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Department of

Political Science and International Relations


Faculty and Students at Graduation

We are extremely excited to launch this new webpage that provides information on what our alumni have done since graduation. As you can see, our alumni have utilized their PS/IR major to pursue meaningful and interesting careers.  If you want to know what you can do with a major in PS/IR, the answer is clear: just about anything you want.

Class of 2011:

Joseph Abushwaish: After graduating, Joseph accepted a position working as a program intern for The Jerusalem Fund for Community Development and Education in Washington, DC.

Angelo Alessio: Angelo works for the United States Army as an Engineer Officer.

Nina Brunello: Nina currently works for the President and Co-Founder of as his executive assistant and project manager. She lives in San Diego.

Christopher Carry: Christopher is currently attending law school at the University of Denver.

Jessica Chapman: Jessica works as a Parliamentary and Policy Intern at Family Planning Association UK in London while working as a Sexual Health Awareness Volunteer for the Contraceptive and Sexual Health Field.

Gibran Chavez-Gudino: After working as summer staff for Teach for America, Gibran began attending Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Rafael Crescencio: Rafael currently works as a Junior Business Operations Specialist for Neomobile. He lives in Brazil.

Brooke Einspanier: After graduation, Brooke worked as a sales assistant for Entravision Communications. She now works as a consultant for IBM Global Business Services. Brooke lives in Washington, DC.

Jonathan Fein: Jonathan works as a high school political science, economics, and philosophy teacher at Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito in Quito, Ecuador.

Jill Ferguson: While completing her Masters Degree in the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, Jill worked as a research and policy intern at Navsarjan Trust in Gujarat, India. She also works as a Vision and Events Developer for Vision Collective and as a Marketing and Account Manager for Vaayu Ocean Adventures in India.

Ryan Flynn: Ryan is a Hospital Corpsman assigned to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. He has deployed to Iwakuni, Japan in 2013 and to the Central Command Area of Responsibility in 2014 supporting operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve. Ryan’s personnel decorations include two Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Fleet Marine Force Warfare Device, and the Navy Club of the United States Military Excellence Award. He has studied at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute and Field Medical Training Battalion West.

Ryan Forster: Ryan worked as an associate agent at Waterside Productions managing representation of author clientele, tracking book sales and submitting book proposals to publishers. He now works as an analyst for Integra Realty Resources in San Diego.

Kimberly Gillie: Kimberly works as a PR/Marketing Associate at Claribova Inc. and as a community manager for the San Diego Data Library. She coordinates the interaction between the library and the community of San Diego.

Alexandra (Ali) Gilmartin: Alexandra works as a real estate sales associate for The Gilmartin Group Real Estate and Investments in Burlingame, CA.

Leslie Hall: Leslie works as an immigration department volunteer for the International Rescue Committee. She helps refugees and asylum seekers fill out paperwork to become permanent residents or U.S. citizens.

Ryan Harbour:  After working at Arizona State University as a graduate assistant, then the Director of Basketball Technology, Ryan accepted the position of Director of Basketball Operations at the University of San Diego.

Charles Hersman: Charles currently works for the Teach for America program.

Alexander Higgs: After graduating, Alexander became a rifle platoon leader for the Army National Guard and was awarded the Distinguished Military Graduate award. He has since become an operation leadership program associate at United Technologies.

Morayma Jimenez: In the Teach for America program, Morayma works as an elementary school teacher but will be applying for graduate school in the Fall of 2013.

Kegan Johnson: After working as an interim analyst at Preferred Financial, Kegan works as an analyst at Syufy Enterprises in San Francisco.

Whitney Johnson: Whitney works as a trainer of communications representatives at Netflix. She also works as a speech and debate coach at Tualatin High School in Oregon.

Cody Littlefield: After graduating, Cody was deployed to Afghanistan as a Second Lieutenant, Forward Logistics Officer with the 1st Squadron.

Melanie Lucas-Conwell: Melanie currently works at Google as an Account Manager, Mobile Specialist. She also coaches her high school rowing team in the Bay Area.

Kimberly McPhail: After working with a Marketing Street Team for Space Needle Corporation, Kimberly now works as a Major Giving and Appeals Intern for Cancer Research UK in London.

