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.
Certificate of Merit
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.