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Katherine Bowen-Williams(Peace and Conflict Studies, European Studies)After completing my undergraduate degree in International Studies with a Peace and Conflict Studies concentration, I applied and was accepted to George Mason's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR). Courses are tailored to the application of theory and practice in the field as many in my cohort are students currently working in the field. The program offers freedom to focus on conflicts, social structures, or interests around the world with students from every region, background, and age. Instead of the usual M.S., I will be receiving an M.I. (Master's International) upon the successful completion of my coursework and Peace Corps service beginning summer 2012. Due to my study of Central Asia, I expect to be placed in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic or Turkmenistan.
Thanks to the experience of writing my Senior Honor Thesis during my last semester at USF, I wrote a thesis entitled “Tensions Over Hydroelectric Developments in Central Asia: Regional Interdependence and Energy Security” that has been accepted for publication by the peer-edited Asia Pacific: Perspectives journal through the USF Center for the Pacific Rim. Now fully able to delve into my interest in Central Asia, I have networked with "Central Asianists" at S-CAR and in the D.C. Metro Area to pursue my interest in conflict within that region. I am a member of the Central Asian Working Group and involved in a project to create teaching materials about the region and make non-Western style mediation techniques available to undergraduates. If we're successful, it could broaden students' knowledge and interests in the understudied region. (10/25/11)
Sophia Kleinsasser(Peace and Conflict Studies, European Studies)After graduating in 2010, I began a ten-month Fulbright Fellowship teaching English at a public high school in Bulgaria. During my first year I was offered a renewal of my grant, and so I came back for a second year in Sofia, the capital. Working with the Fulbright program here has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me. Learning a new language and adapting to a different culture have both helped me to grow more independent and confident in myself. I have made tons of new friends from Bulgaria, the United States, other European countries and all over the world.
As a teacher I felt humbled by my role as a mentor to my students and last year began developing an idea for a project intended to give something back to school communities. “Learning Through Our Differences” is a project dedicated to promoting tolerance and respect for diverse perspectives through interactive workshops for Bulgarian teenagers. Thanks to the generous support of the Open Society Institute’s Youth Initiative Program in Budapest, I will be carrying out this project in the fall of 2012. My future plans are to pursue a career in international education or within a civil society organization. (7/27/12)
Carlie Kralj(World Religions and Spiritualities, Latin American Studies)After graduating, I worked at Google for a year as a University Programs Coordinator, and I currently work at CBSInteractive as an Operations Coordinator. I also assist with Landmark Education in their Family Division. This is an unpaid role and I feel like it is a great way for me to continue making a difference. Currently, I lead introductions to Teens and Young People and I am the Registration Team Captain for the Teen Course. Also, the Jesuits must have rubbed off on me because I am enrolled at The French Class and since graduation have been taking lessons there. I now speak English, Spanish, and French. (8/31/12)
Vicente Lam(International Economics, Latin American Studies)After graduation, I moved back to Hong Kong and worked in web content management creating editorial content as well as copy for adverts and press releases. After about a year, I quit and used my savings to travel for several months, starting in South Africa and continuing on to Australia and New Zealand. I can now proudly say that I've been to six continents! After returning home to Hong Kong from my travels, I set about applying for postgraduate study. I applied to schools in both Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. I had a lot of help, with references from Professor Wydick and Professor Coffman, and without them, I do not know whether or not I would have gained a place at any of the universities I applied to. I am happy to say I have chosen to accept a place at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I will be doing a masters in Population and Development Studies and start in October. In the meantime, I have taken the summer to travel a little more, this time around Thailand. (8/3/12)
Derek Poppert(Global Politics and Societies, Latin American Studies)It's been an interesting time for me since graduation. I should start by saying that the previous June I was drafted in the Major League Baseball draft by the Seattle Mariners. I played one season of professional baseball that summer for one of their minor league teams in Virginia before returning to finish up my remaining units at USF the following fall. After graduation in December, I ended up making the most difficult decision of my life so far: to walk away from a career in professional baseball and my childhood dream of playing in the major leagues. The long story short is, I wanted to do something more with my life. I have new dreams of seeing the world and working towards a career dealing with such issues as human rights, poverty, international law, foreign policy, and political/social change.
Shortly after graduation I began an internship at The Commonwealth Club, here in San Francisco. I helped put on interviews and panel discussions regarding important national/international issues with prominent public figures such as politicians, economists, authors, filmmakers, scholars, and business leaders. I recently finished my internship and picked up a job at a ski shop in Berkeley that I plan to work for the next few months to save up some more money for my travels. I plan to get a one-way ticket to South America and make my way around various countries down there, starting in Peru. From South America I plan to fly to Spain where I will then explore Europe and parts of the Middle East. I will eventually return to the Bay Area, at which point I’ll probably be ready to begin my new career in earnest and prepare for graduate school. (11/2/11)
Diane Royal(Global Politics and Societies, European Studies)In December 2010 I graduated from USF with a degree in International Studies – concentration in Global Politics and Societies. At the beginning of August 2012, I received a Masters of Science (MS) degree in Global Health Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Before pursuing a Master’s degree, I worked at the non-profit organization, AIDS Walk San Francisco, as the Event Operations Coordinator. For the next two months – August through October 2012 – I’ll be living in Germany visiting family and friends. I’ll then return to the U.S. to work, research and prepare for the PhD application process. I remain closely connected with faculty mentors at USF, all of whom continue to play critical roles in my academic pursuits and personal life. I am eternally grateful for their guidance and support. It is because of them that attending USF became one of the best decisions I ever made! (7/30/12)