George Mason University
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George Mason University

S-CAR Activity Recap - November 2017

December 6, 2017


In November, six PhD candidates defended their dissertations, seven awards were received, and we published one book, one book chapter, and six journal articles. In the media, S-CAR analysts covered the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, Kurdish politics in Iraq, and Saudi-Israeli normalization, among other topics. Yuka Ogata, ’03, city councilwoman in Japan, made international news when she brought her baby son onto the Council floor, joining the small cadre of other women politicians challenging the perceptions of women in government. S-CAR recently marked the passing of two prominent Advisory Board members: Lester Schoene Jr. in October and Frank Duggan in November.


Vanessa Gomez Brake, M.S. '07, was awarded the Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman InterReligious Leadership Award by the Chicago Theological Seminary on November 13, 2017.  

Aya Hijazi, B.A. '09, was named a “National Endowment for Democracy Fellow.” The five-month fellowship will permit Ms. Hijazi supports to reestablish her Belady Foundation.  Aya Hijazi, is also receiving a “Leader for Democracy” award from the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) organization at their annual dinner on November 30th, 2017. 

Karina Korostelina was awarded a Fellowship as a Visiting Senior Researcher at Waseda University Institute for Advanced Studies, Tokyo, Japan. During her visit in May-June 2018, she will explore identity-based reconciliation and collaborate with professors at the Waseda University. 

Megan Price, PhD '16, was invited to be a Guest Editor- Spanish Conflict Resolution Journal, Revista de Mediacion Special Issue for an upcoming special edition focusing on Insight Mediation. Professor Jamie Price will also be contributing an article. 

Richard Rubenstein has been named a Visiting Scholar and asked to give public lectures  by James Madison University and Utah Valley University during the Spring 2018 semester. 

S-CAR Academic Publications


Marc Gopin, wrote and self-published a new book on Compassionate Judaism: The Life and Thought of Samuel David Luzzatto. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. 

Book Chapters

Daniel Agbiboa published a chapter called “‘God’s Time Is the Best:’ The Fascination with Unknown Time in Urban Transport in Lagos.”  in an unusual edition looking at The Fascination with Unknown Time. Palgrave Macmillan, November 2017.

Journal Articles

Habtamu Dugo, MS '12, wrote an article entitled "The Powers and Limits of New Media Appropriation in Authoritarian Contexts: A Comparative Case Study of Oromo Protests in Ethiopia" in Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, November 2017.  

Sarah Federman, PhD '15, wrote “Genocide Studies and Corporate Actors: The French National Railways (SNCF) Conflict.” for Genocide Studies and Prevention November 1, 2017.  

Daniel Agbiboa, wrote a journal article on “National Heroes or Coming Anarchy? Vigilant Youth and the ‘War on Terror’ in Nigeria” in Critical Studies on Terrorism, November 21, 2017. He also did a book review on "Religion and the Making of Nigeria by Olufemi Vaughan Durham: Duke University Press, 2016” for The Journal of Modern African Studies, November 23, 2017, 311.  

Karina Korostelina published an article entitled “The Normative Function of National Historical Narratives: South Korean perceptions of relations with Japan” in National Identities on November 29, 2017. It explores the normative function of historic narratives using the example of South Korean perceptions of twentieth-century history with Japan.  

Charles Martin-Shields wrote an article entitled "Peacekeeping's Digital Economy: The Role of Communication Technologies in Post-conflict Economic Growth" in International Peacekeeping, November 28, 2017. 

Tamara Smiley Hamilton, MS student, wrote an article taken from her soon to be published memoir entiled "Diary of a Watts Princess: A Memoir of Hopes and Dreams" about her coming of age story during the Watts Rebellion of 1965 for Kosmos Journal, November 2017.  

S-CAR in the News

Newspaper / Magazine / Online Articles 

Dean Kevin Avruch and K.C. Soares, an S-CAR Advisory Board Member, wrote about the passing of Lester Philip Schoene, Jr. for S-CAR News, November 7, 2017. They were entitled "Remembering Les: Lester Philip Schoene, Jr, MS '92 – June 15, 19934 – October 17, 2017" and "In memory: Lester Philip Schoene, Jr.", respectively.  

