Class of 2019

Photo of Jacob Kopfensteiner

Jacob Kopfensteiner

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Research Interests: Islamism, Salafism, and post Arab Spring politics, with a particular focus on Egypt

Jacob graduated magna cum laude from Saint Louis University with a BA in History and a minor in Middle Eastern studies . . .

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Nour Mousa Laswi

Hometown: Amman, Jordan

Research Interests: Market trends, the impact of refugee influxes on markets and country resources, and humanitarian aid

Nour received a full scholarship to study at the Lebanese American University. From there, she graduated with distinction in 2014 with a BSc in Banking and Finance, minor in Economics . . .

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Jennifer H. Luong

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Research Interests: Arab society and culture, women and gender, education in the Arab world, conflict resolution, philosophy

A graduate of both the Defense Language Institute and the United States Air Force Academy, Jennifer . . .

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Caroline Manela

Hometown: Sharon, Massachusetts

Research Interests: Modern history, culture, and politics of the Gulf

Caroline graduated magna cum laude from NYU Abu Dhabi with a BA in history and a concentration in Arabic. As an undergraduate, she spent semesters away in New York and Tel Aviv . . .

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Nicoleta Nichifor

Hometown: Abaclia Basarabeasca, the Republic of Moldova

Research Interests: International relations and development in the Middle East

Nicoleta graduated with honors from New York University Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Economics and Arabic Language . . .

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Richard Sacco

Hometown: San Diego, California

Research Interests: Refugees and displacement in the Arab World, the effects of the Arab Spring on civil society and grassroots movements in Arab societies

Richard graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 with a BA in Arabic . . .

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Samar Saeed

Hometown: Palestine & Jordan

Research Interests: The political economy of the Arab world, authoritarianism, identity politics, power, education

Samar holds a BA from George Mason University and an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS, University of London . . .

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Maxwell Scurlock

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Research Interests: Non-state actors, international relations, Levantine politics, religious minorities

Maxwell graduated magna cum laude from The Ohio State University in 2017 with a B.A. in International Studies and minors in History, Middle East Studies, and Arabic.

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Gillian Shaw

Hometown: Clearwater, Florida

Research Interests: U.S. foreign policy concerning the Western Sahara Conflict and other conflicts in the MENA region

Gillian graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in the Middle East . . .

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Naomi Smith

Hometown: North Palm Beach, FL

Research Interests: Relationships between Muslim and Christian communities in the Middle East, Arab-Israeli conflict

Naomi Smith graduated from Emory University in 2015 with a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in Arabic . . .