Student/Alumni News

Fall 2017

Janelle McDowell
Study Abroad Spotlight: Janelle McDowell, participant in UNF Art and Design Summer 2017 program in Italy (9/16/17)
Recent International Studies graduate Janelle McDowell (2017) participated in the summer study abroad program in Italy led by Debra Murphy, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Design. The group spent one week each in Florence and Massa Marittima, and four weeks in Rome. "We got to experience the historic monuments, architecture and museums that contribute to the culture of Italy," Janelle wrote. "A few of the sights we saw were the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Venice, Naples--including Pompeii and Herculaneum--, and Michelangelo's David. We learned about the history of Italy and the importance that art had within their civilization and how that transcends into today's Italian culture." Photo: Janelle in Florence, atop the cathedral of Santa Maria


 Alumni Update: Rachael Dollarprogram liaison with the International Committee of the Red Cross (9/14/17) 

Rachael Dollar graduated from the University of North Florida in December 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in French. Her final semester included the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant to Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, founder of the University of North Florida's Public Service Leadership Program. Upon graduating, Rachael began her career in public service working as a staff assistant to United States Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) in his Jacksonville office. After a year and a half, she then made her way to the nation's capital, serving as Senator Nelson's scheduler and special assistant. As of August 2016, Rachael has moved on into the humanitarian field, working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a sister organization of the American Red Cross. Based in Geneva, the ICRC is a neutral, impartial, independent organization working to assist victims of armed conflict. With over 16,000 staff operating in 80 countries (and counting) worldwide, Rachael is the program liaison at the Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada based in Washington. She organizes ICRC visitors from Geneva and the field to North America by creating programs that focus on interacting with the US and Canadian governments, the non-profit sector, and academia. In her short career at the ICRC, Rachael has been lucky to have had opportunities to travel to Amman, Jordan, for training exercises, as well as to provide support to the New York City Delegation to the United Nations. Congratulations to Rachael! 


Theo Mason

Congratulations to Theodore Mason, summer 2017 intern with the UNF English Language Program (9/7/17)


Congratulations to International Studies major Theodore Mason, who interned with the English Language Program (ELP) at UNF in summer 2017. In this position, Theo provided support to the international students from 12 different countries speaking eight languages by responding to inquiries in person and over the phone. He also organized and led some language activities for students after class, and assisted ELP instructors and staff during field trips and out-of-class activities. Irene Silas, ELP director, supervised Theo's work, and reported to us as follows: "During his work at the ELP, Theodore was courteous and friendly. Our international students and staff enjoyed his energy and enthusiasm. He was always ready to help and was willing to provide our students with anything they needed. He worked well as a part of our team and took instruction easily." Theodore received academic credit for this experience through INS4990 International Studies Internship. Photo: Theodore (back row, far left) with the ELP students on an ice-skating field trip.

Camila Gonzalez

Alumni Update: Camila Gonzalez, territory manager for Nespresso USA (9/5/17)


Alumni Update: Camila Gonzalez graduated from UNF in 2015 with a double major in Spanish and International Studies. After graduation, Camila spent six months traveling through Eastern Europe and Morocco. After her travels, she moved to San Francisco, California, where today she is a territory manager for Nespresso USA. In this role, she works with a variety of vendors to ensure daily business operations run smoothly, while simultaneously developing a strong customer network, effectively presenting the B2B products to potential new and existing clients, and closing new business. More generally, she also leads and enhances Nespresso Business Solutions in the office service division, conducting sales presentations and customer trainings. Congratulations to Camila! Photo: Camila in Chefchaouen, Morocco


Bozena Bakula

Alumni Update: Bozena Bakulaclient associate with Bledsoe, Baker, Busch & Associates (8/31/17)

Alumni Update: Bozena Bakula graduated from UNF with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies in 2013. Today she is a client associate with Bledsoe, Baker, Busch & Associates, a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Team. In this position, Bozena provides dedicated operational and sales support to multiple financial advisors. She feels that has found her calling in wealth management, a field in which she is able to employ the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills she developed through the International Studies Program. Congratulations to Bozena!

