The PPP benefits from the knowledge, creativity, and experience of team members and contributors. Team members are currently involved with the day to day work of the PPP. Contributors are individuals who have been involved with the PPP in various ways, including past team members who remain engaged with the PPP through research and writing.
Stacey L. Connaughton, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator and Project Director
Stacey L. Connaughton is an Associate Professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. Her research examines leadership and identification in geographically distributed contexts, particularly as these issues relate to virtual teams/organizations, political parties, and peacebuilding. Her published work has appeared in the Journal of Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Management Communication Quarterly, Small Group Research, Communication Studies, Communication Yearbook, The Howard Journal of Communications, Corporate Communication: An International Journal, Knowledge Management Review, and her book, Inviting Latino Voters: Party Messages and Latino Party Identification, was published in 2005 by Routledge. Dr. Connaughton’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. She has been invited to present her research on virtual teams and virtual leadership to industry, military, and higher educational audiences, and has facilitated workshops and written guidebooks in the areas of virtual teams, leadership, team-building, and strategic planning in the United States, Canada, China, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. At Purdue, Dr. Connaughton teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in organizational communication theory, leadership, and research methods, is the recipient of several teaching awards, and was the 2017 recipient of Purdue’s Engaged Faculty Award.
Jasmine R. Linabary, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Research and Operations
Jasmine R. Linabary completed her Ph.D. at the Brian Lamb School of Communication in 2017. Her research focuses on organizing, new media, and social change, with particular interests in gender and participatory methodologies. Her research program is dedicated to interrogating participation and its relationship to space within organizational processes to advance both communication theory and methodological practice.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Whitworth University, and her master’s degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Chico. She also completed a graduate concentration in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Purdue University. She has a background in journalism, having spent time as a reporter and as a managing editor of several weekly newspapers in the United States. Prior to serving as associate director, Dr. Linabary worked as a graduate research assistant for the PPP from 2014 to 2017.
Grace Yeah Yeanay Mayson
Liberia Country Director
Grace Yeah Yeanay Mayson holds a BSC in accounting and manor in Management from the AME Zion University in Monrovia. She is a social worker, with 6-9 years experience working with over 35 communities in Liberia on issues of women’s empowerment, advocacy, documentation and HIV, and AIDS. She has attended several pieces of training as a development worker in the areas of research and documentation, proposal writing & project management, personal development, community leaders' leadership at Columbia University, organizational development/ management and a certificate from the Flinders University of Adelaide, South Australia on Gender Studies. She is a board member of ABANTU for Development Ghana. Grace worked as the Country Consultant for the American Jewish World Service and the AIDS Health Care Foundation. She is one of the founders and Executive Director of the Women Movement for Sustainable Development – Liberia (WOMSUD – Liberia), a local women-based organization focused on improving a quality of life for the marginalized women and girls of Liberia.
Ghana Country Director
Yaganoma Baatuolkuu is passionate about positive socio-economic development for marginalized communities, cultural preservation, and the creative industries. She is the founder and managing director of Wanjo Africa Ltd., a food processing and packaging company using indigenous wild crops to create products for the urban palate, while empowering rural women to a better socio-economic livelihood, which in turn can make them social influencers against conflict within their communities, especially when women of different tribes/households have projects that they have to work on together.
She has extensive experience within client and customer relations, youth and women empowerment and the creative industries. She was a former lecturer at Radford University College, a mentor with the organization Ahaspora, which seeks to mentor high school and university graduates in various fields of endeavor. Yaganoma also enjoys writing about her everyday experiences in poetry. She uses performance: sketches, drama, and poetry as a tool for people of divergent views to collaborate and understand each other.
She has worked with diverse local communities engaging them in local governance while disseminating central government policies within contexts that can be easily understood by rural folk. This sometimes required dramatization where the issues raised in the performance are discussed by the people who in turn voice solutions.
Yaganoma holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Ghana and a MLitt in Managing Creative Industries from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. In 2016 she became the third cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship of the Young African Leadership Initiative, a flagship program of former President Barack Obama.
