Current Students

 Melissa AhoMelissa Aho is currently a librarian and works at the University of Minnesota.  For over ten years, she has been teaching online for a few different colleges and universities.  A lifelong learner, Melissa has a variety of Certificates, Diplomas, Associates, and Bachelor's degrees.  She has a MS in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MLIS in Library and Information Science from Dominican University, and a MA in Art History from the University of St. Thomas.  Melissa has participated on archaeological excavations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Belize, worked in a library in Honduras, researched mosque architecture in Guyana and the United States, taken salsa lessons in Cuba, and spent various amounts of time in 16 countries.  She has published articles, book chapters, over 100 book reviews, and co-author of the book "The Machiavellian Librarian:  Winning allies, combating budget cuts, and influencing stakeholders," which was published in 2013.  Her research interests include aviation, female aviators, globalization, and social media.  In her free time she is working on her private pilot's license and is a member of the Ninety-Nines-the International Organization of Women Pilots and The Explorers Club, MN12.
 Susan AlanizSusan Alaniz lives in the Fort Walton Beach, Florida local area as a recently retired US Air Force officer after nearly 22 years of service.  Alaniz served as a communications systems officer and as a political-military strategist.  Her master's degree is in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and her undergraduate degree is a bachelor of science in Human Factors Engineering from the US Air Force Academy.  Susan also earned a minor in French.  Her research interest area is nation/state-building and the use of the military in non-traditional roles.  Alaniz has lived or worked in 14 different countries and hopes to experience many more.
 Mohammed AshrafMohammad Ashraf was born in Afghanistan and currently lives in New York. He works for the government of Afghanistan as agricultural development advisor since 2003. His major responsibilities include coordinating the assistance of the donor agencies, evaluating the training and capacity building requirements of the Ministry of Agriculture, and evaluating proposals to ensure consistency with the Ministry priority and Master plan. He completed his BS in agricultural business and MS in agricultural technology from the University of Central Missouri. He also has a Bachelor of Arts in computer science (software engineering) from the University of Guelph, Canada. His research interest area is the role of agriculture in economic development of Afghanistan.
 Greg BonadiesGreg Bonadies lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife and son.  He spent 19 years with IBM creating and managing the Software Group professional technical services organization and has a total of 24 years of experience in the field of information technology.  He is also an entrepreneur who has founded several business concerns and currently manages a real estate investment and renovation operation he and his wife started in 2001.  His academic background includes Masters Degrees in International Studies (North Carolina State University), Experimental Psychology (Towson University in Baltimore, MD) and undergraduate degrees in Computer Science (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and General Psychology (Frostburg State University, Maryland).  His research interests include sustainable development and water resources regulatory frameworks in China, Realpolitik and neoliberal economic globalization.

Paul Brown works for the National Park Service and is currently the Chief of Natural Resources at Isle Royale National Park. For 6-8 months of the year, he lives and works on Isle Royale, a remote island in the middle of Lake Superior that is 99% federally designated to Wilderness.  His responsibilities include wilderness management, natural sciences data collection and analysis, research permitting, supervision of the natural resources staff, and serving as a member of the park management team.  In addition, he has collateral duties as an instructor in diving, boating, safety awareness, and First Aid/CPR.  He is an NPS diver, wilderness EMT, and structural and wildland firefighter.  When not on "the island", he resides in Houghton, MI, a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which regularly receives more than 25 feet of snow a year.  A marine biologist by training, his research interests center around transnational boundary issues, especially the movement of natural resources (air, water, fish and wildlife) across international lines.  Paul and his family have lived in numerous countries abroad.

