About the Researcher

Mary Fortson-Harwell completed this dissertation research while earning a PhD in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University, just north of Atlanta, GA. Mary graduated from Florida State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science, and from the University of Georgia in 2010 with a Master of Social Work, where she concentrated in Community Empowerment and Program Development. Her professional memberships include the National Association of Social Workers, the International Studies Association, and the National Guard Association of Georgia. Mary has held social work licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social through the State of Georgia since 2010 and the State of California since 2017. As a practitioner and an academic, she enrolled in the International Conflict Management PhD Program at Kennesaw State in 2013 to further explore the symbiotic relationship between conflict research, policy, and practice.

Mary worked to further benefit from her time at KSU by formulating a long-term research and practice agenda of working with civilians and military personnel who are survivors of conflict and trauma. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, sociocultural trauma and intergenerational transmission of trauma, the impact of emotional health upon attitudes towards peace and peacebuilding, and psychosocial well-being in post-conflict reconstruction and reintegration. Mary holds certification in Non-profit Management from UGA and is a Certified Disaster Mental Health Response Specialist.

Dissertation Title: “Warrior to Civilian: The Impact of Social Identity and Emotional Well-being on the Community Reintegration of US Service Members and Veterans”. Mary’s dissertation research is being advised by a dissertation committee of 3 faculty advisers. These faculty members include Dr. Volker Franke (chair) and Dr. Timothy Hedeen from Kennesaw State University, and Dr. Thomas Britt from the University of Clemson.

Areas of Interest: Conflict-related Trauma; Post-conflict Reintegration; Attitudes towards Peace and Peacebuilding; Refugee Populations; U.S. Service Members and Their Families; Mental Health Care in Post-conflict Reconstruction

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