George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

S-CAR Activity Recap - December 2017 - January 2018

January 30, 2018


Over the winter break, fourteen journal articles and three reports were published. Five awards were announced. Twenty-two media articles were written by or about the S-CAR community, including coverage of S-CAR's Mason Winter Graduation Speaker Terri Dickenson and the generous gift by Steve Cumbie and Drucie French to S-CAR and Point of View Research and Retreat Center. Five television appearances and two radio broadcasts discussed U.S. politics and international efforts to establish peace. Adeeb Yousif defended his dissertation while five other PhD students passed their proposal defenses.  


Daniel Agbiboa won a competitive research grant from The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, in support of his research project entitled "Dying to Save: Youth Vigilantism, Civilian Joint Task Force and Counterterrorism in Nigeria." The project will explore how resilient local communities in three of the worst-affected states in Northeastern Nigeria (Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states) experience and respond to the terrorism of Boko Haram and the war on terror. 

Susan Allen and Rochelle Arms, PhD candidate, were awarded the "Graduate Certificate in Action Research for Social or Ecological Impact" under the Provost’s Curriculum Impact Grants (CIGs) Competition.

Sahar Namazikhah, PhD candidate, received the “2018 UN Fellowship” on January 5, 2018.  

Sana Saeed, MS '08, received the “Marjorie-Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship for Women of Color.” award on December 14, 2017. 

S-CAR Academic Publications

Book Chapter

Doug Hernandez, PhD student, co-authored a book chapter with Elaisa Sanchez Gosnell, Janna Mattson, and Maryam Saroughi entitled "Resources for Allies, Activists, and Advocates for Immigrant Children and Their Families” in "Teachers as Allies: Transformative Practices for Teaching DREAMers and Undocumented Students." The book was published by Teachers College Press, December 27, 2017. 

Journal Articles 

Daniel E. Agbiboa, published two articles, one on “Informal Urban Governance and Predatory Politics in Africa: The Role of Motor-Park Touts in Lagos” in African Affairs, January 4, 2018, 1–21. The second, “The Manipulations of Time: On the Temporal Embeddedness of Urban Insecurity.” was published in Urban Studies on December 12, 2017. 

Sara Cobb edited and wrote the introduction “Engaging Conflict Narratives: Challenges, Strategies and Horizons” for a special edition focusing on narratives for the International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, no. 2 (November 31, 2017): 127–30. It included the following articles by by other S-CAR community members: 

Habtamu Dugo. MS '12, wrote about “The Powers and Limits of New Media Appropriation in Authoritarian Contexts: A Comparative Case Study of Oromo Protests in Ethiopia” in the Journal of Pan African Studies, no. 10 (November 1, 2017). 

Joshua Fisher, PhD '10, and Beth Fisher-Yoshida published an article "Educating Negotiators: Using Theory, Practice, Case Studies, and Simulations in an Integrated Learning Experience" Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, September 25th, 2017. * 

Idil P. Izmirli PhD '08, wrote a “Review: When Will This Wind Stop [A Film]” in the Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, January 17, 2018.  

Ibrahim Fraihat PhD ' 06, published an article on “Foreign Policy in the GCC States” for The Oxford Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum (OxGAPS) on December 1, 2017.  

Sarah R. Rose-Jensen, PhD candidate, published an article entitled “‘Everything We Do Is Democracy’: Women and Youth in Land Rights Social Mobilization in Cambodia” in the Journal of Mason Graduate Research, no. 1 (December 20, 2017): 1–16.


Mohammed Abu-Nimer, PhD '93, explored “Alternative Approaches to Transforming Violent Extremism: The Case of Islamic Peace and Interreligious Peacebuilding" for the Berghof Foundation, volume 13 of the Berghof Dialogue Series, published January 12, 2018. 

Mohammed Cherkaoui, PhD '12, published two reports for the Al Jazeera Center for Studies. The first “Beyond the Trump Decision on Jerusalem: The Future of the Middle East Peace Process- ما بعد قرار ترامب بشأن القدس: مستقبل عملية السلام في الشرق الأوسط  was published January 5, 2018. The second “Trump’s Death Kiss on the Middle East Peace Process" was published December 12, 2017. 

Arthur Romano contributed to the Connecticut Task Force on Police Training Report. Dr. Arthur Romano offered expert input to legislators and senior law enforcement leadership on the conflict prevention and de-escalation approaches and highlighted the need for moving away from military style training while increasing emphasis on conflict resolution approaches. These recommendations were reflected in the statewide report for policy makers. 

