many highlights from her time in graduate school, her trip to Havana, Cuba in January of 2018 stands out the most. She loved having the opportunity to travel during the Global Affairs program, and this program connected her studies with real-world experiences.
She would like to thank all of her wonderful Global Affairs professors, Dr. Breglia, Dr. Ashley, Dr. Hultin, Dr. Son, and Dr. Razzano, as well as Stephanie Lister. And, in addition to thanking all of her incredible Women & Gender Studies professors, including Dr. Manuel-Scott and Dr. Lewis, she would especially like to thank her parents, roommates, and friends for their constant support.
Julianna is graduating with her MA in Global Affairs with a specialization in Conflict & Security. She began her graduate studies in the Fall of 2017 with the Accelerated Masters in Global Affairs program. She graduated last August with her Bachelor’s in Criminology.
One of her favorite parts of her graduate studies at Mason was the seminar abroad. She participated in the program to Cuba last winter. She loved the opportunity to travel, explore a new culture, and make some new friends along the way. Also, the 70-degree weather was not bad while it was snowing in Virginia!
Julianna would first like to thank her parents. She knows she would probably not be standing here without their constant support. Second, she would like to thank her two older brothers; she is glad they have grown past the bickering stage and now love and support each other more than anyone else in the world.
And finally, please do not ask her what her post-graduation plans are, she is just excited to see where life will take her!
Rebekah was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2014-2016 serving as an Education Volunteer in rural Mozambique working with HIV and Malaria initiatives. She is now working with Change Management at Freddie Mac. At Mason, she was a Global Affairs student with a specialization in Global Governance and Public Management. Her favorite course in the Global Affairs program was the Capstone seminar with Dr. Razzano. In the future, she hopes to work in some capacity with International Development and project management.
Kelsey Hahn grew up in Midlothian, Virginia. She graduated from Randolph-Macon College with an undergraduate degree in political science and international studies with a minor in Spanish. It was there that Kelsey found her passion for understanding the complexities of international security. Once she visited Mason’s campus and met with the Global Affairs faculty she knew she wanted to continue her education here. During her time at Mason, she specialized in Global Conflict and Security, and was able to continue her research on the use of children in armed conflict, particularly in the Lord’s Resistance Army in central Africa. Mason has provided her so many memorable experiences but none as influential as studying abroad in Cuba this past January with the one and only Lisa Breglia. That experience and the rest of her time at Mason has been invaluable and she can’t thank the faculty and staff enough for all that they have done and will continue to do for all the students who have the honor of joining this upcoming cohort. She wants to give a special thanks to her parents for all of their support; she would not be where she is today without their influence and guidance.
Sol believes that Global Affairs is crucial not only for the global economy but for the development of humankind. Before coming to Mason, Sol received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from American University. She decided to continue her education and develop her insight into diverse and complex international issues through her studies in Mason’s Global Affairs program. She knows her educational experience at Mason provided her with a foundation for taking on new challenges. Additionally, it deepened her enthusiasm to pursue a career that allows her to express values and apply them in a positive and enhancing way for the international community.
Sol admits that being an international student is not an easy path! But, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. Sol would like to express her gratitude to Dr. Breglia, Dr. Son, Dr. Ashley, Dr. Hultin, and Dr. Razzano and all the pathway instructors from INTO Mason. She would like to particularly thank her family who flew all the way from South Korea to congratulate her on this accomplishment. She would not be here without the support of her family.
Georgia Parolin Belina is a graduate of the Global Affairs program, with a specialization in Economics and Development. She decided to pursue her MA in Global Affairs to incorporate the knowledge with her degree in Law, combining both. After graduation, she plans to go back to Brazil to practice law. During her studies at Mason, she enjoyed all her classes and is looking forward to her study abroad this summer in Spain. Lastly, she wants to thank all her professors at Mason and her family.
Melody Sangkaworn is originally from Bangkok, Thailand. She completed her BA in Asian Studies and a minor in Chinese. Before she decided to come to the US, she was a tutor in Chinese, English and Thai. Then, she came to the US to pursue her MA in Global Affairs to further pursue her interests in culture and society. She chose to study at Mason for its diversity. For her, Global Affairs is about bringing her perspective to the table. It is about utilizing incredible resources to direct the change she wants to see in the world.
She loves to be around people from many different cultural backgrounds; and she is amazed by the richness this brings to life. The most memorable experience that she has had is to meet friends from all over the world. Her friends are the main reason that she did not feel isolated and homesick during her time at Mason.
Melody wants to thank all of her professors who always supported her throughout the semesters. Their encouragement and dedication meant a lot to her. Thank you to all her friends who always cheered her up and stayed by her side. The most important people are her family who offered her this valuable opportunity. Without them, she would never would have been able to experience a new world.