Colloquium Members

EPIIC 2011-2012 Class Bios


Lily Anderson is a senior majoring in Chinese language and culture. She is from San Francisco, CA where she attended a French International school. It was early in her life that she discovered how much she appreciated the differences around the world and therefore began to deepen her understanding of cultures around the globe. Starting at age twelve, she began exchanges in three countries: France, Italy, and China. Since then she has spent fourteen months abroad and speaks English, French, Italian, and Mandarin. She is interested in international business and plans to live abroad for the majority of her future life. As a descendant of Lebanese and Norwegian ancestors, she is intrigued by the goings on in the Middle East and Scandinavia - two locations recently engaged in active conflict. She is extremely excited to begin her final year at Tufts with the study of global conflict in present times through EPIIC and the IGL.

Amy Calfas is a junior at Tufts majoring in International Relations with a concentration in International Security and is from Los Angeles, California. Amy is interested in studying this year's EPIIC topic from the perspective of conflict resolution and is excited to become more a more active participant in the IGL. During high school, she helped start a non-profit organization for underprivileged girls in South Central LA, conducted research on the Darfur conflict, and served as an advocate with Human Rights Watch. On campus, Amy is a member of PPRI, the Tufts Christian Fellowship, and Alpha Omicron Pi, where she serves as Philanthropy Chair. Her interests include consuming excessive amounts of caffeine from the Rez, music, volunteering, and all things "Californian.
Hyomi Carty is a senior with a double major in International Relations (Empires, Colonialism, and Globalization) and Peace and Justice Studies, and a minor in Japanese. Her interest in world affairs, with a particular enthusiasm for furthering the values of human rights and democracy through policy reform in developing countries, began back in high school and has only grown in magnitude since. Hyomi’s semester abroad in Ghana, as well as courses she has taken at Tufts, has piqued her keen interest in such areas as US-Africa Relations, transitional justice, and conflict resolution. While working for the Consortium on Gender, Security, and Human Rights, she enhanced her knowledge and awareness of the global justice agenda, with a specific focus on women and gender issues within conflict arenas. Additionally, in the area of development, she is especially concerned about furthering education among youth. While studying at the University of Ghana, she worked closely with an NGO called the EDAID Foundation to promote education and literacy for primary school students in the area, by organizing tuition partnerships and fundraisers for additional school resources. Driven by her desire to promote education for underprivileged youth led her to pursuing a fellowship this summer as an Education Organizing intern at DC Language Access Coalition. She is a product of New England culture, where she has extensively cultivated her avid passion for Tae Kwon Do, vocal performance, theological debates, and fashion modeling. Hyomi very much looks forward to an incredible year with her fellow EPIIC peers.
Emily Clayton is a senior studying International Relations with a focus on Latin America, although she also counts a vast array topics such as conflict resolution, post-conflict reconciliation, mining policy, energy, urbanization, climate change, immigration, economic development, the politics of aid, indigenous people’s issues, and women’s rights among her varied academic interests. A native of the “Garden State” in the truest sense, she grew up surrounded by the natural world on an arboretum, experiences which sparked a passion for environmental and agricultural issues. During her Tufts’ experience this far, Emily has been a member of BUILD, Guatemala, a student-led sustainable development organization; she traveled to Guatemala in January 2010 to conduct research, an experience that intensified her interest in the Latin American region. She further explored her interest in Guatemala through her work this past summer with the organization Cultural Survival, an indigenous peoples’ rights organization. During the first half of college, she was very involved with the Tufts Energy Conference, which is devoted to a critical exploration of global energy issues and solutions.  Last fall, she had the exciting opportunity to study on the Tufts-in-Chile program, where she was able to better understand the continuing legacies of human rights violations and work with a local NGO, El Trampolín, which addresses the consequences of urban poverty for women and youth.  Eager to explore the intersection of the international and local through community service, Emily has been an active volunteer in the Somerville community through work with the AmeriCorps program Jumpstart during her freshman year and through participation in LIFT, a nationwide initiative that has challenged her previous conceptions of the realities of poverty in the United States.
Becca Dewey is a freshman and prospective International Relations major. She is from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where she grew up surrounded by historic stone buildings and the decaying skeletons of steel factories. The juxtaposition of the different eras displayed through her town’s architecture piqued her interest in history. She has spent the last four years studying at Blair Academy, a small boarding school in New Jersey. Becca works for the scene shop at Tufts, building theater sets. Her previous work experience includes internships as a reporter at her hometown newspaper and Muhlenberg College’s Summer Music Theater as a stage manager.
