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Graduate Fellows


Samuel Garang Akau

Samuel is a doctoral student in public policy (international development). His research interests include poverty, resource governance, resource-induced conflicts, and food security concerns, especially along the Nile Valley.

Prior to UNC-Chapel Hill, Samuel co-founded Sawa Sawa Network, a multimedia initiative elevating discourse, amplifying the voices of outstanding South Sudanese thought leaders, and empowering ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things to build peace and community in South Sudan and its diaspora.

Giovanny Rincon Alvarez

Giovanny Rincon Alvarez is a Ph.D. student in Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). He holds a MA in Global Studies from UNC, a MA in Political Studies, and a BA in Political Science from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Giovanny was awarded by the Rotary Foundation as a Peace Fellow in 2019 due to his extensive work in contributing to peace processes in Colombia for 17 years, serving as the Prevention Component Coordinator at USAID’s Human Rights Program, and promoting transitional justice projects through the United Nations Development Program and governmental institutions in Colombia.

Giovanny has worked on issues related to international cooperation and security. Currently, He is interested in human rights protection in societies in transition from internal war to post-conflict scenarios.

John DiEugenio

John “Kip” DiEugenio is a 2020 Chief of Staff of the Air Force PhD Scholar. He is currently a PhD student in Military History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill advised by Joe Glatthaar, Wayne Lee, and Michael Cotey Morgan. Kip is studying the reorientation of United States grand strategy in the post-Vietnam War era with a particular emphasis on the United States Navy and the maritime way of war.

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Rebecca Dudley

Rebecca Dudley is a PhD candidate in political science at Duke University with a concentration in Security, Peace, and Conflict and a second field in Political Methodology (applied statistics). Rebecca is a Graduate Fellow with the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and a Pre-Doctoral Fellow with the America in the World Consortium at Duke University. She was previously a Graduate Fellow for the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy and a Hans J. Morgenthau Fellow at the Notre Dame International Security Center. Rebecca graduated with a B.A. in international relations and French studies magna cum laude with University Honors from Brigham Young University in 2017, and she earned her Master’s degree in political science from Duke University in 2020. Her research focuses on conflict resolution and foreign policy, emphasizing the role of third parties in the dynamics of conflict and conflict resolution. Her dissertation examines U.S. involvement in peace processes and the decision of third-party states to become diplomatically involved in a conflict resolution process.

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Brian Forester

Brian Forester is an Army officer and political science Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina. A scholar in the U.S. Army’s Advanced Strategic Planning and Policy Program, his research explores international military training and cooperation through the frameworks of economic globalization, bureaucratic politics, and international hierarchy. Upon completion of his program, he will assume command of a training battalion at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Cait Hamele

Cait Hamele is a Doctoral Candidate in the lab of Dr. Nicholas Heaton in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at Duke University. She received a B.S. in Medical Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2014.

Her graduate research is focused on understanding how respiratory viruses with pandemic potential, including influenza viruses and coronaviruses, cause disease. She is interested in biodefense and national security.

Andrew Kenealy

Andrew is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. His research explores the connections between domestic politics and international relations, with a particular focus on American foreign policy.

His academic work is published or forthcoming in Presidential Studies Quarterly and the Journal of Cold War Studies, and his policy commentary and reports can be found in Small Wars Journal, Lawfare, and various Brookings Institution outlets. He’s also the Graduate Fellow in Duke’s program in American Grand Strategy, and an International Policy Scholars Consortium and Network (IPSCON) Junior Scholar (’22-’23).

Before starting graduate school, Andrew was a research analyst at the Brookings Institution, and the head coach of the varsity girls rowing team at the Woodrow Wilson High School— DC’s only public school with rowing. He holds a B.A. in government from Dartmouth College.

Gabriella Levy

Gabriella Levy is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Duke University. Her work considers the ways in which people interpret, evaluate, and respond to various forms of political violence, especially in countries in or emerging from civil conflict or other forms of large-scale instability. Her research focuses on Latin America, particularly Colombia, and draws upon comparative politics, international relations, and political psychology. Her dissertation is a book project which examines why people sometimes support armed actors that target civilians.

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Erik Patton
Goodpaster Scholar, Duke University

Erik Patton is an Army officer serving as a Ph.D. student through the Army’s Advanced Strategic Planning and Policy Program. Enrolled in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, his studies are at the intersection of climate change and military operations. Aligned with the 2022 Army Climate Strategy, his research focuses on how rising temperatures will affect the Army’s future ability to conduct physically rigorous basic combat training while mitigating and adapting to an increased risk of recruit heat injuries, such as heat stroke.:

Cavender Sutton

Cavender Sutton is a fourth-year PhD candidate in military history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His passion for studying the past and teaching its lessons stems from his time as a United States Marine, during which he deployed to Afghanistan from 2010-11 and again in 2012. Since leaving the Marine Corps, Cavender has striven to better understand the ways in which state conduct and military culture are shaped during times of conflict. Much of his current research centers on determining how armed forces learn and adapt over time. Cavender’s dissertation examines the United States Marine Corps’ Combined Action Platoon program as a case study for analyzing how Marines understood insurgencies and revolutionary warfare prior to and during the Vietnam War.

In addition to his dissertation, Cavender has two publications on the Combined Action program forthcoming through Marine Corps University Press:

“To Take the Fear Away: Task Cohesion Among Combined Action Platoons in Vietnam, 1965-71,” Marine Corps History 8, no. 2 (Winter 2022/2023).

Nimmo, William F. The Road to Hue, ed. Cavender S. Sutton. Quantico: Marine Corps University Press, forthcoming.

Cavender is also writing a review essay of CAP literature for Marine Corps History with Lt. Col Timothy Heck (USMC) of the United States Military Academy.

Prior to joining the history department at UNC, Mr. Sutton earned a Master of Arts in History at East Tennessee State University in 2019 and his Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Georgia in 2017. He has taught courses on a wide array of subjects and has written on topics ranging from the military histories of early-modern and modern Europe to American military operations in Vietnam. After completing his PhD, Cavender hopes to continue to research and teach within the Professional Military Education community.

Pasuth Thothaveesansuk

Pasuth Thothaveesansuk is a PhD Student in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His primary research area is 20th century international history. His dissertation looks at East Asian intellectual conceptions of and political contributions to the postwar international order focusing on questions of peace, security, and sovereignty. His master’s thesis examined West Germany’s diplomatic relations with China during the Cold War.