George Mason University
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George Mason University

S-CAR Activity Recap – November 2018

December 18, 2018

S-CAR's monthly activity recaps highlight the ongoing contributions being made by S-CAR students, faculty, and alumni to the field of conflict analysis and resolution. Each activity recap includes publications, presentations, and awards from the previous month. 

Are you a member of the S-CAR community? Send your publication, presentation, and award updates to so that we can include them in our activity recaps.


November took members of the S-CAR community to both local conferences and campuses across the world to provide a wide variety of lectures and presentations on their research and work. In particular, the second annual Praxis Conference and the sixth annual National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar were hosted by the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution on the Arlington Campus of George Mason University. In addition, six awards were granted to members of the S-CAR community. November saw one book and two journal articles—including one by Thomas Flores—published, while members of the S-CAR community authored or contributed to four newspaper publications and two radio broadcasts. Three PhD candidates defended their dissertations in November.


John DeRosa, PhD Candidate, “S-CAR Advisory Board 2018-2019 Scholarship Recipient.” November 1, 2018.

Leslie Dwyer, “US Department of State Grant Award for Media Literacy Work with Young Southeast Asian Leaders.” November 1, 2018.

Al Fuertes, Adjunct Professor, “2019 AMBS Alumni Ministry and Service Award Recipient.” November 27, 2018.

Fakhira Halloun, PhD Candidate, “Provost Dissertation Completion Award.” November 19, 2018.

Molly Tepper, PhD Candidate, “S-CAR Advisory Board 2018-2019 Scholarship Recipient.” November 1, 2018.

Laura Villanueva, PhD Candidate, “S-CAR Advisory Board 2018-2019 Scholarship Recipient.” November 1, 2018.

Academic Publications


Jeremy A. Rinker, PhD ’09, Identity, Rights, and Awareness: Anticaste Activism in India and the Awakening of Justice Through Discursive Practices. Rowman and Littlefield. November 1, 2018.

Journal Articles

Thomas Flores and Juan F. Vargas, “Colombia: Democracy, Violence, and the Peacebuilding Challenge.” Conflict Management and Peace Science, no. 6 (November 16, 2018): 58–586.

Claudine Kuradusenge, PhD ‘18, “Belgian Hutu Diaspora Narratives of Victimhood and Trauma.” International Journal of Transitional Justice, no. 3 (November 1, 2018): 427–443.

S-CAR in the News

Damian Cristodero profiled Nora Malatinszky (BS student) in an article titled “Junior’s World View Adds to Her Education.” University News: George Mason University. November 2, 2018.

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD ’06, discussed “Why Is Netanyahu So Desperate for a Ceasefire with Hamas?” for Al Jazeera on November 20, 2018.

Charles Hauss quoted Nora Malatinszky (BS student) in an article about “Writing an Unusual, Interesting, Challenging, and Empowering Book,” which was published on his blog on November 19, 2018.

Walid Jawad, MS ’08, wrote “US Arabs and Muslims for Jewish-Americans” for the Al Arabiya News Channel on November 5, 2018.

Daniel Rothbart wrote an article about “Overcoming Ethnic Hatred” for the S-CAR News on November 16, 2018. The article discusses a research project he is working on with Karina Korostelina and the support of Ziyoda Crew, MS student.

Audrey Williams, MS student, wrote “Fall Semester at S-CAR Brings Themes of Racial and Social Justice to the Fore” for S-CAR News on November 16, 2018. Several S-CAR faculty and staff members were quoted, including: Susan Hirsch, Arthur Romano, Susan Allen, Jane Walker, Leslie Durham, Leslie Dwyer, and Terrence Lyons.

Radio Presentations

Mandar Apte, S-CAR Visiting Scholar, discussed his film “From India with Love” with the Metta Center for Nonviolence. November 26, 2018.

Megan Price, PhD ‘16, was interviewed by the podcast Curiosity to Go for an episode titled “Good Company and Good Discourse.” November 30, 2018.

Doctoral Defenses

Mefi Ruthviana Geary – “An Insight Analysis of Disengagement of Radicals in Indonesia.” November 9, 2018.

Jason Reader – “Making Ends Meet: A Phenomenological Study on the Experience of Poverty in Northern Virginia.” November 20, 2018.

Sandra Jones – “The Chimeric Identity: Lived Experiences of Rwandan Diaspora in the United States.” November 27, 2018

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 13th Inter-American Meeting of Electoral Management Bodies, sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Al Fuertes was a panelist for “Pizza & Perspectives: Healing Trauma Through Art” on the Arlington Campus of George Mason University on November 5, 2018. The panel explored the impact of art therapy on the veteran and military population, with special attention paid to collaborative opportunities for community-based trauma healing and transformation.

Alan Gropman, Adjunct Professor and S-CAR Advisory Board Member, provided several speeches during the month of November. He twice presented a major speech on a key battle in Vietnam, first to an audience in Dayton, Ohio, and then at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia. He also discussed the contributions of Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs to the union victory in the Civil War during a presentation in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he presented two courses in Fairfax, Virginia: a four-lesson course on post-Civil War reconstruction, and a two-lesson course on the contributions of Montgomery C. Meigs to the union victory in the Civil War.

