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Alumni

Former students of the Department of International Studies are encouraged to stay in touch and invited to join the INTL alumni list serv. This private email list shares with its members news, events, job opportunities and more, that are relevant to our graduates and former students. If you are interested in joining, please send an email request to isp@uoregon.edu.

Please continue to check back for posts about our alumni comings and goings, accomplishments and past events!


B.A. ALUMNI M.A. ALUMNI
Gary Metts (2004) Entrepreneur Brian Swarts (2006) Director, Pepperdine University’s D.C. campus
Bevan Flansburg (2008) Deputy Director of International Programs, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Izumi Kasahara (2006)
Liz Sampson (2008) Operation Groundswell Elena Bogolyubova (2010) UO Instructor and US-Russia Peer-to-Peer Project Coordinator
Sam Burke (2009) Programming and Training, Peace Corps Elisabeth (Beth) Lefebvre (2012) Post-Doctoral Associate., Univ of Minnesota
Lydia Boaz (2009) Founder of Boaz Organization for Youth Urooj Mughal (2013) Assistant to U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (VA)
Julia Daly (2010) International Operations Manager, Vacasa Lexi Stickel (2013) Marion-Polk Food Share
Mariah Grant (2010) Human Rights Consultant Cara Gilpin (2014) Assistant Director, Univ of North Carolina Study Abroad
Simon Adler (2012) Radio Producer Emilee Ohia (2016) Staff for U.S. Senator Jeff Merkeley (OR)
Miriam Fisher (2012) Peace Corps Brianne Holden (2017) Study Abroad Coordinator, UC, Davis
Caroline Stafford (2013) Graduate School
Gwen Cummings (2015) Peace Corps Community HIV Outreach Specialist
Hayley Bridwell (2015) Americorps

IS B.A. Alumni Update: Bevan Flansburg

flansburg-bevanI received a BA in International Studies from the UO program several years ago. After graduating I went to Morocco for an internship with a USAID Parliament Support project, then settled in DC with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), where I’ve been for eight years in various capacities. Currently, I’m the Deputy Director of International Programs and oversee programs under USAID and Department of State on energy policy in developing countries to promote sustainable, affordable and safe access to electricity. Our programs promote economic growth and support environmentally conscious development in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America. In the past we’ve also worked in the Caribbean and Middle East.

Best, Bevan

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Lydia Boazboaz-lydia

Since graduation, I moved to New York City and obtained a Master’s in Social Work, with a focus on work with immigrants and refugees. In January 2016, I founded the Boaz Organization for Youth, to serve immigrant and refugee youth who have arrived to the U.S. without a parent or guardian. The organization provides crisis intervention and connects youth to emergency housing, therapy, pro bono legal representation, and ensures that they enroll in school. We also provide English classes, homework help, and painting classes. We are building a Youth Advisory Team where our clients will be the ones to dictate how the organization develops according to their needs.

For more information please visit theboaz.org.

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Caroline Staffordstafford-caroline-2

stafford-carolineCarrie Stafford graduated from the undergraduate program in Fall 2013. She participated on the JET Program 2014-2016, where she taught English to primary students in rural Japan, and volunteered at a foster home. Recently, Carrie was offered a full-ride scholarship to the University of Sydney in Australia. Starting March 2017 she will work towards a MA in Peace and Conflict Studies. She plans to continue research on psychological humanitarian aid, and the psychological impact of conflict on refugees – specifically in South East Asia.

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Mariah Grant

mariah-grant-intl-ba-bio-photo“Upon graduating in 2010 I earned my Master of Arts in Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia-Pacific) from the University of Sydney in Australia. As part of the program I also studied at Mahidol University in Bangkok and conducted thesis field research throughout Thailand. I later worked as a human rights and migration consultant in Thailand with the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, Protection International, the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, and the UN Migration Agency. In 2016 I moved to Greece where I worked as a refugee and migrant protection focal point in an informal camp near the border with Macedonia. Currently I live in Portland, Oregon where I am an Advisory Council Member and Migration Specialist for Refugee Assistance and Information Network International. Additionally, I author US and Canada country profiles and case studies for Minority Rights Group International’s annual report, State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples and consult for the Department of Labor on their annual report, Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.”