 Angela BryanAngela Bryan is an Information Systems instructor at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College currently residing in Biloxi.  As a career educator, Angela also has experience in curriculum development for Information Systems at the secondary and post-secondary levels and will do skill training with secondary teachers in Mississippi during the summer of 2009.  She has a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.S. in Technology Education from USM.  As a member of the Security Studies team, Angela’s areas of interest cover cybersecurity and cyberterrorism issues, international law as it relates to cybersecurity, and China.
 Anthony CaitoAnthony Caito serves as Manager of the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research in the School of Science, Engineering, and Health at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania where he coordinates faculty, staff, and students in developing innovative technological solutions to international development barriers including small-scale sustainable bio-diesel production, solar-powered motorcycles, microeconomic development, water purification, and mobility for the disabled.  His B.A. is in Aviation and Religion from Moody Aviation and Cornerstone University and his M.A. is in Intercultural Studies from Biola University.  His professional focus over the last nine years has centered on supporting Global South nonprofit leaders with appropriate technology, research, and geographic information systems (GIS) instruction.  He has served as a temporary advisor to the United Nations UNAIDS and has produced and published a range of maps and research software resources.  His international development research focus combines socio-cultural conflict and capacity challenges of indigenous faith-based civil society organizations (CSOs) and has researched and written recently on Nigeria and Turkey.
 Sharon CamaraSharon Camara lives in Atlanta, Georgia and works at AT&T providing staff support to an executive team in Information Technology.  She holds a master's degree in Health Systems Management (MHA) from Tulane University's School of Public Health and Bachelors degrees in English (BA) and Journalism (BS) from Boston University. Sharon's foci are in economic and cultural development. Her research interest is in West African trade. Sharon is originally from New Hampshire. Sharon is also president of the African Performing Arts Association (

John Christie-Searles was born and raised in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SB), The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advance International Studies (MA), and University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School (MBA), and the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (MID). After a corporate executive career spanning 12 years, two cities (San Francisco and Pittsburgh) and four companies (three on the Fortune 500 list, one being a management consultancy), Mr. Christie-Searles returned to academia as an administrator at Allegheny College. Mr. Christie-Searles has also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho and the former Zaire. He has worked for the U.S. Department of State both stateside and at the Embassy of Cape Verde. Presently, he teaches as an adjunct professor in the Departments of Political Science and Black Studies. Some courses that he has taught include Politics of Third World Development, Religion and Politics, The Black Experience, and Jazz and the Great Migration. Mr. Christie-Searles was accepted into the University of Southern Mississippi, International Development PhD Program in 2013.

 Stephanie Davison lives in Bozeman, Montana and works for the Montana 4-H Center for Youth Development coordinating international youth exchanges and developing science and technology programs for Native American youth.  Originally from Vermont, Stephanie earned her bachelor's degree in Art History from the University of Vermont and, subsequently, her master's degree in Counseling and Human Development form Montana State University.  Research interests include the application of positive youth development theory in developing countries, the political effects of youth exchanges on sending countries, and experiential learning best practices for traditionally underserved youth in the United States.
 No PhotoMeaza Demissie is an Associate Program Manager at the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) in Arlington, Virginia. She works on scientific capacity building in Russia and the south Caucasus, and on expanding CRDF’s university-based research programs in the developing world.  Prior to joining CRDF in 2008, she was a Project Assistant at Bread for the World Institute, which provides policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it.  She holds a Master of Public Administration (non-profit Management concentration) from Southern University, Louisiana, U.S.A. and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Currently she is writing her dissertation on “The Natural Resource Curse and Economic Growth & Development in Sub-Saharan Africa” under the International Economic Development research team with Dr. Naghshpour's direction. Her research interest includes economic growth & development, social justice, sub-Saharan Africa and globalization. Meaza was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She speaks native Amharic, fluent English, some French, and beginning Spanish and Russian.
 Ruby DeviRubi Devi is from Assam, one of the north-eastern states in India. She joined the IDV PhD program in fall, 2006 and since then I have been working as a graduate research assistant with Dr David L. Butler and Dr Edward Sayre in the USM, Hattiesburg campus.   Prior to joining the IDV PhD program, Rubi completed a masters’ degree in English Literature from Tezpur Central University, India and M. Phil in Folk-Culture from Gauhati University, India. She completed her bachelor of arts from Cotton College, Assam.  During Rubi’s bachelor degree, she majored in English literature with minors in history and economics.  As part of the IDV program, she chose political development as major and socio-cultural development as minor area of study.  However, she also shares my interest in economic and security issues as well. As a student of the International development, Rubi is trying to develop a pragmatic, interdisciplinary viewpoint which, she believes, is crucial to understand and analyze the world affairs. As a region she is focusing on South Asia region to work on during her dissertation process. The broad areas of Rubi’s research are democratic developments, ethnic conflict, gender and security, and socio-cultural change.
 Patrick ErvinPatrick Ervin resides in Greenville, Mississippi, with his wife Teresa and daughters, Ashley, Alexis and Allyson. He works work full time as a Community Educator for the state's fifth largest hospital. He also works part time as a writer for the Delta Democrat Times. Patrick received his bachelor of arts in Journalism/Public Relations (2002) and master of science in Community and Economic Development (2008) from Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. Patrick’s areas of interest in the USM IDV PhD program include tourism, sports and global medical policy. He is also the author of "Frank and Dishonest: Expanding on Exaggeration," (2005), a book about tall tales impressed upon him by his late grandfather. His second book, "School Spirit" is due to be published later this year.