Larisa Patrick: Larisa is currently working on her Masters of Arts in History at the University of San Diego and works as an Executive Assistant/Dean’s Project Assistant in the Dean’s Office of University of San Diego.

Justine Pierce: After working as editor and project manager at James Publishing in Costa Mesa, Justine now works at Freelance Writing and Editorial Services. She not only writes and edits content, but also manages a team of writers.

Rebecca Remy: After working as a policy intern for the United Nations Foundation-Better World Campaign, Rebecca is now the Assistant to the President at Ploughshares Fund in Washington, DC.

Celisse Ruiz: Within months of graduation, Celisse worked as a volunteer coordinator for Teran Foundation in Mozambique. Celisse now works for Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA as a development assistant and Women’s Empowerment and Education Service Project Leader in Mbabane, Swaziland.

Michaela Sandy: She is currently a graduate student at San Diego State University and is earning her Masters of Social Work. She works as a child care counselor for New Alternatives for children working in a group home for foster kids ages 13-17. She also works as a case service representative for Operation Homefront in Miramar, California. In this capacity, helps military families in financial crisis and works as a partner with the Wounded Warrior Project.

Elizabeth Skurdahl: Elizabeth works as the Development Coordinator for Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest in Portland, Oregon. She is responsible for the entire fundraising program in the Northwest region (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska). She looks forward to pursuing a masters degree in International Relations in the future.

Jeanie Smith: After working as the head coach for the rowing team at American University, Jeanie is now an IT Help Desk Technician for Powertek Corporation.

Samantha Sommerman: Samantha currently attends DePaul University of Law in Chicago, IL.

John Stanley: John currently attends Pepperdine University School of Law and just accepted a position as a legal intern for the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.

Kelly Usher: Upon graduation, Kelly worked as a program and membership director for High Road for Human Rights. In April 2012, Kelly became a trainer/therapeutic riding instructor at Camp Kostpulos Dream Foundation that provides riding opportunities for people with disabilities. Kelly is now an administrative assistant for the Refugee and Immigrant Center Asian Association of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Leah Wickman: Leah lives in Australia where she is attending the University of Melbourne studying law.

Audrey Wolffe: Audrey is enrolled in the postbaccalaurate premedical program at University of Southern California. She plans to attend medical school and participating in international medical non-profits. She also works as a nurse at a cosmetic and dermatological doctors’ office while volunteering at LA Children’s Hospital.

Stacy Young: Presently Stacy is working as a legal secretary at Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy, LLP and lives in the San Francisco area.


Class of 2010:

Yesenia Barberena: Yesenia is currently working as an executive assistant to Ms. Chaka Khan's manager. She assists Ms. Chaka Khan with coordinating events, performances, and interviews. She also assists in drafting rider agreements for her tours and performances. Additionally, she is currently studying for the LSAT to take next year. She is planning on going to law school in fall 2012.

Michael Baryla: Michael has opened a retail gun store which has surpassed even the most optimistic business plan he had laid out. In the first 10 months of business he has had over $1.15 million in sales with more than 1600 guns sold.

Mariko Lamb: In June 2010, Mariko worked as a freelance reporter for the San Diego Community Newspaper Group, publishers of Beach and Bay Press, Downtown News, La Jolla Village News and Pennisula Beacon. In September, Mariko began as a full-time staff reporter.

Angelica Serna: After Angelica graduated, she obtained an internship with Jewish Family Services in the refugee resettlement department as well as the Women's Global Network during winter and spring. Shortly after, she interned at TESOL Training International and received a TESOL certification to teach English abroad. In May 2011, Angelica received an acceptance letter from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, and she prepared to depart for the year-long MA program in International Law. While in Costa Rica, Angelica went to school full-time and taught English to young adults and adults at a local language school part-time. In May 2012, UPeace classes terminated and Angelica returned to San Diego to write her thesis on democratization. She is currently interning at Project Concern International as the Gender Equity Commission intern and is a part-time English teacher to international students.

Class of 2009:

Kent Du: After three years working as an account manager of a high tech contract manufacturing company, Kent will be attending San Diego State University's Homeland Security Program.

Jennifer Feeley: Jennifer recently accepted a position as a Planner for the City of Piedmont in the Bay area after receiving her Masters in City Planning from San Diego State University. She also interned for the City of San Diego in the Historical Resources division of the Planning Department as well as at SANDAG in their Compass Card program while undergoing her graduate work.

