We are a group of 13 academic students, attending a course in Conflict Resolution together at New York University, with the insightful professor Colette Mazzucelli. Each one of us comes from a different cultural background, speaks various languages, some of us are graduate students, some undergraduates, and we focus on a diverse array of subjects. A real-life tower of Babylon. Despite our differences, we all share a common goal – educating the public about the recruitment of vulnerable populations to extremist organizations. Through this campaign we aspire to raise awareness to the high incarceration percentage in the USA, high recidivism to crime after release from prison, and the scarcity of alternatives vulnerable populations feel they are given. All these factors highly contribute to the widespread of extremist views. Through our collaboration with the Enza Academy, we also wish to offer new alternatives, thus reducing the number of people assorting to radical ideologies and violent methods.

The team behind the NYU P2P Challenging Extremism campaign.

The team behind the NYU P2P Challenging Extremism campaign.

Meet the team

Matias Ahumada Rioja holds a degree as an MA in Journalism at the Torcuato Di Tella University (UTDT) from Buenos Aires and a first degree from the TEA Institute in the same city. There he also worked at a morning radio show, TN news channel, LA NACION and Directv Sports, completing the whole spectrum of traditional journalism: TV, radio and journals. He is currently pursuing the first year of  an MA in International Relations and Affairs degree at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  Born in Chile and raised in Argentina, he’s an assiduous visitor of neighbouring Uruguay and Brazil, where he learnt Portuguese and wrote the most part of his short stories book: El Rey de las Variables (The King of the Variables). He also speaks French and English, not a surprise after a 12-year-long assistance to the Irish-rooted Cardinal Newman College. Matias’ Law school studies at Austral University shall remain unfinished.

Youmna Al Hourani is a first year International Relation graduate student at the New York University. Originally from Lebanon, Youmna Al Hourani completed her bachelor in Business Administration at the American University of Beirut (AUB). She worked in Lebanon as an administrative student services officer at AUB where she impacted students on a daily basis and managed the summer internship program. She also worked for various NGOs as a marketing analyst to spread awareness about their mission in Lebanon. She is passionate about International Development and hopes to secure a safe and quality education for all children in war countries and poor regions.

Inès Bahri is a graduate exchange student at New York University in the department of International Relations. Her home university is Sciences Po in Paris where she studies European affairs and which gave her the opportunity to volunteer at a French NGO specialized in the protection of the right to asylum where she provided legal and administrative aid to asylum-seekers. Being a French and Tunisian citizen, she has lived both in Tunisia and in France. Inès is especially interested in the questions related to human rights, migration and development. Before joining Sciences Po, she wrote a Master’s thesis titled « The Roma and the Muslims as « repoussoir » figures in the discourses of the National Front under the presidency of Marine Le Pen » at the University of New Sorbonne.

Meghan Beal is in her second semester of Steinhardt’s International Education graduate program. She holds a BA in Italian Studies from New York University, with a minor in Food Studies. Meghan has studied abroad with various programs since she was eleven years old; her destinations include New Zealand, Australia, Ghana, and Italy. She hopes to travel to Argentina with NYU in summer 2017. After earning her degree, Meghan plans to work in the nonprofit/NGO sector with a focus on education as a tool for peacebuilding and trauma healing in areas affected by conflict.

Stephany Caro Mejia is a first year IR MA candidate at New York University with research interests in gender and the conflict in Colombia. Her intention is to attend law school.

Suheyla Cavdar is a fourth-year undergraduate student at New York University’s College of Arts and Science, majoring in International Relations and minoring in history. Originally from Turkey, her family moved to Houston, Texas when she was very young. She is currently writing her undergraduate honors thesis on income inequality’s impact on the likelihood of coups. Suheyla is also doing research on the Turkish-Kurdish conflict for her Conflict Resolution class. Next year, she will be pursuing her Master’s degree in International Relations at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science.

Lissa Cordova-Leon is a Master’s student of International Relations at NYU. Her main area of interest is children’s rights in conflict zones. She enjoys being with friends and being surrounded by nature.

Sophie Hedenstierna is a second-year MA candidate in International Relations at New York University and expects to graduate in May 2017. Prior to attending the IR program, she obtained her law degree from Uppsala university in Sweden, concentrating in international law and human rights. Sophie loves to travel and has lived abroad couple of times. Before moving to New York, Sophie did an internship with an American law firm in Los Angeles and lived in Sydney for a year during her academic exchange. Sophie is currently interning at the United Nations’ Department of Political Affairs, and is seeking to pursue a career in security policy and diplomacy. Sophie is originally from Stockholm, Sweden.

Camilo Jose Lopez Delgado is a second year MA IR candidate at New York University who also interns at the Permanent Mission of Paraguay to the United Nations where he is engaged with the second and third committees. Camilo is Italo-Paraguayan and holds dual citizenship.

Kelly Lyon is a first year graduate student at New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science pursuing a master’s degree in International Relations. Kelly earned her Bachelor of Arts in Politics from NYU in 2014. During her time as an undergraduate at NYU, Kelly also minored in South Asian Studies and took Hindi and Urdu courses. She studied abroad at Lady Shri Ram College for Women in New Delhi during fall of her junior year in undergrad. Kelly is currently doing research on the Kashmir conflict for her Conflict Resolution class as well as her United Nations Systems course. Next summer, she hopes to do an internship at the United Nations.

Kelly McGrath is a second year student in NYU Steinhardt’s International Education MA program. She is originally from Long Island, New York and attended Boston College as an undergraduate. Her interests include the internationalization of higher education, cross cultural exchange, and counter terrorism initiatives in the United States and Europe.

Noa Shusterman is an Israeli Fulbright Scholar, currently pursuing her Master’s degree in International Relations, at NYU. Noa, born and raised in Israel, completed her Bachelor’s degree in the multidisciplinary program for Political Science, Philosophy and Economics (PPE), at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. During her studies, Noa worked in a prominent news company (Channel 2 News) as a translator, and later, upon graduation, crossed the lines and worked as a research journalist for a news website (Walla!News). Nowadays, Noa is focused on foreign affairs, especially Israeli foreign relation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jessica Topper is a first year Master’s candidate in the International Relations program at New York University. Her academic focus is on Middle East politics and international law, with specific interests in refugee studies, counterterrorism, and the Syrian crisis. After NYU, Jessica will be attending law school and concentrating on international law. Her career path will hopefully lead to a position in consulting for the Department of State as a specialist in Middle East affairs for peace and conflict negotiation.