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Sam Burke

burke-samAfter graduating from the International Studies program at the University of Oregon in 2009, Sam Burke served in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua for two years, and then worked for a while with a community economic development start up NGO in the Dominican Republic. In 2016, he graduated from SIT Graduate Institute with a Master’s degree focused on Sustainable Development. Currently, Sam is working for Peace Corps Colombia in Barranquilla, Colombia. He is in the area of Programming and Training for incoming volunteers.

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Gary Metts

Gary recounts the impact that his INTL experience has had on his life:

“Getting my degree from UO in INTL in 2004 was an achievement that, I believe, gave me a great start in ‘adult life’ and what I learned during my time as a duck has led to the success and happiness I now enjoy! First off, the INTL program taught me about different cultures and societal models that are used around the world, which both opened my mind to different ways of thinking and problem-solving, as well as gave me enhanced skills in working with folks from diverse backgrounds – so badly needed in this world today. I’ll never forget Professor Proudfoot and the way in which he instilled in me a love of history and a desire to learn the truth about the world around me. Also, having the chance to study in Italy during my Junior year was, yet another, eye-opening and mind-expanding experience that I’ve never forgotten and treasure very much. I’m sure it’s easy for some folks to dismiss the INTL program as less practical than skilled trades that lead more directly to a career like engineering, law or architecture. However, I would argue that the experience you gain studying INTL – particularly at a world-class school like UO – is just as valuable to a young person long-term. Since graduating,I’ve helped to start 4 different businesses – a financial advisory practice, a retail store selling handmade goods, a wholesale jewelry line and a design/build construction firm (which I currently run and which employs 18 people full-time). I have been able to metts-garyachieve these modest things because of the skills acquired at UO that have allowed me to partner with investors, managers, customers and employees of all different backgrounds. Business school was not needed for me, as the passion for learning that the INTL program gave me drove me to always learn more and continually look for a better way to get things done and work more harmoniously with folks. Best of all, I met my wife at UO! We currently live in Rhode Island and have two little kids – Kevin and Carly. Guess I owe it all to the UO and, specifically, the INTL program!”

Gary is pictured above with his wife (Devienna Anggraini, UO alumni BFA Jewelry/Metalsmithing 2003) and two kids.

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Hayley Bridwell

Hayley Bridwell graduated with a B.A. in 2015. 

“I’ve done a few things since I’ve graduated. I moved up to Seattle and volunteered with the IRC (International Rescue Committee) for about 10 months (June 2015-Mar 2016) and then this summer I rode a bicycle across the country. I have just been accepted for an Americorps position in Seattle working with a foster care advocacy program that gives youths in the foster care system a chance the skills and opportunity to have a voice and create change. I will be starting that position in March 2017.”

You can explore stories from Hayley’s cross-country bicycle adventure here: https://missadventuresonwheels.wordpress.com/

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Julia Daly

daly-juliaAfter graduating from the University of Oregon in 2010 with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Spanish, Julia decided to pursue a Masters in Development Practice from Trinity College Dublin from 2012 – 2014. In 2013, Julia traveled to Rwanda to work alongside conservationists in the Volcanoes National Park working to sustainably use tourism dollars to protect the park which is home to hundreds of mountain gorillas – the only place where they live naturally in the wild. After completing her Masters, Julia interned with the United Nations Small Island Developing States team in New York focusing on development and environmental initiatives and conferences. In 2015, Julia returned to Oregon to work for Portland-based vacation rental company, Vacasa. She now works as the International Operations Manager overseeing operations for the company’s Latin American and European portfolios.

