Student Associates

Graduate Student Associates

Jeff Benvenuto is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at Rutgers University-Newark in the Division of Global Affairs. He is interested in the genocides of indigenous peoples throughout history as well as contemporary concerns such as developmentalism, structural violence, and environmental security. In 2008 he earned a M.A. in History from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where he focused on Holocaust studies and Atlantic history. In 2010 he completed a second M.A. in Trans-Atlantic Studies from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. There he focused on genocide studies, specifically the notion of cultural genocide and its conceptual origins with Raphael Lemkin, the original pioneer of genocide studies.
Laura B. Cohen is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the intersection of transitional justice and contested narratives at memorials erected at sites of atrocities in post-conflict societies. Laura’s forthcoming dissertation builds upon the extensive fieldwork she has conducted across Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2010. Additionally, her chapter about the Srebrenica Memorial will be published in the edited volume, Understanding Atrocities (University of Calgary Press, forthcoming).
Laura was one of fourteen junior scholars invited to participate in the Transatlantic Summer Institute on Reframing Mass Violence in Europe and the Americas that was co-organized and funded by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Universität Bayreuth (Bayreuth, Germany, 2016). She has also presented various aspects of her research about the memorialization of the Srebrenica genocide in numerous national and international conferences. Laura received her Master of Science degree from New York University’s Center of Global Affairs (CGA) in Human Rights in 2012 and a separate Master of Arts degree in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in 1999.  
Jacqueline Hein-Finkelstein is currently an M.A. student at Rutgers University-Newark, in the Peace and Conflict Studies and Conflict Studies program. She is the Operational Manager for Rutgers’ Center of the Study of Genocide and Human Rights and the Vice President and Treasurer on behalf of the M.A. of Peace and Conflicts department for the Graduate Student Government Association. She earned a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Business Administration from Rosemont College in 2006. Upon graduation from Rosemont College, Jacqueline was the recipient of the ‘Andrea Varano Award’ for Outstanding Achievement in Philosophy, for her studies in the field of Phenomenology. After several years as a working professional, Jacqueline returned to school and her primary interests, and associated studies at Rutgers revolve around the philosophy and psychology of mass atrocity and genocide perpetrators, relationships between colonization and conflict, and creating sustainable social frameworks for mass atrocity refugees. Her thesis work is based on the containment stateless/refugee humans.
Edwin Daniel Jacob is a Ph.D. Candidate of Global Affairs at Rutgers University, where he earned a master's degree in global affairs (human security) and a bachelor's degree in history and political science. He serves as the New Media Coordinator at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. An interdisciplinary background in political theory, international relations, and history informs his focus on contemporary American security and foreign policy. Jacob has published various works in both popular and scholastic forms, including book reviews with New Political Science, Critical Studies on Terrorism, and Critical Sociology; book chapters with Open Court Publishing, Palgrave MacMillan, and Wiley-Blackwell; and several online scholarly magazines. Jacob’s research on intervention, drones, and critical security studies has been presented at conferences, invited talks, and guest lectures. His edited collection on security, Rethinking Security in the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), was released in earlier this year.
Kelsey Lizotte is currently a M.S. student at Rutgers University – Newark in the Division of Global Affairs, where she also serves as Secretary of the Student Association for Global Affairs (SAGA). She received a B.S. in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Africana and Latino Studies from the State University of New York at Oneonta in 2013. Kelsey spent the final semester of her undergraduate studies carrying out independent research on reparations, and a court monitoring internship with the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law in Sierra Leone. Since that time, she has also interned with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, as well as Human Rights First in the Refugee Representation Program. These past experiences have greatly shaped her primary interests in global, transitional and social justice, as well as political violence and conflict resolution.
Sreyneath Poole is currently an M.S. student in the Division of Global Affairs, and serves as DC-Cam's representative at Rutgers-Newark. She received her B.A. at the University of Redlands, and was enrolled in the Johnston Center for Integrative Study where she earned a self-designed degree in "The Nature of Imbalance: East Asian Politics and Media" with honors in International Relations. During the course of her study, she travelled to North Korea with a Canadian NGO, South Korea on a US Department of State: Critical Language Scholarship, and Tibet and Beijing on a study abroad program. After graduating, she returned to Cambodia for a year to intern with DC-Cam. She worked closely with the Genocide Education Project and Museum Project and Oxfam-US on their 'Active Citizenship' project, where she was tasked with researching Cambodian diaspora engagement strategy. She was also part of the larger Oxfam-US team in contributing to development initiatives such as the World Bank's project 'Implementing the Social Accountability Framework.' 
Lynette E. Sieger is a doctoral candidate at the Division of Global Affairs and a Global Ethics Fellow for the Future at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (New York City). She is Research Assistant to the Director of the Division of Global Affairs, Dr. Jean-Marc Coicaud. Ms. Sieger spent the summer of 2014 in Paris, France at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) as a Visiting Ph.D. Researcher at the Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI). She holds an M.A. from the Gallatin School, New York University with a concentration in Global Justice and Ethics, pursued through the departments of philosophy, politics, and the School of Law and was the recipient of the Richard J. Koppenaal Scholarship Award for her Masters studies. She received her B.A. in Philosophy from Westminster College. Ms. Sieger's professional experience includes the position of analyst/researcher under the principal investigator, Dr. Patty Chang, for the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services, working paper "Meta-Evaluation of the Effectiveness, Impact, and Relevance of United Nations Peace Operations". She served as an Editorial Associate for the double volume Encyclopedia of Global Justice under the Chief Editor Dr. Deen Chatterjee and is a former Editorial Intern for the Journal of Ethics & International Affairs.


