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Meet C-RASC’s Graduate Research Fellows: Ms. Jocelyn Barrett & Mr. Babak Aslani

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Meet C-RASC’s graduate research fellows: Ms. Jocelyn Barrett and Mr. Babak Aslani. 

Jocelyn Barrett is a doctoral candidate at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, where she focuses on Conflict Analysis and Genocide Prevention Studies. Since 2021, Ms. Barrett has served as a graduate research fellow at GMU’s Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC).

Working with Dr. Katherine Laskey and Dr. Karina Korostelina at C-RASC, Ms. Barrett’s research focuses on empowering Native American communities through access to broadband development. Her work is a result of the many roadblocks in broadband that these communities faced before and during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. For reference, the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that in 2020, 18% of people living on tribal lands couldn’t access broadband service, compared to 4% of people in non-tribal areas. In the future, Ms. Barrett hopes to expand her research to include additional underserved communities on a global scale.

Outside of her research at C-RASC, Ms. Barrett is the Visiting Scholars Program Coordinator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and loves to travel.

Babak Aslani is a doctoral candidate at the College of Engineering and Computing at George Mason University, where he focuses on Systems Engineering and Operations Research. His research interests include optimization, evolutionary algorithms, machine learning, and multi-criteria decision-making. Since 2020, Mr. Aslani has served as a graduate research fellow at GMU’s Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC). 

Working with Dr. Shima Mohebbi at C-RASC, Mr. Aslani’s research is focused on protecting critical infrastructures, such as water and transportation, from natural disasters and cyber-attacks. In essence, his research helps infrastructure management restore the affected systems faster to standard service level. In addition, Mr. Aslani’s work aims to identify and empower vulnerable communities, which are severely impacted by disastrous situations, in efforts to prepare for future incidents.

Outside of his research, Mr. Aslani is a fan of soccer and movies.