“I wanted to comprehend how mass violence happened, and the way to do that, in a small part, was through the studies of governments.”
Hometown: Spring, Texas
Degree: BA - Government & Politics
Current Academic Pursuit: PhD - Political Science (University of Florida)
Honors, Awards & Fellowships
- Northeast Consortium's Dissertation Year Visiting Diversity Fellowship (2011-2012), Department of Political Science, University of Rochester
- Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, Burundi (2010-2011), United States Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Program
- Invitee, Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Syracuse University (Summer 2009), Consortium for Mixed and Multi-Method Research
- Grinter Fellowship (2008-2010), Department of Political Science, University of Florida
- Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Fellowship, Kiswahili, Arusha, Tanzania (Summer 2008), United States Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Program
- Fellowship for Language and Area Studies (FLAS), Kiswahili (2006- 2008), University of Florida
- Magna Cum Laude graduate, University of Texas at Dallas
- Senior Honors, University of Texas at Dallas
Ethnic conflict, political violence, the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, post-conflict transitions to democracy, state formation and decay.
Deciding on International Politics
I was very interested in international politics, especially international interventions in conflict, from a pretty young age. But when it came to choosing a major in college, I initially chose chemistry and then switched to government and politics my second semester. I had a fascination with the Holocaust and other acts of mass violence as a child and teenager, especially as to how to understand them. I wanted to comprehend how mass violence happened, and the way to do that, in a small part, was through the studies of governments. My major influence in pursuing the study of government and politics as a career choice was Dr. Jennifer Holmes. Her passion for the craft and discipline rubbed off on me from the first time I took a class with her. Currently, I'm influenced by a number of Burundians I have met in the course of my work, especially Patrick Hajayandi, scholars and crusaders for human rights, justice and the deeper understanding of politics here.
My EPPS Success
My success in EPPS was due to having a really great support network of academic advisors, faculty and other students engaged in the field. I was lucky to be in classes with great faculty and students who encouraged others to engage in discussion, and not just learn by rote. The level of discussion, engagement among students and the supportiveness of the faculty and support staff were excellent.
Plans for the Future
I am currently pursuing my PhD in political science and African Studies (expected August 2012). Upon receiving my doctorate degree I plan to find a tenure-track research position.
Advice to Prospective EPPS Students
While the program requires a commitment, it is engaging and rewarding. Fellow students and faculty contribute to a stellar academic opportunity.
In my free time I like to read, kickbox and cook.