Graduate Research Assistant
Daniel Kamal is a Ph.D. student in the Brian Lamb School of Communication and works primarily in the area of Health Communication. His specific research interests involve the promotion of exercise and other preventative health behaviors through social media platforms while focusing on the role of individual social media users as agents of health promotion. He pursues these research interests primarily through quantitative research methods.
Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he received both his bachelor’s degree in Communication and master’s degree in Organizational Communication from University Putra Malaysia. Daniel has a diverse background and has work experience in areas such as public relations, communication campaigns management, as well as fitness consulting.
Graduate Research Assistant
Jessica Pauly is a Ph.D. candidate at the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. Her research engages qualitative methods to explore organizations, gender, religion, and social change. Jessica's particular interest concerns the ways in which identity and identification tensions complicate organizations. She received her B.A. in communication studies in 2007 from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Jessica worked full time as merchandising coordinator in New York City at Marcolin and then MARR International GROUP until 2011. She received her M.A. in communication studies in 2014 from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, working full-time in the Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.
Graduate Research Assistant
Jennifer Ptacek is a Ph.D. candidate in Organizational Communication at the Brian Lamb School of Communication. Her research interests involve intersections of health topics in organizational contexts. Specifically, her research applies a mixed methods approach to examine relationships with leaders, coworkers, and friends in the workplace as well as aspects of stress and social support among healthcare workers. Her dissertation focuses on how nurses talk about their jobs and multiple identification targets and how this communication influences their career trajectory. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication Studies from Western Michigan University. She also has a background in English literature and business management and has spent time working in management and in healthcare organizations.
Graduate Research Assistant
Meghana Rawat is a Ph.D student in Health Communication at the Brian Lamb School of Communication. Her research interests involve studying intersections of strategic communication and health policy. Specifically, her interests lie in studying the role of grassroots social enterprises and not-for-profit organizations in implementing health policies in partnership with larger private and public sector organizations.
Meghana received her Bachelors in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Delhi University and Masters in Public Relations and Advertising from the University of New South Wales. She completed her second Masters in Communication with a major in public relations and minors in organizational communication and research methods. Meghana joined Purdue University after six years of work experience in fashion, technology and not-for-profit sectors in India.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Jesse Bohlin is an undergraduate student in Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts, where they are pursuing a major in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with minors in Spanish and LGBT Studies, as well as the College of Agriculture, where they intend to earn a degree in International Agronomy. After graduation, they hope to enlist in the Peace Corps for two years before pursuing graduate school with a focus on food (in)security among marginalized populations. Jesse is a member of the Peace Corp Prep program at Purdue. Currently, they are the President of Internationally Connected in Agriculture's Future (ICA Future), an organization that aims to connect international and domestic students in the fields of food security, agriculture, and development. They are the USA National Director of Communication for the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS).
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Courtney Bonness is an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts, majoring in both English and Professional Writing, as well as minoring in Philosophy. Courtney is still exploring her options following graduation; however, she is interested in a career concerning internal journalism for a non-profit organization, particularly one with a focus on international development and community engagement. Additionally, Courtney is the Vice President of Membership Development for the Beta Xi chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta as well as a community group leader for Purdue Christian Campus House, roles that emphasize empathy and awareness in the promotion of self-sustaining community.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Cody Denton is an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts, majoring in Mass Communications and minoring in Spanish and Italian. After graduation, Cody would like to become a graduate student and study Organizational Communication. He is interested in a career dealing with professional writing, public relations and marketing. Cody also is the Vice President of Programming for his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, the manager of Purdue’s Track and Field team, and is involved with multiple Christian organizations on campus.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Julia Donnelly is an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts, as well as the Purdue Honors College, where she intends to receive bachelor's degrees in both English and Corporate Communications with a minor in Classical Studies. Her research focuses on the perception of women and gender in relation to peacebuilding. After graduation, she intends to continue her research and commitments to giving a voice to the voiceless by pursuing a career in the publishing industry.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Allison Hemingway is an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) pursuing a dual major in Film and Video studies and Mass Communication, as well as a minor in Theatre and a certificate in Entrepreneurship. On campus, she is involved in various student organizations such as Boiler Gold Rush, CLA Deans Ambassadors, Big Ten Network Student Union, and Greek Life all of which have given her opportunities to serve both the local West Lafayette/Lafayette and Purdue communities. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in filmmaking, sharing stories of people like the inspirational peacebuilders that work through the Purdue Peace Project to impact the world every day.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Erica Timmons is an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts, where she intends to major in Spanish, as well as the College of Agriculture, where she is pursuing a degree in Agribusiness Management and a minor in International Studies. After graduation, she intends to obtain a career in international development with a focus on African food security. Erica also serves a board member for Hope For His Children, a nonprofit organization that works to provide education and food support in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In the Spring of 2017, Erica participated in the Planet Forward Summit, hosted by The George Washington University, as a Global Food Challenge Emerging Leader. Check out her experiences in a blog she wrote about the summit here.