Lambert de Ganay: After moving to Paris, Lambert is now settled in a real-estate firm.

Anne Keicher: Anne joined Teach for America and has been teaching 2nd and 3rd grade in a low-income community.

Class of 2008:

Nicole Burns: Nicole worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce in the field and as a supervisor. She is now attending graduate school at Tufts University to obtain an MA Degree in French and will be applying to PhD programs this summer.

Amy English: After graduation, Amy travelled the world and volunteered at a nonprofit organization in Tamil Nadu, India, assisting in the management of projects to empower women and children in villages and small towns. She moved to DC and worked for another nonprofit organization called Shared Hope International, which worked to prevent child sex trafficking in the United States and around the world. She is currently completing her MA Degree at the University of Warwick in England.

J. Ryan Jetton: After graduation in 2008, Ryan moved back to Dallas to run a congressional race out of his hometown of Dallas, Tx. He then moved to D.C. to work with the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) building a finance database for use in marketing. After completing that he became the Chief Technology Officer focusing on technology and marketing efforts online. In Sept of 2011 he left his role at the NRCC to start Utility Digital llc which focuses on online marketing, technology and digital media planning.

Candice Maldonado: Candice worked as a healthcare recruiter for a year hiring nurses and caregivers to be placed with senior clients that wish to remain home. A year ago she was promoted to Accounts Manager and is responsible for marketing, sales, hiring, and management of her internal staff. Her company provides non medical care to elderly or disabled people that wish to remain at home but need assistance with activities of daily living.

William Alex McGee: After moving to Washington, DC, Wiliiam began work as a consultant for the Federal government. He supported the National Preparedness Division within FEMA for a year and a half assisting with the assessment of state and local emergency preparedness.  He is currently supporting a division within the Department of Homeland Security that regulates security at chemical facilities across the nation.  In this role, he serves as a program coordinator and assists in budgetary issues, policy development, and overall programmatic coordination for a team of 100 personnel located across the country.

Jenna McKnight: Jenna served in Kyrgystan as a Peace Corp volunteer from July 2008-July 2009. Between August 2009-December 2009 she volunteered at the IRC, and worked part-time for Pacific Intercultural Exchange. As of January 2010, Jenna has worked at Junior Achievement.

Melissa Miranda: Melissa is in her final year at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Throughout her law school career she has worked at the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office and at an employment firm in Sacramento.

Jamie Robb: Jamie is currently in her first year in the MAIR program at USD.

Alissa Skog: After volunteering in Northern Uganda for four months, Alissa returned to the USA and began as a deputy field organizer on the final month of the Obama campaign. For the past two years she has been employed by DAI, a USAID contractor supporting two projects for Kenya and Serbia from the Washington, DC office.

Mary Sturgeon:  After graduationl, Mary took an architectural design course. She enjoyed it so much that she now attends graduate school at University of Texas-Austin, pursuing a career in sustainable architecture.

Elise (Vaughan) Winfrey: After graduation Elise moved to Washington, DC in August of 2008. From 2008 through 2011 she worked at the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), first as a Research Associate and later as Assistant Director. She left CFR in the fall of 2011 to pursue a Master of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Class of 2007:

Karla Alvarez: Immediately after graduating, she was offered a full-time position as program coordinator at the Institute of Peace and Justice at USD. In the years since, she has been promoted to program officer and continues to expand the youth program in various ways. Her research has primarily consisted of youth's role in conflict and post-conflict settings, and their broader contributions to peacebuilding. Over the past year, she has traveled to Northern Ireland and Mindanao, Philippines, to asses youth involvement in peacebuilding. She is interested in going to graduate school for a MA Degree in peace studies or a dual degree in policy and MBA in corporate social responsibility. After spending 4 years working at an NGO, she is particularly interested in public-private hybrid organizations as a means to achieving sustainable poverty alleviation.

Christopher Barry: After graduation, Christopher worked for a boutique consultancy firm in Los Angeles. He recently moved to the investment banking side of Macquarie Capital. He is now applying for law school.

