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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Steven Blalock

Program Coordinator 
301E Mershon Center
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B.A., International Studies, Old Dominion University
M.A., Political Science, Ohio University

Job Duties
Steven is responsible for events planning and coordination at the Mershon Center. He is the person to see to schedule a speaker or event.  He conducts event management, compiles information about speakers, updates events on the website, and is responsible for A/V technology at events.  Steven is also responsible for the grants application process, including the faculty and student research grants and the undergraduate study abroad scholarship. Finally, he supervises the Mershon Center's student work force and provides support to Mershon Center Interim Director Rick Herrmann

Professional Experience
Steven joined the Mershon Center in August 2014 as program coordinator. Before that, he worked as a legislative aide for an Ohio state senator for three years, and also as a legislative fellow for the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus for one year.

Before entering state government, he spent a year as a teaching assistant with the Austrian-American Educational Commission/Fulbright Commission, where he taught at two schools in Austria. He also served as a graduate research and teaching assistant in the Department of Political Science at Ohio University.

Esther Gottlieb Senior Advisor for International Affairs
Adjunct Associate Professor, Education
129 Mershon Center and 140 Enarson Classroom Building
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M.A., University of Akron, Geography (1972)
M.A., Case Western Reserve University, Counseling and Student Development (1976)
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, International and Comparative Education (1987)

Esther Gottlieb is an international education specialist involved in implementing and evaluating education plans. At Ohio State she has worked with faculty from across campus on Clusters of Interdisciplinary Research on International Themes and with education outreach and program evaluation for the area study centers. Her experience with teacher education reform and training educators has spanned from the Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv to the Ohio Global Institute, a multi-university, multi-organization collaborative that trains educators in internationalizing across the curriculum.

Gottlieb teaches comparative school systems, globalization and education, and education for development.  Recently she has been involved in policy research on double university degrees, evaluating students' global competencies, and internationalizing the student learning experience, in the Colleges of Engineering, Social Work, and Public Health at Ohio State. She is currently collaborating on the creation of the Peace Education and Training Repository (PETR).

Her research centers on the discursive practices of education and on the analysis of reforms and polices. Among her publications are Identity Conflicts: Can Violence be Regulated? (ed. with J. Craig Jenkins, Transaction, 2007); Education and Social Change in Korea, with Don Adams; "Making Education World-Class: 'ThinkGlobalOhio,'" in Prospects (2012); "Are We Postmodern Yet? Historical and Theoretical Explorations in Comparative Education," in International Companion to Education (Routledge, 2000); "Appalachian Self-Fashioning: Regional identities and Cultural Models," in Discourse; "Global Rhetoric, Local Policy: Teacher Training Reform in Israeli Education," in Educational Policy; and "The Discursive Construction of Knowledge: The Case of Radical Education Discourse," in Quantitative Studies in Education.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
High-resolution photo
Mershon Center: Two Mershon affiliates receive reciprocal exchange awards (2017)
Mershon Center: Business peace collaborative wins USIP grant (2013)

Mershon Project
Hydropolitics: Water Scarcity and Security, with Bryan Mark (2015-16)
Peace Education and Training Repository, with John Carlarne (2013-14)
Cultural Circulations, with Amy Shuman (2005)
Deprivation, Violence and Identities, with J. Craig Jenkins (2003-04)


Public Relations Coordinator
301A Mershon Center
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B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, English and Classics
M.A., University of Wisconsin, History
M.A., Indiana University, Journalism and Mass Communications

Job Duties
Cathy oversees the communications strategy and program for the Mershon Center. She is responsible for all publications, including the quarterly print newsletter, weekly electronic newsletter, annual report, and brochures and posters. She is also responsible for the Mershon Center's media relations, including helping to place faculty in the media and tracking media hits. Cathy also manages Furniss Book Award nominations, scheduling and advertising. Finally, she oversees content on the Mershon Center web site, including updates about faculty research, media placement, biographies, and any multi-media content.

Professional Experience
Cathy has almost 20 years of experience in journalism and communications. Before coming to the Mershon Center, she was communications specialist at CareSource Management Group, a Medicaid managed care services company that operates health care plans in three states, where she managed media relations and communications for the health care plan in Michigan.

Previously, she worked as managing editor at State Government News magazine at the Council of State Governments, a multi-branch organization that alerts state officials to emerging social, economic and political trends, offers innovative responses to rapidly changing conditions, and advocates multi-state problem solving.