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IS M.A. Alumni Update: Brian Swarts

Brian is currently the Director of Pepperdine University’s Washington, D.C. campus where he runs an interdisciplinary proswarts-morocco-2016-croppedgram in global leadership, focused on public policy and international affairs.  He is pictured here in Morocco on the international study tour he took in Fall 2016 with his Global Leadership program students. In addition to directing the campus, he teaches courses in NGO management and global development.  Prior to this role, Brian was working with international NGOs in DC sector on both policy and programs.  Most recently, he spent six years at The Salvation Army World Service Office, where his last position was Director of Global Strategy & Partnership, leading planning and manaswarts-family-croppedgement for programs in over 120 countries worldwide.  This was a particularly rewarding job where he oversaw responses to major disasters in Japan, Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan and Haiti, as well as leading a number of economic empowerment programs for women and youth in East Africa and South Asia.

He and INTL Alumna Izumi Kasahara (M.A.-2006) are married with two children.

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IS M.A. Alumni Update: Elisabeth (Beth) Lefebvre

Since completing her M.A. in 2012, Elisabeth (Beth) Lefebvre earned her Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota, successfully defending her dissertation entitled “‘What was best for a white child need not be the same for a dark child’: Producing the ‘educated African child’ in colonial Uganda’s schools, 1877-1963” in June 2016. Beth’s study drew on several months of archival research conducted in Uganda and the UK to explore the entangled relationship between notions of childhood and schooling in the colonial period, and the implications of this history for contemporary schooling. More broadly, her study aimed to answer the question that guides her research: Who and how do we educate? She is currently a postdoctoral associate for a five-year longitudinal evaluation of youth livelihoods in East Africa, which she started working on as a doctoral student. She is also working on a study of Teach For America corps’ members classroom experiences with a colleague. Beth is on the job market and hopes to find a job as an assistant professor for the coming academic year.
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While at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Lefebvre presented her research nationally and internationally at annual conferences of the Comparative and International Education Society and the African Studies Association, and in June 2017 at the bi-annual conference for the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth. She recently gave an invited lecture at a seminar sponsored by the Comparative and International Research Network at the University of Sydney in Australia, and also attended a symposium on Global South childhoods at the University of Sheffield in the UK. In January 2017, Beth co-presents a paper on youth transitions to adulthood in Portugal at a conference on “Global Youth Futures” sponsored by the European Sociological Association. Articles based on her domestic and international research have been published in journals such as the International Journal of Educational Development and Reconsidering Development, and she recently served as a guest editor for a special issue of FIRE [Forum for International Research in Education].

Otherwise, Beth and her husband Roland have enjoyed exploring Minnesota – including trips to the ice caves on Lake Superior and to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. They welcomed their daughter, Rilla, in June 2015.

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IS M.A. Alumni Update: Brianne Holden

brianne_holdenBrianne graduates from the M.A. program in early Winter 2017, with a focus on international education. The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) honored Brianne during her last term as a highly promising graduate student in the field of international education. She received AIEA’s yearly award with an honorarium. In November 2016 Brianne presented a poster at the Region XII National Association of International Educators (NAFSA) conference titled “Third Country Study: the Role of Degree Seeking International Students as Study Abroad Participants.” During her time in the INTL grad program, Brianne worked as a study abroad scholarships graduate assistant. After graduation, Brianne begins work as a Study Abroad Coordinator at UC Davis, working primarily with summer internship abroad programs and quarter-long faculty-led programs. Her duties include program development, working with budgets, and advising students. Her regional areas as a Study Abroad Coordinator include: Australia, Mexico, India, South Africa, Bolivia, Taiwan, UK, and the Philippines.

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IS M.A. Alumni Update: Cara Gilpin

Cara Gilpin

Cara Gilpin graduated from the International Studies graduate program in Winter 2014. She participated in a Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminar (IEA) in Germany in October 2015, one of 20 professionals to attend from throughout the U.S. Prior to her Fulbright, she won a Rotary Scholarship, a funded professional development opportunity to learn how International Education is practiced in India, and to learn more about the culture in the region (see photo) where her group traveled. This became a full-fledged exchange, when her Indian colleagues visited the U.S. many months later. Cara is Assistant Director of the  University of North Carolina’s Study Abroad office in Asheville, N.C. She loves her work there.