Undergraduate Student Associates


Gary Conger is currently a senior and is studying Economics with a personal focus on the environment.  He has an Associates in exercise science and he has a passion for building and educating towards a sustainable future.  With the goal of meeting our current needs without compromising our eco system and being able to meet the needs of our future he is leading CGHR’s sustainability movement to a more sustainable Rutgers.  He studied with Al Gore over the summer to better educate and inspire to make a change.  He rode his bike across country raising money and awareness for Brain Injury Alliance of NJ and will bring that drive and passion to lead a multi-discipline approach to a more sustainable future.    
Derek J. Demeri is in his junior year at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He plans to graduate with a degree in Political Science, minors in History and African Studies, and certificates in French Language Studies and Global Politics. For his Spring 2014 semester, Derek will be studying abroad in Ghana and doing independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity while there. He was recently published in Righting Wrongs for his research on how New Jersey's laws perpetuate HIV among marginalized communities (particularly among sex workers, prisoners, drug users and HIV criminalization laws). On campus, he is heavily involved in advocating a diverse range of human rights issues. Post-graduation, Derek is dedicated to pursuing a career related to international human rights activism with an interest of specializing in African countries.
Na-Yeon Park is a senior in Douglass Residential College majoring in Political Science and Chinese and minoring in International and Global Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. Na-Yeon is an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate, Rutgers Institute for Women's Leadership scholar, Taiwan-United States Sister Alliance (TUSA) scholar, and one of ten college women who was selected to be on the 2015-2016 American Association of University Women (AAUW) National Student Advisory Council. In April 2016, Na-Yeon and her team represented their commitment project, One Step- 한 걸음, at Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U). Out of more than one hundred applicants domestically and internationally, they were selected as semi-finalists at CGI U's Social Venture Challenge. Na-Yeon was recently selected as one of twenty-five undergraduate students who received a Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) scholarship nationally and a Huayu scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Taiwan. She is also one of two undergraduate students in New Jersey awarded a Kihwa scholarship from the Asian Women's Christian Association (AWCA). On campus, Na-Yeon was the Class of 2017 Representative in Douglass Governing Council, and will serve as a returning Peer Academic Leader of the International Students House in 2016-2017. Na-Yeon is also the founder and President of One Step- 한 걸음, an organization that empowers North Korean refugees through academic, cultural, and professional workshops. She plans to pursue a Foreign Service career after her graduate studies, and apply her three language skills--Korean, English, and Mandarin--in the workplace to contribute in strengthening international peace, security, and diplomacy.
Sara Velimirovic is a third-year student of  SciencesPo Paris – Campus de Reims, on an exchange year at Rutgers University. Originally from Serbia, she worked as a youth group coordinator for the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia where she was in charge of various projects aimed at promoting peace and reconciliation among her peers. Sara has also been awarded certificates and diplomas for attending trainings in human rights, political tolerance, archeology research, non-violent communication and grass-roots activism, given by many prestigious institutions such as the Center for Peace Studies in Croatia, the U.S. Department of State, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the World Affairs Council.