Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters

Graduate Program in International Studies

About the Program


Faculty and Staff

Current Students



Working In Academia



Frances Jacobson, Professor of History, Tidewater Community College

Frances Jacobson graduated from ODU with a B.A. in Political Science; M.A. in History; and, in 2008, a Ph.D. in International Studies. While a student in GPIS, she focused on U.S. Foreign Policy and Interdependence and Transnationalism studies, and her dissertation was titled, "Jimmy Carter's Foreign Policy: The Battle for Power and Principle." Dr. Jacobson is now a Professor of history at Tidewater Community College where she teaches courses in U.S. Foreign Policy, Western Civilization, and U.S. History in Film. Her recent and forthcoming publications include Voices From History; The Past Speaks; and Fisherman's Church (due out in 2011).



Jennifer Schiff, Assistant Professor of Political Science @ Western Carolina University

Dr. Jennifer Schiff, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at WCU, teaches several undergraduate classes on international relations, including Asian politics, ethnic conflict, global environmental policy, and Model United Nations.  She received WCU's Excellence in the Teaching of Liberal Studies Award in 2012 and the College of Arts and Science Teaching Award in 2013.  Her research interests and publications focus on environmental regimes, the politics of water scarcity, and the teaching and learning of political science/international studies.


Carlos Teixeira, Political Science Faculty, Pontifical University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Carlos Teixeira received his Ph.D. from Old Dominion University's GPIS program in 2011 where his research and dissertation focused on Latin American politics and American Foreign Policy. While at ODU, Carlos taught Introduction to International Relations. Recently, he accepted a tenure-track position at the Pontifical University of Sao Paulo, where he teaches several IR-related courses, including IR Theory.



Anna Rulska, Assistant Professor of Political Science, North Georgia College and State University

Anna Rulska teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in international relations theory, comparative politics, international and European security, and Central and Eastern European politics. Prof. Rulska completed her B.A. in Political Science and German at Lyon College in Arkansas, received her dual M.A. in Political Science and German Studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and her Ph.D. in International Studies from Old Dominion University in Virginia.  

Prof. Rulska gained extensive experience in civilian-military simulations centered on humanitarian crisis scenarios while working with Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA. Furthermore, she assisted the NATO Allied Command Transformation in development of the Multiple Futures Project in 2009. She has presented at conferences, participated in workshops, and published articles and book chapters on nuclear policy of major powers, ethnic minorities in Europe, international security theory, foreign policy in the Middle East, women in post-conflict environments, and teaching and learning in political science and international relations. Her research includes issues relating to collective security arrangements, NATO, global and human security, and the US foreign policy. 


Chunlong Lu is a Full Professor at the School of Politics and Public Administration, China University of Political Science and Law



Working in Government


Scott Brunstetter, Office of the Director for National Intelligence

Scott Brunstetter has worked in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence since 2009. Prior to that, he worked at a counterterrorism analyst in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and was a Presidential Management Fellow for the U.S. Army focused on intelligence matters.

Dr. Brunstetter completed his Ph.D. in International Studies at Old Dominion University in 2008; an MA in History from West Virginia University in 1997; and a BA in History from The Pennsylvania State University in 1993. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to work at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, Germany from August 2001 to December 2002.

During his studies, Dr. Brunstetter taught German at West Virginia University, European History at Old Dominion University and International Peacekeeping to US and foreign military officers at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA.

He has published articles on Just War theory and the German Greens (with Daniel Brunstetter),German security policy, and the Sudeten Germans, and on US policy prior to the 2003 invasion



Allison Greene-Sands is the Associate Director for Culture for the Defense Language Office, within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness

In her role, Dr. Greene-Sands is primarily responsible for the research and analysis that informs culture-related policy for the Department of Defense. She regularly reviews and updates existing DoD strategic guidance regarding cultural capabilities requirements, and has recently orchestrated the drafting of new policy that will institutionalize Cross-Cultural Competence (3C) in training and

education across the Department of Defense (coauthored the 3C White Paper and assisted with the 2011-2016 DoD Strategic Plan for Language, Regional Expertise & Cultural Capabilities).

