ASU student gains research and publishing experience through Center on the Future of War

December 5, 2018

Arizona State University's Center on the Future of War’s Center Student Research Fellows program provides juniors and seniors the opportunity to conduct research, publish their work and interact with scholars and experts working in the field of international security. Through the center’s partnership with New America, a think tank in Washington, D.C., ASU students are able to work with leading researchers.

Every spring, the center issues a call for applicants for the upcoming academic year. Students are paired with center faculty and ASU Future of War Fellows and others at New America, including journalists, academics, former government officials and former and current military leaders to work on various research projects — including books, magazine articles, databases and more. Students have worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, best-selling authors, retired three-star generals, former National Security Council officials and others. Hannah Hallikainen Hannah Hallikainen, Center Student Research Fellow at the Center on the Future of War. Download Full Image

The Center Student Research Fellows also attend a weekly seminar where they discuss their work alongside influential readings in human rights, philosophy, political science and social theory. ASU School of Politics and Global Studies faculty Daniel Rothenberg and Jeff Kubiak co-teach the seminar and manage the program. Fellows are also invited to attend an annual conference in Washington, D.C., each spring, which brings together top scholars and experts to discuss developments in international security.

Hannah Hallikainen, a returning Center Student Research Fellow and major in chemical engineering, recently published an article titled "Birth of a Birthright" in Politico with ASU Future of War Fellow at New America Jonathan Katz.

“Last year, I got to be a test reader for the book 'LikeWar,' which was recently published. This year, I’m doing historical research on the Boxer Rebellion and U.S. immigration policy toward Chinese immigrants, and that research has already gone toward a published article, and will eventually support a book that is being written,” Hallikainen said.

These research experiences have inspired Hallikainen’s career goals and graduate school plans related to technology and policy.

“We’re always really pleased when our students get to help these top thinkers, scholars and writers with a concrete outcome like this, which is a really nice opportunity for undergraduates,” Rothenberg said.

After graduating, fellows have gone on to work at New America, the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia, NGOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere. Some have received major awards, such as the Killam Fellowship and the Marshall Scholarship. Others attend MA programs in international relations, law school and PhD programs in a variety of fields.  

Connect with the Center on the Future of War on Twitter at @Future_of_War and browse the center's website to learn more about upcoming events such as the 2019 Spring Speaker Series.

Baltazar Hernandez

Center Coordinator, School of Politics and Global Studies


ASU Online grad, mom, full-time professional aims to become the change she wants to see

December 5, 2018

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2018 commencement. Read about more graduates

By the time Elizabeth Feathers started her journey at Arizona State University, she had been working in a professional setting for about a year. After noticing a difference in various leadership styles, Feathers was inspired to pursue her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership in hopes of someday becoming an effective leader herself. ASU Online graduate Elizabeth Feathers. Download Full Image

“I knew that I wanted to lead people, not just manage them,” Feathers said. “I chose the field of Organizational Leadership because I want to be the change I want to see in the workplace.”

Her journey began with community college in her hometown of Normal, Illinois. Feathers moved to Phoenix in 2012 and started studying through ASU Online in 2013. Throughout the years, she stayed in college and maintained a 4.0 GPA despite moving all over the valley, getting married, traveling, working full-time, moving cross-country back home to Illinois, becoming a triathlete and even having a baby.

She notes, “The spring 2017 course started the day my water broke, and I still had my assignments turned in on time with a newborn!”

Feathers encourages prospective students to set small, attainable goals, show up for group projects, manage time wisely and organize assignments effectively.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: By the time I started my ASU Online career, I had already been working in a professional setting for about a year. In that time, I recognized a drastic difference between high-quality and low-quality leadership. I was inspired by my experience to study Organizational Leadership in hopes of someday being an effective leader myself. I knew that I wanted to lead people, not just manage them. I chose this field because I want to be the change I want to see in the workplace.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: One of the most eye-opening lessons from my time in the program was the effect of culture and its impact on behavior in organizations, from a norms and morals perspective, and in terms of organizational culture. In a time where we see Zappos hiring employees based on a cultural fit interview, Squarespace operating as a flat organization while also catering meals, offering 100 percent coverage of health insurance and monthly celebrations, or of course, Google allowing dogs in the office among a plethora of other amazing benefits, we see what an impact a positive and well-supported organizational culture can make on a company. Additionally, understanding that various cultural perspectives allow for less group-think, more collaboration, and a wider reach, resulting in more productivity and/or higher profits. We are all in this together!

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: At the time, I was living in the Phoenix metro area. I had always planned on being an online student as I worked a full-time job, but I wanted to have the option to participate in student events or visit the campus whenever I wanted. My first visit to the valley was visiting my best friend at ASU our freshman year of college. I stayed for five days and I completely fell in love with the campus, the camaraderie and the overall dynamic at the school. I knew then that I wanted to be a Sun Devil.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Dr. Dave Thomas taught me the important lesson of time management and planning, for which I will forever be grateful. He was a fantastic professor that I had the honor of taking more than one course with. He was informative and friendly — the perfect combination for a professor! Jessica Hirshorn was also a notable educator in the program that I will always remember. She taught me the most about culture and diversity in organizations. As previously mentioned, this is the lesson that has had the greatest impact on my life since.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Keep going. I know school is hard and sometimes inconvenient in our busy lives, but there is a light at the end of that very long tunnel! It took me nine years to complete my degree, but here I am now on the other side! Additionally, give yourself small, attainable goals, show up for group projects, manage your time wisely and organize your assignments effectively.

Q: As an online student, what was your favorite spot to study or to just think about life?

A: For most of my college career, I sat on the couch. It wasn’t until I moved to the kitchen table did I realize that I could finish assignments in record time! I was too comfortable and easily distracted on the couch. At the kitchen table, I was more focused and eager to finish my work. My favorite place to think about life is at the gym.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am still working full-time at the same company. In early 2019, I will begin the Preparing to Lead program, where I will complete the required courses and modules to move toward a leadership position within my organization. For now, I am enjoying my free time with my husband and our daughter!

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I may not be able to solve a problem for $40 million, but I could make a big impact. I would use that money to the help the disproportionally underserved LGBTQIA+ community. Specifically, I would like to help at-risk youth by donating to Live Out Loud and trans women of color by donating to the TransWomen of Color Collective.

Carrie Peterson

Sr. Manager, Media Relations, EdPlus at Arizona State University