Alfonso Enriquez, who goes by “Fonzie” alias “El Pistolero,” is a junior intending to major in International Relations with a concentration in Economic Development. He is from the marginal area in San Luis Potosi in Mexico known as La Huasteca Potosina. However, at the age of 15, his family moved to San Antonio, Texas due to the rise in crime and narco-violence in his city. Though he is eager to return to México, he sees it unlikely until the Mexican Drug War stops. During his last two years in college, he’s been highly involved in BUILD: Guatemala, a student-led organization and part of the IGL that promotes sustainable development initiatives in rural communities in the developing world. His experiences in Latin America have focused his interests in this particular region for its intrinsic history of instability, conflict, and violence. He is excited to take EPIIC this year to learn more about other regions in order to expand his perspective in understanding Latin America. Some of his miscellaneous interests and trivia include: Photography, film, reggaeton, guitar, soccer.
Michael Fishman is a junior majoring in Political Science from West Windsor, New Jersey.  On campus, Michael is involved in the Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services(ALLIES), a group which focuses on civil-military relations.  In the spring of 2011, Michael attended the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference as a delegate, focusing on the political ramifications of cyberwarfare.  In the summer of 2011, he was a research intern at the US Army War College's Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, researching the effects of new media technologies on conflict areas.  He is also involved in 3P's, Tufts' theater group. 
Bradley Friedman is a freshman planning on studying International Relations with a regional focus on the Middle East.  Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Bradley was exposed to global diversity at an early age. The topic of “Conflict in the 21st Century” appeals to him because during high school he focused on educating and advocating to his community about the genocide in Darfur and the Congo Mineral Conflict. Bradley’s interests include Gothic architecture, Buberian philosophy, 19th century history, playing for Tufts’ club soccer team, going to concerts, and traveling around the world.  Bradley spent a semester in 10th grade studying in Israel and looks forward to learning more about the Middle East in EPIIC and returning to the region to conduct research.
Konrad Gessler is a sophomore at Tufts University, majoring in International Relations with a concentration in security studies. He was born in the Bronx, New York and has lived in the metro area for all of his life. Konrad has a strong passion for understanding conflict and major threats that states currently face. Konrad is the current network director for ALLIES (Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services), a group that strives to bridge the gap between civilian and military culture and he is heavily involved in the planning of FIELDEX (Field Exercise in Peace and Stability Operations), a role playing simulation held annually that places university students and military academy students in a theoretical conflict situation. In his free time, Konrad enjoys traveling to Germany to visit family, practicing Krav Maga self-defense, playing basketball, and reading the news.
Chrissy Goldbaum is a sophomore from Bethesda, Maryland majoring in International Relations with a concentration in International Security. Beyond academics, she has a passion for social justice issues, which began in her junior year of high school when she worked on a lobby campaign for a bill regarding the Lord’s Resistance Army and Northern Uganda. Prior to beginning her freshman year, she traveled to South Africa, Rwanda and Tanzania where she worked with community centers, rural health clinics, and educational programs; learned all she could about development, genocide, and transitional justice; and attempted to pick up some Kinyarwanda and Swahili. Each of these experiences furthered her interest in international development and post-conflict resolution, which led her to become a leader of the IGL group BUILD (Building Understanding Through International Learning and Development), a collaborative rural development organization working with resettled combatants in Guatemala, as well as a rural community in Tamil Nadu, India. This past summer she was also able to travel to Cochabamba, Bolivia through the EMPOWER program where she interned with the human rights organization CEADESC (The Center for Applied Studies in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). Chrissy is very excited to be a part of EPIIC this year and to continue her involvement in the IGL community.
Chelsea Grayson is a senior studying English with a minor in mass communications and media studies. Born in the Bronx, she was raised, and lived most of her life with her mothers and younger brother in Long Island, New York. Growing up in a non-traditional household and being raised by her biracial mother and mother’s partner instilled early on an interest in identity and diversity. Before her freshman year at Tufts, her passion for tackling issues of social justice, identity and conflict grew when she visited New Orleans, Louisiana post-Hurricane Katrina and saw that the community was still in ruins even three years later. Now at Tufts, Chelsea is an avid member of Exposure, an IGL program that focuses on human rights and photojournalism. She has been on four Exposure workshops; Vietnam, Houston, Arizona and South Dakota, and has documented issues from rice farming in Hue, Vietnam to immigration in Arizona to race relations in Houston, Texas. Last semester she took the Narrative and Documentary Practice course with Gary Knight, where she was able to learn more ways to address issues of social justice through visual storytelling. As a Tisch Scholar, she has worked on issues of diversity and public service around the Boston Area and as a S.P.E.A.C (Students Promoting Equality Awareness and Compassion) member she has addressed those same issues on Tufts’ Campus. She is enthusiastic about engaging in EPIIC this year, more specifically, looking into conflict and conflict resolution amongst youth. Chelsea has used photography and film to explore issues of identity and conflict and looks forward to continuing it this year in EPIIC.
