On May 19, Jaime Loizzo, Katrina Klaus, and Brandon Weichert (all IWP Class of 2016) presented research on topics related to their studies at IWP as part of IWP's Second Annual Student Symposium hosted by IWP Student Ambassadors.
Jaime Loizzo gave a lecture on the future of Lebanon and the analytical methods that were used to reach her conclusions. Ms. Loizzo discussed Lebanon's sociopolitical, geopolitical, and economic dynamics using paradigms she learned in her political risk analysis class. For example, Ms. Loizzo used game theory to predict whether the new Lebanese president would be partial to select interests in Lebanon, and she used systems theory to visually represent the complex, first-order interconnection of factors shaping politics in Lebanon.
Ms. Loizzo is graduating with her M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs with a concentration in Public Diplomacy and Political Warfare. She currently works at Banner Public Affairs and researches defense procurement and acquisition trends and creates communications strategies for defense contractors.
Katrina Klaus presented on global pandemics, with specific attention paid to the Zika virus. Ms. Klaus gave a brief history on the origins of the virus, the first sightings of the infection, symptoms of the virus, the harm it causes, and the inability to treat the virus effectively. Zika can be spread by mosquitos, sexual intercourse, and from an infected mother to her fetus. Ms. Klaus noted that global pandemics are a serious threat to global security and health. Although the U.S. leads in the global fight against Zika, the CDC highlights the importance of partnerships with foreign countries in order to shape global health policies and to fund, implement, and evaluate programs to prevent the spread of Zika.
Ms. Klaus is from Valhalla, NY and is graduating with her M.A. degree in International Affairs on Saturday. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs from Roanoke College. She is currently working as a contractor with the State Department in Diplomatic Security. She plans on continuing her relationship with State after graduation.
Brandon Weichert lectured on the topic of space dominance with a focus on American grand strategy. Mr. Weichert asserted that in the current strategic environment, the United States has no choice but to establish U.S. military superiority in space. He also discussed the vulnerability of U.S. hardware and infrastructure in space. American satellites are used for many tasks, and they are extremely fragile and highly complex. Mr. Weichert believes American interests would be better protected by an administration that takes the military threats and opportunities of space seriously. He concluded with discussing the trends in militarization of space and pertinent threats to the United States. These threats include those from China, Russia, and North Korea and their space strategies and capabilities.
Mr. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer who holds a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University and is an Associate Member of New College at Oxford University. He is set to graduate with a Master of Arts in National Security and Statecraft with a Specialization in Defense Policy from the Institute of World Politics in spring of 2016. Afterward, Brandon plans on pursuing his Ph.D. in International Relations.