Meet Our Graduating Students

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) congratulates Georgetown University’s class of 2022! We are especially proud of graduating students who earned our Graduate Certificate in Gender, Peace and Security, and those who worked closely with GIWPS as student research assistants.

Graduate Certificate Program Doubles in Size

We are pleased to announce that 17 Georgetown students, representing myriad graduate programs, earned our graduate certificate during the 2021-2022 academic year, doubling the number of graduates we had during our inaugural year!

Our Graduate Certificate in Gender, Peace and Security provides Georgetown graduate students with an intersectional understanding of the most pressing challenges in international affairs. The GPS Certificate gives students the practical and analytical skills to comprehensively address peace and security issues and achieve more effective decision making.

Congratulations to the Georgetown graduate students who received our Gender, Peace and Security certificate this academic year: Rachel Anderson, Arden Haselmann, Tahina Montoya, Joshua Allen, Anne-Cecilia Byrne, Paula Fernanda Hurtado Calderón, Sophia Farion, Jordyn Iger, Deniz Kulakoğlu, Margaret McClure, Chelsea Meiners, Olivia Nguyen, Ariana Lily Nikmanesh, Catherine Rabus, Shirin Vetry, Lisa T. Wright, and Tamsin Zandstra.

As part of this year’s ceremony, GPS certificate recipients had a luncheon with Ambassador Melanne Verveer and Dean Joel Hellman where they were awarded graduate certificates and stoles in celebration of their great accomplishment.


Featured Certificate Recipients

We asked five recipients of the certificate what they learned from the program and how it will influence their future careers.

Tahina Montoya

Doctorate of Liberal Studies, School of Continuing Studies

The Diversity & Inclusion in Conflict Resolution and Development course with Distinguished GIWPS Fellow Carla Koppell was one of Tahina’s favorites. “The creative assignments showed us how to incorporate a gender analysis and tailor real-world products in a way that would speak to the respective audience.”

In her next role, Tahina will be leveraging her military experience to further Women, Peace and Security initiatives within the Department of Defense.

Jordyn Iger headshot

Jordyn Iger

Master of Global Human Development, School of Foreign Service

Jordyn has recently joined IREX, implementing the State Department’s Mandela Washington Fellowship program.

When asked about her favorite Gender, Peace and Security related courses, Jordyn pointed out that “Professor Karine Lepillez did not just teach a class, she built a community. The materials were both pragmatic and interesting and our colleagues truly brought their experiences to the class.” Jordyn’s interests involve bridging the nexus between development and diplomacy through inclusive governance, respect for rule of law and human rights, and peacebuilding

Ariana Lily Nikmanesh

Master of Science in Foreign Service, School of Foreign Service

Ariana is particularly interested in how disinformation is utilized by terrorist organizations to recruit young women and girls to join their causes, as well as how to combat this disinformation. “I spent a large portion of my program exploring how to combat the spread of disinformation to better ensure US national security and the security of women and girls internationally.”

Ariana’s favorite Gender, Peace and Security courses were “Women’s Leadership” and “Gender and Terrorism”. It was through these courses that she was able to further explore her interests and the intersections between them.

Olivia Nguyen

Master of Global Human Development, School of Foreign Service

Olivia is an international development practitioner working at the intersections of economics, fisheries, human rights, and Southeast Asia.

She shared that the GPS certificate was one of the most transformative aspects of her graduate education.

Olivia will be joining a government agency as an economist. She hopes to incorporate what she has learned into her analytical work, which will directly inform strategic planning for development programs across the globe.

Lisa T. Wright

Master of Policy Management, McCourt School of Public Policy

Lisa’s capstone was on strengthening the implementation of the WPS Act in the Department of Defense with research-based solutions. Her capstone won two awards: the Outstanding MPM Capstone Award and the McCourt Student Showcase Award.

Lisa’s life goal is to elevate diverse perspectives through a multi-sectoral approach to protect human rights and increase equity. After graduation Lisa plans to continue elevating the voices of underserved communities.

Welcoming New Certificate Director

Starting this summer, Dr. Robert Nagel will take over as director of the GPS Certificate. We would like to thank outgoing director Dr. Jessica Smith for her leadership over the past two years. During her tenure, Dr. Smith worked closely with graduate programs across Georgetown to exponentially increase student engagement with the program and expand course offerings to meet student demand for our cutting-edge curriculum. We are grateful to our adjunct professors and Georgetown colleagues who have been instrumental to the success of this program and look forward to seeing it continue to grow under Dr. Nagel’s leadership.

“I am deeply impressed by the talent, courage and commitment of our graduate students. The international affairs challenges we are up against are great, but knowing we have bright, capable graduates who are ready to advance inclusive approaches to foreign policy gives me confidence that a just and peaceful future is indeed possible.” -Dr. Jessica Smith

Thank You GIWPS Research Assistants!

We would like to express our gratitude to our student research assistants who are critical to our work at the Institute. Congratulations to our graduating student assistants – Satya Adabala, Hoda Al-Haddad, Neha Dagaonkar, Ellena Joo, Elizabeth Pantaleon, Sophia Farion, Jordyn Iger, and Daniel Salazar – who will always be part of the GIWPS family!


Pictured above: GIWPS joined with the Georgetown Chapter of the DC Consortium on Women, Peace and Security to host an end-of-year celebration for our research assistants, graduate certificate students, and members of the Consortium.

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