Theron Lay-Sleeper is a high flyer and a rainbow rider and a straight-shootin' sunovagun. A Freshman this year, he plans on majoring in International Relations and Journalism. He is interested in politics, sociology, photography, and environmental biology as well as medieval warfare, astrophysics, and wilderness survival. Human-induced climate change and lack of education are important issues for him, and he hopes to effect change in those issues through his proposed career-path. Born on 02/22 at twenty of two and measuring in at 22 inches long, it is clear why he considers two to be his lucky number. He grew up in Cabot, Vermont with his two older brothers in a big yellow house on the backstreet. He loves making art and music, and speaking other languages. He studied French in his 200-student school (Pre-K through 12th), and in his senior year he went through the Congress-Bundestag Scholarship Program and AFS to spend a year as an exchange student in Salzwedel, Germany. There, he became fluent in German, soccer, and clubbing. He plays a mean saxophone and wears his hair shaggy.
Amy Oullette is a senior from Westford, Massachusetts majoring in political science and international relations. Amy trained as a gymnast for many years and still loves sprinkling life with handstands and cartwheels. She spent the summer of 2011 studying international criminal law in the Netherlands. The Institute for Global Leadership first expanded Amy's global perspective when she traveled to Santa Anita la Union, Guatemala with an inspiring team of peers as a part of BUILD Guatemala. She is enthusiastic to dive into this year's EPIIC program, and to continue learning from and with this community.
This is Gabriel Rojkind. The son of a Venezuelan mother and an Argentine father, his first language was Spanish followed closely by French and English. At some point in elementary school however, he forgot two of those languages (something he is still bitter about). So while he should have been "internationally-minded" at a young age, he instead grew up ignorant of and uninterested in world affairs for many years, occasionally listening to his father’s conspiracy theories. It wasn't until his junior year of high school that Gabriel began taking an interest in the happenings outside his small town of Chicago and began taking classes which actually confirmed the outlandish things his father had said about the CIA. By senior year, he was sure his passions lay in the realm of international politics and so he joins the EPIIC program as an eager freshman ready to sacrifice a significant portion of his social life. It goes without saying that Gabriel is interested in international and domestic politics, economics, and ways of pragmatically improving the world, but when not devoting his body and soul to the EPIIC program, Gabriel is busy playing guitar and recording music, poetry, reading, doing martial arts, doing other arts that lack fighting such as drawing, and planning his future travels. His areas of interest lie with Europe and the Americas, especially the Southern Cone countries. Beyond his conventional political interests, Gabriel is also interested in human rights, animal rights, and environmental issues.
Matt Sanda is a junior majoring in International Relations with a concentration in International Economics and is currently considering a minor in Music.  In high school, he was a Massachusetts D-II State Champion in swimming and a member of the a capella group the Weston Town Criers.  Matt is particularly interested in the role that economics play in areas of conflict around the globe while he is also a strong proponent of political and environmental awareness.  At Tufts, Matt is currently serving as President for his co-ed fraternity ATO of Massachusetts, was a member of the Men’s Varsity Swim Team, and is a member of the club water polo team.  He hopes that this year of EPIIC will bring challenges and inspiration of a different color than he has experienced in the past.  In his free time, Matt enjoys playing piano, golfing, and the company of his friends.
Eric is currently a senior at Tufts University and is majoring in International Relations. Having studied abroad in Chile, he chose to concentrate in the Latin American region.  During his time in Chile, Eric conducted an internship and worked closely with the homeless population of Santiago and witnessed the “other” Chile that is often hidden and inaccessible to travelers, inspiring him to write a lengthy analysis questioning whether the Chilean population has actually benefited from the often touted neoliberal model or not. Once a psychology major, Eric hopes to tie his two interests together and to explore the topic of conflict. He wonders about its roots and solutions within the human psyche and whether or not a kind of world peace is possible. In his free time, Eric practices Soo Bahk Do and Kung Fu, enjoys reading about eastern philosophy, and goes on long distance backpacking trips. After graduation, he hopes to teach English abroad in China and then decide where he wants to go from there.
