Conflict Management doctoral student wins Best Student Paper

Taylor Downs
Taylor Downs

Honor given for research on social movement

KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec 31, 2018) — Taylor Downs, a Kennesaw State University doctoral student in International Conflict Management, was recently awarded best paper for his work, “Understanding Internal Social Movement Differences and Framing in the Movement Against the Dakota Access Pipeline” at the 2018 Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Conference in Austin, Texas.

Downs’ research focused on how changes in the number and nature of involved social movement organizations (SMOs) impacted the use of narratives and symbols in the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016-2017. 

His paper was selected through a blind review process and judged on its connection to the theme of the conference, “From Relief to Resilience: How Philanthropy, Nonprofits and Volunteers Bridge the Gap between Crisis and Sustainability.”

The annual ARNOVA conference focused on building public conversations about important issues impacting voluntary or nonprofit sectors. The three-day event included more than 180 presentations and created an environment to showcase research.

Originally from Statesboro, Georgia, Downs received his bachelor’s degree in History from Georgia Southern University and his master’s degree in International Studies from North Carolina State University before joining Kennesaw State University’s Ph.D. program in International Conflict Management.

– Andrea Judy


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit