AccoladesA Collection of Student Scholarship

2017 Accolades

Accolades entries are organized by degree program. Each program section includes an overview of the featured student works followed by a listing of individual project abstracts for easy browsing.

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Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis View all accolades »

Students in the Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis program build on their military experience and education through a multidisciplinary curriculum that focuses on strategies for improving the security, external relationships, and overall well-being of countries. Through their field studies and capstone project, students can tailor the program based on their current or past areas of deployment and gain scholarly insight into the cultural, political, economic, and historical influences at play in a particular region.

  • 2017
  • Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Factors in Somali Culture that Prevent the Establishment of Centralized Governance

Author: Jason Salvog
Abstract:

The nation state of Somalia and its people have been on the periphery of global attention for the better part of the past three decades. During this time, the global community has branded Somalia as a failed state, with no legitimate functioning central government that provides for the population and represents the country internationally.  While there have been other countries labeled as failed states during this time, Somalia is unique in both the duration of this label and the number of attempts to make the country a productive member of the international community. The intent of this writing is to shed light and enhance the understanding of some of the aspects of the issues that exist in Somalia that have contributed to the failure to establish a legitimate and functioning central government. These failures are due both to the lack of cultural understanding by the donor nations and some of the cultural views held by a segment of the Somali population. The approaches that have either worked in donor nations or that the donor nations have had success with in nation building endeavors may not work in Somalia due to cultural differences and factors that external actors may be aware of but not truly understand. This paper highlights and offers potential solutions to some of the cultural issues that have prevented the Somalia from developing a legitimate, functioning government during this time despite support from the international community.

  • 2017
  • Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Indonesia: Archetype for Countering the Effects of the Islamic State?

Author: Daniel Snyder
Abstract:

Indonesia has proven to be successful in isolating itself from violent extremist activities that have plagued other Muslim and Western European nations over the past ten years.  Although the current population is predominately Muslim, and influences of the faith are embedded in their political system; Indonesia does not contribute radicalized foreign fighters overseas in support of radical Islamic causes at the same rate as other smaller Muslim nations. It is assessed that the entrenched regional and ancestral links outline a broadminded methodology towards equality that may prove to be an ethnic archetype for other Muslim dominated populations to duplicate.

  • 2017
  • Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Laugh Out Loud Culture

Author: Esgar Lopez
Abstract:

Laugh Out Loud Culture was my research study on how technology and its antecedents changed American culture into what it is now. This paper focuses more on how social media, news media, cell phones and other electronics now defines American culture appose to culture was before the introduction of the internet.

  • 2017
  • Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Reducing the Negative Effects of Tribalism: Promoting Character Building and Cooperation in Today’s Combat Forces

Author: Luke Knapp
Abstract:

In the majority of conflicts that the United States and its Western allies are currently engaged, counter-insurgency operations are the preferred method of operation against irregular enemies such as the Afghani Taliban and the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Daesh. This style of warfare requires appealing to the local populace and working well with the partner nation’s forces, yet U.S. military operations often engender two dispositions among its troops that may inhibit such cooperative efforts. These two dispositions are predatory aggression caused by prolonged engagement in combat and tribalism growing out of small unit cohesion. While not inherently counterproductive, they can cloud the warfighter’s mind and cause him to make poor ethical decisions. A careful look at these dispositions leads one to deduce they are both natural among soldiers and may assist in accomplishing conventional, military versus military missions.  However, the inability of warfighters to realign to the new fight against an irregularly structured enemy and relinquish the biases created by predatory aggression and tribalism may cause mission failure. Measures to address these naturally developing dispositions among the combat troops should focus on character development and constructive bias mitigation.

  • 2017
  • Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

The Future of Kurdistan in a Resource Constrained Environment

Author: Jeffrey Boyer
Abstract:

This paper, through the use of quantitative and qualitative analysis, intends to demonstrate how the continued development of Kurdistan toward a free and independent state will aid in suppressing regional sectarian strife and demonstrate the capacity for a democratic society to successfully exist in the Middle East. Analysis supports the need for an independent Kurdistan by highlighting the existence of the Kurdish diaspora in the border regions. Kurdistan must first demonstrate its capacity to stimulate a productive economic system through the oil and water industries.  Furthermore, it highlights the utility of garnering support from both the international community and national governments to recognize the Kurds as an ethnic population deserving of civil rights equivalent to the national majority. It is imperative that the Kurds strive to stifle the conflict between Syrian Kurds, Turkish Kurds, and Iranian Kurds with their respective governments. Through a cooperative effort emanating from the autonomous region of Iraqi, Kurdistan’s stability can be fomented in the region. However, this cannot be successful without securing Kurdistan’s access to currently diminishing water supplies. Furthermore, the construction, protection, and unfettered use of a pipeline that will bring Kurdish oil to the international market through Turkey into the port of Cehyan is essential. In conclusion, the moderate social atmosphere of Kurdistan, coupled with continued economic stimulation, will discount international reticence of a free and independent Kurdish state.

  • 2017
  • Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

The Matryoshka Doll of the Russian Identity

Author: Trevor Yoak
Abstract:

Given the current political climate and the whimsy which plagues policy relating to Russia, all members of the electorate need to self-educate in order to increase awareness and the wherewithal to make rational decisions about American foreign policy. This paper unpacks some of the mystery and confusion of why Russia acts in certain ways by analyzing the transformation of the Russian identity throughout many eras. Delving into the cultural, historical, and religious aspects of how the average Russian views himself begins to give shape to the jigsaw, ultimately revealing common ground and talking points for future relations.