Grace N

Alumni Update: Grace Namchaithotsaphon, summer 2017 participant in Thai American National Internship Program (8/28/17)


Grace Namchaithotsaphon graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies in 2015. This past summer, Grace participated in the Thai American National Internship Program in Washington, DC. She interned in the office of Congressman Robert Brady for six weeks and in the Royal Thai Embassy for one week. At Congressman Brady's office, she answered constituent calls, attended briefings and hearings, and wrote memos about specific issues to help inform his vote. "Being at the heart of politics allowed me to learn so much about all the behind the scenes work needed to make policy and legislation," Grace reflected. During her week at the Thai Embassy, she learned how to process passports, visas, and Thai IDs, as well as how to legalize documents going to Thailand. "My favorite part was helping Thai citizens in distress or emergency situations," she told us. Congratulations to Grace! Photo: Grace with Congressman Brady



   Shannon Reynolds
Study Abroad Spotlight: Shannon Reynolds, summer 2017 trip to Europe focused on environmental sustainability and collective action (8/24/17)


International Studies major Shannon Reynolds​ spent a month in Europe over the summer with a program through the University of Florida. The group traveled nearly every day, exploring cities in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. The  program included visits to the offices of several international organizations, including the European Union, the United Nations, and World Trade Organization. These events focused on topics including environmental sustainability and the power of collective action to effect change. Photo: Shannon on top of Mont Blanc in the Alps. 
Rebecca Eppler
 Alumni Update: Rebecca Eppler, student in Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University  
Rebecca Eppler​ completed a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies at UNF in 2013. As an undergraduate, Rebecca interned at local non-profit GlobalJax, promoting citizen diplomacy in Northeast Florida, and upon graduating, transitioned to work at GlobalJax for three years, before leaving her position as Director of Programs. Today she is a second-year graduate student in the Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University, and is earning a certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.  She works as a graduate assistant at the Center for Social Justice at Georgetown University, and is project coordinator for Tastakel Center for Women, a non-profit educating Syrian women in Turkey and Syria. In summer 2017, Rebecca interned at the High Negotiations Office of Geneva in Switzerland as a Georgetown Conflict Resolution Summer Fellow. In Spring 2017, she completed a field work with Syrian refugees course in Jordan. During her time at UNF, her favorite experiences were studying abroad in Germany to learn German and participating in coursework that allowed her to research and present an original policy proposal to members of the federal government in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to Rebecca!  Photo: Rebecca in Jerash, Jordan, in March 2017  


Kat Gramm-Zlotnik 
Alumni Update: Kat Gramm-ZlotnikMaster of Public and International Affairs student at the University of Pittsburgh (8/17/17)

Kat Gramm-Zlotnik graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies in 2013. This fall, she is beginning the Master of Public and International Affairs (MPIA) program at the University of Pittsburgh. She will be focusing on human security, and will obtain a dual master's degree in social work. After completing her studies, she hopes to find a government or non-profit position combating human trafficking both abroad and in the United States. Congratulations to Kat!

Jimmy Everett
Congratulations to Jimmy Everett, summer 2017 interpretive ranger at Yellowstone National Park (8/15/17)
Congratulations to Jimmy Everett (International Studies, 2013), who worked this past summer as an interpretive ranger at Yellowstone National Park. 


"I was responsible for facilitating intellectual and emotional connections between visitors and the park's natural resources," Jimmy explained. "This entailed designing and giving educational programs about the wildlife, geothermal features, and history of Yellowstone. My duties also included keeping visitors safe by monitoring the movement of large ungulate species, such as elk, to ensure that humans do not approach the wildlife and put themselves at risk. I also worked with youth who were participating in the 'Junior Ranger' program, which was one of the most rewarding aspects of my job." 
After an exciting summer, Jimmy is now in Gainesville. As we announced in the spring, he is beginning the Master of Arts in Latin American Studies program at the University of Florida.

