AC4-CMMI Graduate Fellows

AC4-CMMI Graduate Fellows

The Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4) at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in the City of New York, offers annual fellowships to graduate students studying CMM. There are a number of reasons for creating these fellowships.

First, the fellowships help to support and nurture junior scholars and practitioners in their learning and using CMM. This is done by students responding to a call for proposals and being selected to attend the annual Learning Exchange (LE) in the fall of the year, where they present their work and engage with other LE participants.

Second, the graduate fellowships intentionally build the CMM community of practice. This is especially critical for students when they are first being introduced to CMM and want to develop their understanding and facility with applying the principles and practices. The benefits and learning do not stop there though. The graduate fellows also meet up with scholar-practitioners who have been working from a communication perspective for some time and who enjoy engaging in a mentoring role.

The call for proposals usually goes out in April of each year. Decisions are made by early June for the October Learning Exchange AC4-CMMI Graduate Fellows. The theme for proposals usually mirrors the theme for the CMMI Fellows.

For more information on these fellowships please visit the website http://ac4.ei.columbia.edu/fellowships-funding/cmm-learning-exchange/

or contact Meredith Smith at mms2258@columbia.edu.

AC4-CMMI Graduate Fellows 2016

Wilfried Zoungrana
Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt
Third World Approaches in International Law and International Relations

Wilfried Zoungrana holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy in Erfurt and has recently successfully defended his PhD thesis on International Relations and Terrorism at the University of Erfurt. At the CMM learning exchange, he will be looking at how CMM and Third World Approaches in International Law and International Relations can mutually enrich each other in theory and practice.


Aleksandra Kasymova
California State University in Fullerton
Intergroup Peacebuilding Communication Program: Training U.S. American and Russian Young Leaders to Become Mindful Intercultural ‘Bridge-Builders’

Aleksandra Kasymova is a Fulbright scholar from Russia, who recently completed her Master’s Degree in Communication Studies at California State University. Her area of specialization is intercultural communication, conflict, and intergroup dialogue. In particular, she focuses on the transformative power of communication and how it can contribute to the development of better public diplomacy initiatives and peacebuilding actions between individuals of different nations. After completion of the program, she wants to return to Russia and work in the sphere of conflict transformation by fostering intercultural understanding and cooperation between the people of Russia and peoples of other countries. With her recently completed master-degree theory applied project, which draws from CMM models and interview data, she has designed a 4-day training program that will help future U.S. American and Russian leaders to move through the tensions of their differences to a place of constructive dialogue.


Kimberly Loh
Columbia University
Sustainable Peace through Mediation

Kimberly Loh is currently undertaking her Master’s degree in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Columbia University, and has a previous background in law and ethical philosophy. In July 2016 she traveled to Uganda to undertake fieldwork as a research fellow, looking at peacebuilding and reconciliation work in post-conflict settings. Her research explores mediation and dialogue-based processes, and considers whether CMM Models can provide process tools to assist the mediator and parties in developing their perceptions and narratives within a conflict, thereby opening up opportunities to cultivate greater ownership and equity in sustainable peaceful solutions.


Santos Flores
University of North Carolina
Youth Development and Brazilian Capoeira Angola

Santos Flores’ research interest intersects youth development through sports, peace and social justice education, and Somatic (Kinesiological) treatments. Youth that are exposed to systemic violence, war, and other forms of social stress display syndromes referred to as stress-related somatic disorders. Understanding the relationship between violence, stress, and somatic syndromes will help in clarifying the consequences of violence exposure to long-term health and health related quality of life. From a Community Youth Development perspective, his research inquiry begins with Capoeira Angola a global phenomenon with roots in African and African diasporic cultures of Brazil. Through this sport, he looks at the way youth become empowered as informal “bodies” of knowledge that are living proof of successful ordinary ‘everyday resistance’ to historical and contemporary systemic conflicts. Youth sports as an embodied tool for assessing social constructs (e.g. race, poverty, gender) will require that a social analysis aims for conflict transformation through the development of critical consciousness and peace education.

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