She also worked for several years at newspapers including the Dayton Daily News and Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky, where she was nation and world news editor and started the newspaper's science page.

She is currently working part time on a dual degree in public administration and environment and natural resources at The Ohio State University.

Kyle MccrayFiscal Coordinator
301B Mershon Center
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B.B.A., Business Administration, Ohio University

Job Duties
Kyle is responsible for the Mershon Center’s financial accounting.  He keeps the budget up to date and ensures correct processing of Mershon’s fiscal paperwork.  Kyle is also the equipment coordinator for faculty and staff at Mershon.  If you need new copy codes or instruction about your options for mailing packages or letters, Kyle is the person to see.  Additionally, Kyle manages the student workers at Mershon.

Kyle is the point person for the disbursement of Mershon scholarship and grant funds.  He is the center’s Human Resources liaison with the Office of International Affairs as well as the Information Technology liaison with the Office of Information Technology at Ohio State.
Kyle also serves as the Mershon Center building coordinator.

Professional Experience
Kyle McCray joined Mershon Center in November of 2006.  He graduated from Ohio University-Athens in 2005 with majors in Finance, Business Economics, Business Law, and Real Estate. While in college, Kyle studied abroad for a summer in Tartu, Estonia, developing a new business/marketing strategy for an Estonian hotel.  He also has spent time traveling in the United Kingdom, Baltic region, Germany, Denmark, and Netherlands.

After graduation, Kyle began working at The Ohio State University Medical Center for the Progressive Care Unit.  He helped manage the budget forecasts, tracking, and variance reports as well as monitoring the unit’s purchases.  Kyle also oriented new employees and maintained the employee database and scheduling/timekeeping records. 

Alexander WendtRalph D. Mershon Professor of International Security
Mershon Center and Political Science
204C Mershon Center
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B.A., Political Science and Philosophy, Macalester College (1982)
Ph.D., Political Science, University of Minnesota (1989)

Alexander Wendt is Ralph D. Mershon Professor of International Security and professor of political science at The Ohio State University. His areas of expertise include the philosophy of social science and social theory, international relations theory, global governance, and international security.

Wendt is interested in philosophical aspects of social science, with special reference to international relations.  He is the author of Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge, 1999), which in 2006 received the International Studies Association award for "Best Book of the Decade" and has been translated into more than 10 languages. In the 2013 TRIP survey of 1,400 International Relations scholars he was named as the most influential scholar in the field over the past 20 years.

Wendt's latest book is Quantum Mind and Social Science: Unifying Physical and Social Ontology (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which proposes a quantum physical basis for consciousness and its place in the natural world, and explores the implications of this perspective for the social sciences. Wendt's argument provides a philosophical basis for human agency through free will, and for a holistic or 'non-local' vision of social life.

Recent publications also include New Systems Theories of World Politics, edited with Mathias Albert and Lars-Erik Cederman (Macmillan, 2010), based on a conference held at the Mershon Center in 2005. He has also published articles in International OrganizationAmerican Political Science ReviewReview of International StudiesEuropean Journal of International RelationsInternational Security, and Politics and Society.

He is also co-editor of International Theory: A Journal of International Politics, Law and Philosophy (Cambridge), which he founded with Duncan Snidal to bring together scholarship from international relations theory, international legal theory, and international political theory. 

Before coming to Ohio State in 2004, Wendt taught at Yale University, Dartmouth College, and University of Chicago.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page
High-resolution photo

Media Links
Mind and Matter: Book Review: Quantum Ideas in Social Science (2015) (pdf)
Mershon Center: Q and A: Alexander Wendt on ‘Quantum Mind and Social Science’ (2015)
Mershon Center: Wendt again named top scholar in International Relations (2015)
Mershon Memo: Wendt named top scholar in International Relations (pdf) (2012)
Arts and Sciences: Alexander Wendt Selected Top Scholar in International Relations (2012)
Global Perspectives: Ohio State's own Alexander Wendt named world's most influential scholar in international relations (2012)

Mershon Projects
Quantum Social Science and Interntaional Security Studies Workshop (2017-18)
Critical Research in International Politics Speaker Series, with Jennifer Mitzen (2015-16)
Realism and Constructivism: From Debate to Dialogue (2005)
New Systems Theories of World Politics (2005)