George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

2011 PhD cohort

September 1, 2011

Alison Castel holds a BA in Spanish and Sociology from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.S. Ed. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. Alison was a Rotary Peace Fellow in 2009 at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, involved in field studies on the Thai-Burma border and in Cambodia. She most recently was the International Program Coordinator at Haverford College’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. Current interests include: research and practice in transitional justice, the politics of memory and historical narrative, the role of gender in post-conflict reconstruction, and the impact of foreign actors on the protraction and resolution of conflict. Alison comes to S-CAR with a decade of experience in conflict studies practice and pedagogy, field experiences in Israel/Palestine, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Rwanda. Alison is a S-CAR Dean’s Fellow. 

Elizabeth Mount holds a BA in Print Journalism and a Minor in Political Science from American University. She also holds a MA in Sociology from George Mason University focusing on gender-based violence. Elizabeth is the Founder & CEO of Mount Degi and Associates, a consulting firm serving non-profit and political organizations that engage in gender-specific advocacy. Areas of expertise include strategic messaging, public awareness campaigns, community outreach, and development. Her research interests include: gender, genocide and rape. While at S-CAR, she would like to further explore how gender constructions impact the construction and implementation of legal policies related to the prevention of systemic rape, such as rape as a tool of war and sex trafficking. Following her doctoral work she would like to teach at the university level while conducting research in collaboration with organizations influential in creating international policy. Elizabeth is a S-CAR Dean’s Fellow.

Fakhira Halloun is a Palestinian woman citizen of Israel. She holds a BA in Social Work from the University of Haifa and a MS in Criminology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her most recent professional experience was as a group facilitator at the Institute for Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Lod, Israel and as a trainer for facilitators at the Association for Economical Empowerment for Woman, Haifa. Fakhira has experience in conflict transformation, specializes in facilitating dialogue between groups in conflict, especially Jewish-Palestinian mixed groups for conflict resolution on cultural, political and social issues in a wide variety of settings. While at S-CAR, Fakhira seeks a deeper understanding of the psychological significance of life as lived by Palestinians within Israel and how it is translated into political behavior and discourse.  


Michael Loadenthal holds a BA in "International Studies: International Peace & Conflict Resolution," and a BA in "Women and Gender Studies" (American University). His graduate degree in "Terrorism Studies" is from the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (University of St. Andrews, Scotland). Michael’s research concentrations include: violent non-State actors, political violence, contemporary anti-authoritarian movements, critical theory, "eco-terrorism" and Queer theory. He has been active in a number of anti-authoritarian projects in the US and abroad including in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Mexico, Jamaica and Scotland. He has authored several works under a variety of pseudonyms, has taught "Terrorism and Political Violence" at Georgetown University, and is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Terrorism Studies as well as Arissa Media Group's "Environmental Justice & Earth Liberation" book series. Michael is a S-CAR Dean's Fellow.

Bernard Londoni is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bernard lived and traveled to several African countries including Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Bernard has a BA in International Relations and Political Science from Lynn University, Boca Raton Florida and completed his MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) in spring 2011. Bernard currently works as Regional Security Analyst for Africa at iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, Annapolis, MD. He is also a regular contributor of the online forum - Unchain Africa Press where he has published several articles on issues related to conflict resolution, politics, social economic and development. Before joining S-CAR, Bernard was a staff intern at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Africa Program. He also served as the Regional Director for Americans for Informed Democracy and was a steering committee member for Africa Action students' network.

Johnny Mack has more than 30 years of experience in directing program, administration and financial management systems and operations. His vast experience includes nearly 20 years of working in the field of nonviolent social change and peace building strategies. He has traveled extensively in North America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia, teaching and lecturing on the topics of nonviolence and peace building strategies. Johnny is a founding member of the board of directors of Realizing the Dream, Inc. and served as its executive vice president and chief operating officer for three years. He founded and served for nearly eight years as President and CEO of the National Institute for Community Development, Inc. (N.I.C.E.), a national intermediary in the community development field. Johnny holds a BBA and BA Theology from Oakwood University and is the recipient of the Honorary Doctorate of Humanity conferred by Beulah Heights University. He was the Henry Heart Rice Fellow at S-CAR while pursuing his S-CAR MS. Johnny Mack is a S-CAR Graduate Research Assistant.

Tompson Makahamadze holds a BA in Religious Studies, an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Zimbabwe and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Zimbabwe Open University. He was awarded a Scholar Rescue Fund Fellowship in 2009 and joined Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During his fellowship he was invited to speak at various events about the conflict in Zimbabwe. He was also honored to present at the launch of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack in New York in 2011. Tompson Makahamadze also was a lecturer at Great Zimbabwe University from 2006 - 2008. His academic work, which focuses on a wide range of social and religious issues, has been published in refereed journals. Among his publications are ‘Hawks and Doves’ The Impact of Operation Murambatsvina (Drive out Trash) on Johane Marange Apostolic Church in Zimbabwe, ‘Battle for Survival’: The Impact of HIV and AIDS on the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Zimbabwe, Examining the perceptions of Zimbabwean Women about the Domestic Violence Act and a book on Christianity. Tompson’s personal experiences with conflict within Zimbabwe ignited his passion for conflict analysis and resolution. While at S-CAR, Tompson would like to gain the skills needed to teach peace and strategies for resolving conflict. Interests include: Religion and conflict; Negotiations; Civil Wars, Social Movements and Contentious politics. Tompson is a Graduate Research Assistant.