Regina Smedinghoff is a senior from Chicago, majoring in Political Science, and is very excited to be a  part of EPIIC this year. Her interests vary from human rights and conflict resolution to economic development and domestic politics. In the winter of 2009, Regina traveled to Ghana with the Ghana Gold program at Tufts, during which she investigated the role of corporations, government, NGOs, civil society and corporate social responsibility practices in the gold mining industry in Ghana. She was further exposed to the functions of NGOs in development issues while interning at a national housing development organization while studying abroad in Santiago, Chile. As a member of BUILD, Regina has researched post-conflict societies and monitored sustainable development projects in Guatemala. Through her involvement with the Roosevelt Institute, a national student-run think tank, Regina has been immersed in the government and policy-writing side of national and international issues. In her free time, Regina is an Irish dancer, marathon runner, country music enthusiast, and a heart-broken Chicago Cubs fan.
Chloe Tomlinson is a senior majoring in Peace and Justice Studies. She spent the spring 2011 semester in northern Uganda studying Post-Conflict Transformation. While there, she worked with Battery Operated Systems for Community Outreach to conduct research on internet-based peace building programs. Over the summer she interned with the International Justice Project and assisted with the representation of Darfuri victims in proceedings of the International Criminal Court. She is a passionate member of the anti-sexual violence movement both on campus and internationally, and is a certified rape crisis counselor. In addition to doing EPIIC she works as the operations manager at the Rez Café, devoting her time to ensuring that the Tufts student body remains over-caffeinated.

Cody Valdes is a student and writer from Vancouver, Canada. As an Institute for Global Leadership Empower Fellow and Synaptic Scholar at Tufts University, he has conducted research internationally in a number of countries, publishing work on the intersection of foreign aid, elite oligarchies, and mass poverty in the Philippines and the impact of the Olympic Games on impoverished urban communities in Vancouver. He has co-founded social initiatives in the field of conflict transformation in Rwanda, Kenya, and the Israeli-Gaza border. Most recently, he was co-founder of Sisi ni Amani, a project that is developing SMS-based conflict response mechanisms in violence-prone communities in Kenya in preparation for its 2012 elections. In this capacity he was a finalist at the World Bank’s Innovation Fair in South Africa and lived in Nairobi, Kenya for one year co-directing its implementation. He has been invited to speak at and participate in conferences by Engineers Without Borders International, the Human Rights Foundation, and the Clinton Global Initiative University in Cyprus, Norway, and within the continental United States, and participated on planning committees for the Institute for Global Leadership’s 2009 International Symposium on Global Cities and 2010 International Symposium on South Asia. He also served as the co-Editor in Chief of the Institute's student publication, Discourse. As an Institute Synaptic Scholar, he is presently completing his undergraduate degree in Political Science, where his primary interests include the affairs of nations, elite state-capture, cognitive sciences of brain development, and social philosophies.

Ian Wahrenbrock is a sophomore from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, majoring in International Relations and French. His academic interests lie in international development and human rights, primarily concerning Western and Sub-Saharan Africa. His intrigue for the continent emerged from spending back-to-back summers in Tanzania and South Africa assisting in construction projects and working in a human rights office, aimed at refugee assistance. Through EPIIC, Ian hopes to gain insights into past and current conflicts, developing a deeper understanding of the surrounding issues of conflict creation and resolution.  In addition to the world of IR, his interests include travel, film, playing tennis and soccer, as well as harboring an intense passion for the Green Bay Packers.

Laurel Woerner is a sophomore intending to major in Environmental Studies and IR.  Born and raised in the college town, surfing hot spot, and old hippie paradise that is Santa Cruz, CA, she enjoys anything related to water, including swimming and water polo.  Music is another passion, both listening to any genre and playing classical piano.  By attending Tufts, she hopes to gain a profound understanding of many aspects of the world, build her mental facilities, and go to work on environmental policy problems.


