By: Rachael Andrews

Two SPIA students in the Master of International Policy (MIP) program have been selected to attend the prestigious Nuclear Nonproliferation, Safeguards, and Security (NNSS) in the 21st Century course at Brookhaven National Laboratory this summer. The lab, based in Upton, New York, hosts the two week long course that is designed to give selected students a broad understanding of the international community’s safeguards against nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. 

Jon Christian and Sydney Dorawa, both students in the MIP program, were selected based on academic performance, career interests, and recommendations from professors. 

“I spoke to a former graduate who said it was a good experience to focus your career goals and get some real-world experience in nuclear energy,” Christian says.

Christian says he looks forward to the opportunity to focus his nuclear trade and security career goals even more through this program, and perhaps explore other areas that the program offers. 

“SPIA is such a wonderful school, especially the Center of International Trade Security (CITS),” Christian says. “The professors are beyond knowledgeable and helpful and are just brilliant people. The students in the MIP are all motivated, and I get to interact with people who also have a passion for international policy every day,” Christian adds.

As for Dorawa, she says that the program is the perfect fit for her future career goals. 

“My specific research interests are in nuclear energy security,” Dorawa says. “My dream job would be to work in one of the nuclear labs as a policy analyst, so when I saw that Brookhaven had a program that was not only in a lab, but also had a lot to do with policy, I knew it was a good fit,” she concludes.

Dorawa looks forward to the program not only for the educational benefits it presents, but also the networking opportunities. Professionals from all across nuclear nonproliferation and security, including representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency, will facilitate and participate in exercises and events during the program. 

Both Dorawa and Christian credit SPIA and the MIP program specifically for the faculty’s knowledge and willingness to support students in their endeavors. 

“Sydney and Jon represent the best of the best from our MIP program,” Dr. Justin Conrad, the Gary K. Bertsch Director for the Center for International Trade and Security (CITS) says. “We know they are going to make a huge impact at Brookhaven this summer, and in their careers moving forward.”

“Jon and Sydney’s acceptance to Brookhaven’s summer course is the result of much hard work and a determination to take full advantage of the many opportunities afforded by the MIP program,” Dr. Josh Massey, director of the MIP program at SPIA concludes. 

“I’m proud to see their hard work rewarded by this selection. I know they will represent CITS and UGA well at the national lab.”


For more information on Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Nuclear Nonproliferation, Safeguards, and Security (NNSS) course, please visit