Sara Baranda 2016
Alumni Update: Sara Baranda, summer 2016 intern with Border Community Alliance​ (BCA) and Fundación del Empresariado Sonorense, A.C. (8/10/17)


In the summer of 2016, Sara Baranda​ (International Studies, 2016) participated in the six-week summer internship program sponsored by the nonprofit organizations Border Community Alliance​ (BCA) and Fundación del Empresariado Sonorense, A.C. (FESAC​). Sara and her colleagues were housed in Nogales (the US side) and received a stipend for living expenses. They witnessed first-hand the strong economic activity between Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona, and learned about the complexities of immigration policy and social justice through such experiences as touring maquiladoras and a produce distributor; witnessing a plea hearing at Tucson's courthouse and seeing approximately 70 migrants receive their sentence for illegal entry into the US; attending meetings with the Mexican Consulate, the American Consulate, and Border Patrol; and volunteering at a soup kitchen where deported migrants received a meal and were given toiletries, clothes and shoes before setting off for home. The group visited a camp located near Arivaca, Arizona, where a humanitarian organization known as No More Deaths/No Más Muertes​ gives migrants temporary shelter, food, and basic medical treatment, and explored towns like Sasabe, which was once a tourist area, and is now a ghost town because of drug cartels that have extorted money from the local population. Sara and the other participants also trekked through the desert to replenish water/food supplies along trails known to have heavy migrant foot traffic, and toured a gymnasium, built by BCA and FESAC, that serves as a safe space for young people and a cultural center.   




Abbie Bernet, July 2017
Congratulations to Abbie Bernet, member of Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach Sunset (8/8/17) 

Congratulations to Abbie Bernet (International Studies, 2016), who in June became the youngest Rotarian at the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach Sunset. Abbie has long volunteered for Rotary Youth Exchange and the Ponte Vedra club decided to create a special program to allow young people like her to join. "I am so thankful for yet another opportunity Rotary International has provided me with and look forward to serving my community with my fellow club members," Abbie commented.


Photo: Abbie at a recent event with Paula Roderick, who sponsored her membership as a Rotarian and who also volunteers with Rotary Youth Exchange

Spring 2017

Maria Bello
 Congratulations to Maria Bello, Summer 2017 program analyst intern with the Office of Infrastructure of the Federal Highway Administration (5/3/17)
Congratulations to Maria Bello, who will be a program analyst intern in Washington, D.C., this summer with the Office of Infrastructure within the Federal Highway Administration. This is a competitive, paid internship through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2017 Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG).


Natasha Voss
 Alumni Update: Natasha Voss (Babish), program management support specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (5/1/17) 


Alumni Update: Natasha Voss (Babish) graduated in 2016 with a major in International Studies and a minor in Philosophy. Today she is a program management support specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In recent months, she has been serving as a budget analyst in a project delivery team for Everglades restoration projects. She also has been working with the congressional liaison in her district to prepare the briefing materials that are presented to the Senate Appropriations and Authorization Committee. Additionally, this year she coordinated the Women's History Month activities that the Corps of Engineers sponsored in her district. Congratulations to Natasha!



Laura Ortiz

Congratulations to Laura Ortiz, Summer 2017 volunteer engagement intern at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens and research assistant to Dr. Sucheta Pyakuryal (4/28/17)


Congratulations to Laura Ortiz, who will be pursuing two internships in the coming months. The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens has selected Laura to be their summer 2017 volunteer engagement intern. In this position, she will gain first-hand experience with the operation of a large volunteer department, assisting with tasks including application review, interviewing, orientation, scheduling, and event coordination. Laura will also be serving as a research assistant to Dr. Sucheta Pyakuryal of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. In this role, Laura will sort and analyze data that Dr. Pyakuryal has collected as part of a book project exploring the relationship between Weberian bureaucracy and liberal democracy. Best of luck to Laura for a challenging and productive summer! 

