29 April 2015

The Strauss Center is very pleased to announce the acceptance of ten graduate students to its inaugural 2015-2016 class of Brumley Next Generation Graduate Fellows program. This inaugural class consists of a remarkable group of graduate students drawn from schools across campus.

Involving graduate students in the Strauss Center’s research programs is an important part of the Center’s service mission, and the new launch of the Brumley Fellows program will enable the Center to more directly engage with UT graduate students across the 40 acres. The goal of the program is to provide a transformative experience for UT graduate students from an array of disciplines, accelerating their path towards career success with an emphasis on building professional and scholarly skills and networks. This new program focused on graduate students reflects an expansion of the Center’s Next Generation Scholars program, launched in 2010 and geared toward undergraduate students.

The graduate fellowship program begins in the fall of 2015 and consists of two core components. The first component is a series of monthly colloquia in which Fellows and faculty meet to discuss their current work and possible avenues for collaboration. The colloquia topics will vary to address each Fellow’s area of focus, and they will also provide a venue for engagement with visiting policymakers, practitioners, and scholars in order to discuss both substantive issues and career development. The second program component is a mentor-guided research project for the academic year. Each Fellow is paired with a Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar in order to design and execute a research project related to the Fellow’s research interests in one of the Strauss Center’s core program areas.

The Next Generation Graduate Fellows program is funded by the Strauss Center's Brumley Program in International Affairs and by the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Service.

Meet the 2015-2016 Brumley Next Generation Graduate Fellows:

Jillian Ames is entering the second year of a Master’s program in the Department of Geography and the Environment. Her research models shifting patterns of infectious disease in light of global climate change, and her project next year will focus on changing malaria patterns in Kenya. In her Brumley Fellowship, she will work with Associate Professor Josh Busby under the Strauss Center’s Climate Change and African Political Stability program. She plans to pursue her PhD at UT and subsequently enter academia to teach global health security.

Christine Bonthius is entering the second year of her doctoral studies in the Department of Geography and the Environment. Her research focuses on international energy and resource management, with her current work focused on Chinese involvement in energy resource extraction in Latin America. She will work with Associate Professor Eugene Gholz and Assistant Professor Josh Eisenman under the Strauss Center’s Energy and Security program. Upon completion of her PhD, she plans to pursue a career in academia.

Sophia Golvach is entering her final year of a dual degree program at the UT School of Law and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Her research focuses on U.S. national security law, the Islamic law of war, and the intersection of international humanitarian law and Islamic law. She will work with Professor Bobby Chesney, Strauss Center Director and UT Law School Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, under the Strauss Center’s National Security Law Studies program. She plans to begin her career in international arbitration in Washington, D.C. following graduation.

Aroob Iqbal is entering her second year of a Master’s degree in Global Policy Studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. After spending two years in Pakistan as a Teach For Pakistan fellow, her research now focuses on governance and international aid challenges in Asia and Africa. Her project next year will analyze strategies for building government capacity to deliver public services and forestall armed conflict. She will work with the Strauss Center’s Associate Director Ashley Moran under the Center’s State Fragility program. This summer, Aroob will serve as an AidData Summer Fellow in Uganda.

Jeanne Kaba is entering the second year of her Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies. Following work in Turkey, her research now focuses on Turkey’s growing regional influence, particularly in the spheres of energy, water, and development policy. She will work with the Strauss Center’s Associate Director Ashley Moran under to the Strauss Center’s Middle East Initiative on Water, Energy, and Security. Following graduation, she plans to work on international development projects involving Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union.

Kyosuke Kikuta is entering the second year of his doctoral studies in the Department of Government. His research investigates the impact that both destruction and reconstruction after disasters have on political violence and explores potential strategies for response. He will work with Associate Professor Josh Busby under the Strauss Center’s Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia program. Upon completion of his PhD, Kyosuke plans to pursue a career in academia.

Eric Manpearl is entering the second year of a dual degree program at the UT School of Law and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. His research interests lie in the areas of national security and intelligence studies. He will work with the Strauss Center’s Intelligence Studies Project Director Steve Slick to conduct research on intelligence initiatives. Eric plans to pursue a career in public policy relating to national security and intelligence.

Ashay Rane is entering the fourth year of his doctoral studies in the Computer Science Department. His research involves developing novel solutions to improve the security and privacy of computer programs. He will work under the Strauss Center’s Cybersecurity Program and will be mentored by Professor Bobby Chesney, Strauss Center Director and UT Law School Dean of Academic Affairs. Ashay plans to focus his career on conducting research on computer security.

Jodi Rosenstein is entering the second year of her doctoral studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Having worked in Afghanistan for five years with USAID, her research is focused on special operations forces and stabilization operations. She will work with Professor Paul Pope under the Strauss Center’s Special Operations Forces program. Upon completion of her PhD, she plans to pursue a career with the Joint Special Operations Command or the U.S. State Department.

Sam Tabory is entering the second year of a dual degree program in Latin American Studies and Community and Regional Planning. He is interested in researching how development interventions and effective governance can contribute to state stability and regional security. He will work with Professor Paula Newberg under the Strauss Center’s Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia program. Sam plans to pursue a career working on development and governance reform in Latin America.

For more information about the Brumley Next Generation Graduate Fellows program, visit https://www.strausscenter.org/nextgen-articles/brumley-nextgen-grad-fellows.html.

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