The Departments of Political Science and International Affairs are proud to have outstanding students on the job market. Brief profiles of each of our candidates are provided below. Please contact the candidates, their faculty advisors, or the Graduate Advisor, Dr. Megan Morgan, for further information.

Naji Bsisu

NAJI BSISU
PhD, Expected 2020
Curriculum Vitae

Dissertation Committee: Dr. Amanda Murdie (Chair), Dr. Chad Clay, Dr. Daniel Hill, Dr. Andrew Owsiak
Dissertation: Refugees and Host-State Repression
Professional Website: https://www.najibsisu.com

I am a PhD candidate in International Relations. My research interests largely focus on human rights. I am especially interested in conducting research on refugees, repression, international and civil conflict, conflict management strategies, as well as nonviolent resistance. My published work appears in International Studies Review as well as a forthcoming chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Peacebuilding, Statebuilding, and Peace Formation.

 I have been the instructor of record in teaching Middle Eastern Political Institutions at the University of Georgia. I have also been a teaching assistant for multiple American Government courses at the University of Georgia, where I would lead weekly discussion sections. At the University of Missouri, I was a teaching assistant for Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy, Politics and Hollywood, and Constitutional Rights. To further my teaching effectiveness, I have attended multiple workshops at the ISA Pedagogy Conference, as well as completed a Graduate Teaching Seminar at the University of Georgia and an Online Course Development and Implementation Workshop at the University of Missouri. More information on my teaching and research experience can be found at my personal website: https://www.najibsisu.com/

Matt Bufford

MATT BUFFORD
PhD, Expected 2020
Curriculum Vitae

Dissertation Committee: Dr. Shane Singh (Chair), Dr. Hanna Kleider, Dr. Ryan Bakker, Dr. Alexa Bankert
Dissertation: Identity and Political Behavior: How Attitudes toward Immigrants Shape Political Outcomes
Professional Website: https://mattbufford.wordpress.com/

I am a PhD candidate (ABD) specializing in political behavior, political psychology, and social identity in advanced democracies. Using quantitative methods and survey experiments, my research focuses on the intersection of public opinion and policy results, particularly with regard to immigration and support for welfare policies. My research agenda addresses the question of how individuals in the West think about immigration and identity and how this perception affects their political behavior. I am also broadly interested in the ways political actors use issue framing to alter political outcomes, and I seek to further explore this topic in experimental settings.

I have experience teaching American Government, Global Issues, and Comparative Politics at the University of Georgia. Additionally, as an instructor for the Duke Talent Identification Program, I have developed and taught introductory international relations courses. I am prepared to teach several other courses, particularly on quantitative methods, research design, and political behavior.

Jason Byers

JASON BYERS
PhD, 2019
Curriculum Vitae

Dissertation Committee: Dr. Jamie L. Carson (Chair), Dr. James Monogan, Dr. Michael Lynch, Dr. Anthony Madonna.
Dissertation: Walking in Their Shoes: An Examination of Congressional Representation from 1980-2016
Professional Website: https://www.jasonsbyers.com

I am a recent PhD in American politics. Substantively, I am interested in American political institutions with a specific emphasis on congressional politics and elections, executive politics, separation of powers, representation, institutional development, and quantitative methods. My published work has appeared in The Forum, a book chapter in Changing How America Votes, and I have been invited to revise and resubmit an article at Congress & the Presidency.

I have previously taught multiple sections on Introductory American Government and a graduate seminar on teaching effectiveness. I have also guest lectured for an undergraduate U.S. Presidency section and a graduate Time Series Analysis seminar. Furthermore, I served as a teaching assistant for Introductory American Government.

Joshua Jackson

JOSHUA JACKSON
PhD, Expected 2020
Curriculum Vitae

Dissertation Committee: Dr. Andrew Owsiak (Chair), Dr. Amanda Murdie, Dr. Daniel Hill
Dissertation: An Issues approach to Civil Conflict Processes
Professional Website: https://www.joshualjackson.org

I am a PhD candidate (ABD) in International Relations. My substantive research interests lie primarily in civil conflict, its connection to international conflict, and the externalities of conflict such as human rights concerns and refugee flows. I also focus broadly on quantitative research methods with a specialization in spatial analysis. My published work has appeared in Political Research Quarterly, Research & Politics, and Political Science Research and Methods..

I have taught International Conflict and Introduction to International Relations at the undergraduate level and have been a teaching assistant for various courses and IR simulations, including Crisis Diplomacy, Reacting to the Past: The French Revolution, and Statecraft. More information about my research and teaching is available at my website, www.joshualjackson.org.

 

Lee Lukoff

LEE LUKOFF
PhD, 2019
Curriculum Vitae

Dissertation Committee: Dr. Loch Johnson (Chair), Dr. Jeffrey Berejikian, Dr. Lihi Ben-Shitrit, Dr. Rongbin Han
Dissertation: The Development of the US-Israel Special Relationship 1981-1989
Professional Website: https://leelukoff.wixsite.com/leelukoff

I am a recent PhD in International Relations with a minor in Comparative Politics, and I hold Master’s Degrees from Boston College (Political Science) and George Mason University (Public Policy). My research interests include International Relations, American Foreign Policy, Intelligence Studies, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and Political Psychology. I served as a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to American government for four semesters and have taught seven courses as Instructor of Record on topics such as International Conflict, Global Issues, and US-Israel Relations. I currently serve as an Adjunct Instructor for UGA’s Washington DC Semester Program, where I teach a seminar and mentor undergraduates pursuing careers in public policy and government in the nation’s capital.

In 2017, I was awarded a university grant that allowed me to serve as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I am also a founding member of the Early Career Scholars Group of Intelligence Studies in the International Studies Association and have forthcoming articles in the Journal of Intelligence History, American Intelligence Journal, and the Encyclopedia of U.S. Intelligence. My book reviews have been published in the Journal of Cold War Studies and the International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs.

K. Anne Watson

K. ANNE WATSON
PhD, Expected 2020
Curriculum Vitae

Dissertation Committee: Dr. Daniel W. Hill, Jr. (Chair), Dr. Lihi Ben Shitrit, Dr. K. Chad Clay
Dissertation: From Interests to Rights: Using CEDAW to Understand the Substantive Representation of Women
Professional Website: http://www.kannewatson.com

I am a PhD candidate (ABD) specializing in the ratification of international law, its incorporation in domestic policy, and the outcomes of each, particularly with regards to women’s rights, economic rights, and the measurement of human rights conditions. In my dissertation, a direct extension of this agenda, I tackle the puzzle that although widely ratified international law guarantees women equal access to and enjoyment of the economy, women’s enjoyment of their economic rights continues to show variation–even in developed, democratic countries. I argue that this variation is a result of differing degrees of support for specific women-friendly policies in these countries’ legislatures. I also have a recent article with Daniel W. Hill, Jr. in International Studies Quarterly.

As a graduate student at the University of Georgia, I have also taken advantage of multiple opportunities to develop my teaching. First, I have served as an instructor of record and teaching assistant at the University of Georgia and as an adjunct professor at Piedmont College for a broad array of courses, including Introduction to American Government, Human Rights, Women and World Politics, Modern Warfare, Research Methods, Political Simulations, Global Issues, and a Senior Capstone. Second, in the spring of 2019, I completed the requirements for the Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching. This certificate requires extensive coursework in teaching development, as well as the creation of a teaching portfolio and implementation of a teaching project to be presented in a peer-reviewed forum. My experience and training have led me to receive all of the teaching awards offered by the University of Georgia for graduate students—the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, the Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Future Faculty Fellowship—as well as the Department of International Affair’s Christopher S. Allen Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching.