Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Masoud (BAIS ’14)

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Currently, I am working at the International Institute in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s a refugee resettlement agency that also offers many free services to immigrants and asylees in the county. I am an Employment Specialist and focus on helping immigrants and refugees locate employment. Additionally, I am working on expanding a new program called Career Pathways, which is an additional service that guides any foreign-born individual towards achieving their professional career and educational goals. This program helps people that were professionals in their home country to practice in their field in the U.S.

On another note, I am involved with 1951 Coffee Company. On the weekends, I am working as a barista at a local cafe to gain experience. In the future, I hope to help the current team secure funding for a second location and open a branch in St. Louis.

Alumni Spotlight: Ariel Stenek (BAIS ’12)

arielSince graduating, I haven’t had a linear career path.  My only goal has been to travel and experience as much as I can of the world.

In my last semester at USF, I took Professor Juluri’s Davies Seminar on the book publishing industry, and this inspired me to move to New York City to take up an internship as the Publicity Assistant at powerHouse Books, a fine art and photography book publisher.  I did that for 8 months before I found out about available teaching positions in China.

Through Marshall University, I was placed in an international school in Shanghai as a 4th grade Language Arts, Science, Geography, and Art teacher.  On my weekends and holidays, I traveled Asia extensively, and by the end of the year, I had seen Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, The Philippines, Korea, and Malaysia.  Between school years I spent a month living in Istanbul.  Afterward, I took a job as a Language Arts/ESL tutor in Taipei. My time in Taipei allowed me to add Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau to my travels.

I moved back home to Honolulu last August to help my parents move their business.  I’ve been working in retail for the last year, and with Hawaii’s strong Asian tourist economy, my travels have allowed me to connect with many different clients.

In addition gaining a place in Queen Mary University of London’s postgraduate International Relations program, taught at the University of London Institute in Paris (big thanks to Professor McBride and Professor Corvaisier for their recommendations!), I also received a Rotary Foundation Global Grant Scholarship to fund my studies.  Over the next year, I plan on focusing on security/peace studies and working with NGOs in Paris to help refugees and immigrants assimilate to their new communities.

Alumni Spotlight: Lauren AbuAli (BAIS ’15)

This week’s undergraduate alumni spotlight features Lauren AbuAli, who graduated in 2015.

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In September 2015, I started interning in the multimedia department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a foreign policy think tank in D.C., and I was hired on full-time in March 2016.

However, I actually left the organization in August 2016 to pursue a year-long fellowship in Germany called the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. The program is a public diplomacy initiative sponsored by the State Department and sends 75 Americans to Germany and 75 Germans to the U.S. We spent the first two months in language training. From there, we’re spending four months in university taking courses in our professional fields, and then we’ll spend five months doing an internship in a German-speaking work environment. It’s AWESOME – I love learning German!

Lauren is also one of our BAIS Alumni mentors. Contact the Department Office for more information about this program.

BAIS Alumni Spotlight: Shereen Kajouee (’13)

Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Fein (MAIS ’15)

On the day Jonathan Fein graduated from the MAIS program last December, he received a job offer from the International Rescue Committee to be a Citizenship and Financial Literacy specialist. In his position, he coordinates, manages and instructs future US citizens in preparation for their naturalization interview. Jonathan had interned with IRC last summer for the MAIS internship requirement, and they were eager to hire him back. While working for IRC, Jonathan has met and attended discussions with the Mayor of LA, Mayor of Glendale, and other leaders on topics of immigration and refugee resettlement in Southern California. Jonathan has recently been promoted to be the Citizenship and Financial Capability Coordinator, and he attributes his success at IRC-LA to the knowledge that he acquired while in the MAIS program, both in the classroom and working as a research assistant.

Over the last 7 months, Jonathan has participated in various refugee events and met SG Ban Ki Moon! He has also participated in the Los Angeles Asylum Collaborative as well as attend the LA Refugee Forum. Being one of two Spanish speakers in the office, Jonathan has been helping with the CAM-AOR program (Central American Minors Affidavit of Relationship program), working to resettle children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, who are fleeing the violence in the region and whose parents are here in the US.

Keep up the great work, Jonathan!

Alumni Spotlight: Erika Myszynski (BAIS ’12)

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Erika Myszynski (’12) at work

Working with Woods Bagot Architects has been an incredible experience. I crafted my own position as the Design Intelligence Coordinator to support our Global Design Director. My international studies education and experiences abroad have been paramount within a global firm, where I am expected to catch a pulse on our globally significant projects on any given day. Having an international knowledge-base has empowered me to drive a global firm forward and apply uncompromising design on an international scale. Each day I work with architects and design leads that contribute to cutting-edge development in five regions and that is stimulating!

MAIS ’15 Alum: Building Bridges on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Under the white-hot glare of the U.S.-Mexico border debate, Charlie Cutler MAIS ’15 is launching a new tennis and tutoring program for underserved kids in the cross-border town of Nogales, which straddles Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora.