Alex Fechtel

Alumni Update: Alex Fechtelnurse recruiter at Baptist Medical Center (4/26/17)   

Alumni Update: Alex Fechtel graduated from UNF in 2015 with a major in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. Today, she works at Baptist Medical Center as a nurse recruiter, with responsibility for all of the Intensive Care and Specialty units. Alex grew up with strong ties to Baptist, where her father was a surgeon for much of his career, and feels at home in the hospital's not-for-profit culture. She enjoys being able to help new nurses as they start their careers, and in particular appreciates the opportunity to assist her fellow alumni, as many of those she recruits come from UNF’s Brooks School of Nursing, often after they have passed through Baptist's residency program. Congratulations to Alex! (Photo: Alex in Athens, during her study abroad experience in 2015.) 




Sarah Rosen
Congratulations to Sarah Rosen, accepted into the Master of Social Work program at Columbia University for Fall 2017 (4/24/17)



Congratulations to international studies/Spanish major Sarah Rosen, who will begin the Master of Social Work program at Columbia University this fall. The UNF Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures named Sarah as one of its two Dean's Scholars at its annual awards ceremony last Friday, and the International Studies Program presented her with an award for Excellence in Research at that same event. Sarah recently won the prize for Outstanding Sociology Paper Presentation at the Eighth Annual Undergraduate Symposium hosted by the UNF Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work for her project "College When Confined: An Examination of Undocumented Students of Hispanic Descent in Higher Education." Earlier this semester, she co-led a discussion in Spanish related to her research topic as part of our International Mondays series ( Best wishes to Sarah as she begins graduate school this fall! (Photo by Rebecca Weiner)


 Adrian Smith   Chris Wilson

Study Abroad Spotlight: Adrian Smith and Chris WilsonSpring Break 2017 trip to Chile (4/20/17)

International Studies students Adrian Smith and Chris Wilson participated in the UNF Coggin College of Business Study Abroad Spring Break 2017 trip to study the mining industry in Chile, led by Chris Baynard, associate professor of geography and GIS, and Chiradip Chatterjee, assistant professor of economics. Along with twelve other students, they spent two days in Santiago, becoming acquainted with the capital and Chilean culture. On the following days, they toured “El Teniente,” the largest underground copper mine in the world (near Santiago), and an open pit mine named “Radomiro Tomic” (in the northern desert region). During these visits, they learned about the copper mining industry in Chile, ranging from the physical processes and safety practices, to the sustainability and environmental factors and economic impacts. The last few days of the program were spent the desert oasis town San Pedro de Atacama, where the group visited nearby sights, including indigenous ruins, salt flats and valleys, before finally ending their journey in the coastal city of Antofagasta. (Photos: Adrian at a salt flat near San Pedro de Atacama; Chris, during the tour of the underground copper mine “El Teniente”)

 Ana Ortiz

Congratulations to Ana Ortiz, Summer 2016 research assistant to Dr. Constanza López (4/19/17)


Congratulations to Ana Ortiz, who will be interning this summer as a research assistant to Constanza López, associate professor of Spanish. Ana will be helping to organize and publish testimonies that Professor López has collected while doing recent fieldwork in Colombia. Among other duties, Ana will be responsible for editing and transcribing recorded material and uploading the files to an online repository. (Photo by Rebecca Weiner)

Glehn Von Loh

Congratulations to Glehn Von Loh, Fall 2016 U.S. Department of State intern with the Office of Korean Affairs (4/18/17)


Congratulations to International Studies student Glehn Von Loh, who spent the Fall 2016 semester interning at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Glehn was assigned to the Office of Korean Affairs, where he served as control officer for the visit to Washington of Ambassador Mark Lippert’s (at that time, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea), and ran clearances for papers regarding the U.S.-ROK 2+2 Ministerial Meeting with Secretaries Kerry and Carter. Glehn also researched DPRK human rights violations for the 2016 International Religious Freedom Report to Congress, and drafted a transition paper for the then-incoming Trump administration. Photo: Glehn in the diplomatic reception room prior to the swearing-in ceremony of U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines, Sung Kim.



