Congratulations Fall 2016 Graduates!

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The International Studies department would like to congratulate all of our Fall 2016 graduates! This is our favorite and least favorite part of year as we love to celebrate your accomplishments as International Studies students but are sad to see you leave us. We’re so proud of you, and we can’t wait to see what you do to Change the World From Here (and There and Everywhere)!

B.A. in International Studies graduates

Noor Tarik Al Haidary Melinda Bernard David Chavez
David Garrett Kendall Kincaid Nabila Maharani
Hoang Minh Nguyen Macie Roorda

M.A. in International Studies graduates

Fardowsa Abdullahi Azamat Baiyzbekov Keith Baskerville
Belguun Bat-Erdene Daniela Carina Bermudez Nicole Campos
Andrew Chen Tala Dayyat Cristina Del Puerto
Brian Dexter Isabel Cristina Duarte Vasquez Dakota Floyd
Narek Ghazaryan Briawna Gillespie Deeti Gupta
Marianne Hoeidal Sarai Anne Ikenze Rida Kazmi
Marcus Littman Magdalena Martinez Francesca Mateo
Chalwe Mwansa Yu Namie John Paul Posis
Audrey Purnama Fabiola Ramirez Tavui Harley Roe
Meron Semedar Anna Takkenberg Tengxiang Xu
Joseph Young Jose Zacarias

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MAIS Internship Spotlight: Andrew Chen (’16)

headshot1. Where did you conduct your internship and why did you choose this opportunity?
I was a resettlement intern at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). I chose to go there per the suggestion of one of my professors. I knew that I wanted to write my thesis on migration and diasporic communities. Seeing as the IRC helped refugees resettle in the Bay Area, among other areas throughout the US, it seemed like a good fit. Every family has a different migration story and interning at the IRC was a good way to learn and here these unique and different journeys.

2. What were your work responsibilities?
The IRC helps refugees in finding housing, attending health and social benefits appointment, finding work, and helping refugees who need long-term assistance in becoming self-sufficient individuals. My responsibilities as a resettlement intern were crucial to the initial arrival of the refugee family. The caseworkers that I worked with only handled family and individual cases for the first 90 days after their arrival, after which they are transferred to the Intensive Case Management branch of the IRC for additional assistance. My responsibilities included making periodic home visits to insure that the family felt safe and supported, taking individuals to social benefits appointments, scheduling initial healthcare checks and setting up primary physician preferences, assist in school enrollment for kids, setting up their new home and etc.

3. Are there accomplishments that you are particularly proud of?
I am glad to know that I was able to make a positive change in the lives of individuals and families in need. Interning at the IRC give a new meaning to USF’s motto of “Change the world from here” as it truly does give all of their interns the chance to make a difference in the lives of those in less than ideal situations.

4. How were you able to apply your MAIS coursework to your hands on experience?
During the spring semester, I took a class on refugees and forced migration. The IRC was able to help me better understand the life of a refugee and the struggles that they face on their journey to another country. The class also helped me learn the terminology that is used on a regular basis at the IRC. It was great to learn and apply what I’ve learned simultaneously in the semester. The International Law class was helpful in informing on what claims and threats these refugees must make in order to be granted refugee status. Overall, those two classes provided me with a great framework and understanding of migration and the rights afforded to refugees.

5. What did you gain from your internship?
From this internship I’ve gained a better perspective of what refugees must go through. It also gives me a better perspective on the US immigration system. Prior to coming attending USF and getting my internship at the IRC, I had worked at a law firm where I was tasked with filling out and sending immigration forms for business purposes. The IRC is the complete opposite of business immigration, and I am glad to have gained the experience and perspective of both sides of the immigration world.

National Day of Action in Solidarity with Standing Rock – USF Rallies in Support

On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, the University of San Francisco community under the leadership of student Calina Lawrence held a rally in support of the National Day of Solidarity with Standing Rock (#NoDAPL). Professor Zartner, Chair of the International Studies Department spoke at the event. Below is a transcript of her speech calling for multi-level activism bringing the global and the local together. Thank you to all members of the International Studies community who came out to support this effort!

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The Local-Global Connection and International Action in Support of Standing Rock

By Dana Zartner, International Studies Department

There are National Day of Action events happening in all 50 states today. This morning in San Francisco, there was a sunrise vigil at City Hall. People are standing up to recognize the inherent inequities and unlawfulness happening in North Dakota. For the Standing Rock Sioux and all the other Native American nations, this fight is nothing new. They have been fighting these violations of their rights, culture and land for centuries. But I think what we are seeing in the last few months, indeed the last few days, is the recognition that this is a fight they should not be in alone. And today I want to talk about this fight and activism and why what is happening at Standing Rock is a seminal moment – for Native American nations, but also for peoples around the world.