Source: Building Bridges on the U.S.-Mexico Border

This program, the Border Youth Tennis Exchange (BYTE), is a non-profit that “provides athletic training and a specialized National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) educational curriculum to youth on both sides of the US/Mexico border.” Through this experience, BYTE works to “strengthen border communities and bridge social, economic, and political gaps” between the two countries. The organization, started by Charlie Cutler, is a glowing example of how students take the experiences from MAIS, both in and out of the classroom, and bring them into the world to make it a better place.

 

As written in a recent USF News article spotlighting BYTE, “USF’s international studies program offered interesting classes and the freedom to study issues such as Central American economic history, refugees, and U.S. asylum policy. Cutler also benefitted from the program’s numerous San Francisco connections that allowed him to meet leaders of organizations operating in countries around the world, see how nonprofits worked from the inside, and intern for a number of them — including coordinating an inmate tennis program and teaching college prep writing at San Quentin State Prison.”

We are proud to call Charlie Cutler a MAIS alum and encourage you to check out the following links to learn more about BYTE and how you can support this organization.

BYTE Website | USTA Article | USF article | BYTE Video

Alumni Spotlight: Adanma Osakwe, MAIS ’11

Adanma Osakwe is a 2011 graduate from the Master of Arts in International Studies program. As a Nigerian-American growing up in Switzerland and attending high school at the International School of Geneva and college at the University of Massachusetts, Adanma brought a unique perspective to the classroom. Here’s a snapshot of where she’s taken her MAIS degree:

“During my time at MAIS, I completed several internships that significantly enhanced my work in the classroom. Those internships include: the San Francisco Human Rights Commission working in discrimination investigations to support fairness in housing and employment; the United States Trademark and Patent Office where I worked in the Office of the Chief Economist assembling cost-benefit analysis on copyright term extensions for the USA and Asia-Pacific; the Whitaker Group, a ThinkTank with a focus on US Foreign Investment in Africa and the impact of the African Growth and Opportunity Act; and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in Geneva where I worked on the impact of a growing Chinese presence on sustainable development and multilateral trade in Africa. My time at ICTSD supported my MAIS Dissertation project The New Scramble for Africa and Chinese engagements in the Niger Delta. Continue reading “Alumni Spotlight: Adanma Osakwe, MAIS ’11”

Alumni Spotlight: Edwin Carmona-Cruz, BAIS ’15

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Edwin shares what he’s been up to since graduating from USF with a major in International Studies last year. 

I have not stopped “Changing the world from here” since graduating with a B.A. in International Studies (Peace and Conflict) and minor in Latin American Studies from the University of San Francisco.

I am currently working as an Immigration Paralegal for a non-profit legal center in San Francisco’s Mission District called La Raza Centro Legal. We primarily focus on affirmative immigration applications: Citizenship, Deferred Action (DACA), U-Visa, Resident Green Card Renewals, Advance Parole etc. as well as provide Know Your Rights presentations in the community in response to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids for deportation. During my senior year at USF, I interned for this agency in their housing department, fighting against greedy landlords in San Francisco and helped with Eviction Defense legal work. La Raza Centro Legal is also a part of a city-wide collaborative called the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Education Network (SFILEN) where we have provided legal representation to more than 27,000 people in San Francisco, as well as education, and outreach during the past 10 years.

This past year, I have given presentations to classes in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and at the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship class at USF (taught by Professor Kathleen Coll), on the topic of city issues and the great work La Raza Centro Legal is doing to fight and advocate on behalf of our clients and program participants and the relevance of these types of classes in our everyday lives; undocumented or documented.

Alumni Spotlight: Daniel Hartz, MAIS ’10

I began my career in finance and banking before finally listening to the voice in my head imploring me to look for something more. As I was finishing a two year stint in Peace Corps Ghana I knew that a graduate degree was the next step in my career transition. One of the difficulties I faced was deciding which type of degree to seek and where. I discovered that USF was inaugurating a MAIS program and, fortunately for me, I was accepted into the first cohort.

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Dan at an artisan workshop in Mozambique.

Were it not for the individual, close relationships that MAIS faculty fostered with each of us students I’m not sure where I would be right now. As it happened, one professor introduced me to a USF graduate who founded a small investment firm that at the time was working on a unique agriculture investment in Ghana. It was a perfect fit and my internship with Golden Mean Capital Partners (GMCP) began almost immediately. The MAIS coursework helped me bring a different perspective to a GMCP team that was made up exclusively of finance professionals. In turn, the work we undertook in Ghana informed and shaped my graduate thesis: Integrating Venture & Philanthropic Capital in sub-Saharan Africa’s Agriculture Sector.

My MAIS internship, which became a full-time job after graduation, has taken me back to Ghana several times as well as Zambia, Mozambique, Mauritius and South Africa. For the past two and a half years I have been working with the Sustainable Cotton Cluster in South Africa to help provide unique financial solutions for revitalizing the country’s cotton sector. I also helped to found and grow the African Diaspora Network, a non-profit dedicated to furthering economic and social development across the continent.

Inspecting artisanal products in Mozambique
Inspecting artisanal products in Mozambique.

I think it says a lot about USF that both of the ventures I am involved in – each focused on inclusive growth and positive social impact – were founded by and include multiple team members that are graduates. I believe there is a shared sense that together we can do more. And it all began at USF.