Category: News

Title: MURFs on the Map: Spotlight on the 2024 Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellows

Author: Samar Rawas, SFS Master Student Class of 2025 and Mortara MURF Program Coordinator
Date Published: June 5, 2024

We are excited to introduce the 2024 cohort of Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellows (MURFs) at Georgetown University. These exceptional students are making significant strides in their fields and contributing to vital global research.

Mohamed Meshal
Mohamed Meshal is majoring in International Politics with a deep interest in the Arab world. His internship with the Foreign Service Institute, where he researched politics and conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, sparked this interest. As a MURF, Mohamed collaborates with Dr. Mustafa Aksakal on the cultural and political impacts of World War I on the Middle East. Outside of his research, Mohamed is a member of Georgetown’s Board Game Club and enjoys hiking, running, and spending time with friends and family.

Ashley Lin
Ashley Lin is studying Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a keen interest in the nexus of international security and emerging technologies. Her focus on artificial intelligence aligns perfectly with her role as a MURF, where she assists Prof. Rajesh Veeraraghavan on a book project about AI and “expert work.” On campus, Ashley is a Student Analyst at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), a Student Fellow at the Red House, and organizes the Responsible AI Network. When she’s not immersed in her studies, you’ll find Ashley ballroom dancing, trying new fruits, or volunteering at the Maker Hub.

Ophelia Bentley
Ophelia Bentley is passionate about the intersection of climate change, global security, and international institutions. Her upbringing in both the UK and New Hampshire fueled her interest in international relations. As a MURF, Ophelia assists Professor Kathleen McNamara in researching how politics and culture shape markets in the European Union. She also serves as an editorial assistant at the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs and is involved with Hatch Tutoring. Ophelia enjoys reading, listening to music, and exploring Washington, DC, in her spare time.

Ashton Basak
Ashton Basak is majoring in International Political Economy with minors in Diplomatic Studies and Journalism. His fascination with the conflict in Cyprus has driven his passion for international affairs, focusing on the interplay of politics and economics in Cypriot reunification efforts. Working with Dr. Abraham Newman, Ashton studies US sanctions and their effects on Russian firms. Beyond his MURF duties, Ashton is an Editorial Assistant for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs and volunteers with the Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program. He enjoys playing piano, fencing, and spending time outdoors with friends.

Shane Vincent Stesner
Shane Vincent Stesner is pursuing International Politics with a concentration in International Law, Institutions, and Ethics. His curiosity for environmental law, developed in high school and enriched by his first-year Proseminar class on climate change law and politics, guides his research with Professor Erik Voeten. Shane assists in studying the intersection of international law and climate change. He is also an editorial assistant at the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs and a member of the Men’s Heavyweight Rowing Team. In his free time, Shane enjoys fishing, surfing, playing guitar, and reading.

Solene DeGaynor
Solene DeGaynor brings a global perspective to her studies in Global Business. Growing up with expatriate parents, Solene lived in numerous countries, sparking her interest in how different political structures and cultures interact on the global stage. As a MURF, she assists Professor Lise Howard in researching global conflict and the impact of UN Security Council interventions. Solene is actively involved in Georgetown Global Consulting, the International Relations Club, the Pre-Law Society, and the SFS Academic Council. In her leisure time, she enjoys running, discovering new coffee shops, and exploring the city with friends.

Join us in celebrating these outstanding fellows and their contributions to advancing global research! Want to learn more about the MURF program? Click here!

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