2015 Student Fellows

Matthew Fay is a PhD student in political science at the Schar School of Policy and Government and a defense policy analyst with the Niskanen Center. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Saint Xavier University and has two master’s degrees, one in international relations from American Military University and one in diplomatic history from Temple University. He has published research on nuclear weapons, co-authoring an article for the American Historical Review on nuclear forecasting during the Cold War and a proposal for changes in U.S. nuclear force posture for the Cato Institute. Matt’s research interests include U.S. foreign policy, grand strategy, and defense politics. His current research focuses on the politics of military innovation.

Marco Alcocer is a graduate student in the International Security Master’s program at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. His interests include Mexico-U.S. relations and Latin American security issues, both with a specific emphasis on drug cartels and other criminal organizations. He has spent time in Zapatista autonomous communities in Chiapas, Mexico where he spent three days with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. He has also worked directly with Latin American immigrants in the U.S. through the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and in Mexico with a professor at Universidad Iberoamericana. He holds Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Spanish from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

Rebecca (Becca) Earnhardt is a current graduate student in the M.S. Biodefense program with a concentration in Terrorism and Homeland Security. She received two B.A. degrees in Political Science and Homeland Security & Emergency Management from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2015. Her primary research interests include dual-use research of concern governance, counter violent extremism policies, gender and terrorism, and terrorism and WMDs. Rebecca’s ultimate educational goal is to pursue a PhD in Security Studies. Her long term career goal is to work in federal law enforcement as a terrorism analyst.

Mark Niemi is completing a Master’s degree in Political Science (concentrating on international security). His research interests include US-China relations and the organizational structures of terrorist networks. He has substantive work experience in the federal sector and has also spent time studying abroad in China. He holds two undergraduate degrees: a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from West Virginia University, as well as, a bachelor’s degree in International studies from Salisbury University.

Joshua Lee is a 1st year Science and Technology Policy PhD student at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.  His research primarily focuses on the intersection of emerging technologies and US foreign policy.  Prior to entering GMU, he worked at Accenture Federal Services developing biometric security systems for the Department of Homeland Security.  He obtained his MA in US Foreign Policy from American University, and a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Technology from University of Maryland, University College.

Christopher Whyte is a PhD candidate in Political Science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. His research interests include the impact of information and communications technologies (ICTs) on various international security topics, political communication and security affairs in East Asia. His dissertation project studies the determinants of decisions by subversive non-state groups to use ICTs in operations for either misdirection or self-promotion. His analytic work has appeared or is forthcoming in Strategic Studies QuarterlyOrbisNew Media & SocietyAsian Politics & Policy, The National Interest, and Foreign Policy. Previously, he worked in different program and research roles in several national security think tanks, including Cato Institute, Center for the National Interest and Center for a New American Security. He also holds a non-resident fellowship with CSIS Pacific Forum.

Allison Muldoon is a graduate student at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, and is pursuing a Masters of Public Policy degree with an emphasis in national security studies.  She has a background in government affairs, and is currently part of the government relations team at Orbital ATK, a global aerospace and defense company.  In this role, Allison manages the company’s political action committee, political programs, and compliance.  Allison holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from James Madison University.

Lisa Scott is currently a graduate student in the Public Policy program, specializing in terrorism, at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. She works as an international program manager at United Way Worldwide. Lisa earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, Foreign Policy, and Security at Boston University. In her free time, Lisa enjoys outdoor projects, food, and reality TV.

Elizabeth Kirby is a graduate student in the International Security Master’s program at George Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government. She is also a 2015 graduate of George Mason University where she earned a degree from George Mason’s Honors College in global affairs with two minors in international security and intelligence analysis. She has varied experience in both federal and private sectors where she primarily concentrated on social media and its use in terrorist organization recruitment. Hailing from North Central Texas and raised in a family with a long military tradition, her primary interests include violent revolutions, counterterrorism efforts, terrorist recruitment, nuclear politics, and ethical considerations in warfare.

Sam West was born and raised in Raleigh, NC. He matriculated into the Virginia Military Institute in August, 2011. While studying at VMI, he became interested in history, and won The Richard Driggs Lemay, Jr. Award for highest proficiency in military history his senior year. He graduated with academic distinction in May 2015 and immediately moved to Arlington to study international security at George Mason University. He is currently working at the Starbucks down the street from the Arlington Campus.

Brenna Dougherty is a first year graduate student in the International Security Master’s program at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. She is the student assistant at Master’s Student Services and the founding president of the International Security Association at the Schar School. Brenna is from Connecticut and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (with a concentration in International Relations) from Clark University in Worcester MA.

Michaela Dodge is a doctoral student in political science at George Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government. She holds a master of science degree in defense and strategic studies from Missouri State University, where she was awarded the Ulrike Schumacher Memorial Scholarship for two years. Dodge is a Senior Policy Analyst for Defense and Strategic Policy at The Heritage Foundation.She specializes in missile defense, nuclear weapons, and arms control policy. Dodge participated in the USCD IGCC’s Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Program and the MIIS James Martin Center’s International Nuclear Safeguards Policy and Information Analysis course. She was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute and a Center for Strategic and International Studies PONI Nuclear Scholars Initiative scholar.