By Karen Kelly

Dani Belo

Dani Belo

A lot has happened in Dani Belo’s life since he earned his PhD from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) last fall. He has continued his work with NPSIA Professor David Carment while taking on a role as an Assistant Professor at Webster University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Then, the media started calling.

Belo’s research focuses on NATO–Russia relations, ethnic conflicts, and the post-Soviet region. So when Russia invaded Ukraine in February, he added “media expert” to his already impressive CV.

“I study grey zone conflict, which is not a state of open warfare, but somewhere in the middle,” explains Belo. “This was precisely what was happening in Ukraine before the invasion. We had economic sanctions, cyber warfare, and reliance on militia groups—like in eastern Ukraine right now—to fight wars for the state sponsor.”

It’s a topic that Belo and Carment have collaborated on in a number of peer reviewed papers, published chapters, and edited volumes. As a PhD student, success is dependent on a good relationship with your supervisor. Belo remembers their first collaboration.

“I was taking a course with him and he said, ‘There’s this book chapter opportunity and you’re a specialist on Russia’s foreign policy,’” recalls Belo. “It was my first co-authored chapter in an edited volume and the rest was just built from there. It’s been an incredible privilege to work with David.”

Belo says he was drawn to NPSIA because of its “world class faculty interested in international conflicts and security.” He recommends that graduate students take a close look at the specializations of faculty members when considering a program.

“It is important to have an idea when entering a doctoral program of who one can potentially work with and who would be a good match,” says Belo. “Not just in terms of areas of specialization, but the ability to work together in a productive way. This is something I’ve taken away in terms of supervising my own students—making sure that both of these things are covered.”

Monday, June 20, 2022 in ,
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