Our 2018 AC4-CMMI Graduate Fellows

Our 2018 AC4-CMMI Graduate Fellows

This year we have four new AC4-CMMI Graduate Fellows who will be participating in our Learning Exchange in October: Akri Cipa, Kjerstin Pugh, Sarah Stone and Tamara Smiley Hamilton.


Akri Çipa has a background in political science and international relations and is currently undertaking a Master of Science degree in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Columbia University. Originally from Albania, he completed his undergraduate studies in Bulgaria and has devoted a lot of his research to the Balkan region. His research interests include nationalism, democratization, and human rights. His current research investigates the main causes and barriers that have prevented and delayed reconciliation in Kosovo following the war in the 90s. The project aims to frame and analyze the repercussions of past trauma, to locate the hubs of energy in the system, and identify opportunities to address the underlying issues and to move beyond the current impasse in the reconciliation process.

Kjerstin Pugh is a graduate of the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program at Columbia University. She previously studied Urban Studies at New School University and has a background in youth development and community engagement. Her research explores social cohesion and connection, specifically, how members of different groups connect to social and civic structures. Using CMM, she uses narratives to explore the influences and tipping points that lead individuals in the United States to connect themselves to nonviolence trainings, groups, and movements.

Sarah Stone is completing a MPA in Urban & Social Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York.  She is dedicated to the field of informal education in divided cities, and to bringing youth together to develop empathy and advocacy skills to create a more just society. Sarah’s area of expertise is Israeli-Palestinian youth programming in Jerusalem; she has led programs with Seeds of Peace, Kids4Peace, and at the Hand in Hand Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Jerusalem.  She also studies school integration in the American urban context.  At the 2018 CMM Learning Exchange, Sarah will explore equitable and inclusive facilitation practices in youth organizations in divided cities, based on her experiences in Jerusalem and studies in NYC.

Tamara Smiley Hamilton, a global coach, facilitator and professional speaker, has executed several critical leadership roles for the National Education Association: Executive Counsel for Leadership and Career Development, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, and Manager of Training and Organization Development. Her responsibilities included helping executive staff and management understand the core concepts of organization development, diversity and inclusion, strategic planning and leadership presence. She provided coaching to senior leadership and led the organization-wide employee morale and cultural transformative initiative. An expert in helping executives address tough issues related to race and diversity, she taught facilitation skills to sitting judges at the National Judicial College. She began her career in the U. S. Office of Education as an intern. She has been invited by the White House to teach “Mastering Public Speaking Skills” to Presidential appointees. The project she will be focusing on at the 2018 CMM Learning Exchange is “The Drew League: Making Better Social Worlds through Community Resilience: A Case Study of the Drew League of Watts, CA”.

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