Christina Lassiter

Alumni Update: Christina Lassiter, Spring 2017 Juris Doctor/LL.M. graduate, Stetson Law School (4/13/17)


Christina Lassiter graduated from the University of North Florida in the spring of 2014 with a major in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. That fall, she started at Stetson Law School in Gulfport, Florida. While at Stetson, Christina has interned at a local Jacksonville law firm and the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid organization. She also had the opportunity to study in Toulouse, France, attending Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, where she earned her LL.M. (Master of Laws) in international economic law. While studying in France, Christina traveled to Brussels, Belgium, and visited the EU parliament, the European Council and the European Commission. She will gradate from Stetson Law School on May 13, 2017, with her Juris Doctor/LL.M. Congratulations to Christina! (Photo: Christina in Marseille, France)


Allison Crolla
Alumni Update: Allison CrollaMaster's in TESOL student and teaching/program assistant at American University (4/10/17)


 Alumni Update: Allison Crolla graduated from UNF in the spring of 2016 with a double major in International Studies and Spanish and a minor in Political Science. Since fall 2016, she has been attending American University in Washington, DC to obtain her Master's in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Currently, she is a teaching assistant in her TESOL program and also a program assistant to her university's English language program. As a program assistant, she helps recruit international students, proctor English placement exams, and plan and facilitate school events. After graduation, Allison hopes to teach English abroad in South America in a university setting. Congratulations to Allison!



Kathleen Nicholson
Study Abroad Spotlight: Kathleen Nicholson, Fall 2016 semester in Greece (4/7/17)


During the fall of 2016, Kathleen Nicholson spent three and a half months studying at Deree, The American College of Greece, through an exchange program run by the UNF International Center. She took four courses, including an environmental studies class that allowed her to complete a research project on the sustainability of two aquaculture farms in Athens. While in Greece, Kathleen traveled to various Greek islands, enjoyed being immersed in Greek culture, ate lots of baklava, and made lasting friendships with her fellow students. Congratuations to Kathleen! 


Kelly Begnoche
Alumni Update: Kelly Begnoche, commercial lines technical assistant, Assured Partners, Inc. (4/6/17)

Kelly Begnoche graduated in 2015 with a major in International Studies and a minor in Spanish. Kelly recently moved to Tampa to begin working in commercial insurance with Assured Partners, Inc. In this position, Kelly assists in processing new and renewal policies, and in preparing policy binders for sales representatives. Kelly recently obtained her Florida Client Service Representative license and is hoping to obtain her Property and Casualty License by next year. Congratulations to Kelly! 




Jimmy Everett 

Congratulations to Jimmy Everettaccepted into the MA in Latin American Studies program at the University of Florida for Fall 2017 (4/4/17)


Congratulations to Jimmy Everett, who has been accepted into the Master of Arts in Latin American Studies program at the University of Florida. This fall, Jimmy will begin taking courses and working as paid graduate assistant. Jimmy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies in 2013. During his time at UNF, he participated in the Honors Program, completed a Peace Corps Internship through the Washington Center, and studied abroad in Greece. After graduation, he worked as a middle school tutor before undertaking a two-year period of US Peace Corps service in the village of Campo de la Cruz, Colombia. As a Peace Corps Volunteer Jimmy worked with English education and youth development and served as the president of Peace Corps Colombia's diversity committee. This summer, Jimmy will work a seasonal job as an Interpretive Park Ranger at Yellowstone National Park. Jimmy plans to focus his graduate research on Colombia's Caribbean coast, where he did his Peace Corps service, and in the future, plans to pursue a doctorate in anthropology and continue to conduct cultural research in Latin America. Best wishes to Jimmy as he begins his graduate studies this fall.



Rebecca Watkins
Alumni Update: Rebecca Watkinspricing specialist, Yusen Logistics (3/30/17)



Rebecca Watkins graduated from UNF in 2013 with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. During her time at UNF, Rebecca interned with Save the Children in Washington, D.C.; Senator Bill Nelson’s office; The World Affairs Council; The World Food Programme in Kasulu, Tanzania; and at the U.S. State Department Mission to the OECD in Paris, France. Today she is a pricing specialist for Yusen Logistics. In this role, Rebecca determines competitive rate levels and expected costs for intermodal business and responds to customers with rate offerings. Congratulations to Rebecca!



