The UNH Center for International Education Newsletter
Fall 2011

‘Meet’ Our 2011 International Affairs faculty

CIE is proud to introduce our new Hood House Lecturer and talented team of International Affairs teaching faculty. From various backgrounds and with wide-ranging interests and specializations, our 2011-12 faculty instruct, advise and inspire our almost 300 IA dual majors. For a taste of their backgrounds and interests, please read below and ‘meet’ Molly Wallace, Biniam Iyob, Kirk Buckman, and Jennifer Purrenhage.



Molly Wallace is CIE’s Hood House Lecturer, and in that capacity, serves as an academic leader of the IA program. She comes to UNH from Brown University where she earned her Ph.D. in Political Science, and then was appointed visiting lecturer. Wallace’s dissertation examined the practice of nonviolent intervention in violent conflict with a focus on Nonviolent Peaceforce, an international NGO engaged in unarmed civilian protection in Sri Lanka. More generally, her research and teaching interests include nonviolent action, violence-legitimation practices, conflict resolution/transformation, transitional justice and reconciliation, gender and global politics, human rights, international ethics, and the politics of intervention. Wallace earned her B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies at Mount Holyoke College (studying abroad in Austria and Senegal) and then spent four years in Washington, DC, working in the areas of conflict resolution and international affairs. While at Brown, she carried out field research in both Sri Lanka and Rwanda, taught a range of courses and discussion sections in international politics and political theory, and engaged pre-college students in a summer course on leadership and conflict resolution. Wallace is thrilled to have a key role in UNH’s interdisciplinary International Affairs program: advising IA dual majors, working in curricula development and course scheduling, and teaching the dual major’s core courses, including IA 701, the senior capstone seminar. UNH students are already benefitting from Wallace’s research interests since her section of IA 501 focuses on understanding war and political violence from a range of theoretical and methodological approaches. This spring, she will also be teaching a course on the ethics of war and peace for the Political Science Department.


Biniam Iyob holds a joint academic appointment with the Geography Department and CIE. He comes to UNH from Eritrea and the University of Asmara where he studied Soil and Water Conservation Studies. Upon graduation, Iyob worked for the Eritrean Ministry of Agriculture and later as a hydrologist to help decrease erosion and improve water access and conservation. In 2000, he left Eritrea for Mauritius, obtaining a Master’s in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. Moving to the U.S., Iyob received a second Master’s in Geography from Oregon State University, focusing on mapping vegetation change using remote sensing (landsat data). He stayed at OSU to pursue a Ph.D. in Geography, where he focused on the geography of transboundary rivers, especially the Nile. Since Iyob joined UNH in fall 2010, CIE has been able to add a geography module to the IA curriculum, an important addition to an international degree program. He has taught several courses at UNH including: International Perspectives (for the International Affairs dual major), Economic Geography, Urban Geography, Population and Development Geography, Regional Geography of the Non-Western World, and Statistics for Geographers. This coming spring, he will again teach International Perspectives as well as Geography of Third World Development, a new course that he developed for UNH.


Kirk Buckman received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Brandeis University and his M.A. in International Relations and Economics from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to UNH in 2010, Kirk worked in the Human Rights Program at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, GA, and taught at Catholic University of America and Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on comparative constitutionalism and international political economy with a focus on Europe, but with other country specializations in Canada and Brazil. Buckman has authored an international relations textbook, currently at press, and teaches a number of courses here at UNH. For CIE’s IA dual major, he teaches IA 501, where he introduces students to the field of international political economy and emphasizes independent student research. Buckman’s courses in the Political Science Department include U.S. and World Economy, Comparative Government and Society, Contemporary European Politics, and European Integration and Constitutionalism.


Jennifer Purrenhage came to UNH in 2009, after earning her Ph.D. in Ecology from Miami University. Her interest in ecology began during her undergraduate studies in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Biology at the University of Wisconsin. Later, for her M.S. and doctoral research, Purrenhage explored the population- and community-level responses of amphibians to local and landscape-scale changes in habitat. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, where she continues her work in amphibian conservation. Since 2009, Purrenhage has been working on a long-term research project examining the use of wetland buffers to ameliorate the impacts of forestry practices on vernal pool-breeding amphibians in Maine. Purrenhage's other passion is teaching and mentoring undergraduates. She has served as IA Teaching Faculty at UNH since spring 2010, and currently teaches the Global Environmental Science module of IA 401.