The Writers



Ernesto Alvarado 
Editor in Chief 
Hailing from Washington D.C., Ernesto Alvarado is a graduate from Penn State’s School of International Affairs Masters Program. Prior to his studies at PSU, he received his Bachelors degree in International Politics and Social Sciences of Latin America from the State University of New York at Buffalo where he served as Student President, a member of SUNY's "Group of 200", and played soccer collegiately.

Ernesto has also studied Italian culture, politics and language at the Istituto Europeo in Florence, Italy. Ernesto’s international emphasis is focused in Latin American politics and diplomacy while Latino rights in the United States is his main domestic concentration. Previous to the Rogue Scholars, Ernesto co-founded the Penn State Global Forum and served as an Articles Editor for the Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs. 

 A member of Pi Sigma Alpha, he has assisted as a summer analyst for Latin America with LASPAU, a non-for-profit organization affiliated with Harvard University and he will continue his research on democratization and human rights at IESB in Brasilia, Brazil. He is attending American University where he is studying international law at the Washington College of Law. 


Blessing Shingirirai Mavima
Managing Editor 
Blessing Shingirirai Mavima is a Masters of International Affairs candidate at Penn State University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in African/African American Studies. Shingi is heavily involved in his community. He is the founder and international director of CLUBHOUSE International (http://www.clubhouseaf.org/), a non-profit organization providing scholarships and opportunities to African communities. 

He is also the current copy editor of El Iluminador, a national fraternity magazine. Shingi is renowned for his poetry and an uncompromising love for yogurt. An all-round outstanding fellow.
Lauren Skompinski
Lauren is a first year law student at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. This past summer she completed her MA in Elections and Campaign Management at Fordham University, where she was honored to receive a national Pollie Award from The American Association of Political Consultants for her work on a televised campaign advertisement.

Lauren is a Buffalo Human Rights Fellow and clerks for the Buffalo Human Rights Law Review. In January 2012, she was deployed to the Republic of Kazakhstan on behalf of the U.S. State Department and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe for election observation for the Early Parliamentary elections. Lauren's interests include elections, democratization, international law, national security, human rights, and immigration and refugee issues. 


Daniel Pereira
Daniel is a student at the University at Buffalo, working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy with a minor in biological sciences. His passion for both fields has led him to pursue endeavors outside study hall, including a philosophical thesis and a laboratory research project funded by the Darryl Razl Undergraduate Research Fellowship. A self-confessed bibliophile, Daniel’s main interests lie in literature, art, and culture, as well as their relationship with science and technology.

When he is not discussing Plato’s Republic, or looking at cells through a microscope, Daniel enjoys travel, photography, and dance.

Shervin Stoney 

Shervin was born in Jamaica and migrated to the White Plains, New York at the turn of the 21st century. He graduated from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Comparative Politics and a minor in Photography. 

While at the University at Buffalo he served as the Vice President for the undergraduate student government and president of the Buffalo chapter of professional business fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon.

Shervin areas of interests are international development, specifically youth development, photography and running. He is currently serving with the Peace Corps as a youth developer in Dominica.


Sally Mouakkad
With public diplomacy experience with the U.S. DOS, mediation experience at the Superior Court of California in Orange County, and training in conflict resolution, Sally is an advocate for diplomacy (including Track II diplomacy) and difficult dialogues. Co-founding The Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), which is now a formally functioning entity at the University of California-Irvine Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, Sally also has extensive firsthand experience working on community building on-campus and in the Greater Orange County community, between inter-religious and multicultural groups. In 2010, OTI was awarded the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy Award for the "Most Innovative Program in Higher Education."

While in graduate school at The Pennsylvania State University, Sally worked on a 
multi-discplinary student team to develop Prerana, an innovative technology based venture supporting transformative education for women living under the poverty line in India. Sally's international experience working on Prerana sparked her interest in how international cooperation can be facilitated through scientific innovation and technology collaboration and how such cooperation can lead to peace and security, yet another facet of diplomacy.


Her hands-on research and travel experience in the Middle East and South Asia have allowed her to better realize the diverse identities and complexities that are vital in understanding and addressing the challenges faced in these regions.


Michelle Sarver

Currently pursuing a Master of International Affairs from the Pennsylvania State University, Michelle Sarver specializes in Middle Eastern studies as well as conflict and media studies. Previously, Michelle attained dual bachelor degrees from Bloomsburg University in Political Science and Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism. 

During her undergraduate studies, she was selected by the Fund for American Studies participate in the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University while working as a legislative intern for an environmental education lobbyist organization. She presented research at global conferences on vigilante groups in India as model NGOs and freedom of information rights in conflict with non-state actors.


Her interest in media studies and the art of writing stems from her journalism background in which she served as Senior Editor, Contributing Writer, and Assistant Photography Editor of Spectrum Magazine, a contributing writer to BUNow, and presently as executive editor of the Penn State Global Forum. She is also a Graduate Assistant School of International Affairs Career Services with activities focused on design, article writing, and event planning.


Vladislav Korolov


Vladislav Korolov is of Baltic extraction hailing from Riga, which is world famous for its art novae architecture.
After attending Riga Secondary School No. 10 majoring in math and physics, he got his Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Law and Society from the University of California at Santa Barbara. While there, he completed the College of Letters and Science Honors Program and received the Academic Excellence Award.
Now, he is an Andrew Gregg Curtin scholar and a 3L at Penn State Law and has attained a Masters of International Affairs from the university. In 2009, he won the Advocate Choice Award at the First Annual Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon sponsored by St. John’s Law and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and held in New York City. His has been an editor for the Penn State Global Forum since its inaugural year.
Mr. Korolov brings his dedication to professional excellence and moral integrity forged during his experiences with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Counter-Terrorism Laboratory of the United Nations Crime and Justice Research Institute located in Turin, Italy.
Jill Ricotta
Jill Ricotta is an undergraduate senior at the University at Buffalo, majoring in French and Political Science with a concentration in International Politics. A native of Buffalo she has spent the majority of the past four years studying the Middle East.

