11 May 2017

The Strauss Center is very pleased to announce the acceptance of twelve undergraduate students to its 2017 - 2018 Brumley Next Generation Scholars (NGS) program.

Undergraduate contributions to the Center’s research programs is an important part of our service mission. Launched in 2010, the NGS program provides UT undergraduates with advanced research and mentorship opportunities covering a range of disciplines related to international security and law.

The NGS program comprises two components. First, students take a research training and professional development course in the fall, introducing them to policy work such as designing research strategies and writing proposals. Second, the Scholars will work closely in the spring semester with the program's faculty lead on a collaborative policy report and blog site to further enhance their research and analytical abilities.

The Next Generation Scholars program is funded by the Strauss Center’s Brumley Chair in Global Affairs, made possible through a generous contribution from Jon and Rebecca Brumley.

Meet the 2017 - 2018 Next Generation Scholars:

Lila Al-Kassem is a rising junior majoring in International Relations and Global Studies with a focus on International Security and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Through her internship with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Lila researches agencies in the Middle East and North Africa as potential partners in regional initiatives, work that has given her insights into the security and governance challenges facing the Middle East. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career that allows her to craft feasible public policy solutions in the international development field.

Aaron Burroughs is a rising senior majoring in International Relations and Global Studies with a focus on International Security. His academic interests lie in the ways international security and state fragility impact human rights in the Middle East and North Africa, an interest he has further developed as a Scholar in UT’s Arabic Flagship Program. After his volunteer experience with Refugee Services of Texas helping a father-son pair of Iraqi refugees, Aaron deepened his resolve to build a career in research-based human rights advocacy.

Emily Cantwell is a rising senior double majoring in International Relations and Global Studies and French, with a minor in African Studies. Emily is an undergraduate research assistant for the Strauss Center’s and International Peace and Development’s program on Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia (CEPSA initiative), where she has gained an interest in how climate change and international development aid interact. Upon graduation, Emily plans to attain a Master’s degree in Human Rights Studies.

Jacquelyn Clark is a rising senior double majoring in Geography and Liberal Arts Honors. Her academic interests focus on cultures coming in contact and the effects this has on the landscape, more specifically in regards to U.S./Mexico border relations. Jacquelyn developed this interest as a volunteer U.S. citizenship teacher at Manos de Cristo. After completing her undergraduate studies, she plans to attend law school and study international law.

Sebastian De Beurs is a rising junior triple majoring in Government, History, and Plan II Honors. Sebastian serves as an intern with the State Department’s Virtual Student Foreign Service, where he creates podcasts featuring interviews with U.S. diplomats relating their experiences in African nations, further driving his interest in U.S./African relations. Upon graduation, Sebastian plans to pursue a career as a practitioner of U.S/Africa policy.

Emily Gurney is a rising senior majoring in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. She became interested in the language and cultural barriers that exist in national security and foreign policy after her work researching current tribal relations among students at the University of Jordan. A Scholar in UT’s Arabic Flagship Program, Emily plans to further pursue this interest in language and national security in a position within the U.S. intelligence community after graduation.

Jenny McGinty is a rising junior triple majoring in Plan II Honors, International Relations and Global Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. Jenny currently performs GIS analysis and geocoding projects as an undergraduate research affiliate with Innovations in Peace and Development’s Conflict and Open Aid Data Team. Upon graduation, Jenny will continue to pursue her passion in U.S. foreign policy and security issues in the Middle East.

Janhavi Nemawarkar is a rising junior double majoring in Plan II Honors and Government. Currently an opinion columnist and associate editor for The Daily Texan, Janhavi has worked in the policy arena in State Senator Judith Zaffirini’s office, researching past Senate Bills related to health and human services. With that experience under her belt, Janhavi plans to pursue a career as an immigrations or human rights lawyer.

Francesca Reece is a rising junior double majoring in Plan II Honors and Government. A YMCA Youth and Government intern, Francesca became interested in the challenges facing the intelligence community, such as the threats posed by cyberwarfare, as an Undergraduate Fellow with the Clements Center for National Security. Francesca plans to pursue a career in national intelligence upon completion of her studies.

Keeton Schenck is a rising junior double majoring in Finance and International Relations and Global Studies. His academic interest in global trade economics and international development has led him to work for a Y-Combinator start-up and as an undergraduate research affiliate with Innovations for Peace and Development. At the completion of his studies, Keeton plans to pursue a career that lies at the intersection of globalization policy and business.

Elizabeth Teare is a rising senior majoring in International Relations and Global Studies with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and French. She has nurtured her academic interest in development and peace building programs as a Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia (CEPSA) coder, where she analyzes aid and donor document transparency. After graduation, Elizabeth plans to pursue a career involving peace building and conflict resolution.

Benjamin Vega is a rising junior double majoring in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures and International Relations and Global Studies. His interests revolve around relationships between political upheaval and public actions following the restructuring of governments in countries around the world, specifically in the Middle East. Benjamin currently interns with the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office, and plans to attend law school to study international human rights law.

The current class of the 2016 – 2017 Next Generation Scholars graduates from the program this month, and these students are sure to go on to exciting research and professional endeavors.

For more information about the Next Generation Scholars program, please visit the Next Generation Scholars program webpage.

 

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