Colloquium | Members

Douglas Berger

Doug is a sophomore at Tufts University from Mamaroneck, New York. He is majoring in International Relations with a focus on security studies. He spent the summer taking classes at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France, improving his French and studying the causes of revolution. At Tufts, Doug is involved in Model UN, which simulates diplomacy in competition with other schools, as well as CIVIC, a political discussion club. His interests include politics, geography, and hiking. In EPIIC, Doug hopes to explore the interconnected nature of world events within the broad themes of chaos and order, and to gain from the perspective of guest speakers and his fellow classmates.

Denis Bravenec

Denis is a junior studying International Relations and Entrepreneurial Leadership at Tufts University. He is a native resident of Czech Republic and Mongolia, and spent six years living in Kazakhstan. With work experience in the United States, Czech Republic, and Mongolia, Denis’ interests are centered around tech, business and politics in a global context.

Minh Dinh

Minh is a sophomore at Tufts University from Hanoi, Vietnam. He is studying International Relations with a potential minor or major in Political Science or Economics. He was educated in Hanoi – Amsterdam High School. At Tufts, his interests are realism, diplomacy, foreign policy, and security, especially in the East and Southeast Asia areas and the United States. The current issues in the South China Sea and East China Sea are of particular concern to him, since the two areas are adjacent or near his home country. Outside the classroom, Minh is active in the Tufts Model United Nations, being the Undersecretary-General of the Crisis committee. He is also working as a student worker at the Institute for Global Leadership. Career wise, Minh intends to pursue a career in diplomacy. He is really excited to join EPIIC and explore its topics such as diplomacy and the rise of nationalism and modern conflicts.

David Heim

David is a senior from Washington, DC studying Physics and Political Science at Tufts University. Before coming to Tufts he lived in Nicaragua for a year teaching English and doing development work with a Nicaraguan NGO. David works as a Spanish and Physics tutor at Tufts, and has been active in the Center for Engineering Outreach, while also participating in research with the Biomedical Engineering department. He spent a semester studying Political Science at la Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, and has always been interested in how living elsewhere not only allows you to grow culturally and linguistically, but also provides a new prism from which to view your own country. David believes in the power of information to tell us how things are, beyond just how we perceive them to be. Political theory has always been about the balance between order and chaos, and in this course we glimpse which way it tilts in this rapidly changing and interconnected world.

Thaw Htet

Thaw is a sophomore from Yangon, Myanmar studying International Relations. Growing up under both military dictatorship and the transition to democracy, his life has always been dictated by international politics. After graduating high school in Myanmar at Grade 10, he decided to take two gap years. During the gap years, he spent time volunteering in various organizations and documenting lives through a HONY-style Facebook page known as Rangoon Revealed. He is very interested in this year’s EPIIC as the issues of military force have always been prominent in his life. He would like to apply the knowledge he learns in the course and contextualize it in terms of Myanmar and the South East Asian polity. He is active in the International Club, Tufts Daily Photo, and Amnesty International on campus, and he enjoys climbing rooftops and going on dates in Boston.

Mariya Ilyas

Mariya is a graduate student at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, where she is pursuing a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) with concentrations in international security and global maritime studies. She was born in Pakistan and raised in Alexandria, VA; growing up in two cultures has had a profound impact on her desire to pursue a career in international relations. She is grateful to the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship, which will help her pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a U.S. diplomat. Prior to Fletcher, she worked in both the public and private sectors: serving as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Turkey, interning at The White House and the U.S. Department of State, and working for a fortune-100 company in Boston. Mariya graduated from Bowdoin College in 2013, where she majored in mathematics and minored in sociology and government. She enjoys blogging, baking, and befriending new people.

Eva Kahan

Eva is a sophomore from Mountain View, California, home of the self-driving car and the Safran-Kahan family. She is majoring in International Relations and History, and studying Arabic and Computer Science on the side. She attended the EPIIC symposium last year and is intensely involved with Tufts ALLIES, the IGL's Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services, and she hopes to explore the ground between force and diplomacy in her region of interest and as it has changed over time. Eva spent the past summer interning at the United States Department of Defense in the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Department, and is hoping to focus her career on the American national security process, whether through the military, intelligence, or diplomacy apparatuses. She is interested in the study of civil-military relations in conflict zones and through insurgencies and revolutions, as well as the state-building and governance process, especially in North African, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian history. She will be completing research this year on negotiation analysis in Jordan through the Fletcher School and Harvard Kennedy School, and hopes to take the next academic year off to study Arabic and research independently in the Arab world. Around campus, Eva also participates in Tufts Hillel as the conservative minyan co-coordinator, is a member of the International Relations Director’s Leadership Council, and is excited to be beginning a program this year to support fellow women in the fields surrounding International Relations. For fun, she likes to make herself cold brew coffee and granola, read the news, and eat kale for every meal.

Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis is a freshman from Washington, DC, who is currently undecided on his field of study. As part of the inaugural Tufts 1+4 Class, Daniel spent the past year living with a host family in Florianopolis, Brazil and interning at a non-profit and a tech company. He has also participated in the Seeds of Peace conflict resolution program, which brings together kids from conflict regions around the world for an intensive, three-week summer camp. He speaks Portuguese and hopes to pursue both Portuguese and Spanish going forward with his college career. Daniel is also a published writer, with pieces appearing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Hill and Newsday. He loves movies of all varieties and debating any topic that begets an opinion.

Cheng Li

Cheng is an international student from China, majoring in International Relations and Economics. He was born and raised in the coastal city Shenzhen. His interest in foreign affairs is tremendously shaped by his experience in Model United Nations. His engagements include US Senate, Security Council, OPEC summit and NATO Committee. Therefore, this experience also framed Cheng as an institutionalist who believes in the impact of institutions in shaping the global political atmosphere. He also participated in the Georgetown Summer Program studying US foreign policy, where he found enlightenment in International Relations and developed a greater interest in exploring the future roles of different great powers, especially China.

Tong Liu

Tong is a freshman at Tufts interested in studying International Relations. He was born in Beijing, China, but grew up in Massachusetts. As a senior in high school, he attended the EPIIC Symposium on “Europe in Turmoil”, a major influence in his decision to both attend Tufts and EPIIC. He spent the summer interning on a local political campaign. A member of the Tufts Debate Society, his interest in foreign affairs and diplomacy was greatly fanned by his experiences in Speech and Debate. His time spent in the United States and with family in China also gives him an interest in international matters and exposed him to various views on global issues. Although not uniquely interested in a certain aspect of the colloquium, he is enthusiastic in deepening his knowledge about the forces that have shaped and continue to shape everything he has learned and grown to love.