 M. Annette Evans is the Deputy Director, Joint Programs Integration Office (JPIO), U.S. Forces - Afghanistan.  JPIO provides program management and technical expertise in the areas of real estate, operational energy, environmental, and civil and military infrastructure for U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, its subordinate commands, and all Regional Commands to support the International Security Assistance Force Campaign Plan in Afghanistan.  With a portfolio of over $1B in construction and engineering programs, JPIO interfaces with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division, Theater Basing, Task Force POWER, and Engineer Operations under the direction of the Theater Engineer.  Ms. Evans serves as the principal advisor to the JPIO Director (SES) on leading and managing the strategic and administrative direction for engineering program management staff to support national security objectives in Afghanistan.

At home station, Ms. Evans is the Deputy to the Commander of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.  In this position she provides management and policy direction to ERDC's Command Staff Division, including resource management, security, safety, internal review, public works, contracting, human resources/training, and public affairs for seven laboratories in four states.  Prior to joining ERDC, Ms. Evans was deployed from 2010-2011 as the Program Manager of the Water and Infrastructure Branch, Afghanistan Engineer District - South, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Ms. Evans also served as the Deputy Garrison Manager at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Md.  Ms. Evans began her federal career in Vicenza, Italy, where she served as the Director for Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, leading garrison deployment cycle and host nations relations for the Southern European Task Force (Airborne).

Ms. Evans holds a bachelor's in business administration from the University of New Mexico, a master's in educational leadership from the University of Oklahoma and a master's in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2008.  While at the college, she received the Commandant's Award for Distinction in Research fro her strategic  research project, "U.S. Military Stability Operations and Social Capital," subsequently published as a book chapter in 2013.  Ms. Evans is currently completing her doctoral degree in International Development at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Ms. Evans has been awarded multiple civilian service awards, including the Stalwart Award, Installation Management Agency's highest civilian award.  She is a member of the Association of the United States Army, the International Studies Association, the University of New Mexico Alumni Association, and Pi Beta Phi Fraternity.

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Andrea Fairchok, a native of Germany, is a staff instructor for the Air Force Air Operations School at Hurlburt Field, Florida. She teaches intelligence systems, applications and processes to US and allied military personnel. Formerly an active duty linguist, military liaison, as well as an information operations specialist, Andrea has wide experience in the coordination and application of theater air forces and intelligence support functions. Her personal research into regional cultural commonalities and dissimilarities that impact American military and foreign policy led her to The University of Southern Mississippi and the International Development program. The mother of four boys, Andrea is an experienced diver, camper, paintball warrior, dog and cat medic and gardener.

 Sydney FletcherA lifelong resident of Pascagoula, Mississippi, Sydney Fletcher is the Academic Business Instructor and Alpha Beta Gamma Advisor at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College- Perkinston Campus. She has a B.B.A. in Business from the University of Mississippi and an MBA with a concentration in Economics from the University of South Alabama. Sydney is a member of the Economic Development team and her area of research interest is international economics, more specifically, how FTA impact development.
 Dianne R. Jntl ForteDianne R. Jntl Forte lives and works in Washington, D.C., where she represents Heifer International in policy environments and is managing director of the Heifer DC Office. Heifer is a development organization whose mission is to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. Heifer works globally and uses asset building through livestock as a development strategy. Dianne earned both her Bachelor’s (economics) and Master’s (political economy) degrees from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.  She completed her master’s degree in 1986. Forte’s research interest is in the particular development models of small island developing states and the paradox that while most by virtue of their institutional adaptation strategies are listed as middle or upper income countries, they face serious challenges of resilience and stability.  She has worked for twenty years in Africa and is particularly interested in Botswana and Mauritius as cases of Africa’s development potential. Dianne Forte was born in St. Georges, Grenada, and grew up there. She migrated to the United States in 1973 and lived in Brooklyn, New York. She has two adult offspring.
 No photoDarren Gil is a Northern California native. He entered the United States Army shortly after high school. After an honorable discharge he served with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Darren resigned from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to take a commission as a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). He has been an agent with ATF for over 22 years serving in various assignments across the United States. He is currently the Chief, Counterterrorism Division and the Liaison between ATF and the FBI for Counterterrorism. Darren has taught a variety of classes at various institutions across the country and around the world. These courses have included management, tactical emergency medicine/management, criminal justice and security related courses. Darren has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology from the University of Maryland as well as a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama. His major is Security Studies with a minor in Political Development. Darren is interested in rule of law, training police institutions abroad, decision-making in law enforcement/intelligence organizations, arms trafficking, and social disorganization theory and management response.