Rhett Buttle: Rhett serves as National Outreach and Government Affairs Manager for the Small Business Majority. He is responsible for the organization’s operations in Washington, DC. He is the liaison with the Obama administration, Congress and national partners and collaborates with national, state, and local advocacy organizations on outreach efforts. He has an MA Degree from George Washington University and is active in many volunteer and professional organizations that includes America Legion Boys State. He also serves on the Board of Directors at USD.

Matthew Colvin: After graduation, Matt joined the United States Peace Corps and helped to implement Jamaica’s largest marine protected area. He is currently working on foreign relations issues for Senator Menendez (D-NJ) in Washington, DC.

Elizabeth Doherty (Santa-Donato): As Development Coordinator for the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Elizabeth is responsible for the management and execution of the organization’s fundraising activities. Elizabeth works with the executive staff and Board to develop and implement the Alliance’s strategic development plan. In this role, her activities include donor relations and cultivation, grant coordination and prospecting, and the creation of Alliance marketing materials.

Kendra Galante (Quintana): After attending The Washington Center internship program in D.C., Kendra worked in the Communications Department at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she handled media relations. She later worked on events at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. She currently resides in Omaha, Neb. and is Public Relations Counsel at Ervin & Smith Advertising & Public Relations.

Jenna Gilbert: Jenna went to law school at Loyola Law School Los Angeles immediately after graduating from USD. She focused on International Human Rights law and in particular refugee and immigrant rights advocacy. After graduating from law school in May 2010, passed the CA State Bar Exam, she is currently working in Quito, Ecuador as a Loyola Law School Public Interest Fellow at Asylum Access Ecuador. Her role as a legal advocate with Asylum Access is to provide legal services to refugees in Ecuador so they can exercise their rights.

Elizabeth (Jones) Mosobase: Elizabeth worked at a small independently owned restaurant in La Jolla, CA as bookkeeper and assistant to the owner. She then worked as a project manager for WebEngage, a web design company in San Diego. After completing a six month ministry training program in Cape Town, South Africa, she is a full-time volunteer with a non-profit organization LXP (The Leadership Experience).

Jamie Lenio: After attending Loyola Law School in Los Angeles Jamie focused on international human rights law and refugee and immigrant rights advocacy. She now works in Quito, Ecuador as a Loyola Law School Public Interest Fellow at Asylum Access Ecuador. Her position as a legal advocate with Asylum Access is to provide legal services to refugees in Ecuador so they can exercise their rights.

Kelly McCarthy: After graduation, Kelly moved to Washington, DC and interned with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the office of International Affairs. She then worked for Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL). After earning her MA Degree in Elementary Education, she now works at the Latin School of Chicago.

Sarah Miller: After travelling through Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe Sarah volunteered for nine months in Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa. She is currently studying for her MA Degree in International Development and Global Heath at the Josef Korbel School of International Student at the University of Denver. She has also worked with new Concept Information Systems in Delhi, India to design and implement a community health worker program alongside the government. She also works for the Clinton Health Access Initiative mapping vaccination teams’ work in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Kenya. She is the manager of the Africa Fund of Sante Fe Common Ground, which raises money to help Ugandan and Tanzanian children afford school.

Class of 2006:

Andrew Boylan:  Andrew graduated from USD law school in 2009 and then attended USD School of Business, earning his MBA in 2010. He is currently employed at McMillan Law Group.

Brianna Cajacob: Brianna was commissioned in the Navy and after two tours as a Deck Officer and an Engineering Officer, she now works as an adjudicator for Combat-Related Special Compensation Pay for wounded veterans at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC.

Joyce Chan: Joyce has worked for Ethnic Print Media and Credit Suisse. She is now employed at Daiwa Capital Markets.

Tyler Deyling: Tyler currently works as a police officre in the Juvenile Service Team in the Southeastern Division of the San Diego Police Department.

Kristine Fargotstein: Upon moving to Washington, DC Kristine landed her dream job at the National Association of Broadcasters. She was part of the Public Service Initiatives Department working with broadcasters and non-profit organizations to lobby Congress and other policymakers. She is currently in her second year of law school at George Mason University and is an editor of the Civil Rights Journal, a member of Moot Court, and has started a Communications Law Society for students who are interested in pursuing a career in communications law.