Buddy Delegal

Congratulations to Buddy Delegal, accepted into the MA in Hispanic Linguistics program at the University of Florida for Fall 2017 (3/28/17)


Congratulations to Buddy Delegal, who has been accepted into the Master of Arts in Hispanic Linguistics program at the University of Florida. Buddy has also been awarded a graduate assistantship, and will begin teaching Spanish language courses in the fall. Buddy graduated from UNF in 2015 with a double major in International Studies and Spanish and minors in Chinese and Philosophy. During his time at UNF, Buddy studied in China and Spain with the faculty-led programs offered through the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. He received awards for Excellence in Chinese and Excellence in Spansh and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, as well as Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. Buddy was a pioneering collaborator with digital editing project coloniaLab, served as president of the Spanish Club, and was one of the first participants in Project THRIVE. Since graduating, Buddy has worked as a renewals specialist for Brightway Insurance in Jacksonville, and has continued to contribute to coloniaLab as a volunteer editorial assistant. Buddy is an exceptionally talented and versatile student, and we are very proud of him. We wish him the best of luck as he begins his graduate studies. 



Anastasia Balaeva

Alumni Update: Anastasia BalaevaEnglish teacher at Taiyuan University of Technology in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China (3/23/17)


Anastasia Balaeva is currently working as an English teacher at Taiyuan University of Technology in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China. Anastasia graduated with a major in International Studies and a minor in Chinese in 2016. In the summer of 2015, she participated in the language and culture study abroad program in China led by Professor Yongan Wu and Professor Nicholas de Villiers. The following spring, she conducted research into the geographically uneven effects of foreign direct investment in China, as part of the International Studies Senior Seminar. In recognition of her academic achievement, Anastasia was named one of the International Studies Program's two 2016 Dean's Scholars. Through living on her own and working in China, Anastasia has gained communication skills and cultural insights that she plans to apply in her future work. Her position at Taiyuan University ends in July, and we look forward to hearing what comes next for Anastasia.


Daniel Pickens

Alumni Update: Daniel Pickensconstruction loan servicing coordinator with Snap.Build (3/21/17)



Alumni Update: Daniel Pickens graduated with a major in International Studies and a minor in Professional Education in 2016. He is currently working for Snap.Build, a subsidiary of Mainsail Capital LLC located in Ponte Vedra, FL., as a construction loan servicing coordinator. Daniel currently manages the accounting processes of $14 million in construction loan projects for Snap.Build through its proprietary technology. Mainsail Capital/Snap.Build are fintech companies specializing in construction lending to small and medium sized home builders. Snap.Build currently has only 7 associates, including Daniel, but is looking to expand and take the company national as they develop new software to streamline their current processes. Congratulations to Daniel!



 Yousra Hebeishy

Alumni Update: Yousra Hebeishybusiness analyst for Advent|SS&C (3/16/17)


Yousra Hebeishy graduated from UNF in 2015 with a double major in International Studies and Political Science and a minor in Community Leadership. Today she is a business analyst for Advent|SS&C. In this role, Yousra works with the Professional Services team across the globe, helping to manage projects, resources, and finances and to prepare reports. She started working with Advent|SS&C as an intern immediately after graduation., and since then has moved through various roles, learning new skills, meeting new people and broadening her horizons. Congratulations to Yousra!


Kevin O'Halloran
Alumni update: Kevin O'Hallorancommunity engagement coordinator at Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (3/14/17)


Kevin O'Halloran graduated in 2016 with a major in International Studies and minors in both political science and urban studies. Today he has an Americorps position as the community engagement coordinator at Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR). SPAR is a community-based non-profit focused on preserving, restoring and reinvesting in Jacksonville's oldest historic neighborhood. Springfield is an up-and-coming urban core neighborhood just north of downtown with plenty of exciting new projects on the horizon. Kevin's job at SPAR always presents interesting new challenges, from assisting to improve bike and pedestrian infrastructure and coordinating efforts to clean up and restore the neighborhood's parks, to engaging with civic leaders on zoning matters and helping to attract new businesses to the area. Eventually, Kevin hopes to achieve a masters degree in Urban Planning. Congratulations to Kevin!



