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Department of

Political Science and International Relations

Students & Alumni


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Student Research



Below you can see what some of our alums have done since graduating from USD with a Master's Degree in International Relations.

Chris Kleit, MAIR 2007

Recently accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Customs and Border Protection Officer at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Will be traveling to Georgia soon to attend a 15-week academy.

Joshua Vincent, MAIR 2007

Just took a job with the State Department as part of the Foreign Service as a Special Agent in the Diplomatic Security Service. Is currently in training and expects to finish in December 2009. Was previously an Intelligence Officer for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Genevieve Caston, MAIR 2006

Currently working as an employment specialist at the International Rescue Committee ( in San Diego. The employment department at the IRC helps newly arrived refugees from war torn countries resettle in the United States.

Deborah Flores, MAIR 2006 with joint J.D.

Recently co-authored an article accepted for publication in The Journal of Politics. Also recently appointed to the City of San Diego's International Affairs Board. Deborah works as a solo attorney in San Diego.

Jason Starkey, MAIR 2006

Jason joined the Army in February 2008 and is currently in Fort Bragg, NC in the Special Forces training program. He expects to become a Green Beret within nine months and is also in the process of completing a 6-month Farsi language program.

Stefan Velduis, MAIR 2006

Currently living in Claremont, CA attending Claremont Graduate University and working toward a Ph.D. in Political Science with concentrations in Comparative and American politics. Stefan also teaches at Chaffey College in San Bernadino County. He and his wife are expecting their second child in November 2009.

Scott Almasy, MAIR 2004

Working as an FBI analyst since January 2008. Prior to accepting the FBI position, moved to Hawaii after completing the MAIR program to work for the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

Briana Ronhaar
MAIR 2005
Currently in Virginia with her husband, who was just commissioned in the USMC. Learning Arabic.

Marlene Balaoing
MAIR 2004
Account executive and claims specialist for an insurance company in Solana Beach, CA.

Douglas Lee
MAIR 2004
Recently returned from interning at the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative in Kampala, Uganda. Provided legal assistance to the poor, and advocacy for the government to change its laws and/or respect human rights. Also educated the people about their rights.
Currently in South Carolina analyzing tax law and will begin an MBA program at MIT this fall.

Robyn Sullivan
MAIR 2004
Employed by the City of Phoenix in the Office of Protocol and Phoenix Sister Cities Commission. Her job has both a city and a non-profit component. She deals with Phoenix's ten sister cities on a daily basis and is nearing a trip to Mexico City to chaperone Youth Ambassadors on a Model UN Conference.

I knew I didn't want to apply for the CIA or Dept. of State and was wondering how to use my degree in a City that didn't seem to have many international related fields, but now that I'm in a hard to find international position, I have been introduced to a whole world of international job fields that aren't as obvious!

Christopher Yanov
MAIR 2004

Founded Reality Changers: Agentes de Cambio.  He presented over $250,000 in scholarships in June 2004 and over $1,000,000 in scholarships in June 2005, primarily to Latino high school students in the San Diego region who will be the first in their families to attend college. Those who seek to contribute to the scholarship fund or those with a desire to become weekly tutors for these students at locations in downtown San Diego and Solana Beach should contact Mr. Yanov through the organization's website at

Corey Brown
MAIR 2003

Currently employed by the U.S. Navy. Pilot, E-6.
Proud father of a new baby girl!

Jennifer Comfort (Potter)
MAIR 2003

Proud mother of a baby boy!

Paul Lenze
MAIR 2003

Pursuing his Ph.D. in the Political Science program at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. He will be ABD (All but Dissertation) in April of 2006. He is currently an adjuct instructor at Lewis-Clark State College for the 2005-2006 school year teaching comparative politcs this semester and possibly international relations or comparative politics in the spring. 
Specialty areas: International Relations, Political Psychology and American Politics

Shelley Lyford
MAIR 2003

Working full time position with the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) at the University of San Diego. She began her career at the IPJ as a Program Officer for the Women PeaceMakers Program and the youth program, WorldLink.
Currently the Director of WorldLink~Connecting Youth to Global Affairs. Shelley represents the IPJ at local and national meetings, and also attends United Nations meetings.

Ryan McMahon
MAIR 2002

Currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Political Science program at Washington State University in Pullman, WA.

Matthew Williams
MAIR 2002

M.M.I.S. (Masters of of Military Art & Science), Strategy, from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth. Currently pursuing his M.M.I.S., Theater Operations at the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies. Currently employed by the Department of Defense

“The MAIR education has served me well both professionally and educationally.  The instruction has set me apart from my peers at my job and has prepared me well for my continuing education.  Overall, the MAIR education was a great experience and I would highly recommend the program to any prospective student.”

Amy Kingston
MAIR 2001

Recently finished a four year active duty tour in the Office of Secretary of Defense.

"It was a great experience and I was able to supplement my academic experience with a first hand look at the policy making process."

Currently pursuing her JD at The George Washington University Law School.
Naval Reserves. Currently employed by a defense contractor.

Spyros Charitou
MAIR 2000
Currently employed at the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Nicosia, Cyprus

Olga Nikolic
MAIR 1999

Currently pursuing her Ph.D. in International Politics at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University College London in London, England

Ph.D. topic: “Post-Conflict Nonforcible International Intervention: Political, Socioeconomic, and Security Policies of the European Union and United States of America in Serbia from 5 October 2000 to 12 March 2003”

Joe Crumly, GPHR
MAIR 1995

Senior Consultant, ORC Worldwide