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IS M.A. Alumni Update: Emilee Ohia

emilee-ohia-giving-speech
Emilee Ohia was asked to be the M.A. speaker at the Spring 2016 International Studies commencement ceremony. She graduated with concurrent M.A. degrees in International Studies and Public Administration.

Emilee works full-time for U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley in his Eugene office. She hopes to continue working at the federal level and eventually aspires to do legislative and policy research – as a part of a congressional staff. Emilee is also considering advocacy work for immigration policy and immigrant rights.

Her future plans are to move to Washington DC in pursuit of both her and her husband Uche’s goals. Uche Ohia graduated from the UO Law School in spring 2016.

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IS M.A. Alumni Update: Urooj Mughal

urooj-mughalUrooj Mughal completed the International Studies graduate program in spring 2013. She has been working for Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (and until recently, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate).

During her time working with Senator Kaine, she has had some exciturooj-mughal2ing opportunities to be in the thick of a presidential campaign, including meeting Mr. Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

Urooj is clearly putting her skills and knowledge to work in a consequential setting.

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IS M.A. Alumni Update: Elena Bogolyubova

img_0960Elena Bogolyubova has been very busy since graduating in 2010 with a concurrent M.A. degree in International Studies and PPPM.

Elena served as research assistant in a USAID project on child welfare in Ukraine and taught internationally focused courses in the Family and Human Services Program at the UO College of Education. During 2013/14 academic year, she coordinated the Student Internships’ Exchange for Child Protection (SIECP) Project, which received the US – Russia Civil Society Partnership Award for promoting the partnership and collaboration among academic, public and non-profit organizations at regional and international levels. The UO and Russian undergraduate students enhanced their cross-cultural understanding of social problems in both countries and advanced their professional skills by participating in seminars on child protection in Eugene, and through an internship in Russia.

This year, Elena is about to implement a new project: Prevention Bridges to Youth Positive Change. This Project has received the US-Russia Peer-to Peer Dialogue Award for 2016/17 and International Studies undergraduate students will be involved in the implementation.

In the photo above, Elena is backpacking in the Caucasus mountains with children from Russian orphanages. She is center, yellow shirt.

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IS M.A. Alumni Update: Lexi Stickel

Alexis-Stickel-13iwja6

INTL MA Program alum Lexi Stickel’s work is featured regarding her work with Marion-Polk Food Share, which serves the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde through RARE (Resource Assistance for Rural Environments).

Lexi’s current work takes classroom learning about food studies directly into communities. She continues to look for ways to assist, using her conflict resolution skills to expand services to vulnerable and under-represented populations.

Lexi graduated from the INTL MA Program with a concurrent degree in Conflict and Dispute Resolution, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management in Spring 2013.

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Gwen Cummings

Gwen graduated from the IS department in 2015.

“Right after graduating with my BA in International Studies (professional concentration: Global Health and Development; geographic focus: Africa) I interned at Ubuntu Education Fund in New York City. That internship led to a job in Washington, DC at InsideNGO, a membership association for global NGOs. I am now preparing to leave in January for South Africa, where I will be serving as a Community HIV Outreach Specialist in the Peace Corps.”

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Washington DC Alumni Event October 2015

On Halloween 2015, Prof. Anita Weiss joined up with several IS Alumni in Washington D.C. for a delightful brunch in a private dining room at Poste Moderne Brasserie. Several “generations” of IS alumni were present and some brought along their partners and children to join in the fun. After catching up and hearing what our former students are doing, professionally, in D.C. and the surrounding area, a wonderful time was had by all.

 

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Miriam Fisher

Miriam graduated from the IS department in 2012.