Undergraduate Graphics Design Intern
Ceira Ostberg is an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College. She intends to receive a bachelor’s degree in Film and Video Studies with a double minor in Communication and English. After graduation, she hopes to use her abilities to become a film director and create films about the world and local peacebuilders. Ceira also serves as the Vice President of the Film and Video Studies Organization along with working as a director and producer for the Big Ten Network.
Jessica Berns has been involved with PPP since its founding in 2011. As a consultant, she serves as a sounding board on emerging projects, on current locally driven projects, and on PPP goal-setting and execution. With close to two decades of international experience in peacebuilding and governance, she helps to connect PPP to existing local, regional, and international organizations working for peace.
The majority of Jessica’s work has taken place within the NGO sector, and her areas of expertise include strategic planning, program design and implementation, and communications. She has a special interest in civil society network and partnership development, which she first developed as a Program Officer working with the Latin American chapters of Transparency International, the anti-corruption NGO in Berlin, Germany. More recently, as Program Director of Coexistence International at Brandeis University, an initiative focused on strengthening the coexistence field, Jessica facilitated the creation of a network of coexistence practitioners in West Africa.
With an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Spanish and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, Jessica has spent much of her professional life working and living abroad, in Latin America, Europe, and West Africa.
Jessica Berns is the Founder and Principal of Jessica Berns Consulting. She creates strategies, designs programs, develops partnerships, and builds communication platforms motivated by a vision of a safer, more just, and an equal world.
Follow Jessica on twitter at @jessicabberns
Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle is a M.A. student in public relations in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. Her research interests currently lie in organizational identity, crisis management and social media activism. She received a B.A. in International Development and English, and a certificate in Peace Studies from the University of Kentucky. She has been involved in several community projects and organizations including UK Amnesty International and Kentucky Refugee Ministries. Tiwaladeoluwa is also an award-winning creative writer, with poems published in several literary journals as well as the forthcoming “Best New African Poets 2017” anthology.
Agaptus Anaele, Ph.D.
Agaptus Anaele is a Ford Foundation International Fellow from Nigeria, West Africa. Dr. Anaele completed his Ph.D. from the Brian Lamb School of Communication and is now an Assistant Professor at Emerson College. He served as a graduate research assistant for the Purdue Peace Project. His work is guided by the Culture-Centered Approach (CCA), which promotes academic and community partnerships in problem identification and articulation of culturally situated solutions that lead to sustainable social changes. He has a Master’s Degree in International Affairs (MIA) from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, U.S.A, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education (B.A.ED) from University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Anaele has considerable experience in development issues in Africa. Before his Graduate Studies in 2008, he was a journalist in three national dailies in Nigeria, namely, The Guardian (2000-2002), The Punch (2002-2005), and The Sun (2006-2008), and extensively covered development, health, science and education issues in Africa. He has been honored with different awards including The Diamond Award for HIV/AIDS Reporting sponsored by the US Embassy in Nigeria (2006), Best Journalist by Internews, a USAID-funded project that honors outstanding media coverage of development issues in Nigeria, and has been severally nominated for the Red Ribbon Award that honor outstanding HIV/AIDS reporting in Nigeria.
