Current Student Fellows

Berkley Brown is a M.A. student in International Security at the Schar School of Policy and Government. She served four years with the U.S. Army as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Officer, and is looking to go into government service after graduating. Her academic interests include national security strategy and U.S. civil-security relations.

Tim Bynion is a PhD student in Political Science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, majoring in American Government and International Relations.  He holds a B.S. in Political Science from Towson University.  His research interests include the domestic sources of American foreign policy, specifically issues of public opinion and national identity. 

Carter Coudriet is a second-year Master’s student in the Global Commerce & Policy program, concentrating in Global Risk & Strategy. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. Carter’s research focuses include the Arctic economy and Nordic affairs.

Nicholas Davidson is MA student in the International Security program concentrating in Intelligence. He holds a BS in Political Science from Northern Arizona University. Having spent 8 years in South Korea, his research interests focus on East Asian security affairs. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in the federal government in a role supporting the security interests of the United States.

Brad Duplessis is a PhD student in Political Science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, majoring in International Relations and American Government. He holds a B.S. in Microbiology from Louisiana State University, a M.A. in International Relations from Webster University, and a M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National War College. His academic interests are national security strategy, military effectiveness, civil-military relations, and security force assistance.

Prior to graduate school, Brad served for 25 years in the United States Army. He has operational experience from the tactical to strategic level with three deployments to Iraq and a deployment to Afghanistan. Brad also supported Department of State security cooperation efforts, leading training missions in Jordan and Malawi. His last operational assignment was at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad where he served as the Director of Operations in the embassy’s security cooperation office.

Leo Field is a MA student in the International Security program at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He holds a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and minors in History and German from Stonehill College. He has interned with the Eurasian Partnership Foundation in Yerevan, Armenia, and became interested in International Relations and Political Science after participating in the NYLF National Security program in high school. After graduating Leo hopes to pursue a career with the State Department, serving in embassies abroad.

Alexandra Gerbracht (née Vogel) is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marines and received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Political Science, then commissioned through the University of Wisconsin-Madison ROTC program. She attended Marine Corps Engineer School and served as the Construction Platoon Commander, Engineer Company Executive Officer, and in 2004 deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. 

In May 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht was assigned to the Pentagon with Headquarters Marine Corps Plans, Policies, and Operations in the Expeditionary Policies Branch (POE-30) as the Mine Countermeasures and Naval Surface Fires action officer.  During this tour she attended The George Washington University Elliott School and earned a Master’s Degree in Security Policy Studies.  In 2008, she was selected as an Olmsted Scholar and from 2008-2009 attended the Defense Language Institute Japanese Language Program. In the summer of 2009 Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht moved to Kyoto, Japan to attend Ritsumeikan University. She graduated in 2011 with her second Master’s Degree in International Relations and was subsequently assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group in Camp Pendleton, CA.  In 2012 she deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and served as the Group Engineer Officer, Plans Officer, and Current Operations Officer.

In 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht was selected for resident Command and Staff College where she participated in the Advanced Studies Program and received a Master’s of Military Studies. Lieutenant Colonel Gerbracht continued to the School of Advanced Warfighting receiving a fourth Master’s Degree in Operational Studies and the Marine Air Ground Task Force Planner Occupational Specialty.  After her SAW graduation she was assigned to United States Marine Corps Forces, Central Command (MARCENT) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida where she served as Strategic Plans Officer and as the Contingency Plans Officer in support of Marine Supporting Operational Plans. She served as the executive officer of Marine Corps Engineer School from 2019-2021 in Camp Lejeune North Carolina.  She moved from a training command to officer education and taught graduate-level leadership and Warfighting curriculum at Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, VA for one year before moving up to her current position as Warfighting Department Head. She began her journey for a Ph.D. in political science at the Schar School at George Mason University in 2021.    

Lieutenant Colonel Alexandra Gerbracht is married to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Gerbracht (USMC) and has three young children.  She is a graduate of Officer Candidates School, The Basic School, The Marine Corps Combat Engineer School Basic Officer Course, Expeditionary Warfare School, Marine Corps College of Command and Staff, the School of Advanced Warfighting, and Air War College and is an alumnus of the Olmsted Scholar Program, The George Washington University, and Ritsumeikan University. She has received the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3rd Award), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Christine German is a PhD student in political science at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. Her work focuses on ideological extremism and its impact on political behavior, gender and extremism, and US and MENA politics. Prior to starting her PhD, Christine spent more than a decade working in international development in the Middle East and North Africa focused on gender and human rights, democracy and governance, and countering extremism.

Christopher Gettel graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice.  He served for 8 years in the U.S. Army, then earned a graduate certificate in Nuclear Deterrence from Harvard University’s Extension School.  He is currently in his third semester as a graduate student studying international security at GMU.

Post graduation, Christopher plans on earning his PhD, then working in the field of nuclear weapons policy for the government.  

Brandon Grosch is a full-time graduate student in the Schar School’s International Security program. He holds two B.A. degrees in History and International Studies from Towson University. His research interests include strategic air power, NATO alliance politics, and European security and economic issues. After graduation he hopes to pursue a career in foreign policy.