Charles Fourmi: After four months at the Clinton Foundation, Charles volunteered at the Columbia University Council for European Studies as an administrative assistant. He is currently working in the field of gastronomy.

Rochelle Gauthier: After travelling the country, Rochelle volunteered at the largest FEMA shelter outside of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She conducted art therapy sessions for the surviving children. She worked for a San Diego non-profit, Voices for Children (VFC), where she helped train, recruit, and supervise volunteers to become advocates for abused and neglected children in foster care systems. She is currently living in New Orleans,have graduated in 2011 from Tulane University to obtain her MA Degree in Social Work with a specialization in Disaster Mental Health. She is now working as a clinical social worker specializing in children exposed to domestic violence.

Detgen Greeff (Bannigan):   After graduation, Detgen attended a one-month intensive graduate symposium on international conflict resolution and mediation in Prague. She then worked as a research analyst for Gerrity International in Hong Kong and Bangalore, India for 2 years, and taught English in a local Bangalore school for children living in slum communities. After moving to New York City in 2009, she now works as a project coordinator for the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (funded by the Department of Homeland Security), managing disaster logistics preparedness projects and training initiatives. Detgen began studying for her masters degree in public administration at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs in August 2012.

Marco Guido: Marco works at Hilltop Public Solutions and is also a founding partner in Terra Strategies and Brushfire Strategies. He has managed a variety of initiatives, issue advocacy and political campaigns. In 2010, he managed Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts Action Fund, a coalition that opposed the injection of partisanship into Missouri’s courtrooms. He also advised Cambiando California, an coalition targeting Latinos, supporting Jerry Brown for Governor and was instrumental in electing Senator Bennett in Colorado.

Alisha Lopez-Woodward: After graduation, Alisha worked as the Training Assistant for EMILY’s List during the 2008 election. While at EMILY’s List she helped manage its job bank and coordinated its endorsement logistics for 284 candidates in the Political Opportunity Program, which helps pro-choice Democratic women run for state and local office. She now works with Emerge America, a national non-profit that trains Democratic women to run for political office. As Deputy Development Director/Affiliate Coordinator, she oversees the national direct mail and online fundraising program and assists the president with special research projects and works to expand the program to all fifty states.

Jacqueline Luna: Jacqueline attended graduate school in Ireland at Dublin City University. Her thesis was a comparative analysis of US and EU policies concerning terrorist use of biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear weapons. After graduation in 2008 with a MA Degree in International Security and Conflict Studies she spent time in France and Germany. She now works as the library assistant for children’s services at the Coronado Public Library. She has also obtained an MA Degree in Library Information Science from San Jose State University.

Jennifer Nguyen: Jennifer has worked for the Republican Party of San Diego County for the past three years and is now project coordinator. She has organized fundraising events for Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego using her biochemistry major and political science mino to bring a new outlook on science and technology. (She also obtained a job as a lab technician at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute).

Emily Schmidt: After attending the Washington Center post-graduate internship program in Washington, DC, she worked in the public affairs industry in DC. She then moved to California and worked for Governor Schwarzenegger in his San Diego field office. She now works with Porter Novelli, a public relations firm.

Matt Skarzynski:As the Academic Director at Baltimore SquashWise, a non-profit youth development program serving Baltimore City Public School students, Matt is responsible for improving academic achievement among SquashWise students and the overall strengthening of the academic program. Matt joined SquashWise in 2009 after teaching English at an Islamic boarding school in Malaysia, under a Fulbright Scholarship.
Before teaching in Malaysia, Matt was an AmeriCorps Volunteer and later a full-time staff member of the Baltimore Urban Debate League.

Robyn Silva: After travelling to Thailand, Robyn worked as a financial representative at the San Diego County Credit Union doing real estate home loans. She is currently finishing her third year of law school at California Western School of Law.

Kristen Thornton: After graduation, Kristen worked as a special projects coordinator and editorial assistant for FOAM magazine. She then worked as a field representative for the California State Assemblyman for Todd Spitzer (R-71). She now works as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Elizabeth Weinmann (Bower): After graduation, Elizabeth attended graduate school at the University of Kansas and earned a MA Degree in Social Work. After the two year program she worked for a Dialysis Clinic. She is now the manager for the Ryan White program at the University of Kansas Hospital, which provides case management and other services to HIV patients.