Roi Ben-Yehuda, M.S. '12, published another article about peace-making entitled “Surprise Them With Kindness" in Medium, November 17, 2017.  

Matt Schudel, The Washington Post's obituary writer wrote “Frank Duggan, Advocate for Victims’ Families of 1988 Airplane Disaster over Lockerbie, Dies at 79” on December 3, 2017. The Hon. Francis J. Duggan was an S-CAR Advisory Board Member. He passed on November 1st, 2017.  

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD '06, explored “Why Saudi-Israeli Normalisation Could Be Dangerous” in Al Jazeera, November 19, 2017.  

Agnieszka Paczynska, wrote a detailed analysis about “No Matter Who Replaces Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia’s President, These Four Challenges Loom” for The Washington Post, November 17, 2017. 

Marc Gopin published an article on his blog on the topic of “Refugee.” Marc Gopin, November 1, 2017.  He was also quoted in an article for Voice of America on "Obama Re-emerges on Global Stage With Trip to Asia, France", on November 28, 2017. 

Kwaw de Graft-Johnson, PhD Candidate, covered John Paden's dedication ceremony in "John Paden’s book collection finds a home" for S-CAR News, November 14, 2017. 

Briana Barker, a staff writer for the Record-Courier, referenced Landon Hancock, PhD. '02 and Jacquelyn Bleak, M.S. '12, in an article about “KSU Establishes School of Peace and Conflict Studies”  October 20, 2017. 

Min Zaw Oo, PhD '10, was in a lengthy two page article about “An Interview with the Myanmar Institute for Peace and Security Group Managing Director about the Rakhine Area Crisis” in the Mawkun Magazine, on November 1, 2017. (Note: It is in Burmese).  

Yerevan Saeed, a PhD student, is quoted in the article by Paul Iddon on “Iraqi Kurdish Politics Undergoing Momentous ChangesThe New Arab, November 9, 2017. He also wrote for the The Washington Institute Fikra Forum an article entitled “The Kurdish Security Dilemma, Explained", November 7, 2017. 

Cameron Shuler wrote an article entitled "#StereotypeMe" for S-CARNews, November 25, 2017. 

Thanos Gastias, PhD '16, wrote a spotlight article entitled "Ian Nutter, MS Student, Malta Program" for S-CAR News, November 16, 2017. 

Mason's Communications Manager Buzz McClain reviewed S-CAR's participation at the Forage Center for Peacebuilding where S-CAR Professor David Smith, is the president. S-CAR students learned “From Simulated Disaster, Real Understanding.Mason Spirit, November 7, 2017.  

Yuki Oda and Anna Fifield wrote an article in the Washington Post about Japanese Councilwoman Yuka Ogata, M.S. '03, who made international news by bringing her baby with her to the council chamber. The article or variations of the article were published in at least seventeen international newspapers. Here is the original post with a list of the links to the other papers: “A Japanese Politician Took Her Baby to Work. Male Colleagues Made a Fuss.” The Washington Post, November 24, 2017.

Tv and Radio Presentations


Yerevan Saeed, PhD student, was interviewed on the topic of the Kurdish Iraqi leader "Barzani Steps Down", on TRT World, on November 2, 2017.  

Daniel Agbiboa was interviewed on Al Hurra channel on the question of "Can Former Boko Haram Terrorists Be Rehabilitated?" On October 5, 2017 he was also interviewed on Al Hurra on October 25th, 2017 on the topic of ISIS and Al Qaeda in Africa.  

In addition to the extensive newspaper coverage, this short video about Yuka Ogata, M.S. '03 entitled "Attendance of Baby causes Late Opening of Kumamoto City Council" was shared by media around the world. November 24, 2017.  

David J Smith, professor and M.S. alum, was invited to give a TEDxFulbright talk on November 17, 2017. He presented on "Talking about Peace".


Yuka Ogata, M.S. '03, story was also reviewed on NPR. The segment was re-broadcasted on NPR stations across America. “Japanese Lawmaker’s Baby Gets Booted From The Floor”, November 24, 2017.