Josh Youner, born and raised in Port Washington, NY (just outside of city limits), is a sophomore here at Tufts University. He intends to major in International Relations and Economics. He is excited as anyone to participate in EPIIC, although it was literally a last-minute decision to do so. Reflecting the opinionated environment in which he grew up, Josh has worked with the Tufts Daily as a weekly Op-Ed columnist his first semester and an editorialist in the Spring. On campus, Josh has also dabbled in the IGL’s international economic development program, BUILD. He is also a brother of the fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. Off campus, Josh was an unpaid intern at the local office of a US Congressman for most of his freshman year. Josh’s interests include politics, running, and a deleterious love-hate relationship with the New York Mets.

Agree is a freshman tentatively majoring in International Relations and Economics. His primary area of interest on this year’s topic is the digital aspect of conflict: ranging from social media-organized revolutions to cyber warfare. This fascination is part of a broader intrigue: the effect of changes in communication on structures of political power. Agree was born in Southern Kurdistan and has since lived in Guam, Utah, and Washington, DC. One of his favorite pastimes is debate, especially on morality and the ethicality of economic systems. Always interested in politics, his passion for foreign policy flourished after he started the policy debate program at his high school. Besides debate, Agree also was very active in Student Government, Marching Band, humanitarian work, and his school’s Economics Challenge team. When he’s not in EPIIC, Agree is an avid alto saxophone player and genocide prevention advocate. He is currently undertaking a project that will increase global awareness of the Ba’athist Anfal, Saddam Hussein’s genocidal campaign against the Kurds.
Allison Schwartz is a sophomore intending to double major in International Relations and Arabic. She hails from the northern tundra of New Hampshire, where she spent her youth trapped inside during snowstorms and reading about warm places. At Tufts, she is involved with TU-RAP, an organization aiding refugees that have been resettled in the Boston area. Over the summer, Allison was a research assistant at Dartmouth Medical School, where she studied secondhand smoke exposure and learned about the larger research process. With EPIIC, she hopes to travel and gain greater knowledge of the history behind modern-day conflicts. Allison also enjoys hiking, eating falafel, and watching West Wing marathons.
Andrew Maclary is a junior majoring in International Relations, and minoring in Chinese. He is in love with all things IR, and has a particular interest in Security Studies. He grew up absolutely loving history and politics, and to this day "The West Wing" remains his favorite TV show. His interest in other cultures and global politics also comes from growing up outside Washington, D.C., where, as his mother always told him, “World news is local news.” Outside of the classroom, he is a starting player and alumni coordinator for the Tufts Men’s Rugby team. He is incredibly excited about EPIIC, and cannot wait for the year ahead.
Angela is a senior from California majoring in International Relations with a focus on International Security. She is the VP of Operations at Tufts Student Resources, a student run business on campus, which provides fitness classes, a laundry service, and microfridge rentals among other services. Her interest in international studies stems from growing up in her parent's travel agency. Now she has been to over 20 countries including studying in Spain where she witnessed their first World Cup win and Greece where she learned about the effects of economic stress and protests against austerity measures. Outside of academics her interests include knitting, piano, archaeology, and bike riding. She hopes to work in international diplomacy in the future, particularly in the effects of war on a human level and/or the combating of human trafficking. Angela is excited for EPIIC this year in broadening her understanding of current conflicts from the Middle East to Outer Space and how this generation might work towards peace.
Aparna Ramanan is a junior majoring in Arabic and International Relations from sunny San Jose, California. On campus, Aparna is on the executive board for ALLIES (Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services), where she will be planning the International Roundtable as well as FIELDEX (Field Exercise in Peace and Stability Operations). Aparna spent the past summer exploring development economics in South Asia, interning with a microfinance company in South India collecting data from village surveys and studying the various networks in Indian villages that foster economic growth. Aparna hopes to pursue further studies in diplomacy and security, especially with regards to Arab nations. A lover of all things IGL, she is excited to immerse herself in the EPIIC community, and delve into cyberwarfare, terrorism, and the changing nature of conflict in the 21st century.
Carolina Cardenas is a junior majoring in International Relations with a concentration in International Security. She was born in Brazil, where she lived until the age of 13, and then moved to Colombia. Having been raised by an American father and an Ecuadorian mother, and having experienced life in different countries, Carolina has learned a great deal about different perspectives on global conflict and politics and has grown very passionate about international affairs. At Tufts she is involved with student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, Students at Tufts Acting for Immigrant Rights, and the Brazilian Culture Club. Carolina is excited to become a member of EPIIC and hopes to further explore the relationship between plutocracy, poverty, inequality and conflict/violence.