Standing Rock and the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline is a global issues and it has generated support from all corners of the world. It exemplifies the multi-level activism that I think is so important in today’s world. Activism happens at many levels, and we must use all of these in our fight against injustices and illegal activities like those happening in North Dakota. We know that there has been active negative action on the part of the North Dakota state government, and harmful inaction on the part of the federal government.

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What do we do when we face such obstacles? We do what the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies have done. We turn to the courts. We turn to the media. We organize and protest. And we turn to the global community. In 2016 activism has gone global, and while imperfect, I believe that much action on issues like those at Standing Rock in the years to come will be at the local level buoyed by support from international law, international institutions, and the broader global community.

We need to draw on all the resources available to us. We need to be creative in our activism. We need to look beyond our borders and seek allies and ideas and new mechanisms to fight for the rights of all peoples. There is much criticism of the international system of laws and institutions as being ineffectual, and in many ways it is. It is not a global government in the way we have state governments. But we know, in situations like Standing Rock, having a state government with laws and a police force doesn’t always mean that laws and rights are protected. Turning to the global offers support in different ways: giving added legal weight to the violations occurring, offering global protest that pressures multinational corporations and other investors, ‘naming and shaming’, offering on the ground protections, and creating pressures of potential punishment through supranational forums.

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We know the numerous human rights violations, recognized not only in our domestic law but in international law to which the U.S. is obligated, are occurring at Standing Rock:

  • Right to Clean Water
  • Right to Cultural Heritage
  • Right to Cultural Land
  • Right to Equal Protection of the Laws
  • Right to Freedom of Expression
  • Right to be free from Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • The right to prior informed consent
  • The right to a thorough environmental impact statement

Emphasizing the international and universal nature of these rights provides extra emphasis to domestic laws, and has been used effectively by peoples around the world who have gone through, or are going through, situations similar to what is happening at Standing Rock – communities along the Amazon, the Mekong, The Congo. The Brahmaputra, and many others around the world are facing the same struggles for clean water and cultural preservation and they have used international laws and institutions in the absence of support from their state governments to fight for their land, their culture and their rights.

Just a few days ago, Grand Chief Edward John, an Expert Member with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues visited Standing Rock and issued conclusions confirming the violations of numerous international human rights by both the companies involved, and the local and state law enforcement agencies. He was joined by a member of the International Indian Treaty Council. It is also likely that the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will visit soon, after calling on the US to halt construction.

What does this mean for a country that has a reputation for ignoring the UN? While it may not mean sanctions or removal from positions of influence, it does shine a light on what is happening in North Dakota. ‘Naming and Shaming’ can have an impact on states and their behavior. And this impact can come in a variety of ways.

For example, global protests over the issues at Standing Rock can impact the companies supporting this action. Reaching out to the global community, ensuring Standing Rock is on the front page of newspapers and social media in countries around the world, creates global networks of advocates who can have a powerful impact on companies or investors. After protests in Norway, including a sit in at the bank’s headquarters, the DNB bank (Norway’s largest, which has given $120 million to Bakken Pipeline, and $460 million in credit lines to companies with ownership stakes, including Energy Transfer Partners), has announced it is conducting its own objective and fact-based evaluation of how the Standing Rock’s Sioux rights are being treated.

Amnesty International has also sent a team to Standing Rock to investigate human rights abuses under the ICCPR and CAT, two treaties to which the US is a part and which can therefore be used in court cases in US courts. These visits can not only shine a light, but also serve as an additional layer of protection for the people on the ground. One protector interviewed by Amensty said that government and company fly-overs of the camp and harassment decrease when groups like the UN or Amnesty or on the ground.

This international attention can also have an impact in building a record of violations that may be able to be used in the future. The Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court recently stated that they will “give particular consideration” to prosecuting crimes involving “the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land.”

While the U.S. is not a party to the Court, Canada is and Canada’s largest pipeline company, Enbridge, recently became a joint stakeholder in 49% of the DAPL. And there are other investors from other countries such as Japan, the UK, and France who are also members of the ICC. The threat of these kinds of cases being filed in a global forum can be a deterrent to CEOs and other individuals and impact their support of actions such as the Dakota Access pipeline.

The main point I want to make with these examples is that we need to go global in our activism. Last year I attended the annual meeting of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As is often true with these global events, the real work was done in the hall ways and the coffee bar where representatives from indigenous groups and rights groups from around the world connect, share stories and strategies and come together to realize they are not alone.

