Asgeir Barlaup studies Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen in Norway, and is attending America University’s Washington Semester Program since 2016, focusing on American Politics, Foreign Policy and Journalism. He specializes in North America and northern-Europe with regards to defense and security issues, as well as the social and political implications of technology in Western democracies. He has conducted research on American political campaigns, the impact of eLearning and also written papers on social movements. He has gained professional experience by serving in the Norwegian military and working in the US Senate. He is currently interning at the National Endowment for Democracy.
Mahmoud Elsharawy is a dentist who was born and raised in Nile Delta, Egypt. He specializes in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. Elsharawy is the recipient of the Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation Scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year to study Journalism and Foreign Policy in American University’s Washington Semester Program. Currently, Elsharawy serves as co-writer and research assistant at Voice Of America Persian. Also served as a Policy Analyst at Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change where he had the opportunity to write, research, and publish articles on issues related to the Middle East and American politics.
Through his coursework in both visual communications and foreign policy analysis, he has developed skills in written, oral and multimedia expression as well as analytical skills. his journalistic experience includes writing op-eds, producing short videos, and doing voiceover work for documentaries. Elsharawy is a cofounder of “Together to Revive Arabic.” initiative which was devoted to reintroducing Egyptians and foreigner to Arabic language. In addition, he was the head of the initiative’s PR team and the host of its seminars. Elsharawy also served as a guest lecturer at HUDA TV, a Cairo-based channel. His episodes featured various topics ranging from the culture of apologizing to the dangers of extremism.
Jana Heigl is majoring in American Studies and has a minor in Language, Literature and Culture at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany. She is attending American University’s Washington Semester Program since Fall 2016 focusing on Journalism and U.S. Foreign Policy. She specializes in Transatlantic Relations, European and American Politics and Women’s and Minorities’ Rights. She has conducted research on Latino Voter Turnout in U.S. Elections, the evolution and impact of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, social issues in American culture and global poverty. She has gained professional experience by leading a student magazine in Munich and interning at the Columbus Dispatch Washington Bureau. She is currently interning at PolitiFact.
Ryan is currently a double major in Political Science and French with a Certificate in Pre-Law at Siena College, which is located 10 minutes outside Albany New York. During his time at Siena, Ryan has participated in conferences such as the Student Conference on United States Affairs at West Point, the Harvard National Model United Nations Conference, and met with political philosophers such as Adriana Cavarero from the University of Verona in Italy. Currently, Ryan is partaking in Washington Semester Program with a focus on U.S Foreign Policy. He is also interning with the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ organization in the U.S as their Executive and Board Relations Intern. Between the months of May and June this year, Ryan will be participating in a five-week French intensive program at the Université Laval, located five minutes outside Québec City to aid in the continuation of Ryan’s fluency in French.
Ryan’s interests lie in U.S Foreign Policy and International Affairs, specifically focusing on areas such as Western Europe, and the relationship between the United States and the European Union. Ryan has written research papers on topics such as Human Trafficking in Western Europeans and the Rise of Marine Le Pen and the Front National in France. Ryan also has strong interests in the United Kingdom, specifically looking into the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, and the relationship between the United Kingdom and its former colonies.
Lukas Manske studies Political Science at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and is attending American University’s Washington Semester Program since 2016, focusing on American Politics and Foreign Policy. He specializes in defense and security issues including terrorism, as well as on international development and general strategy issues mainly with regard to the European Union and the transatlantic partnership. Manske’s research adopted a quantitative data approach, as he specializes in the analysis of public opinion trends. Examples include research on the European Union’s legitimacy during the refugee crisis in the year 2016 on the basis of the European Commission’s published Eurobarometer public opinion poll data and research on the role of Germany within the European Union.
Manske gained a broad professional experience through working in different areas, for instance in a German parliament’s member’s office in Berlin or in a German foundation in Washington, DC, supporting the transatlantic exchange. He is engaged in party politics and campaigns in Germany. Manske was born in Bad Hersfeld, Germany and can speak German, English and French.
Matthew McGuigan is currently a senior studying Government, Law and National Security at Misericordia University in Dallas, PA. His primary specialization is in security and intelligence with a focus on terrorism and counter terrorism. He has conducted research focused on the Gaza Strip and the West bank including the Hezbollah terrorist organization. His studies have also included past security failures and how such failures could be mitigated. At present, Matthew interns in the International Trade Agency within the Department of Commerce. His current position allows him to research trade policy and draw parallels to their effect on a country’s security.
Farnaz Nasiriamini specializes on political communication with focus on campaigning strategies, election, gender marketing and social media in Europe. She is majoring the interdisciplinary program “Sociology, Politics & Economics“ (SPE) with a minor in “Communication Management” from the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The program aims to qualify for professional activities of consulting and research in international organizations, corporate management, political administration and civil society. She also studies “Foreign Policy” at American University’s School of Professional and Extended Studies in Washington, D.C. She’s a scholarship holder of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bagabtenförderung, BMBF) for highly skilled students.
She has experience in journalism as a freelance journalist and in creative writing. She has published short stories in anthologies and won youth-literature awards in Germany. She has gained professional experiences in Germany and the United States as a fellow, research assistant and intern in the German Parliament, Foreign Ministry Department, in a big consulting company, media companies and a political think tank. As a member of board of the Youth-Press Hesse, she got experiences in project management, cooperation and marketing. She speaks German, English, French and Farsi/Dari.
Maria Paula Chaparro Olaya
Maria P. Chaparro is a senior pursuing a BA in Government and International Affairs at the Externado University of Colombia, and a current exchange student of U.S Foreign Policy in the Washington Semester Program of American University. She has worked as a junior consultant for the Andean Parliament, presenting proposals to the General Secretary in order for the institution to regain relevance for its States Members. She is currently developing a research project concerning the influence of U.S foreign policy in Colombia´s security agenda since 1920. In addition to that, she is an intern at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, where she is working with Dr. Luis Bitencourt in developing the upcoming Perry Center course, Defense Policy and Complex Threats, where participants will learn tools meant to reduce the future uncertainty in the defense sectors. Her interests include international security, how to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from those phenomena that threaten international peace, such as insurgency, terrorism and transnational organized crime.
Chie Yamamoto is currently a sophomore studying Security and Conflict studies, Japanese Policy, and Government at Keio University in Kanagawa, Japan, and is now attending American University’s Washington Semester Program since 2016, focusing on International Law & Organization and Foreign Policy. She specialized in national and international security and peacekeeping. She has conducted a research on Peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic, comparing with the case in Mali. She is now interning at Japanese major TV station and will be attending Summer School at LSE focusing on International Political Economy.