The following students are upcoming graduates who have completed the Master of International Policy program and/or the Richard B. Russell Security Leadership Program. CITS is proud to support these emerging leaders as they enter their career fields.

If you are interested in learning more about these or other CITS students, please contact Dr. Justin Conrad:

Mennah Abdelwahab

Anticipated graduation: Spring 2022

Anticipated degree: B.A. in International Affairs, Journalism | Minors in Arabic & Law, Jurisprudence, and the State | Certificate in Global Studies | UGA

Mennah is interested in human rights and international law. Her academic research has looked into human rights education, communication, and advocacy. Through the Security Leadership Program, she gained extensive knowledge in issues of national and human security and conducted an original research project on the securitization of female protesters. Through her work with the Human Rights Measurement Initiative, Mennah has also gained experience in measuring human rights and communicating human rights data.

In addition to her academic research, Mennah also has experience in policy writing. She has worked with the Representative Spencer Frye Fellowship since 2019, and currently serves as the representative’s Public Relations Director. Mennah has also interned for the Office of the late Congressman John Lewis. In addition to these legislative experiences, she has also interned for the DOJ’s Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section, Western Judicial Circuit Public Defenders’ Office, and the J.W. Fanning Institute of Leadership Development, After graduation, she aims to pursue a career that will combine her research, policy, and legislative experiences while centering around human rights.

To learn more about Mennah, feel free to view her SPIA profile here.

Ben Hexamer

Anticipated graduation: Spring 2023

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy

Previous degree: B.A. in Liberal Studies | Indiana University

Ben Hexamer is interested in the evolving realm of energy security and the future of energy. While at the University of Georgia he has extensively researched policy making related to energy security, and engaged in the study of climate change as a catalyst for the worsening of the human condition, as well as other relevant fields such as global power diffusion.

Ben is presently a research assistant working with the Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) on material pertaining to the myriad of drivers and consequences of wildfires that have the capability to disproportionately affect certain regions within the United States. Prior to graduate school, Ben worked as a teaching assistant at Indiana University, and in the sales and operations division at VWR/Avantor delivering effective research products and material laboratory support at multiple Midwest and Georgia-based universities. Moving forward, Ben is interested in employment opportunities centered around the promotion of renewable energy systems and the creation of a sustainable future.

To learn more about Ben, feel free to view his SPIA profile here.

Stephen Talik

Anticipated graduation: Spring 2023

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy

Previous degree: B.A. in Political Science | Minor in History | St. Mary’s University

Stephen Talik is interested in China as a security threat to both Asia and the world, and has a specific interest in the South China Sea region. He has researched and studied China as a threat to international stability, power transitions, international relations within Asia, and the strategic undertakings of the United States in that area of the world.

Stephen currently serves as a graduate student researcher for the Carter-Vickers Research Society at the University of Georgia, where he works directly with faculty members on academic papers and research. Prior to that, Stephen served as an intern in the Washington D.C. office of a member of Congress.

To learn more about Stephen, feel free to view his SPIA profile here.

J. Bailey Wiggins

Anticipated graduation: Spring 2023

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy

Previous degree: B.A. in International Affairs, B.A. in Political Science, B.A. in Russian | UGA

Bailey Wiggins is most interested in Eastern European politics, specifically those within the states of the former Soviet Union. Focusing on human security, she hopes to work to strengthen the democratic practices within the former Soviet bloc and to spread human rights practices in the region. In her time as an undergraduate, she completed the Russian Language Flagship Program, studied abroad in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and served as President of the Russian Club at the University of Georgia. In her senior year, she tutored a young Russian-speaking emigreé in English as a Second Language.

As a freshman, Bailey also had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Oxford, where she focused solely on Political Science and International Affairs. Under the instruction of her don, she studied the philosophical texts of Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, among other foundational thinkers on the structure and responsibilities of government. Throughout the rest of her undergraduate studies, she sought to understand the relationships between these ideal structures of government, the well-being of the citizens living within them, and the policies implemented by administrative bodies.

Upon completion of her graduate studies, Bailey hopes to work to strengthen human security in the former Soviet states, whether it be from the public or private sector.

To learn more about Bailey, feel free to view her SPIA profile here.

Rebecca Wilson

Anticipated graduation: Fall 2022

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy

Previous degree: B.A. in International Affairs | UGA

Rebecca Wilson is interested in terrorism, the Middle East, monitoring and combatting antisemitism, and the United States’ involvement in foreign governments. Rebecca hopes to work in intelligence or policy analysis.

She has been a participant of the Master of International Policy “Double Dawg” program since 2019. During her undergraduate career, she interned or studied abroad every summer. She completed the Comparative Politics and Education Maymester Study Abroad Program in Glasgow, Scotland in 2018. In the summer of 2019, she lived in Tel Aviv, Israel working as a Higher Education Caseworker at the African Refugee Development Center. Last summer, Rebecca lived on Sao Miguel Island, Azores, and interned at the American Corner within the US Consulate Ponta Delgada, directly assisting the Principal Officer. These unique experiences allowed her to explore a wide range of topics including education policy, immigration, and refugee policy, human rights, and American foreign policy. During her undergraduate career, Rebecca has been a member of the student executive board of Hillel at UGA each year and a Hebrew and Religious School Studies teacher for the past two years at Congregation Children of Israel.

To learn more about Rebecca, feel free to view her SPIA profile here.