Kinsey Spears

Kinsey Spears


Fields of study

  • Gender Analysis in International Studies
  • International Security Studies


United States

Finding Fletcher

I decided to come to Fletcher because of the community students have developed here. I had been working in Washington DC, after the election I was completely burnt out. I knew that if I pursued a graduate degree in DC I would not be as committed or focused. I wanted to remove myself from the distractions of DC and focus on academics. Additionally, Fletcher's flexible curriculum allowed me to focus on gender and security studies in a way that other programs did not. It was because of this that I knew pursuing my MALD and PhD at Fletcher was the right choice. Nowhere else could I have security studies and gender specialists advising my research in such a multi-disciplinary fashion.

On the support of the faculty

It would be impossible to pick one favorite class or faculty member at Fletcher, which speaks to how wonderful Fletcher is. I have been consistently supported and challenged by all my faculty members regardless of whether I was taking courses within my fields of study or exploring out of my comfort zone. Across all fields the faculty at Fletcher are accessible and willing to help you, both academically and professionally. For instance, Professor Shultz, who teaches Role of Force, has been a wonderful mentor to me and has helped me better focus my research within the security studies field. Professor Mazurana, who teaches Gender, Culture and Conflict, fundamentally changed my perspective on gender and is one of the main reasons why I thought pursuing a PhD was a possibility.

On bringing your work outside the classroom

One of the best things about Fletcher is the amount of student engagement. Fletcher gives students the space to really do what they want and need to develop a productive learning environment. In the second year of my MALD I had the amazing opportunity to be part of the inaugural Decolonizing International Relations Conference. The conference, founded and organized by two MALD students, worked to raise up and learn from historically marginalized voices, the voices that are sometimes missing from IR classrooms and syllabi. This student-led initiative shows that if you can put your mind to it, and fundraise for it, you can accomplish a lot here.

    Activities involved in at Fletcher

    • Student Council
    • Decolonizing International Relations Conference
    • Co-Director Fletcher LEADS
    • Fletcher Dean Search Committee

    Education before Fletcher

    • Bachelor of Arts, International Affairs, Arabic, University of Georgia

    Experience before Fletcher

    • Director of Scheduling, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
    • Peace Corps Volunteer, United States Peace Corps in Cambodia


    Arabic, English