Current Fellows

SCICN Graduate Fellows and Fellows in Residence, 2014-2015

SCICN Graduate Fellows, 2014-2015

Mustafa Abdul-Hamid is an MA candidate in International Policy Studies.  He earned a BA in Global Studies and Communications Studies from UCLA, and certificates of study from Moulay Ismail University in Morocco. Outside of his academic pursuits, Mustafa was a point guard for the UCLA Men’s Basketball team. After graduation, he continued to play professionally for top teams in Europe. Currently, he leads an augmented reality software start-up, EVE, in the development of interactive athletic training and physical education programs for smart glasses. His academic interests revolve around the conceptual frameworks of social, economic, and political behavior that inform decision making  and engagement in the global arena.

Alexandra Blackman is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science. Her research focuses on politics of the Middle East, in particular how religion affects individuals’ political beliefs and actions.

Jane Esberg is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, with interests in international relations, comparative politics, and quantitative methods. Previously she worked at NYU’s Center on International Cooperation and Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. She graduated from Stanford in 2009 with a BA in international relations and honors in international security studies.

Mark Gardiner is a sociocultural anthropologist interested in the critical study of science, the state, and development. His dissertation analyzes conflicts and controversies around the growth of Namibia’s uranium mining industry.  Before coming to Stanford, Mark received an MPhil in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and a BA in International Relations from Grinnell College.

Marisol Guttman is a JD candidate at Stanford Law School.  She is from Chicago and graduated from Grinnell College in 2009, where she double majored in Anthropology and Political Science. After graduation, she moved to Macau for a year, where she was an English-language teaching fellow at Macau University of Science and Technology. After completing her fellowship, she returned Chicago and worked as a legal assistant at a boutique immigration law firm. Currently, Mari is involved in several organizations at the Stanford Law School, including the American Constitution Society, the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, and Stanford’s Rule of Law program. She spent the summer of 2014 at the International Law and Policy Institute, a Norwegian law firm and think tank that focuses on rule of law and international human rights.

Diana Guzmán is a SPILS fellow at Stanford and a professor at National University (Colombia). She holds an L.L.M., an advance degree in Constitutional Law and a J.D. from the National University (Colombia). Her work focuses on sociology of law and human rights, historical and political sociology, and gender issues, with a focus on Latin America. Her current research at SPILS asks for the role of the law in transitional processes and its capacity to achieve transformative effects. To do so, it focuses on the Colombian land restitution program. She was a Senior Researcher at the Center for the Study of Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia) in Bogota, Colombia, and a lecturer at Rosario University.

Julia Lerch is a doctoral candidate studying International Comparative Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Her research interests are situated at the intersection of the study of globalization in education and the field of education and conflict. Using an extensive cross-national dataset coded from social science textbooks, one of her projects examines how textbooks from nations that have endured intrastate conflict differ from other nations in their emphasis on a shared national identity. For her dissertation, she will examine why, how, and where education sectors in conflict-affected countries have increasingly become spaces of targeted global intervention over the past twenty years, with a special focus on the role of international organizations in education and conflict in the Deep South in Thailand and Mindanao in the Philippines. Prior to coming to Stanford, Julia worked in higher education management at the University of London. She holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford and an MSc in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

Claudia Liuzza is a PhD candidate in Anthropology.  Her dissertation is titled “World Heritage and the Private Sector: from shared global resource to market asset?”  Her interests lay in the intersection between global philanthropic and private sector involvements with conservation and development-based heritage projects, with a specific focus on the UNESCO 1972 World Heritage Convention.  Claudia has conducted fieldwork in Italy, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Turkey and India and in the context of her dissertation in the US and UNESCO.  She has a Laurea cum Laude in Conservation of Cultural Heritage and a dissertation in Egyptology from the University of Pisa in Italy. As an undergraduate she volunteer for the Bhasha Research Center, an Indian NGO, involved in the preservation of tribal culture. While writing her dissertation, she also worked for Peace Science Center (Pisa) a interdepartmental academic center promoting peace building through encounters between scholars of various disciplines After her graduation she started a Postgraduate Certificate in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham (UK). Later she was awarded the Marie Curie Fellowship (CHIRON Project) at the Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage Presentation (Belgium) where she worked towards the establishment of the ICOMOS Committee on Interpretation and Presentation, for which she currently serves as Coordinator of the Secretariat.

Shoshana Lucich is a third-year JD candidate at the Stanford Law School, focusing on natural resource based conflicts.  She focused on water and resource conflicts in Russian and Eurasia in undergrad.  Before entering law school, she researched the persuasion techniques used in financial fraud while working for Stanford’s Financial Fraud Research Center.  During the summer before her second year, she worked for the Canadian Embassy’s Environment and Energy Division in Washington, D.C., and more recently worked for the Environment and Natural Resources division at a law firm in San Francisco.

Cary McClelland is a third year JD candidate at Stanford Law School.  Before that, Cary was an artist and human rights advocate. He recently worked with Google and WITNESS to launch YouTube’s Human Rights Channel, dedicated to giving voice to citizen journalists around the world. Before that, his work spanned Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia. He has trained former child soldiers to be television journalists in the Eastern Congo, directed conflict transformation programs in liberated East Timor, worked alongside opposition activists in Zimbabwe, and worked on advocacy programs in Egypt, Syria and Burma. His latest film, Without Shepherds, documents six groundbreaking Pakistanis fighting against extremism and releases the summer of 2014 in theaters and online.  He has a BA in Screenwriting from Harvard, a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia, and dedicates his current studies to alternative dispute resolution and international law.