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I haven’t been out to Standing Rock, and I am sure those who are camped there facing the onset of the North Dakota winter and an increasingly hostile and armed corporation, do feel alone. As allies of those at Standing Rock and of all indigenous peoples around the world fighting for their rights, their culture, their sacred space, and water – on behalf of themselves and all people of the world, it is up to us to do what we can to let them know they are not alone. What we can each contribute may be different, but it is up to us to contribute what we can. Use your strengths, dedicate your heart, release your passion. Stand with Standing Rock, in spite of the obstacles,

Water is Life. Mni Wiconi.

Faculty Friday: Brian Dowd-Uribe

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty do!

Brian Dowd-Uribe is an Assistant Professor in the International Studies Department. Brian grew in up in Sonoma County, California and decided to change scenery and head to UC San Diego, where he earned undergraduate degrees in Latin American Studies and Ecology, Behavior and Evolution.

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As an undergraduate, Brian studied abroad twice to Costa Rica where he completed a senior thesis on different approaches to native forest regeneration in Monteverde, and got a crash course in salsa dancing. After leaving Costa Rica, he served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a small Kabiye village in northern Togo. While there he worked on multiple projects with local women’s cooperatives on soil fertility, income generation and fuelwood efficiency; he also took up a strong interest in locally brewed sorghum beer. Both the experiences in Costa Rica and West Africa led to a strong interest in rural livelihoods and how rural development intersects with the environment.

After a short two-year stint as a park ranger in South Los Angeles, Brian took up his graduate studies at UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies, where he earned his PhD in 2011. His dissertation explores the winners and losers of two of the most defining interventions affecting small-scale farmers in West Africa, the liberalization of agricultural commodity chains and the introduction of genetically modified crops. While conducting his dissertation research in Burkina Faso, he met his future wife, Kim, salsa dancing. Later, they lived together in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, and then traveled to Southeast Asia for several months where Brian wrote most of his dissertation.

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After graduating, and marrying, Brian took a position as a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. There he worked on two projects, one exploring the social and environmental dimensions of community gardens in East Harlem, and the other examining the linkages between participatory water governance, water security and food security in rural Burkina Faso. Brian continues to work on and publish from both projects. Before joining USF, Brian took a position at the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, where he most recently served as Chair of the Department of Environment and Development. Brian’s work has been published in multiple academic journals and was recently featured by the BBC. A new edited book project examining Costa Rica’s attempt to negotiate environmental protection and development is under review at the University of Arizona Press.

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While not grading papers or writing articles, Brian changes the diapers of his 5-month old son Benjamin, and plays trains and baseball with his 3.5-year-old son Tomás. He has a strong interest in everything outdoors – camping, hiking, etc. He also tries to keep up on a regular running regime, and periodically plays soccer for a ‘grown up’ team. Brian and his wife can often be spotted at a local café, sipping on coffee, and plotting their next international adventure.

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Faculty Friday: Laleh Shahideh

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty do!

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Laleh Shahideh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies at USF.  Prof. Shahideh was born in Tehran, Iran. She pursued her undergraduate studies and lived in Rome for 9 years, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Architectural Design from the Academia di Belle Arti di Roma, with a specialization in Interior Architecture from Centro Europeo di Roma.  Soon after the 1978-79 Islamic Revolution in Iran, she returned to her homeland where she redirected her interest and energy by joining the Italian Foreign Ministry in Tehran. This unique professional experience and early exposure to complex foreign diplomacy, immigration issues, and international affairs and relations ignited a dormant desire in her to examine the world from a new perspective.  After living through the Iran/Iraq war for six years, she immigrated to San Francisco and started her career at USF, where she obtained her Master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Health Administration, and a doctorate in Organization and Leadership, with an emphasis in Pacific Leadership International Studies.

At the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester, she returned to the faculty after two decades working in leadership positions with USF’s Student Academic Services, including her final position as Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Student Academic Services.  Throughout the past 20 years, she skillfully resolved thousands of crisis and complex negotiations and grievances. Thus, there is no surprise for her excitement in having the opportunity to combine the two main areas of her passion into one by sharing – with the students – her knowledge and specialization in crisis intervention, conflict resolution, and mediation in the classroom.

Her personal background and professional experiences have provided her with an exceptionally rich knowledge of cultures in the broader middle east, especially Iran, as well as Europe and the United States.

Prof. Shahideh’s research interests – grounded in the critical hermeneutics theories – include:

  • The role of narrative in global politics.
  • Immigrants’ notions of double identity and belonging: “Being in the World”.
  • The importance of empathy in international relations.
  • The relationship between understanding of power and capacity to act.