Now, she is working for an organization called Operation Groundswell (OG), which is a non-profit, promoting ethical travel. Miriam is running the Middle East program, but OG runs programs all over the world that  are  right up the alley of lots of INTL undergrads and alumni. This could be a great way to complete the INTL international experience requirement, or just a fun thing to do during the summer!

Miriam is available for any questions about OG or specific programs at miriam@operationgroundswell.com

BACKPACKING WITH A PURPOSE 

 Every summer, Operation Groundswell sends hundreds of students across the globe for six week programs that will change their perspective on the developing world. Students have a unique opportunity to truly immerse themselves in new customs and cultures with the help of program leaders, who have organized meaningful community service projects, meetings with innovative local NGOs, and one crazy adventure.

We are looking for globally conscious and socially active students who want to spend their summer exploring some of the most complex and beautiful countries in the world.

 Apply by February 12 to guarantee a spot on your first choice program!

Check out our map of where we go.  www.operationgroundswell.com

   *All students are eligible for our bursary fund. Click the link above for more information.

Our six week programs each have a different focus and are open in the following countries and regions:

* West Africa – education and global health

* East Africa – youth empowerment and development

* Middle East – human rights

* Southeast Asia – ecotourism and youth empowerment

* India – education and women’s rights

* Guatemala – fair trade justice and peace & conflict

* Peru – health & wellness and environment

Operation Groundswell is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financially accessible travel experiences that blend responsible volunteering, education, personal development and adventure.

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IS B.A. Alumni Update: Liz Sampson

Hello friends, family and teachers!

I hope this message finds you all enjoying the new year.

I am reaching out to you because you supported my efforts while in the Peace Corps or because I thought you might be interested to hear about updates from a project me and three classmates started that has blossomed into a true organization supporting women in my former Peace Corps town.
 
As some of you know, myself and three classmates from my graduate studies at the George Washington University made a “commitment to action” that earned us participation at the Clinton Global Initiative University in March of 2012. Back then, we committed “to develop a sustainable funding scheme for a maternal wellness home in Nicaragua which is the only center in a community of 30,000 people that supports women in their last stages of pregnancy”.
 
After learning about ways to turn our commitment into real work at the conference, I went do to Quilali to visit Nishant Kishore, the all-star Peace Corps volunteer who continued to implement programs in my town after I left. We brainstormed about what we could do to help the maternity home become financially independent and talked about next steps. 
 
Nishant’s hard work and true dedication to the idea that was sparked over late night coffees in Washington DC has finally become more than dreams about bettering the community. And the model he has set up will ensure that should you choose to pitch in, your support will not be a one-off donation but will help the maternity home continue to support the most vulnerable women in an isolated, rugged community.
 
As I said, I am reaching out to you because you have supported me in the past. If donating to grassroots, bottom-up development is part of your New Year’s resolution, I ask you to read the message from Nishant here and consider this home grown initiative to support women during their pregnancy and birth.
Best,
Liz Sampson
IS Class of 2008

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IS PDX Alumni Reception-Our 1st West Coast event!

On November 9th, 2013, the Department of International Studies hosted its first West Coast Alumni Reception at the White Stag Building in Portland. International appetizers were provided by Vibrant Table catering and for two hours, roughly 30 IS alumni currently located in the Pacific Northwest region visited, mingled and networked with current faculty and fellow program graduates who now have successful careers.

PDX Alumni Reception

PDX Alumni Reception

PDX Alumni Reception
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IS B.A. Alumni Update-

“I graduated in 2012 from the Department of International Studies (focusing on Latin America and Environmental Issues) and just put that degree to good use.  I spent a month doing some freelance radio production down in Venezuela.  I had a piece featured and broadcast by Public Radio International’s The World.  It’s a co-production of PRI and the BBC.  Here’s a link to the piece:

http://pri.org/stories/2013-10-03/venezuela-la-revolucion-has-turned-la-crisis

I can confidently say I would not have been able to put this piece together without my education from the U of O.” -Simon Adler, B.A. 2012

 

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