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Belle Butler was born in Chatsworth, Georgia. She graduated from Kennesaw State with a degree in International Affairs. Through KSU she studied abroad in both Mexico and Cuba. Shortly after graduating, she worked in the textiles industry where she designed classes for both Spanish and English speakers. She lived and worked in Costa Rica for two years where she worked with import-export companies, and other U.S. based companies located in the free trade zone. Following Costa Rica, she taught ESL in South Korea. This was followed by teaching at the Centro de Estudios Interamericanos in Ecuador.
She is currently teaching Business English to Volkswagen Employees who have relocated to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her interests have typically been in Latin American politics, particularly where human and environmental rights overlap. She would like to broaden my knowledge in such areas, and others, to be better equipped to engage in projects and or research.
Michael Cerna graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2009 with a B.A. in International Affairs and a concentration in Diplomacy and International Relations. He also minored in Latin American Studies. He was awarded a research assistantship within the program for the 2010-2011 academic year doing research on Kurdish political aspirations. Michael speaks Spanish and is learning Portuguese. He is looking forward to the program’s trip to Brazil and hopes to use this trip to network and create possible career opportunities for the future. His research interests are US foreign policy, developmental politics, and Latin American and Asian politics. His career goals are centered on the relation between Latin America and Asia-specifically China-and how it affects the United States. Michael believes the MSIPM program will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to find a career focused on these interests.
Lynne Fischer-Queen was born in the United States and lived in seven different states before the age of 12. She then moved to Cambridge, Ontario where she lived for six years. Her senior year of high school was in Vienna, Austria, where she picked up some German. After she graduated from high school she moved to Atlanta, GA. Where she attended Southern Polytechnical State University and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology.
She worked for almost 14 years in the Environmental Engineering field. During her tenure as an environmental engineer, she took a six month leave of absence to back-pack through Central America.
Deciding to teach high school mathematics, she attended Kennesaw State University and graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Mathematics and Secondary Education. She taught high school math for almost three years before she realized that she is not a teacher. She went back to engineering and worked in manufacturing engineering field for five years upon such time the company closed. Since then she has been tutoring math, and other subjects.
Rita Nokkaew was born in Georgia. Her family is from Thailand. She obtained an undergraduate degree in Government at Berry College in 2009. During her undergraduate years, she focused on making herself known in the area of human rights. In second-semester of her freshman year, she was nominated co-president for Amnesty International. Following that she was vice-president her sophomore year and president for both junior and senior years. In junior year, a community project which she coordinated, "Voices from Darfur," was nominated for best Community Service project.
Her studies focused primarily on comparative politics and political thought. Under the guidance of Dr. Hickman, she conducted research in relations to international elections and various world political events as a research assistant. After graduating from Bery College, she lived in France for a month. Following that, she had an internship with ACLU of Georgia for eight months.
Currently, she is a graduate research assistant at Kennesaw State University for the International Policy Management Program.
Ikenna Okafor was born in Nashville, TN and lived there until he was seven. Then he moved to Nigeria with his family, and lived there until he was eighteen, and moved back to the U.S.A. He graduated from Nashville State Tech with an Associate degree in Computer Networking and a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from Middle Tennessee State University.
He currently works for Environmental Science Corp as a Chemist. He also mentors and serves young children through his local church. In the past three years, he has increased his passion for economic development/empowerment in Nigeria. He hopes to serve as an economic advisor and motivational speaker not only to his home country Nigeria, but Africa also. He looks forward to building new relationships, and making connections in the international management field. He also has ambitions to pursue in the future, a Doctorate in Economics.
Samir Patel was born in England but has lived in the U.S. most of his life. He still has family in the U.K. as well as in India, Africa, Europe, and Canada.
He graduated with a B.S. in Political Science with a concentration in Legal Studies. He applied to this program because he feels it will better prepare him for what he wants to do with his career. After this degree, he wants to go to law school and receive his J.D. He wants to ultimately work for the United Nations; specifically in the International Court of Justice. He feels this degree, coupled with his B.S., are great starting points in being able to obtain this goal.
Alex Trakowski graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Political Science. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and has lived in a variety of places ranging from Texas, Colorado, Maryland, and finally Georgia. After graduating college he worked in Washington D.C. for about 6 months before realizing that he wanted to obtain his masters degree in International Affairs. After receiving his Master’s he plans on moving back to D.C. and working for either the State Department or some other international development organization
After completing her fieldwork in Nepal over the summer, she began an internship in The Carter Center’s Democracy Program. At The Carter Center she monitors political events in Nepal and assists The Carter Center staff with developing Democratic Election Standards.
Laura Wilkins is from Daphne, Alabama, and graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Communication and International Studies. She moved to Atlanta and now works full time for the Research Chefs Association. She helps coordinate annual meetings, manages the membership and aides in marketing efforts. She started the MS in International Policy Management in the Fall of 2010. She hopes to work for the federal government in a diplomatic capacity upon graduation.