Charles Martin-Shields is currently a doctoral candidate in S-CAR's Ph.D. program. His research focuses on peacekeeping, political economy and technology use in post-conflict settings. While at S-CAR he has provided expertise on technology and peacebuilding to organizations including the UNDP, Department of State, the World Bank and private development companies. His previous professional experience includes serving in the Peace Corps in Samoa, working with the U.S. Institute of Peace's Academy for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, and directing TechChange Inc's conflict prevention and peacebuilding practice. During the 2013-2014 academic year Charles will be a Fulbright-Clinton Fellow, working with the Samoan Ministry of Communications on technology and information policy.

Julie Minde holds a BA (Iowa State University) and MA (University of Iowa). This student is also a current MS student in S-CAR. Minde’s thesis is on how social identity affected the environmental crisis in the Aral Sea region. She has started the Central Asia Working Group (CAWG) on Nin in July 2010 and a member of Dr. Sandole’s Colorado Springs APT. Her portion of the research focuses on how geography can contribute to the creation, mitigation, or even resolution of conflicts. Minde’s other S-CAR group affiliation also includes Dr. Cobb’s Narrative Working Group, Dr. Nan’s Georgia-South Ossetia Point of View Team. She has almost 20 years of service in the National Guard. Julie is a S-CAR Graduate Research Assistant.

Sarah Rose-Jensen is S-CAR’s Presidential Scholar for the Fall 2011 cohort. She holds a BA in English from the University of Mary Washington, with an emphasis in education. She completed her MS coursework at S-CAR and her thesis research focuses on the long-term effects of youth peacebuilding programs. Sarah has a backgrounds in activism and education, with a focus on youth work. Her academic interests and focuses include critical theory, feminist theory, and queer theory, and she hopes to bring these lenses to her studies and practice. Sarah is also a founding editor of Unrest Magazine, a publication dedicated to critical conflict theory.

Nina Selwan is a continuing S-CAR student from our MS program with a BA in Psychology from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GMU. She has also spent four years studying law and psychology at the Kuban State University in the North Caucasus, Russia. Her primary geographic focus is the North and South Caucasus, her native region. She has served as a grant administrator, project assistant, and project associate of Dr. Susan Allen Nan within the framework of the “Point of View” process. She has also served as the Caucasus Project Officer for The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy and the Civil Society Liaison for the Inspection Panel of The World Bank.  In addition, Nina is interested in the current dynamics of nation-building and inter-group relations in South Africa. She conducted an APT research under the guidance of Dr. Korostelina during 2010-2011.  In general, Nina is interested in the issues of human rights, social justice, and women’s empowerment. More specifically, she focused on the impact on and roles of women in the Chechen conflicts, domestic violence in Russia, and Russo-Georgian conflicts. Currently, Nina is an S-CAR Graduate Research Assistant.

Brett Stephensen has a BA in International Cultural Studies from Brigham Young University Hawaii and his Master’s thesis at S-CAR focuses on Outdoor Education and Conflict Transformation. Brett has worked as a facilitator and mediator for over ten years in the Philippines, Hawaii, and Arizona. He is currently employed by the EPA as a facilitator. Brett is curious about people’s relationship to the earth; how it is formed and how it can be transformed. He is currently working with an Israeli and a Palestinian partner to start an outdoor club in Israel/Palestine that will take mixed groups of Palestinians and Israelis on survival treks. His dissertation will be based on the study of this project. Brett’s areas of interest include: environmental conflict resolution, conflict transformation, narrative and ritual, performance studies, inter-cultural conflict, and outdoor education.

Jale Sultanli holds a BA in English from Azerbaijan State University, a Master of Social and Public Policy and Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding from Duquesne University where she went through Edmund Muskie Graduate Fellowship program. Jale has 10 years of experience designing and managing international development projects in civil society, capacity building, communication and conflict resolution in South Caucasus, Serbia, Nepal, Uganda and Kenya. Mot recently he held a position of Senior Program Officer at the Academy for Educational Development. Jale co-founded and served as a co-director of the IMAGINE Center for Conflict Transformation from 2007-2010 where she organized and facilitated numerous Armenian-Azerbaijani dialogue workshops and conferences involving students, professionals and NGOs and has been involved in number of regional projects in the South Caucasus. She is co-founder and managing editor of Caucasus Edition: Journal of Conflict Transformation (

Hilmi Ulas holds a BA in Political Science and French. He has been working for the Genocide Prevention Program with S-CAR for the past year. Hilmi is from Cyprus and wishes to “contribute to the peaceful and mutually beneficial solution of the Cypriot problem”. Hilmi would like to pursue a career as a scholar/practitioner. To study the psychodynamics of identity in conflict situations, inter-group dialogues and conflict transformation process within Cyprus. His MS thesis is on identify transformation in Rwanda. A possible PhD dissertation topic would be Cypriot Narratives: Identity Creation, Damaged Narratives, and Narrative Repair through Dialogue. Hilmi is a Dean’s Fellow.

Ellyn Yakowenko comes to S-CAR with a BA in Biology and BA in Spanish Literature and Language from St. Mary’s Honor’s College of Maryland. She also holds a MA in International Development (concentration in natural resources and violent conflict) from American University. Her master’s thesis is “The Role of Natural Resource Degradation in Protraction of the Sudanese Civil Conflict”. During her graduate studies, she spent a semester at the U.N. Mandated University for Peace. Ellyn is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Paraguay 2005-2007) and recently worked for Africare in Washington DC as a Program Manager, Office of Agricultural and Food Security. Interests include: environmental conflict management, mitigation and prevention strategies. Ellyn is a Dean’s Fellow.