Danyale C. Kellogg is a Biodefense PhD student, Presidential Scholar, and graduate research assistant at the Schar School. She is currently Managing Editor of the Pandora Report, a Defense Policy Junior Fellow at the National Defense Industrial Association, Young Professional’s in Foreign Policy’s Global Health Fellow, a Pacific Forum Young Leader, and a member of the US-Japan Next Generation Leaders Initiative. In 2021, she earned her Master of International Affairs on the National Security track with concentrations in China Studies and Biosecurity from the Bush School at Texas A&M University after completing her capstone with US Indo-Pacific Command’s China Strategic Focus Group. She also earned a Global Health Graduate Certificate from the Texas A&M School of Public Health where her research focused on ROK preparedness for an infectious disease outbreak on the Korean Peninsula.

In 2019, she earned a BA in History, Paideia with Distinction in Global Health, after completing her senior thesis on US strategic and intelligence failures during the Korean War. She is an alumna Women in Defense Scholar and has studied at Ewha Womans University and Korea University in Seoul as well as Universidad de Los Andes in Santiago. While at Schar, she has completed George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies’ North Korea Program as well as the Medical Management of Chemical and Biological Casualties Course, offered by the US Army Medical Research Institutes of Chemical Defense and Infectious Disease. She has interned with the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, among other organizations. Her research interests include East Asia, global health security, defense policy, grand strategy, and the intersection of public health and national security. Her work has appeared in National Defense, Global Security Reviewand Geopolitical Monitor.

Ryan Lee is a graduate student in the second year of his MA in International Security program at the Schar School of Policy and Government.  He holds a BA in Political Science and Spanish from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  He currently teaches Spanish, History, Government, and Economics at the high school level.  After earning his degree, he hopes to pursue a career in foreign policy and diplomacy.

Connor Monie is a second-year graduate student in the international security program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in government and international politics with a concentration in international relations from George Mason University. His research interests include alliance formation and management dynamics as well as the US-Japan alliance more specifically. After graduation, he hopes to enroll in a PhD program studying political science.

Will Nelson is an International Security M.A. student at George Mason University. He works as the Administrative Coordinator for the Anti-Illicit Trade Institute at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center with Dr. Louise Shelley and David M. Luna and is a research assistant with the State Department’s Regional China Office, focusing on Chinese Digital Silk Road activities in Southeast Asia.

A 2017 graduate of the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in International Relations and minor in economics, his research focuses on intelligence and strategic analysis with an emphasis on the rise of China in the Indo-Pacific and the political structure of authoritarian states. He has lived and worked in China, Japan, Thailand, Spain and Azerbaijan and speaks fluent Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and intermediate French.

Yukang Park is a M.A. student in the International Security program at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He holds a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and a minor in International Studies from Stony Brook University.

He has served in the South Korean Marine Corps, and is interested in continuing to contribute to a safer global environment and international security by becoming involved in policy-making. His current research interests include military power and maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. After graduating, Yukang hopes to pursue a career with policy institutes.

Kathleen Sowder is a M.A. student in International Security at George Mason University. She holds a B.A. in French and a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Comparative Politics from the University of South Carolina. She has participated in research on political accountability and oversight from the Torture Report, civil societies’ role in countering executive overeach, and anti-colonial resistance campaigns in Africa.

She has lived and worked in France, participated in the Boren Scholarship to Senegal, and studied Darija in Morocco. She speaks French and conversational Wolof. In her future career, she plans to focus on factors in economics, political violence, and state fragility contributing to security threats in Africa.

Joshua Stone is a Political Science Ph.D. student majoring in International Relations with the Schar School of Policy and Government. He is a U.S.-China relations specialist, a father of two, a combat veteran of the United States Army, and an aspiring professor. His research takes aim at material and psychological regulators of the security dilemma and spiral model. Specifically, he examines the effects of state integration and ideology on the severity of a security dilemma between rival states and their impact during offensive conditions in spiraling relations.

He holds a B.A. in Political Science and History in U.S.-China Relations from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.P.P. in Chinese Political and Economic Affairs from the University of California, Irvine.

Steven Wachter is a first-year graduate student pursuing his MA in International Security at the Schar School.  He holds a BA in History with a minor in International Studies from American University.  His research interests include grand strategy, US foreign policy and national security, and international security.  After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in foreign policy and national security.

Sarah Wells is a graduate student in the second year of her MA in International Security. She graduated from George Mason University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Government and International Politics. Sarah is currently a Pathways Intern with the Department of State in the Office of Children’s Issues. Her research interests include European security, specifically issues related to NATO, rising nationalism/democratic slides, and coalition building.

Caroline Wesson is a third year PhD student studying Political Science at George Mason University where she is a President’s Scholar and a graduate research assistant. She also holds a bachelor’s and master’s in International Affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Caroline is currently working on research related to the intersection of culture, technology, and economic development. In the security realm Caroline produces research on national innovation systems, strategic trade, and emerging technology. Caroline was a research intern with Center of Strategic and International Studies in 2019 and worked on their China Power Project. In the summer of 2020 Caroline was a Summer Associate at RAND working on issues related to the international scientific research community and security. Caroline also serves as the Managing Editor for the Arts and International Affairs journal.