Darcy Covert attended International High School in San Francisco and is a freshman this year in the College of Arts and Sciences. She received her International Baccalaureate Diploma this past spring, and was one of six high school students in the United States to receive the Council of International Schools International Student award in 2011. Her interests in international relations with a focus in the Middle East as well as in economics have been cultivated by 14 years in international schools, as well as extensive travel. She has been very involved in community service projects, especially through her position as a member for the Community Service Steering Committee in high school, and looks to continue this involvement while at Tufts. She has been a volunteer English and French teacher at schools in M'bour, Senegal and Pondicherry, India, and is now herself a student of Arabic. Outside of the classroom, she is a badminton and tennis player, as well as an older sister, a food-enthusiast and a compulsive organizer.
David Gittess is a senior majoring in International Relations (Finance) and possibly an English and Media Studies double minor. Driven by a strong interest in mass media/communications, he formed Imaginet, Tufts’ marketing organization in his freshman year. That summer, he lived abroad in Tokyo for about six weeks, where he experienced a blossoming of curiosity toward the greater world. After his sophomore year, he was sponsored to drive around the contiguous US, collecting interviews for a political advocacy group. One year later, he joined the generator division of Siemens Energy as a finance intern. A movie snob of the highest order, as well as past actor, orator, and debater, he can and probably will relate most subjects back to a film of some sort. Moviemaking is equally important, and he is planning on finishing his latest work by the end of this year. He joined EPIIC as a means to help him focus his energies and inquiries, and he feels very privileged that such an opportunity has been given to him. As of now, he is curious to see how social media and communications can be used to (re)build civil society where deep tensions still remain.
Ellie Caple is a junior majoring in Peace and Justice Studies and is an EPIIC “recidivist”, returning for a second consecutive year to the program. Ellie has had a passion for conflict prevention and resolution for years. She received the state of Massachusetts certification in mediation while still in high school and since then has used these skills in her work with non-profits targeting bullying and youth conflict. She also founded an organization called “Our Generation, Our Peace” encouraging teens to take a proactive role in preventing their own disputes. In the future, Ellie hopes to transition into a career preventing international conflict and rebuilding regions that have been affected by strife.
Emily Bartlett is a sophomore planning on majoring in International Relations. She was born and raised in England until she moved to Stowe, Vermont at the age of six. This was the first of many moves between America and Europe: Emily lived in the South of France at the age of ten, went to boarding school in North London when she was thirteen and finally moved to Milton Academy outside of Boston for her last two years of high school. She then took a gap year where she worked for six months, travelled and volunteered in South/South East Asia for five months and finally inter-railed around Europe. Aside from her love of travel, Emily loves to hike in the summer, ski in the winter and go to as many concerts as she possibly can. Emily is passionate about world affairs and aspires to be a true global citizen, therefore she is eager to immerse herself in the incredible learning experience that is EPIIC.
Graham Starr is a freshman from Mahwah, NJ planning to double major in Political Science and International Relations. Graham, at a young age, became immensely interested in the world and in humanity. Perhaps too eclectic for his own good, Graham finds himself attracted to all areas of study, from Psychology to Physics to Sociology to Geography, and will often be found researching obscure information online in his free time. He finds a passion for understanding conflict and revolutions in areas of the world, which, in part, drew him to EPIIC. Graham also has a deep-rooted passion for music, playing and teaching himself several instruments, and reviewing new, “indie” music on two sites online. He is fascinated by the world, and finds intrigue and passion in even its smallest wonders, and hopes to one day become a part of this ever-changing and diverse system in the form of a foreign policy think tanker or member of the State Department. Graham is also one of the “Founding Fathers” of MEVO, a 501(c)(3) environmental non-profit based in Mahwah, NJ founded in 2008. With over 1000 members and volunteers, MEVO has helped improve the environmental awareness, eco-consciousness, and sustainable responsibility of several areas of New Jersey. Graham is also a 2011 GE-Reagan scholar, who, in the summer of 2011, with two of his fellow Reagan Scholars and a few friends from Tufts, Georgetown, and Johns Hopkins, started the organization Students United, a soon-to-be-incorporated organization founded on the belief of uniting colleges around the nation to perform humanitarian relief efforts in places of international crisis. Graham is honored to participate in such an incredible program as EPIIC, and finds the intimidation of an ever-endangering world to be a challenge he’s willing to face.