S-CAR in the News 

Newspaper / Magazine / Online Articles

Liz Anderson wrote a story with a reference to Remaz Abdelgader BA '17, “Imams, Rabbis, Community Leaders Meet to Discuss Unity, Safety, Confronting Hate” for the WTOP Washington News, December 3, 2017.  

Femi Ajasa wrote with reference to Daniel E. Agbiboa in an article about “Experts Laud Army’s Adherence to Rules of Engagements” in The NewsGuru, December 17, 2017.  

Mandar Apte published an announcement about in S-CAR News about his new program entitled, "Former Shell GameChanger to start “Business for Peace” innovation lab at S-CAR" on December 15, 2017.  

Kevin Avruch, on behalf of S-CAR, published an article for S-CAR News introducing "Dr. Suzanne de Janasz [who] joins S-CAR Faculty" on January 24, 2018.  

Mohammed Cherkaoui, PhD'12, wrote two articles for the Arab Center Washington D.C.., one on “Libya’s Modern Slavery and the Politics of Denial” published December 18, 2017, and “The Moroccan King’s ‘Political Earthquake’: Old Medicine in New Bottles?” on January 17, 2018. 

Sara Cobb was recognized as one of the “30 Top Conflict Management Experts to Follow on LinkedIn” by the Business Analyst Training Blog on January 22, 2018.  

Steve Cumbie and his wife, Drucie French, have generously offered $2 million dollars to S-CAR. Buzz McClain, in an article entitled "$2 million gift will enhance programming, facilities and practice at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution", quoted S-CAR Director of Development Maria Seniw and Dean Kevin Avruch in the S-CAR News on January 10, 2018. A related article by Rob Riordan, entitled "Couple’s signature gift embodies a lifelong interest in conflict resolution" also quoted Steve Cumbie and Kevin Avruch, and was published on December 8, 2017.

Terri Dickerson, PhD, '17,  Mason winter graduation speech is reprinted in the S-CAR- News. She was also reviewed by Mason News in a related article entitled "Perseverance led Mason’s two student graduation speakers to reach new heights" by John Hollis, on December 13, 2017.  

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD '06, explored “إلى أين يتجه اليمن بعد مقتل صالح؟ - Where Is Yemen Heading after Saleh’s Death?” for Al Jazeera, on December 4, 2017.  

Karina Korostelina was mentioned in an article by Buzz McClain, Mason's Communications Manager, on "Analyzing a Political Divide, in Hopes of Building a Bridge." It highlighted work done by a group of S-CAR students including a quote from S-CAR MS student Kelly Christine Benedicto. 

Talha Kose, Phd '10, wrote two articles for the Turkish paper the Daily Sabah “Rouhani May Be Biggest Loser in Ongoing Protests” on January 4, 2018, and “The Missing Dimension to Shape MidEast” on December 14, 2017.

Christopher Mitchell wrote an article for S-CAR News entitled "Gene Sharp and the strategy of non-cooperation" that looked back on the life of Gene Sharp and his contribution to the field.   January 2018. Chris Mitchell wrote another article entitled "A Muslim practitioner of non-violence in Afghanistan," published in S-CAR News, January 30, 2018.

Rich Rubenstein wrote a piece entitled "Healing the soul of the nation: An S-CAR workshop" for S-CAR news, January 31,2018. The event was co-led by Marc Gopin, director of S-CAR’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution and S-CAR alumna Dr. Mary Wade, PhD '05, founding director of Building Respect in the Community (BRIC), a Philadelphia organization. Numerous S-CAR alumni participated.

Lisa Schirch, PhD ' 99, wrote a three part blog series with reflections about her three month field research in the Middle East. The last two sections, “Antisemitism and Israel: The Real and the Not Real in Supporting Palestinian Rights” and “Dialogue, BDS, and Anti-Normalization: Israeli Palestinian Change Makers” were published December 10, 2017 on Schirch Goldberg Middle East Fall 2017 - Blog, January 9, 2018 respectively.

Ivan Sascha Sheehan, PhD '06, published an op-ed piece on “Trump Should Go Further on Iran” for the Washington Examiner, January 5, 2018.  