Before her current position, Greene-Sands worked as a Policy Analyst for Sygnetics Inc., assessing current, emerging and projected language, regional and cultural capability needs for the Department of Defense. She also spent time working for multiple non-profit organizations supporting conflict resolution initiatives in the Middle East, South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Cyprus. While in graduate school at ODU, Greene-Sands served as an Assistant Coach for the women's basketball team and became known for her successes in recruiting international players. She has lived and traveled overseas extensively and has studied Portuguese, French, Russian, Spanish, and American Sign Language

Non-Profit Industry

Laura Gwathmey is a Director of Global Health Programs for Physicians for Peace,

an international non-profit organization based in Norfolk, Virginia. Physicians for Peace mobilizes volunteer medical professionals to provide training and education in developing countries to promote sustainable healthcare programs and partnerships. Laura has a Master's degree in International Studies from Old Dominion University, and a Bachelor's degree in French and Communications.






George Hodermarsky is a Senior Program Manager and Assistant Vice President for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).


He manages multiple programs and conducts studies and analysis for NATO's Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT). He previously served as the Experimentation Campaign Contract Program Manager for HQ SACT where he led an international team of 22 Project Managers, Experimenters, Concept

Developers, and Analysts in the formulation and development of operational concepts, and the requisite experimentation and analysis of related events.

He formerly acted as the Lead Analyst for United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) efforts aimed at developing a systems perspective of the operational environment. Prior to that period, he was responsible for organization and execution of seminars, wargames, and workshops related to the development of concepts for long range strategic planning. Activities included critical positions in USJFCOM experimentation events.

He retired as a Captain in the United States Navy. His active service included twelve years in joint or combined commands and designations as a Joint Specialty Officer, operational squadron commanding officer, strategic planner, Naval Flight Officer, and intelligence analyst. A published author and lecturer, he also serves as an Adjunct Professor of both Business Administration and Political Science.


Ph.D. International Studies, Old Dominion University

M.S. Education, Old Dominion University

M.S. National Security and Strategic Studies, U.S. Naval War College

M.S. Administration, School of Government and Business Administration,

George Washington University

A.B. Government, Ohio University

Patricia Raxter serves as the Senior Research Analyst for the United States Army Human Terrain System (HTS) Reachback Research Center (RRC). 

HTS deploys teams of social scientists and researchers to embed with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to conduct operationally relevant, socio-cultural research and analysis. The analysts at the RRC, including Patricia, develop and maintain a socio-cultural knowledge base to enable operational decision-making, enhance operational effectiveness, and preserve and share socio-cultural institutional knowledge.  Patricia received her Bachelor's Degree in Art History and a Master's Degree in International Studies from ODU. She is currently enrolled as a PHD student in GPIS.




Jeffrey Becker is a Principal Analyst for Science Applications International Corporation supporting United States Joint Forces Command and other Department of Defense Organizations.

As a senior analyst, Mr. Becker has led or contributed to a number of military, strategic and futures studies and concept development and experimentation efforts for a wide a

variety of organizations within the Department of Defense, NATO, and international Ministries of Defense. At U.S. Joint Forces Command's Joint Futures Group, Mr. Becker was responsible for writing, research, and analysis for four editions of the Joint Operating Environment, which addresses changes in the geopolitical and military landscape that will confront future joint force commanders. During his time at NATO's Allied Command Transformation, he developed a concept to transform the Alliance's Crisis Management information systems and conducted the first set of military experiments within NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

Mr. Becker has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa, and spent his Junior Year studying politics and international relations at the University of Lancaster in the United Kingdom. Mr. Becker completed his doctoral coursework (ABD) in International Studies at Old Dominion University.