Bailey Benedict is a Ph.D. student studying Organizational Communication in the Brian Lamb School of Communication. She also works as an attendant in the COM 114 Help Center. Her current research focuses on how employees communicatively manage their chronic conditions in the workplace and the long-term recovery of households impacted by Hurricane Sandy. She has two degrees in Communication: a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWL) and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL). Her thesis examined the messages received by remaining employees when a coworker is dismissed, with emphasis on employees’ dismissal-related uncertainty and information seeking behaviors, and her senior project at UWL explored the communication of romantic partners experiencing unemployment.
Maddie Holmes is a M.A. student in Organizational Communication in the Brian Lamb School of Communication. She studies charitable, social-justice oriented nonprofit organizations. Specifically, Maddie is interested in how these organizations engage communities as well as how members of said organizations negotiate their identities. She also studies critical feminist and race theory with a particular interest in intersectional allyship, which she hopes to apply to the nonprofit sector. Maddie received her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Anthropology from Purdue University. After obtaining her master’s degree, she plans on filling a role of advocacy or community outreach in a nonprofit organization.
Christina Jones, Ph.D.
Christina Jones completed her Ph.D. in the Brian Lamb School of Communication in August 2013, studying Health Communication. She served as a graduate research assistant to the PPP while at Purdue. She received her Bachelor's degree from Purdue University in 2007 in Public Relations and Rhetorical Advocacy, and in 2009 she received her Master's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Health Communication and Media Studies. Her research interests include public health communication in marginalized populations, with a specific focus on low socioeconomic status groups, including the food insecure and those receiving welfare assistance. She is also interested in the evaluation of community-centered health interventions in rural populations. Dr. Jones is currently an Assistant Professor in Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Arunima Krishna, Ph.D.
Arunima Krishna, Ph.D. (Purdue University), is now an assistant professor at Boston University. She served as a graduate research assistant for the Purdue Peace Project. She is interested in publics’ communication behaviors related to controversial social issues, particularly issues related to scientific knowledge. Her most recent research looks at how individuals’ knowledge deficiency about vaccines impacts their attitudes, motivations, and behaviors about vaccine safety. She is also interested in how publics’ perceptions and attitudes about issues relate to their attitudes about certain organizations. Dr. Krishna has taught a variety of courses, including public relations writing.
Kai Kuang, Ph.D.
Dr. Kai Kuang joined the Department of Communication Studies at Bloomsburg University in Fall 2015. She served as a graduate research assistant for the Purdue Peace Project. Her research focuses on health and risk communication at the intersection of interpersonal and mediated communication. Specifically, Dr. Kuang’s research examines uncertainty in risk communication, new media-based risk and health communication, and health campaigns. Her dissertation meta-analyzed the effects of uncertainty on individuals’ information management (e.g., information seeking, information avoiding, cognitive reappraisal) within illness contexts. Dr. Kuang is devoted to serving the communication discipline and the community. She is a member of the International Communication Association (ICA) and the National Communication Association (NCA) and regularly reviews for both ICA and NCA conferences. As an Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS) fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Dr. Kuang has worked on interdisciplinary teams and worked with local communities to understand issues related to food and nutrition communication. Her continuing involvement in the Purdue Peace Project in West Africa allows her to use knowledge about communication to serve international communities outside the U.S. Through teaching, research, and engagement, Dr. Kuang seeks to contribute to the larger communication discipline as well as local and international communities.
Robert Nyaga is a Ph.D. student in Health Communication in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. His research interests weave together topics in organizational and health contexts. Specifically, Robert uses both quantitative and qualitative techniques to study cancer prevention and stigma, hospital communication, health seeking behavior in organizations, and the efficacy of health messages. He has bachelor’s degree in Communication and Public Relations from Moi University, Kenya, and a master’s degree in Communication Studies from Illinois State University. In addition, he has a certificate in public secretarial studies, Kenya (CPS).
Torsten Reimer, Ph.D.
Dr. Torsten Reimer is an Associate Professor in the Brian Lamb School and directs the Communication and Cognition Lab. His research program focuses on psychological approaches to communication and decision making. Dr. Reimer's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Keep America Beautiful, and through the Purdue Grand Challenges initiative. He received several awards for his research and teaching, including the College of Psychology's Award for Excellence in Research from the University of Basel in Switzerland, the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association (NCA), and the Dennis Gouran Award from the Group Communication Division of NCA. While at Purdue, Dr. Reimer served as a program planner and chair of the Group Communication and the Social Cognition Divisions of the National Communication Association (NCA) and on the Board of Directors of INGRoup, an organization of interdisciplinary scholars that is devoted to the study of teams and groups.
