Brescia University Hosts OAWAC Speaker

Jennifer Cunningham

The Owensboro Area World Affairs Council (OAWAC) is hosting a free public lecture featuring Jennifer Cunningham, Ph.D. Candidate, ABD, on Thursday, November 7 at 7 pm in Taylor Lecture Hall, located in the Science Building on the campus of Brescia University.

Ms. Cunningham’s presentation is entitled, “What is the Kremlin Tweeting? Issues and Interests in the Current U.S. – Russian Relations.” She will be discussing the United States relationship with Russia on three levels of analysis: individual, domestic politics, and international. She will explain how developments in Russia during the 1990s impacted the nature of the US-Russian relations today.

About the speaker:

Ms. Cunningham is currently a graduate student at Old Dominion University obtaining her doctorate in International Studies. She is a 1994 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. As part of the first group of women to serve aboard combat ships, she deployed with the guided missile destroyer Curtis Wilbur to the Persian Gulf to enforce UN sanctions against Saddam Hussein. While serving as the communications officer on the Curtis Wilbur, she participated in multinational naval exercises and served as a liaison between the U.S. Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. As a Surface Warfare Officer, she also deployed to the Mediterranean aboard the amphibious assault ship Saipan, which was tasked with preparing for non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO) during the Kosovo crisis.

Originally from Houston, Texas, Jennifer has traveled extensively throughout the Asian-Pacific and Europe. While living in Guam, she linked naval personnel with volunteer opportunities at the local Chamorran schools. In Belgium, she organized cultural exchanges among NATO members and partners at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).

While pursuing her Master of Arts in Conflict and Cooperation at Old Dominion University’s Graduate Program in International Studies (GPIS), Jennifer’s research focused on cooperative security programs, NATO, and energy security, particularly in the context of post-Cold War relations between Russia, the US, and the newly independent states of the Caucasus and Central Asia. As a doctoral student she has continued her research on US-Russia relations in the context of their mutual, and sometimes conflicting, national security and economic interests in the Middle East. She was recently awarded the Elizabeth Thornton Graduate Fellowship for the academic year 2012-2013.