Susan Hirsch and Agnieszka Paczynska gave a presentation titled “Experiential Learning for Undergraduates in the Conflict Field: Ethics and Best Practices” on November 3, 2018, at the 6th Annual National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar, “Teaching About Global Conflict and Peacebuilding,” at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.

Sheherazade Jafari, Adjunct Faculty and Director of S-CAR’s Point of View International Retreat Center, co-facilitated a workshop at the 2018 Parliament of World Religions, which took place in Toronto from November 1–7, 2018. The workshop was titled “Try Walking in Our Shoes: An Immersive Experience as a Woman Religious Peacebuilder.”

Christopher Mitchell presented the 1st Innsbruck Peace Lecture, “Towards a ‘Science’ of Peace,” at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, on November 21, 2018.

Agnieszka Paczynska participated in a multitude of events throughout November. She provided a workshop on “Skills Training – Creativity in Changing Contexts” during a roundtable at The Eighth Annual Graduate Education Symposium, “Advances and Challenges in Professional Training for Peace and Conflict Resolution Programs,” held at the School of International Service, American University, on October 27, 2018. She was a discussant and facilitator at the Middle East Studies Association’s Undergraduate Research Workshop, and presented a paper, “Repression and Mobilization: Labor Protests in Sisi’s Egypt,” at the Middle East Studies Association Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, on November 15, 2018.    

Richard E. Rubenstein presented two lectures in November at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, on “Conflict and the Novel: Graham Greene's The Quiet American.”

Julie Shedd, PhD ‘13, Associate Dean, presented a public lecture on “Terrorism and the Media” on November 20, 2018, at The Centre for the Study and Practice of Conflict Resolution at the University of Malta’s Valletta Campus.

International Studies Association (ISA) Northeast Region Annual Conference

Multiple members of the S-CAR community presented research and papers at this year’s ISA Northeast Annual Conference, which was held November 2–3 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Members of the S-CAR community who presented at the conference included:

Shelly Clay-Robinson, PhD student – “Why Social Movements Need the Visual Arts.”

Gul M. Gur, PhD ’17 – “Populist Non-Local Narrative, Intra-Group Favoritism, Failure of the Opposition in the Recent Turkish Elections.”

Nora Malatinszky, BS student – “Setting Up for Failure: Comparing Patterns of Cheating to Rooted Corruption in the Case of Post-Regime Change Hungary.”

Molly Tepper, PhD Candidate – “Corruption or Racism? Identity Insecurity and the Rise of Right-Wing Populism.”

Emily Sample, PhD student – “No Island Is an Island: Global Climate Change, Gender, and Conflict in Indonesia.”

The Praxis Conference: Innovation in Peacebuilding

From November 2–3, 2018, the second annual Praxis Conference was held at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Established by Patricia Maulden and Charles Davidson (PhD Candidate), this year’s Praxis Conference explored the theme “Innovation in Peacebuilding.”

Members of the S-CAR community who presented at the conference included:

Tehama Lopez Bunyasi, Arthur Romano, and Douglas Irvin-Erikson (keynote panel) – “Race, Politics and (In)Equality in the United States.” 

Samantha Borders, PhD Candidate – “Let’s Talk: Interpersonal Dialogue in a Moment of Political Hostility.”

Lindsay Burr, PhD student – “Paradox and Peacebuilding: Turning False Choices into Real Action.”

Gina Cerasani, PhD ’15 – “US Environmental Justice Movement.”

Ryan M.C. Chiu, MS student – “Strait Talk: Dialoguing Outside the Western Context.”

Elena Cirmizi, PhD student – “Narrative Praxis in Social Media Networks.”

Charles Davidson, PhD Candidate – “Opening Remarks.”

Sarah Federman, PhD ’15 – “The Scholarship-Practice Relationship Through Three Eras of Conflict Resolution.”

Lauren Kinney, PhD Candidate – “Exploring Discursive Strategies for De-escalating Terrorism.”

Patricia Maulden (with prepared remarks from Brandon Brown, MS student) – “Prison, Dehumanization, & Their Effects.”

Najla Mangoush, PhD student – “Omani Diplomacy and Local Mediation.”

Jay Moon, PhD Candidate and Director of Operations at S-CAR – “Piety, Politics, and Purges: Fundamentalist Rhetoric of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Agnieszka Paczynska – “Field Based Courses in Conflict Zones: The Ethics and Best Practices of Training Future Peacebuilders.”

Sarah Rose-Jensen, PhD Candidate – “MLK on the Bus to Koh Kong: Praxis in Ethnographic Research.”

Cameron Shuler, MS student – “Considering the Role of ‘Hate Group’ Categorization in US Right Wing Extremism.”

Audrey Williams, MS student – “‘We Can't Go Back’: Music at the Intersection of the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Kurdish Question in Turkey”

Centers and Publications