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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Wendy Hesford

Amy Shuman

Mershon affiliates Amy Shuman and Wendy Hesford hosted the first "Human Rights and the Humanities" student summer travel and study program, which included four students (three English majors and one International Studies major) and the assistance of one English graduate student.

Participants of the five-day study program, held June 12-16, 2016, attended film screenings at this year's Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the Walter Reed Theatre at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, attended the "Human Rights in the Age of Ambiguity" conference at Fordham University, and explored the archives at Columbia University's Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research.

Among the films that the group screened were "Desperate Journey," about asylum seekers arriving in Europe by sea; "The Crossing," which focused on a group of Syrian refugees; and "The Uncondemned," about the lawyers, activists, and Rwandan women who fought to have rape recognized as a war crime.

Students also attended panels on the Syrian refugee crisis and virtual reality and human rights. At the Fordham University conference, students attended panels on a range of topics, including a debate between Stephen Hopgood and Samuel Moyn about international human rights theory, panels on LGBTQI Rights, and the politics of immigration. They were able to hear a keynote presentation by a former acting UN high commissioner for human rights.

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Zachary Mears

Ohio State University and Battelle have teamed to hire national security expert Zachary Mears for a joint position.

Mears began as assistant vice president for national security and research programs at Ohio State’s Office of Research and as senior advisor at Battelle on August 1, 2016. The position allows him to help the university and Battelle develop and implement a strategic relationship management plan related to national security research.

Mears will lead the expansion of collaborative research projects, scientific and educational programs and business development opportunities at Ohio State to further the collaborative relationship between the university and Ohio-based federal national security programs.

His primary focus will be on the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He will also work to develop teams of internal and external partners to identify major state and federal funding opportunities.

Mears received his Ph.D. in political science from Ohio State in 2009 with a dissertation on “Presidents, the Public, and American Foreign Policy Behavior,” working with Mershon Center director Richard Herrmann. He was Mershon associate in Washington from 2010-12.

Prior to joining Ohio State, Mears served as the deputy chief of staff to the secretary of defense and chief of staff to the deputy secretary of defense. He advised the secretary and deputy secretary of defense on national priorities and managed their implementation.

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The Ohio State University is one of 36 academic institutions across the United States that is hosting a cohort of 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. The fellows are participating in a six-week academic and leadership institute on Ohio State’s main campus.

Last week the 25 Mandela fellows at Ohio State visited with Mershon faculty members Paul Beck, John Carlarne, Rick Herrmann, and Dorothy Noyes to learn about American politics and international relations and to relay their thoughts about how U.S. foreign policy affects their countries. See a slideshow of photos from the meeting below.

The Mandela fellowship provides 1,000 young leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 from Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

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The Mershon Center for International Security Studies seeks artwork to display in our newly remodeled breakroom space on the first floor of our building, 1501 Neil Ave., at the corner of Neil and Eighth.

The Mershon Center fosters interdisciplinary faculty and student research with a focus on national security and global peace and conflict. We sponsor conferences and events that feature internationally renowned speakers, faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students from across campus and within the local community to advance the study of national security in a global context. Our faculty brings a wealth of experience and academic expertise from a wide variety of disciplines, including political science, history, sociology, law, comparative studies, and philosophy.

We invite artists to submit artwork that would be appropriate for an academic space; any style and/or medium is welcome, with the exception of large sculptures as to not impede the functionality of the space. Artists will also have the opportunity to sell their art, and the center would not take a commission. While we will accept submissions from any artist, preferential consideration will go to artwork with themes centered on peace, security, international conflict, identity, and citizenship.

Submissions for art to be displayed in the Mershon Center breakroom will be accepted on a rolling basis, as the artwork will be changed periodically and as pieces are sold. To submit artwork for consideration, please send a photo or photos of the piece along with a statement about it that includes the title, size, and medium to Kyle McCray at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have any questions, please contact Kyle McCray at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 614-806-1122.