Jessica Wilson is a graduate of the La Jolla Country Day School, and currently a Sophomore at Tufts double majoring in International Relations—Security Studies and Arabic. She is currently the president of Emerging Black Leaders at Tufts University, which involves a significant mentoring program and annual symposium. Jessica is also a board member of the Muslim Students Association, and a resident assistant at Tufts. Because she was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, Jessica has a strong affinity towards the Arab culture, language and people, and wants to see the region excel and improve over the coming years. She wants to surpass in innovative ideas and develop world-class solutions for real world challenges not only in the Middle East, but all regions of conflict. Jessica is a young professional with a unique combination of business experience and communication skills, and she hopes to gain tremendous knowledge and experience from the EPIIC program.
Joe Sax came out of the geopolitics junkie closet by dressing up as Hamid Karzai for Halloween his junior year in high school (photographic evidence on Facebook for the skeptics). Joe, a freshmen, attended public high school in Brookline, Massachusetts. There he was introduced to International Relations in Model United Nations club, going on to win awards at conferences representing countries such as the United States, Indonesia, Belgium, China, and the Weimar Republic. Joe was attracted to EPIIC by the opportunity to totally immerse oneself in examining the conflicts that threaten global security, as well as the prospect of meeting the kinds of people he impersonated for 4 years in high school MUN. He looks forward to doing real research in the field of IR. Musical tastes include Stravinsky, The Bad Plus, Radiohead, and others. When not masquerading as a foreign head of state or blasting The Rite of Spring from a handy set of speakers, Joe can be found reading, practicing the saxophone, and plotting world domination. Behind the goofy Monty Python lover is someone who desperately wants to make the world a better place, and EPIIC will teach him the tools to achieve that goal.
Kathryn Olson is a junior hailing from Portland, Oregon, majoring in International Relations and Economics. Her first foray into the world of the IGL began last year with NIMEP's fact-finding mission to Iraqi Kurdistan where she studied gender violence and transitional justice systems. The trip and discussions with survivors of the Kurdish genocide sparked her desire to understand the causes and dynamics of civil wars and genocide and how war-torn societies seek justice after mass violence. She intends to return to Iraqi Kurdistan this winter with fellow Tufts students to make a documentary addressing these issues. Outside of EPIIC, she edits for the Tufts Daily and attempts, somewhat pathetically, to master the Arabic language. Her childhood in Portland has given her a special appreciation for mountains, backpacking, homemade granola, and overpriced coffee. Other talents include an encyclopedic knowledge of The West Wing and The Adventures of Curious George.
Marla Spivack is a senior studying International Relations and Economics with a focus on International Development. The daughter of a doctor and a nurse, Marla knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a course of study that would lead to a career helping others. Born and raised in New Haven, CT, Marla had the opportunity to attend Choate Rosemary Hall in high school, where she discovered her passions for politics and economics. After arriving at Tufts, Marla explored ways that she could apply her skills as a social scientist to improving the lives of people around her. Her first opportunity came during her freshman year when she was awarded the International Relations Research Scholars Award to conduct a quantitative evaluation of a small Kenyan NGO’s HIV education program. She continued her HIV-related work the following summer, creating a monitoring and evaluation plan for an education program in California. A travel lover, Marla spent a large portion of the last year outside the US, first studying abroad at the University of Haifa in Israel, and then working over the summer in Uganda. Focusing more on her quantitative skills, Marla spent this past summer working for Innovations for Poverty Action on a Randomized Controlled Trial of a financial literacy and access program in Uganda with the support the Empower Fellowship. At Tufts Marla was a founding member and is currently President of OneWorld, an organization that provides opportunities for students to take on key leadership roles in creating events that facilitate cross campus collaboration to promote social justice and fight inequality. OneWorld works with the IGL, Tisch College and numerous student groups to hold an annual fair trade crafts bazaar, and the Tufts Idea Exchange, a TED-style forum. Marla is also active in the Jewish community, having served as a member of the Tufts Chabad Board for several years. Marla hopes to bring her experience with field research and quantitative skills to bear in this year’s EPIIC class, and to both broaden and deepen her understanding of international politics and barriers to human prosperity in the 21st century. She cannot think of a better way to spend her last year at Tufts.
Marli Ruck is a senior majoring in International Relations and Computer Science. During her career at Tufts she interned for the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees in Bucharest. She has also traveled to Accra to evaluate corporate social responsibility in the gold mining industry as part of the Ghana Gold Colloquium. She spent her junior year abroad in China and upon returning is now very interested in cyber-security because her computer was so often hacked. In her free time she blogs in Chinese and rock climbs.
