Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science & International Affairs

Danielle L. Smith is pursuing her doctorate in International Affairs at the University of Georgia, and is employed at Georgia Southern University.  She specializes in violence, resource allocation, and memory/identity construction in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeastern Europe.

  • MA, History, Georgia Southern University, 2009
  • BA, International Studies & History, Minor in German, Georgia Southern University, 2006
More About

Living in Germany for 8 years as a child set Danielle on a career path to explore the world.  Settling in Southeast Georgia for the final two years of high school, she then attended Georgia Southern University where she pursued a B.A. double major in International Studies and History, with a minor in German language, graduating summa cum laude while completing Honors Program requirements.  During this time, she pursued a certificate in European Union studies jointly conferred by the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich, becoming the first student in the state of Georgia to complete the program with Honors.  Danielle also began participating in professional conferences during her undergraduate years, first co-presenting at the International Studies Association – South.  As an Honor’s student, she further developed her skills as an academic by serving as a peer mentor and teaching assistant for Introduction to International Studies and Global.  She was awarded the “Outstanding Major” for the 2006 graduating class of International Studies students.

Danielle chose to continue pursuing her education at Georgia Southern, earning an M.A. in History where she explored intellectual history and theories of nationalism in a contemporary setting.  Under the direction of Dr. Charles P. Crouch, Danielle explored the application of identity construction, memorialization, and integration of minorities in post-World War II German society, and honed her teaching skills by serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for sections of World Civilization II.   In 2007 she was recognized by the Southern Historical Association’s European Section with the Kele Award for Outstanding Graduate student.  After her final semester of coursework she was invited by her thesis advisor to take responsibility of serving as the Assistant to the Chair of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era and played a major role in organizing the organization’s annual meeting of nearly 1,000 participants from around the world.

Upon graduating, Danielle joined the faculty of Savannah Technical College as an adjunct, teaching multiple sections of World History I & II, along with a course in Employment Skills.  In 2010 she was invited to return to Georgia Southern’s Center for International Studies to serve as a full-time instructor, teaching sections of Introduction to International Studies, Contemporary World Cultures, and upper-division courses of her own creation (Identity & Nationalism, Immigration & Culture Politics).  She also served as the director to two undergraduate Honor’s thesis, including a student paper selected by the Georgia Consortium for International Studies as the “Outstanding Student” award winner for research.

After rejoining the Center, Danielle took on progressively increased administrative responsibilities, including overseeing the advisement and curriculum processes for the B.A. International Studies and B.S. International Trade programs for nearly 200 students.  This required course scheduling for faculty, revising student learning outcomes, and refreshing the curriculum to better meet the needs and improve the skills of graduating students.  Additionally, she was the coordinator for the Center’s academic assessment program, and served on the institutional steering committees for assessment planning, meeting with the SACSCOC on-site team and leading the institution to a successful re-affirmation of accreditation in 2015.  Her assessment reports for these degrees were recognized as outstanding by the institution.

In 2012, Danielle also led a program abroad to South Africa and Botswana, focusing on environmental and human rights issues.  After the experience she served as the institutional leader for developing and managing Georgia Southern’s programs abroad, finally expanding to nearly 35 short-term programs and the 15 active exchange partnerships with Higher Education Institutions abroad.  After a reorganization, Danielle accepted the role of Director for International programs & Services at Georgia Southern.  This position required the oversight of dozens of faculty-led and exchange programs, F-1 and J-1 International Student & Scholar Services/SEVP compliance, Inter-cultural education programming, and the institution’s educational partnership agreements with responsibility for a large annual budget.

Currently, Danielle serves as the Director for Experiential Learning & Student Engagement in the College of Business at Georgia Southern.  She continues to serve on multiple institutional committees, including the Institutional Effectiveness Steering Committee, and the steering committee for the Center for Africana Studies at Georgia Southern.  Outside of her formal job responsibilities, Danielle contributes to the “Borderlands” Historical Blog and is developing a policy-analysis website project.  She is currently working on multiple papers and most recently conducted archival research in Windhoek to gather evidence pertaining to the dissemination of war-time propaganda by the imperial British government among indigenous groups.  She continues to live, work, and travel in international settings, having visited roughly 30 countries.

Of Note
  • Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Germany, Certificate with Honors, European Union Studies program, 2005
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands, Certificate Transitional Justice and Politics of Memory Workshop, 2014
  • Magna Cum Laude graduate, University Honors Program, Georgia Southern University, 2006
  • Extensive living, working, and traveling abroad experience to roughly 30 countries
Research Interests

Danielle’s research interests are memory and identity construction as they influence the outbreak of violence and development of economic and governance structures in post-mass-violence societies.  She researches Southern and East Africa, with a secondary emphasis on Central and Southeastern Europe.  Her particular emphasis is on security, human rights, conflict resolution, genocide/mass violence, commemorative practices, transitional justice, resource allocation, and economic development.