John Moran is a PhD candidate in Stanford’s Department of Anthropology, on the Society and Culture Track, and he studies the making of ecoregional identity and green development in Franklin and Wakulla Counties, Florida, in the context of the failure of the commercial oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay. That failure prompted Florida’s 2013 lawsuit against Georgia, the latest iteration in the three-decades-long “Tri-state water wars” between Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the management of water flows in the Apalachicola-Chattahootchee-Flint River Basin.

Kerry Persen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stanford.  Her research focuses on religious radicalization and violence in the Islamic World with a focus on Southeast Asia.  Prior to Stanford, Kerry worked in US-Southeast Asia relations in Washington D.C. and spent a Fulbright year in Indonesia.  She graduated summa cum laude from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine where she double majored in Government and Economics.  In her free time, Kerry enjoys traveling, cooking, and exploring the Bay Area.

Andrew Pilecki is a doctoral candidate in social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work examines the role of moral stereotyping in facilitating political intolerance and violence. To learn more about his work, please visit

Peter Schram is a fourth year PhD student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business Political Economics Program. He studies terror and insurgent groups, with particular emphasis on how these groups organize and operate and how they draw civilian support.

Patrick Taylor Smith is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Ethics in Society at Stanord.  He works on social and political philosophy with a focus on global and intergenerational justice. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Washington-Seattle in 2013. His work has appeared in such journals as Transnational Legal Theory, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. and Philosophy and Public Issues.

Katherine Tice is a MA candidate in the International Policy Studies Program at Stanford.  After completing her BA at Tulane University, Katherine was commissioned into the US Navy.  As a naval intelligence officer she traveled widely, serving in Japan, Bahrain, Kosovo, and the United Kingdom.  Returning to academia as a civilian, her studies focus on conflict intervention and mediation.

Amanda Ussak is a first year MA candidate in International Policy Studies at Stanford.  She completed her undergraduate studies at George Washington University in International Relations and Political Science. She received Special Honors on her thesis, which focused on political stability in Afghanistan. Amanda spent two semesters abroad in Freiburg, Germany, and Marseille, France, where she studied ethnic and religious assimilation. She is a former president of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority.  She has served as a director for YMCA youth in government programs for 8 years.  Previously, Amanda worked at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Public Diplomacy and for the Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions during the Arab Spring.  She spent 2013 in Terengganu, Malaysia on a Fulbright grant.  At Stanford, Amanda focuses U.S. foreign policy and religious conflict.

Eric Vanden Bussche is a postdoctoral fellow in the Program of Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford, where he teaches “The Rhetoric of Globalization”. His research interests include Chinese history, comparative colonialisms, and the construction of national identities in East Asia. He is currently preparing his book manuscript on the demarcation of the Sino-Burmese border, a contested process that unfolded from the late nineteenth century until 1960. Prior to coming to Stanford in 2007, he spent a decade living in China, where he worked as a journalist and taught comparative Chinese-Latin American history at Beijing University. He is the co-editor of Critical Han Studies: The History, Representation, and Identity of China’s Majority (UC Press, 2012).

Swain Uber is a joint JD/MA degree candidate in Law and International Policy Studies at Stanford.  Previously, he served in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria.  His work at Stanford has included: helping the team bringing the pending case Ashker v. Brown challenging solitary confinement in California prisons; working on an amicus curiae brief for the U.S. Supreme Court against limiting the government’s ability to enter into treaties; spending a summer in Bogotá, Colombia with DeJusticia, a Colombian human rights organization; and participating in the Stanford’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic where he worked on prison conditions in Panamá, police reform in Oakland, California, and land rights mobilization in Cambodia.  He is currently working at the European Roma Rights Centre in Budapest, Hungary, where he has done legal research on in Bulgarian and English and drafting memos and complaints on cases involving Roma individuals (e.g. cases concerning police brutality and the failure to investigate crimes, forced sterilizations, hate speech etc.)

Yasuhito Uto is in the International Policy Studies program at Stanford, where he plans to focus his on post-conflict peacebuilding.  Prior to joining the IPS program he served as a Japanese government official in the Ministry of Defense.

SCICN Fellows in residence, 2014-2015

SCICN also has a small number of Fellows who are scholars in residence, engaged in various ways with the research and intellectual life of the Center.  Our current Fellows in residence are:

Rachel Gillum received her PhD in Political Science from Stanford University.  Her research considers how the scrutiny faced by Muslim-Americans in the post-9/11 environment affects their orientation towards the U.S. government.  She is the Principal Investigator on the Muslim American National Opinion Survey (MANOS).  Rachel is also a fellow at the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies (AALIMS) and is affiliated with Stanford’s Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.

Anu Kulkarni received her PhD in Political Science from Stanford University.  Her research focuses on the impact of truth commissions, war crimes courts and reconciliation policies in Africa.  She co-directs the West African Transitional Justice Project and the Liberia Reconciliation Barometer Initiative, two ongoing impact assessment studies.  She is currently working on two book projects: Demons and Demos: Truth, Accountability and Democracy in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and The Arc of Transitional Justice: Violent Conflict, Its Victims & Redress in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone (co-authored with David Backer).

Ben Oppenheim received his PhD in Political Science from UC Berkeley.  His research spans a diverse set of topics, including fragile states, transnational threats (including pandemic disease risks and terrorism), and the strategic coherence and effectiveness of international assistance in fragile and conflict-affected areas.  Ben is also a visiting scholar at the Center for International Cooperation at NYU.