Amber Lee Hulsey is a current student and Research Assistant of the International Development Doctoral Program at The University of Southern Mississippi.  In that role, she manages all social media platforms for the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs.  Ms. Hulsey's fellowships, scholarships and grants over the last 7 years total over $82,000.  Her research interests include:  aviation, human trafficking, slavery and tourism. 

Ms. Hulsey received a Master's of Science Degree in Aerospace with a concentration in Aviation Safety and Security Management from Middle Tennessee State University.  She attended Middle Tennessee State University for her undergraduate degree and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace with a concentration in Administration and minor in Business.  Ms. Hulsey is a McNair Scholar, has presented aviation safety research in India, has a few publications and is a member of numerous organizations, to include a few:  American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), University Aviation Association (UAA), Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Women in Aviation, and the International Studies Association (ISA).  Ms. Hulsey's Gramma, Ms. Patricia Jean McCoy, taught her the power of determination and often said, "have determination and you can do anything," which is Ms. Hulsey's life motto.

 Tom GonzalezTom Gonzalez presently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and works at Fort Carson as the Command Sergeant Major of the 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (more commonly known as the Bomb Squad).  The Army has 2 EOD Groups worldwide and Tom's area of operations is the Western half of the United States.  Currently he is deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, as the Task Force Troy Command Sergeant Major responsible for countering the infamous improvised explosive device that the enemy has become so fond of using. His education includes a Master in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich University, Vermont.  His undergraduate is a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. His concentration at USM is in Security with a minor concentration in Political Development and his regions of interest are in the Greater Middle East and South America.  His true topic of interest is how asymmetric warfare, tactics, and weapons affect national policy and nation building efforts.
 Barbara-Anne JohnsonBarbara-Anne Johnson teaches sociology and criminology at Strayer University in Greensboro, NC.  She has an AA in Criminal Justice Law; a BS in Clinical Psychology; a BA in Cultural Anthropology/Sociology, with minors in political science and theatre; a M Ed in Special Education with a Learning
Disabilities Add-On; and a MA in Sociology with a concentration in
Criminology.  In the IDV program her area of concentration is Political Science and Security Studies, and her minor is in Economic Development.  She has two sons and a daughter, and two grandsons.  In her "spare time" she is a screenwriter and a documentary filmmaker.  Her website
 Julie JordanJulie Jordan is a project manager for Mississippi State Community Action Team (MSCAT). MSCAT offers a variety of community development services for small Mississippi towns. MSCAT works with mayors, chamber directors, economic development, and other community leaders. MSCAT coordinates a community First Impressions program; provides design ideas for community improvement projects, offers planning and facilitation help; and offers a variety of educational activities aimed at improving local leadership capacity for development related activities. MSCAT partners with the Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Main Street Association, regional planning and development districts, some community colleges, and other non-profit groups. A native of Brookhaven, Miss., Julie has her Master of Science degree in Education Technology from Mississippi State University and her research interests are school governance; relationship of local school achievement and economic development; and rural community development and leadership capacity.

R. Alan King is an award winning author an noted speaker on terrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, strategic communications, Political Islam, cultural understanding in irregular warfare and Middle East geopolitical issues.  He is an adjunct professor at Norwich University instructing in National Security, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, Culture and Anthropology.

His work and success with Iraqi tribes has been widely profiled in the international media and he has advised Congressional leaders on issues in Iraq.  He has also served as an advisor to senior leaders in the Departments of State and Defense.  He testified before the House of Representatives, Subcommittee for National Security concerning the security situation in Iraq.  In April 2004, he served as a senior member of the ceasefire negotiations in Fallujah and then dispatched to An Najaf to coordinate a response to the uprising.