In the summer of 2010, she volunteered as an English teacher in Cairo while studying Egyptian Arabic. The next summer she received the Critical Language Scholarship through the US Department of State and spent 8 weeks in post-revolutionary Tunis, Tunisia. Shortly after, she spent a semester at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco studying Arab societies, Moroccan culture, and Middle Eastern politics.

A member of both the Honors College and Pi Sigma Alpha, Jill is currently writing her undergraduate Honors Thesis focused on Shiite clerics in the post-2003 Iraq. She is continuing her study of Arabic and French as well as Persian and Turkish in her free time. Her main interests include: politics and societies of the Arab world, Iran and Turkey, youth movements in the region, the Arab Spring, confessional political systems, Islam in politics, and North African immigrants in Europe (particularly France). 

Ryan Fleming

Ryan is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, earning his Master's degree in International Affairs in December 2011. While at Penn State, Ryan focused on US foreign policy and international education. Prior to his time in State College, Ryan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University at Buffalo. He studied Spanish in Barcelona, Spain during the spring of 2009. 

Ryan joined the Office of Global Education at Kent State University in October 2011, where he advises international students and scholars on their immigration status and cultural adjustment issues. He lives in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

Nancy Campos

Nancy was born in El Salvador and was raised in Yonkers, NY.  She attended the University at Buffalo (UB) and received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Art History and a Master’s of Education in General Education with a concentration in Childhood Education, Culture and Literacy, and a Certificate in Teaching and Leading for Diversity. 

Nancy is currently working on a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education at UB.  Her dissertation focuses on underrepresented Ph.D. students in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and their pathways through college and into graduate school. Nancy is also interested in the underrepresentation of Latino students in higher education, immigrant students in the United States, the production and reproduction of capital and how it affects academic achievement and attainment in the U.S., and the various pathways through the education system. She has also worked extensively on a multitude of academic projects focusing on sexuality and race in higher education.



Nancy has served as president and treasurer of the Educational Leadership and Policy Graduate Student Association at UB.  She has also served on the American Educational Research Journal’s (AERJ) Student Editorial Committee, helping to review incoming submissions to AERJ, and served on UB’s 2009-2010 Graduate School of Education’s Symposium Committee, where she helped plan and coordinate the 2010 Graduate School of Education Student Symposium.



Hyein Lee

Hyein has spent roughly equal amounts of time living in Seoul, Hong Kong, and New York. Having spent her life in three of the fastest moving cities in the world, she is fascinated by the sociology of urban and popular culture.

Hyein arrived in Manhattan in 2006 to attend New York University, where she received her B.A. in History and East Asian Studies. While in school, she led the group Freedoms 4 North Korea (F4NK)—a college chapter of the grassroots organization Liberty in North Korea (LiNK)—in efforts to raise awareness on the lasting effects of a country torn apart by an unresolved civil war.

After graduating, Hyein spent a year working with immigrant families from all over the world at the Flushing YMCA in Queens. Feeling the need to continue pursuing her interests in urban sociology and immigration through academia, Hyein is currently plodding through the early stages of a PhD program in Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center and University Center. 

Travis Nemmer

A native of Buffalo, New York, Travis Nemmer is currently pursuing a triple major in History, Political Science, and Classics in his senior year at the State University of New York at Buffalo. 



While at the University, Travis serves as the President of the Undergraduate Student Association, having formerly served as the Chairman of the Elections and Credentials Committee and Parliamentarian of the Student Association's Senate. He has also been the President and Head Delegate of the United Nations Student Alliance, the Vice President and Captain of the University at Buffalo's Mock Trial team, and the Vice President of the College Republicans. 



Travis's areas of interest include the Chinese Communist Party, terrorist groups, and American Politics. 



Christopher D. Joya

Due to his father's service in the Air Force, Christopher has experienced a variety of different places, being born in the suburbs of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, relocating to Honolulu, Hawai'i and San Antonio, Texas, and finally settling his roots into the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region of New York.  While the cities are spread out on the spectrum in terms of location, politics, economics, and social issues, the one thing that unites them is Nature.



With these experiences, Christopher pursued a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, focused on Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a minor in Environmental Studies at the State University of New York – University at Buffalo (UB).  Whilst at UB, Christopher was the President of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance; volunteered with Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper, US Fish and Wildlife Services, Hospice and Palliative Care, and Habitat for Humanity; and completed an internship with Earth Spirit Educational Services.



Presently, Christopher is working towards his Master of Arts in Conservation Biology at Columbia University and is at the WCS-Bronx Zoo as a teaching fellow.  He is interested in reconnecting the next generation with Nature, bridging the gap between the public and science realms, and fixing the damage humans have caused on local landscapes. 



William Richardson




William Jamal Richardson is a 22 year old activist from Buffalo, New York, United States.  From a young age, with a father who was involved in the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, much of his childhood was spent seeing his father organize, teach, and rally with both international and local activists. 

The memories of African Liberation Day when I heard the phrase, “The people united, will never be defeated!” influenced much of the politics that inform his thinking today. Even more than this political background, poverty, crime, and racism constantly on display around him in Buffalo were also large contributions to his political perspective.

William is currently a Masters Student in the department of Sociology at the University at Buffalo and a Schomberg Fellow. His work focuses on race and racism, national liberation struggles, and the social psychology of social movements. As a Rogue Scholar, William focuses on the African Liberation Movement, race and class politics in America, and analysis of different political organizational tactics, strategies, and ideologies.