Past Speakers

social sciences conference

Dr. Thomas J Ward


Title of Presentation: “Peace Studies, Track II Diplomacy, and Religion: Lessons I learned in Pyongyang”

Thomas J. Ward serves as President of Unification Theological Seminary in New York City and as Professor of Peace and Development Studies there. Prior to his current role, he served for eighteen years as Dean of the University of Bridgeport’s College of Public and International Affairs where he taught graduate courses on Culture and Development, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Political and Economic Integration.

Dr. Ward has lived and worked in the United States, Europe, Latin America and East Asia. He lectures in English, French and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of several other European and Asian languages. In 2008 he was appointed to serve as a member of the Connecticut Department of Higher Education’s Policy Advisory Council on International Education and served in that role until 2011.

Ward’s writings and research have been published in the Washington Times, World and I Magazine, the International Journal of World Peace, East Asia Quarterly, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, the Journal of Unification Studies, Paragon House, New World Encyclopedia, and E-International Relations. He is a member of several academic honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa and has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Taiwan Foreign Ministry Research Fellow, and a guest lecturer at the Academy of Social Science in Beijing and at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Modern History in Taipei.

Dr. Ward has been author, co-author or editor of more than ten books including Development, Social Justice, and Civil Society: An Introduction to the Political Economy of NGOs (Paragon 2004); March to Moscow—The Role of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon in the Collapse of Communism (Paragon 2005), Park Statue Politics: World War II Comfort Women Memorials in the United States (E-International Relations 2019).

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Dr. Madhuparna Gupta


Title of Presentation: "Evaluating Human Security in the Twenty-First Century"

Madhuparna Gupta is currently an Instructor at the Department of International Development Studies, Saint Mary’s University, Canada. She received her Ph.D. in International Relations from Jadavpur University, India, and served as Assistant Professor of Political Science for thirteen years in India.

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Dr. Robert Lake

Dr. Robert Lake is with the Department of Sport Science at Douglas College, Canada. His research focuses on social and historical issues in sport, particularly tennis. He has authored/edited several books, including A Social History of Tennis in Britain (Routledge, 2015) and The Routledge Handbook of Tennis (Routledge, 2019). He is serving as President of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport in 2021/22.

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Dr. Sami Abdullah Hamdi

Sami Hamdi is an assistant professor at the English Language Institute- Jazan University, Saudi Arabia. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics from the University of New Mexico-USA. Dr. Hamdi’s research interests include critical discourse studies/analysis, text analytics, and intellectual security.

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Ms. Vidya Suresh

Vidya Suresh is a graduate student in Computer Sciences and Engineering at Amrita Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri Campus, India.

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MSC. Aleksejs Jelisejevs

Aleksejs Jelisejevs, PhD Candidate in Law Science of Turība University, Riga (Latvia), lawyer whose professional length of practice service is 25 years (including eight years as a sworn advocate). Subject of current scientific research is issues with legal protection of consumers’ rights when banks close accounts unilaterally.

social sciences conference

Ms. Rong Yuan

Rong Yuan is originally from Beijing, China. She’s currently a Master’s student in International Affairs following the Global Security Track at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She is passionate about research on global governance, development, and public communication. Her latest research is on MSF’s communication strategy during the 2017-2018 cholera outbreak in Yemen.