S-CAR Events, Presentations and Public Lectures

Thomas Flores presented his book Elections in Hard Times: Building Stronger Democracies in the 21st Century at the Organization for American States (OAS) on October 19, 2017.  He discussed the role of election monitors in supporting democratic change with the OAS's Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy. He also was a panelist on a roundtable discussion on covering elections around the world for the Voice of America (VOA) on November 16, 2017. 

Susan Hirsch delivered a paper entitled Evidence of Transgression: Law, Norms, and the Defense of Reputation in Kenyan Muslim Courts on a panel entitled Reconsidering What Matters in Transgressions of Gender and Sexuality that she co-organized with Dr. Mary Porter for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, November. 29-Dec. 3, 2017.

Karina Korostelina participated in the Donbass Dialogue, the peacebuilding dialogue across the boundary in Eastern Ukraine on November 15, 2017. She presented on the topic of “Radical narratives and their role in conflict dynamics in Ukraine” and led a discussion among the participants. 

Nino Kukhianidze, M.S. '13, presented a seminar on "The Education System as a Challenge for Conflict Resolution" at the The Second Seminar on Media, Globalization and Development. This seminar took place in Tbilisi, Georgia and is a collaboration with Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, Tbilisi State University (TSU), Georgia, and Caucasus Studies at Malmö University, Sweden from November 1-3, 2017. 

Patricia Maulden was a panelist in a discussion on "Engaging in Difficult Conversations and Creating Brave Spaces" at the Freedom and Learning Forum, George Mason University.  She was also a lecturer, presenting on the topic of "Blurred Boundaries & Epistemological Dilemmas: Development & Peacebuilding with Quilombo Communities in Brazil," a Skype presentation for faculty of Universidade Federal da Bahia Escola de Administração da UFBA Diretoria. Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.      

Asha Noor, M.S. alumna, presented a paper entitle “Conflict Resolution Rooted in Islam" at CAIR-Michigan's annual Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium on November 11, 2017 at Wayne State University.  

Agnieszka Paczynska presented a paper entitled “Who Strikes? Labor Protests in al-Sisi’s Egypt,” at the Middle East Studies Association conference in Washington, DC, November 18-21, 2017. 

Julie Shedd and S-CAR PhD candidate Samantha Borders-Shoemaker, completed the first cycle of Dialogue Skills workshops in conjunction with the Fairfax County Public Library System in November, 2017. The topics covered in the five-part series were: Effective Listening, Asking Good Questions, Effective Speaking, Dealing with Emotions, & Cross-Cultural Communication. 

Carlos E. Sluzki delivered a keynote address titled “The changing selves in a changing context” at the Cultural Competence Conference: The Changing Notions of Pathology, convened by the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis at the George Washington University Mount Vernon Campus. on November 5, He also gave an on-line lecture for Latin-American mediators titled “The pathway between conflict and reconciliation: Coexistence as an evolutionary process.” (based on his article published at Transcultural Psychiatry,47(1): 55-69, 2010) through the Academia ODR network, on November 16, 2017. 

David J. Smith, professor and M.S. alum and Catalina Rojas PhD alumna were part of a panel conducting a webinar focusing on Work-Life Balance Issues for Social Change Professionals, as part of the PCDN November Career Series on November 30th, 2017.  


Terri Dickerson. "Lambs of God: The Untold Story of African American Children Who Desegregated Catholic Schools in New Orleans" on November 11, 2017.  

Ernest Ogbozor, "The Impact of Violent Extremism on Rural Livelihoods in the Lake Chad Basin" on November 20, 2017 

Rhian McCoy, "Narrating Negative Peace: A Critical Analysis of Intelligence Support to the Dayton Peace Agreement" on November 27, 2017.  

Cleophus Thomas III, "The Future of Federalism in Somalia: Obstacles, Aspirations, & Opportunities" on November 27, 2017 

Gedeon Patrick Hakizimana, "Refugees: The Silent Voice in Conflict Resolution" on November 27, 2017 

Mariam Kurtz. "Land Acquisition for mining: A case study of Tanzania" on November 29, 2017 

Centers and Publications