He has a distinguished military background in the U.S. Army including tours in Honduras, Panama for Operation Just Cause, Bosnia and Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He was a Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations officer and retired as a colonel.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College and holds master's degrees in International Relations and Management from Webster University.  He has received numerous honors and awards for his achievements and contributions in international relations, including being selected as a Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Fellow at Oklahoma State University.

His book titled, Twice Armed, an American Soldier's Battle for Hearts and Minds in Iraq was released by Zenith Press in 2006 and was awarded the 2008 William E. Colby Military Writer's Award for major contributions to intelligence operations and international affairs.

 Bruce LotarskiBruce Lotarski was born and raised in Chicago, IL, and currently resides in Tampa, FL.  He is an Air Force Officer with over 22 years serving in Logistics and Operations at the U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, FL.  Bruce holds an M.B.A. from the University of South Florida, a B.S. in Computer Information Systems, and a B.A. in Business from the University of South Florida.  Currently he is a member of the Economic and Political research teams.  Bruce’s research interests include nation-state building, globalization, foreign direct investments, and infrastructure investments particularly in under-developed and post conflict nation-states of Africa and the Middle East.
 Patrick MaloneyPatrick Maloney is retired from the US Navy and is currently living in Duluth, Minnesota.  He was raised in Micronesia and has traveled around the world    His experiences from traveling and meeting people from all walks of life has created an increased awareness of the disparity between the rich and the poor.   His interest in the IDV program comes from a concern and a desire to understand the causes and corrective actions needed for the socio-economic issues found in developing countries.  He has a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University and Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Great Falls.  As a member of the social/cultural and economic teams Patrick is interested in how cultural issues impede or help economic development in Pacific island nations.
Madeline Gillette

 Madeline Messick first became interested in international development while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. While there, she learned fluent Spanish and conversational Guarani. Madeline was named a Distinguished Alumni for the NMSU College of Health and Social Services in 1999. She received a Nason Fellowship in 2006 to conduct research in Latin America.

Madeline currently works as a Research Assistant for the IDV program. While a student at Southern Miss, Madeline has co-authored a peer-reviewed article titled "The Role of Remittances in Currency Appreciation in 25 Latin American Countries" and also published "Temporary Protected Status in the United States: A Grant of Humanitarian Relief that is Less than Permanent" for the Migration Policy Institute's online journal.

Mandy Parham has worked with USAID for the past nine years and currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Special Projects in the Office of Acquisition and Assistance. Previously, she worked for NASA and the National Institute of Health. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from North Carolina Central University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the New York Institute of Technology. In 2008 she converted to the Foreign Service. She has been posted in Thailand and South Africa and has had numerous temporary duty assignments to Namibia, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Egypt. She lives in Laurel, MD and has two daughters. Her research interests include civil war, ethnic cleansing, gender issues, and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 Joy S. PattonJoy S. Patton received her B.A. from Centre College in History and her M.S. in International Relations from Troy State University. She currently serves as adjunct professor of international relations in the Securities and Global Studies Department of American Public University System (APUS) and American Military University (AMU). Additionally, she is an intelligence specialist and reserve Air Force officer at Eglin Air Force Base. Major Patton is a member of the American Political Science Association (APSA), as well as the International Studies Association (ISA). When not traveling for research, she enjoys reading books on current affairs and studying the history of the Vietnam War.
 Rian K. PlaswirthA native of Gautier, Rian K. Plaswirth is currently a teacher's assistant with the University of Southern Mississippi's College of Arts and Letters where he assists with research and data analysis for Drs. Naghshpour and St. Marie. With a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi, Rian is on the Economic Research Team and is primarily interested in Transportation Economics, Maritime Security and Multimodal Transportation.
 Prebble Q. Ramswell 

Prebble Q. Ramswell earned BA degrees in Political Science, Psychology and Sociology from the University of Houston, and an MLA from Texas Christian University.  A Texas native, Ramswell accepted a position with the federal government in 2002 and subsequently moved to the Washington, D.C. area to work in counterterrorism.  A collegiate athlete, Ramswell competed as Division I swimmer before also coaching at the D-I and USA Swimming levels. As a coach, she earned a top 5-8% ranking among all coaches in the United States before switching professions.

Ramswell also works in communications as a writer, editor and actress. Appearing in numerous films and commercials, Prebble chiefly worked as a DJ and traffic reporter for several stations in Texas and has voiced commercials nationwide. An active alum of Delta Delta Delta, she also speaks/reads Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, and serves on the board of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast.  Ramswell will focus on Political/Security and Socio-Cultural studies while pursuing research interests including the success rate of US intervention and national rebuilding.

