M.A. Student Adam Johnson Recognized as "Worlds Ahead Graduate"

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Left to Right: Dr. Steven Heine, Adam Johnson, Dr. Thomas Breslin, Dr. Paul Kowert. Asian Studies M.A. student Adam Johnson was recognized by FIU President Mark Rosenberg as a “Worlds Ahead Graduate” at commencement in May. Adam also received the Award for Academic Excellence from the College of Arts and Sciences for outstanding academic standing, professor recommendation, and involvement in extracurricular activities.

Adam successfully completed and defended his thesis, “The Philippines and China: A Bilateral Analysis of the South China Sea Dispute,” which focuses on the bilateral disputes and issues between the two biggest players in the South China Sea territorial disputes.

Adam earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from FIU and enrolled in the Asian Studies graduate program in 2010. Under the mentorship of Professor Steven Heine, he completed a master’s degree with an emphasis in Chinese political economy and East Asian security issues. During his graduate studies, he also worked as a teaching assistant, assisting several professors in their courses and mentoring other graduate and undergraduate students. He is the first T.A. in the Asian Studies program to teach his own class, ASN3410 (Introduction to East Asia). Among his other achievements, he interned with U.S. Southern Command, working in the Policy and Strategy Directorate, and received fellowships from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to conduct research and study in China and Brazil.

Adam has enlisted into the Army (Special Forces Recruit). After two years of Special Forces training, he will engage in counter-terrorism operations in East and Southeast Asia. After his service with the Army, Adam hopes to complete a Ph.D. or law degree and work for the U.S. government, with the ultimate goal of one day becoming a university professor.