Maya Kavaler is a freshman intending to double major in International Relations and Peace and Justice Studies. Being the daughter of a former Foreign Service officer and current State Department worker, she has always been fascinated with other cultures and how governments interact with each other. Growing up in Washington, D.C. has only expanded this interest. She has interned for the Human Rights Watch and volunteered for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She loves gummy bears, bad movies, and is a Bananagrams fiend. As of yet, she is unsure of what her extracurricular life at Tufts will resemble, but only hopes that it exists. She is very excited to learn all about conflict in the 21st century and to become a member of the EPIIC community!
Rachael Alldian is a senior majoring in Anthropology and International Relations with a focus on Security Studies. From a young age, she has been interested in both the international community and human rights. More recently she has focused on the rights of refugees and the gendered experience of women in war and post-conflict reconstruction. In the summer of 2010, she worked as a Case Management intern at a refugee resettlement organization, assisting incoming refugees arriving in the United States. Last summer she interned in the Policy and External Relations Department of Women for Women International, a development agency that works with women in post-conflict areas. In the future, she hopes to use the knowledge she gained at both of these organizations, as well as the experience of EPIIC, to enter the field of international development in post-conflict areas, specializing in gender.
Sharmaine grew up 9,407 miles away from Tufts, on a little red dot called Singapore. Into her final year, she is majoring in Quantitative Economics and International Relations, but secretly, is close to having taken a class with every department at Tufts. Recently back from a semester at Peking University in Beijing, she misses the unexpected chaos and greasy smells of family-style cooking during evening rush hours there. Having recently dabbled in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, she continues to pursue her love for cities, specifically in urban growth and preservation and their effects on memory and nostalgia. Taking EPIIC as a senior, Sharmaine is excited to work hard and think creatively, connecting the dots from lessons learnt in the past three years. Specifically, she is keen to explore the intersection of evolving urbanization and natural resource scarcity, as it plays into global conflict. At Tufts, she has been a part of the Tufts Energy Forum, Tufts Energy Conference, Tufts Christian Fellowship, Anchord and the Singapore Students’ Association. While she dreams of hopping onto a sailboat one day and taking off to see more of the world, she knows that she is a city girl at heart. For now, she looks forward to a good cup of coffee, the Thursday edition of the New York Times and every Tuesday and Thursday with the EPIIC class.
Sho Igawa is a senior studying International Relations and Political Science. Raised in a spicy, Latino-dominated part of Miami, he wanted to make a drastic change and come to this frigid but intellectual Hill. Sho’s interests include languages, modern world history and meeting people from around the world—but more importantly, anything that constitutes a good time! Leaving Tufts, Sho hopes to go into a global Japanese company, particularly of a Japan-unique brand of companies called shousha. Sho wants EPIIC to be both a climax to his incredible time at Tufts, as well as a growing experience from which to walk away much better prepared to face this exciting but mystifying, still new Century…aaand that was a mouthful.


Teaching Assistants 

Sarah Charlton is a second-year graduate student at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where she is studying for a master's degree in International Security and Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilizations. Prior to her studies at Fletcher, Sarah spent six years working as a management consultant for Monitor Group, where she consulted to both the public and the private sector with a particular focus on the challenges of emerging economies. While working, Sarah spent extended periods living in South Africa, Libya, France, the UK, and Canada, and ran projects across North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Sarah is a graduate of Harvard College, where she studied intellectual history.
Brittany Gleixner-Hayat is a Master’s candidate at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where her areas of concentration are international security studies and Southwest Asia and Islamic civilization. Brittany’s research at The Fletcher School has focused on stability operations and conflict prevention in weak states. A New York native, Brittany earned her BA degree in Political Science and French from Hunter College. In 2005, Brittany was the co-coordinator for an international conference on conflict prevention at the United Nations. In 2006 she was awarded a Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship to conduct six months of research in rural India on girl child rights initiatives under the auspices of the M. Venkatarangaiya Foundation, an NGO that fights child labour by advocating for universalisation of education. Upon returning from India, Brittany worked for three years at the Social Science Research Council in New York - first as Fellowships Assistant and then as Program Assistant for Asia and the Pacific at the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF). At CPPF, Brittany supported programming that brings crucial information and analysis on peace and security issues from the field and the academy to senior policymakers in the United Nations. While at the SSRC, Brittany completed a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University. In summer 2011, Brittany interned at the U.S. State Department in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization where she contributed to a lessons learned project on the State Department’s stability operation in the wake of political unrest in Kyrgyzstan in 2010.