Prebble now lives in Destin, FL, with her husband, Tony, and daughter, Briar.

Tanisha Staten joined The University of Southern Mississippi's IDV PhD program in fall 2013. She currently serves as an assistant editor for White House Studies journal and is a member of The University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett's Strategic Planning Council which is tasked with revising and updating the University's Strategic Plan for 2020. Tanisha is the graduate teaching assistant for Dr. Tom Lansford and Dr. Robert Pauly and works as an adjunct history instructor at both The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Prior to joining the IDV PhD program, Tanisha received her M.A. in American history from The University of Southern Mississippi, where she served as a graduate research and teaching assistant to the Gulf Coast History Department. She specialized in political, constitutional, and legal history in colonial and revolutionary America and minored in war and society.  Her thesis, "Loyalist or Patriot: The Precarious Position of Edmund Randolph: 1774-1786," was a modern political biography of the Randolph family of Williamsburg and their contributions to Virginia's colonial government as well as the founding of the Early American Republic. Tanisha also received her B.A. in history summa cum laude, with a minor in Political Science from The University of Southern Mississippi. She has over two decades experience working as a trial paralegal in criminal, civil, circuit, and federal courts in the Southern District and Fifth Circuit.

Tanisha has received many honors and awards for academic excellence including the John E. Wallace Award for Outstanding History Major and was named to the National Dean's List. She is currently a member of Gamma Beta Phi, Phi Alpha Theta, and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies and the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture. Her current research interests include national and international security, terrorism, warfare, international law, and political systems. Tanisha grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and currently lives in Ocean Springs with her son, Ethan.

 PatrickTurnerPatrick Turner received his Bachelor of Arts from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. During his undergraduate education, Patrick attended American University in Washington, D.C., taking part in the Washington semester exchange program, where he participated in lectures given by recognized leaders in the fields of criminal justice and national security. Patrick received his Master's of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security Administration from Tiffin University, Tiffin, Ohio. Patrick began the International Development Program (IDV) in January of 2008. His area of focus is on how the United States can effectively manage and interact with the political and militant sides of Hezbollah organizations throughout the world.
Carl Quesinberry's professional background spans 27 years of corporate advisory services, with particular emphasis on industrial facilites, site selection, construction and logistics regarding manufacturing, distribution and warehousing operations.  Carl earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida, majoring in Finance, a Master of Science in Administration degree from the University of West Florida, majoring in Acquisitions and Contract Administration.  Carl has traveled extensively throughout Central America.

Michelle Watts has a degree in International Studies from American University in Washington, D.C., and a Master's degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona.  Her professional experience includes working at the Inter-American Foundation, teaching United States Government and History for Central Texas College, as well as Latin American Studies and International Development courses for Florida State University in the traditional classroom.  She is currently a Faculty Director for the American Public University System.

Michelle has worked with refugees in Washington D.C.: studied in Argentina, Costa Rica and Ecuador; journeyed to Nicaragua with Habitat for Humanity; worked on the US-Mexican border; lived and later conducted research in Panama, and traveled extensively in Latin America.  She wrote two encyclopedia entries for Anti-Immigration in the United States:  A Historical Encyclopedia.  Her co-authored articles include:  "Seguridad del Canal de Panama:  Una Decada Despues de la Salida de Estados Unidos" (Security of the Panama Canal:  One Decade after US Departure), published in the Air and Space Power Journal, Spanish ed., "The US and Panama: The Evolution of an Asymmetric Relationship,"  published in the Delaware Review of Latin American Studies and "Drugs, Thugs and the Diablos Rojos:  Perils and Progress in Panama" and "Game of Norms:  Panama, the International Community, and Indigenous Rights" in the Latin American Policy Journal.

 Peter WisniewskiPeter Wisniewski was born and raised in New Jersey. He currently resides in Warrington, Pa. with his wife and 3 children. Pete is an instructor at Lehigh-Carbon Community College, teaching Political Science and International Relations. Pete holds an M.S. from Troy University in International Relations, and a B.A. from Temple University in History. As a member of the social/cultural and economic research teams, Pete’s research interests include free trade, labor migration, as well as the impact globalization has on indigenous cultures.