Alexandra Foust

Alumni Update: Alexandra Foust, international consultant and educator (3/9/17)




Alexandra Foust graduated from UNF in 2012 with a double major in International Studies and Psychology, with a minor in Spanish. In 2014, she completed her graduate studies at Vanderbilt University, earning a M.Ed. in International Education Policy and Management with a Certificate in Latin American Studies. She conducted her Master's practicum in Guatemala, where she assisted the organization Primeros Pasos to define and articulate its 'theory of change' and tie that to program design and data collection. The majority of her work related to the women's program run by Primeros Pasos, helping the organization to expand the services it provides to adolescent girls and aiding with more general organizational strategy. During the 2015 year, Alexandra worked in Africa as the Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator for Akola Project, a women's empowerment nonprofit/social business hybrid organization based in Jinja, Uganda and Dallas, Texas. Currently she is consulting on survey design/reporting—skills she developed through work she has done with the Global Partnership for Education—and contracting as a writer/editor with UNICEF Uzbekistan. Additionally, she is teaching in a Spanish immersion classroom in the Minneapolis Public Schools. See also the alumni profile that Vanderbuilt published on AlexandraCongratulations to Alexandra on all her accomplishments!  





Erin Steinmetz

 Congratulations to Erin SteinmetzSpring 2017 International Studies research intern (3/7/17)


Congratulations to Erin Steinmetz, who is working this semester as a research intern to Harry Rothschild, UNF professor of History. Erin has been assisting Dr. Rothschild with his publications, by editing and updating the English side of the website for his new translation of the Chinese novel Elegy of a River Shaman, as well as by building a preliminary index for his forthcoming collection of essays (to be published by University of Hawaii Press) focused on early and medieval China. In the fall of 2016, Erin pursued a previous internship with the International Studies Program itself, through which she helped to develop a social media strategy for the program, worked to publicize and document our lectures and other events, and constructed advising materials related to graduate programs of interest to International Studies students. Through these opportunities, Erin has gained experience that will help her transition from her undergraduate career to graduate studies or the workplace. Erin will graduate in Spring 2017 with a BA in International Studies and minors in History and International Business. Erin is a versatile and talented student, and we look forward to hearing of her successes in the future. (Photo by Rebecca Weiner)


Lindsay Gamboa

Alumni Update: Lindsay Gamboa, client advocate specialist with Safe Horizon in New York City (3/2/17)


Since graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in Psychology, Lindsay Gamboa moved to New York City, where today she works as a client advocate specialist with Safe Horizon. In this role, Lindsay fields calls to Safe Horizon’s three 24 hour Hotlines: the Domestic Violence Hotline, the Crime Victims Hotline and the Rape and Incest Hotline. These hotlines provide crisis intervention, advocacy, and information and referrals to over 125,000 victims each year. As a client advocate specialist, Lindsay conducts thorough safety and needs assessments, and collaborates with callers to develop plans to address needs within a supportive, client-centered framework. Congratulations to Lindsay!



 Katelyn Morris
Congratulations to Katelyn Morris, accepted into the International Affairs Graduate Program at the American University of Paris for Fall 2017 (2/28/17)


Congratulations to Katelyn Morris, who has been accepted into the International Affairs Graduate Program at the American University of Paris. She will be graduating this spring from the International Studies Program with a focus on International Relations and Comparative Politics and a dual minor in Political Science and French. Last summer, she interned for the US Department of State at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium where she handled legally binding and non-binding documents during the Warsaw Summit in the Office of the Air Force General Counsel. Katelyn is currently researching human trafficking in the International Studies Senior Research Seminar and plans on continuing this research at the American University of Paris. (Photo: Katelyn during the trip she took to Washington, D.C., in Spring 2016 as part of the Real Policy World course, taught by Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, distinguished visiting scholar and director of the UNF Public Service Leadership Program.)