Christopher Roland is a Ph.D. candidate studying Organizational Communication in the Brian Lamb School of Communication. His research adopts a social scientific approach to explore decision-making and social influence processes, primarily in the context of new media. Specifically, his research examines how strategic message design functions in digital environments and its implications for decision-making and speaker judgments. Christopher received his bachelor's of science degree in communication from Emporia State University in 2013 before receiving his master's degree in Organizational Communication from Purdue University in 2015. He primarily specializes in quantitative and computational methods to inform communication theory and practice.
Neva Štumberger, Ph.D.
Neva Štumberger completed her Ph.D. in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. She served as a graduate research assistant for the Purdue Peace Project. Her primary research interests include corporate social responsibility, organizational ethics, intercultural communication, and social change.
Prior to joining Purdue, Neva worked in the media and public relation industry in Slovenia. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Marketing Communication and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana.
Simrin Tamhane is an undergraduate student at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, where she is pursuing a degree in International Studies. She served as an intern for the Purdue Peace Project in summer 2017. She is interested in global affairs and international development and aims to pursue a career in community development focused in Central/South America or South-east Asia. After her internship with the Purdue Peace Project, she will be spending her fall 2017 semester in Honduras where she will volunteer with Vital Voices, an organization that works on the social and economic development of Honduras through investing in women’s businesses.
Kelly Vibber, Ph.D.
Dr. Kelly Vibber completed her Ph.D. in Global Public Relations at the Brian Lamb School of Communication in 2014. She worked with the Purdue Peace Project as a graduate research assistant and was the lead researcher on the Liberia NRM project. Her dissertation, 'Within-border foreign publics, adversaries or allies?" focused on the diffusion of attitudes through social networks and their impact on a nation’s soft power (Funded by the Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship). She is an associate professor at the University of Dayton.
Liliya Yakova, Ph.D.
Liliya Yakova completed her Ph.D. in Organizational Communication at the Brian Lamb School of Communication. She served as a graduate research assistant and then as the associate director of operations for the Purdue Peace Project. Her research interests are in the areas of organizing for social change and social justice with an emphasis on hunger and poverty relief, marginalization, meaningful work and volunteerism for social change.
She received her bachelor's degree in Political Science from the American University in Bulgaria and her master's degree in International Affairs from Marquette University, Wisconsin. Liliya has a background in conflict studies through her involvement and research with a renowned international think tank.
Rosaline B. Obeng-Ofori
West Africa Program Manager
Rosaline B. Obeng-Ofori had over thirty years’ experience in development work focusing mostly on human rights, gender equality, peacebuilding and pro-poor development work. She advocated for women and children’s rights at both national and international levels and initiated a series of capacity-building programs at all levels to enhance women and children’s welfare and empowerment. She was influential in advocating for pro-poor policies for civil society and state organizations. Some of her advocacy work contributed to the passage of a Domestic Violence Act in Ghana to protect victims/survivors of domestic violence. She advocated for the development of a Women’s Manifesto to ensure that state and non-state actors mainstream gender in their activities. She also developed gender-sensitive policy and Training Manuals for various national and international organizations.
She managed many bilateral development projects for CIDA, USAID, and DfID among others. She worked for CUSO, as the West Africa Regional Coordinator and later as the Africa Human Resources Administrator.
She worked in Nairobi, Kenya for the African Confederation of Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) as the Women Development Officer. She worked for Action Aid Ghana as the National Women’s Rights Coordinator and for the Credit Union Associations of Ghana as the National Women Development Officer.
She was the first female Director of Cabinet (Chief of Staff) in the office of the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) under the leadership of Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas.
She was completely bilingual with University Diplomas in French and Pedagogic studies (Ghana and France) and pursued a master's degree in Governance, Development and Law from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Rosaline worked with PPP between the Project's inception in 2012 and 2016 when she passed away.