David J Smith, wrote two articles, the first “5 Things a Graduate Student Must Do 5 Months Before Graduating” for LinkedIn, December 8, 2017. The second article published in the Baltimore Sun online and in print entitled "Building a Better World Through Travel Abroad" is a bit travel log, and a bit commentary.  It focuses on his recent travels in southern Africa including visiting Robben Island and his son in the Peace Corps in Namibia   The Sun editor started the piece with an LA Times discussion about Mandela's impact on South Africa. 

Greg Stanton, reviewing the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, says to "Call it Genocide" in an S-CAR News article published December 15, 2017.

Tv and Radio Presentations


Mohammed Cherkaoui PhD '12, explored “Why Has the ‘Fire and Fury’ Book Angered Trump so Much?” on Al Jazeera on January 6, 2018. 

Terri A. Dickerson, PhD '17' s “Terri Dickerson’s Speech at Mason’s Winter Graduation” is now available on S-CAR's channel on Youtube. George Mason University Graduation, December 21, 2017. 

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD '06, was on Al Jazeera discussing the “UN Historic Voting on Jerusalem” issue on December 22, 2017.  

Michel Gratton, MS '10, was interviewed on local tv about his campaign to “Il poursuit l’ancien conseil municipal (He sued the former city council)”. TVA Gatineau (Canada), December 5, 2017.  

Diane Perlman, adjunct professor, was on Russia Today discussing the “Nobel Peace Prize Winning Group On How To End War” on January 11, 2018.


Alma AbdulHadi-Jadallah, PhD '06, discussed  “Yemen’s Former President Assassinated after His Last ‘Dance on the Heads of Snakes’" on PRI on December 4, 2017. 

S-CAR Events, Presentations and Public Lectures

Samantha Borders-Shoemaker, PhD student and Julie Shedd completed the first cycle of Dialogue Skills workshops in conjunction with the Fairfax County Public Library System. The topics covered in the five-part series were: Effective Listening, Asking Good Questions, Effective Speaking, Dealing with Emotions, & Cross-Cultural Communication. They restarted the series in January 29 at the George Mason Regional Library.   

Leslie Dwyer, Alex Cromwell PhD candidate, Nawal Rajeh, PhD student, and Sarah Federman PhD '15, worked with Common Bond, an organization of college-aged students who have lost a family member to terrorism. They collaborated on an event held in January 2018 at S-CAR, and was meant to teach conflict resolution basics, engage in theater of the oppressed activities, mentor and do spoken word poetry with Joseph Green.

Sarah Federman PhD '15, was a guest speaker at McGill University in Montreal where she spoke to law students about Restorative Justice, January 2018.

Susan F. Hirsch was invited to present “Beyond an Impasse: Rule of Law and the Kenyan Kadhis’ Courts” at a workshop titled Governance and Islam in East Africa: Muslims and the  State, which was sponsored by The Aga Khan University (London, UK) and the Aga Khan University East Africa Institute (Nairobi, Kenya) held in Nairobi on January 17-18, 2018. 

S-CAR's South West Asia Working Group led by Chris Mitchell, Daniel Rothbart and Ned Lazarus with others organized an event entitled Regional Repercussions of the Kurdish Referendum on December 6, 2017 at Elliott School of International Affairs, Washington, D.C. 

Profs. Richard Rubenstein and Marc Gopin and alumna Dr. Mary Wade PhD '05, facilitated a workshop on "Healing the Soul of the Nation: A Workshop for Clergy, Activists, and Scholars," at Point of View on December 13, 2017. Twenty-five participants representing a wide variety of religious faiths participated. Their deliberations are summarized in the January 2018 S-CAR Newsletter in an article by Prof. Rubenstein. 

Dissertations and Dissertation Proposals 

Dissertation Defenses

Adeeb Yousif Abdel Alla. "Fragmentation of Identity Group and Conflict Mitigation in Darfur-Sudan 2005-2015"on January 31, 2018 

Dissertation Proposal Defenses

Cesar Estrada " Narratives and Politics of Mass Violence: A local exploration on the Logics of Killing and Dying in Central Mexico" on December 18th, 2017 

Carol Daniels Kasbari " Sumud: everyday resistance and its effects on relations of power in the Palestinian Occupied Territories" on January 18th, 2018 

John Derosa "Narrativizing "Strategic Choice"" on January 22, 2018 

Charles Davidson "A Dynamic Insurgency" on January 24, 2018 

Philip Abbot " Participatory Action Research with Theravada Buddhist Monks: A Case Study of Buddhism for Education of Cambodia's (BEC) Peace Work" on January 24, 2018.


Centers and Publications