 Jack Bisase 

Alumni Update: Jack Bisase, vice consul at the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic (2/23/17)


After graduating from UNF in 2011 with a BA in International Studies, Jack Bisase moved with his family to Washington, DC, to pursue an MA in International Affairs at American University. During his graduate studies, Jack was a Pickering Fellow, participating in a U.S. Department of State program that prepares students for careers in the Foreign Service. As part of his fellowship, he interned at the State Department in DC and the US Embassy in Hong Kong. Jack completed his MA in 2015 and joined the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer the same year. In 2016 he began his first overseas posting in the Dominican Republic as a Vice Consul. See also the profile on Jack that American University published. Congratulations to Jack on all of his accomplishments!





Dany Manansala

Congratulations to Dany Manansala, 2017 Florida Undergraduate Research Conference presenter and Spring 2017 International Studies research intern (2/21/17) 


Congratulations to Dany Manansala, who is presenting a poster titled “China and Smart Power in Pakistan and Afghanistan through OBOR” at the 2017 Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC), to be held at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Feb. 24-25. Dany’s presentation is the result of research she conducted in the International Studies Senior Research Seminar ("Capstone") during the Fall 2016 semester. The UNF Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) invited Dany to represent the International Studies Program at FURC, and has provided funding to offset expenses related to her travel and participation. We'd like to congratulate Dany as well on the work she is doing this semester as a research intern to Josh Gellers, assistant professor of political science. Dany has been helping Dr. Gellers to expand the global website to include environmental rights in North America. To further develop the website she is adding infographics and details on highly celebrated cases, among other tasks. Dany arranged this research internship through the International Studies Program, with assistance from OUR, as a way to gain additional experience as she prepares to apply for graduate programs. (Photo by Rebecca Weiner)


Ali Alsalman

Congratulations to Ali Alsalman, Summer 2017 Department of State intern with Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (2/14/17)


Congratulations to Ali Alsalman, who has been offered a summer 2017 internship with the Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs in Washington, DC. He will be a part of the Security Assistance and the Global Security Contingency Fund team, which develops and manages military grant assistance to allies and friends through policy development, budget formulation, and program oversight, in cooperation with regional bureaus and the Department of Defense. Ali selected the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs because of his background as a Navy veteran and his interest in international relation. Through this opportunity, he seeks to advance his knowledge of the cooperation between the Department of State and the Department of Defense. Ali is majoring in International Studies, with a minor in History, and will earn academic credit for this experience through the International Studies Program. (Photo by Rebecca Weiner)




Alexis Charleus 3

Congratulations to Alexis Charleus, Spring 2017 intern with Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program (2/7/2017) 


Congratulations to Alexis Charleus, who is pursuing an internship this semester with the Refugee Resettlement Program at the Catholic Charities Jacksonville Regional Office. Alexis is helping to resettle refugees from war-torn countries in Jacksonville. She advises families of the financial, medical, housing, and other services that are available. She also assists in processing paperwork to obtain those services on the families' behalf. Alexis is majoring in International Studies with a minor in French. She is earning academic credit for her internship through the International Studies Program. (Photo by Rebecca Weiner)



Beth Pupke

Alumni Update: Beth Pupkeworkforce development coordinator for JAXUSA Partnership (1/31/17)

Beth Pupke graduated from UNF in 2015 with a major in International Studies and a minor in Mass Communication. Today she is the workforce development coordinator for JAXUSA Partnership, Northeast Florida's regional economic development initiative and a division of JAX Chamber. As the workforce development coordinator, she assists with organizational communications, social media and events including the Earn Up initiative, a collaboration within the JAX Chamber with a goal of increasing Northeast Florida’s college attainment rate to 60%. Congratulations to Beth!



 Lindsey Robin 2  

Congratulations to Lindsey Robin, Summer 2017 State Department intern in Mexico City (1/24/17) 

Congratulations to Lindsey Robin, who has been selected for a Summer 2017 Department of State Internship in the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Lindsey is majoring in International Studies at UNF with a minor in Spanish.




 Abbie Bernet

Congratulations to Abbie Bernet, education and community outreach officer at World Affairs Council of Jacksonville (1/12/17) 



Congratulations to Abbie Bernet, who recently began a new job as Education & Community Outreach officer at the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. Abbie graduated in 2016 with a major in International Studies and a minor in Spanish. She is one of three UNF alumni currently working at the World Affairs Council.