As a Fulbright scholar she compared educational systems in the member states of the European Union, especially Germany, and the United States to identify common challenges and best practices.   Professor Shahideh will continue to serve as the faculty adviser for the Persian Iranian Student Club at USF. Shahideh’s additional interests include: The role of historical memory in shaping Iranians’ notion of identity; the place of Iranian women in the Middle East; art in Iran: a medium and not a representational tool. Her book The Power of Iranian Narratives: A Thousand Years of Healing was published by the University Press of America in 2004.

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A personal note to the students:  I am delighted and look forward to the opportunity to develop and share an exciting learning experience with you in the classroom.  My personal life experiences and professional and educational background have granted me the fortune and the ability to borrow from a multi-disciplinary array of studies and theoretical frameworks that will help us examine challenges and complexities within international studies and relations.  Having lived through a war, immigrated to two new continents, and having had the privilege to listen to thousands of life stories involving complex and diverse issues, have provided me with a unique perspective and appreciation for the level of complexities within human beings. In order to establish harmonious and healthy relationships, we ought to have healthy environments that are nourishing and tolerant of our needs and our differences.  The world does not suffer because of our differences, rather, the separations and sufferings we witness in the world today are caused by the lack of understanding of our commonalities and our interconnectedness.  I believe the remedy is simple. In fact, it is an ancient one:  Finding love and compassion for Self and Others.

laleh-photo-2My personal interests are: The importance of narrative and learning new languages (I am fluent in Farsi, English, and Italian). I have a strong connection with animals; am a huge fan of soccer; enjoy photography and long walks in nature; practice Pilates and meditation daily; find my “moment of quiet” while swimming; admire good story telling and writing; am a savvy reader; love to cook and enjoy high quality cuisine; am an admirer of art in all forms, love Italian songs and travelling to new places, and love comedies (e.g.; Seinfeld).   I consider my friends and family to be the greatest source of my happiness (particularly, my grandniece (7) and grandnephew (3) who live in Berlin; like my own grandchildren).  Now that I have a more flexible schedule, I am actualizing a long dream of adopting a dog.  Stay tuned, coming soon!  I believe the most difficult, yet rewarding, thing I have accomplished in life is getting to know myself.  I am excited about the new phase of my journey and the new opportunities for self-discovery and rediscovery. Most importantly, I am looking forward to the reciprocal learning experience with my students in the classroom. 

BAIS Alumni Spotlight: Shereen Kajouee (’13)

Staff Friday: Christie Meno

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty (or staff) members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty and staff do!

Christie Meno is the Graduate Administrative Director for the MA in International Studies (MAIS) program. In this role, Christie supports all of the program’s outside-of-the-classroom functions, such as recruitment, admissions, orientation, professional development opportunities, student socials, and addressing any ongoing student concerns. Christie proudly hails from a small town in upstate New York (Sidney, New York) and joined the intrepid International Studies Department in January 2016. Before taking this post, she worked most recently at New York University in New York City where she was part of the department of Residential Life and Housing Services. Christie studied political science as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and received her Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University.

Christie’s professional interests include the dynamics of college student transitions and especially the first-year experience, particularly among first generation and low income students; college access and equity; and bridging the in- and out-of-classroom experiences to create seamless living-learning environments. To expand her knowledge on the first-year experience, Christie spent a summer as a National Orientation Director’s Association (NODA) intern at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Given her role at USF, Christie has shifted her focus to facilitate college access and success at the graduate student level.

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At the Great Wall of China

Christie’s professional career started at NYU where she worked with the Faculty Fellows program helping to coordinate on- and off-campus events with faculty and students. Her work in this field led to her giving several successful conference presentations. Christie then transitioned roles and worked closely with student leadership and development, overseeing the student staff training and ongoing professional development for NYU’s nearly 400 residential student staff members. This role took her all the way to Shanghai where she helped develop a training course for NYU’s residential life student staff at the NYU Shanghai campus.

In addition, her passion for increasing student access led to her involvement with the iMentor program in New York City which pairs professionals in the community with high school students as they work toward graduation and admission into colleges. Since arriving at USF, Christie has enjoyed applying her various interests into a new arena in her work with graduate students. Finally, Christie is also an instructor for the USF 101 course, a class designed to introduce new students to the USF mission and what it means to study at a Jesuit, social justice-oriented institution. This role allows her to enjoy the best of both the undergraduate and graduate student experience at USF’s beautiful campus.

In her non-working hours, Christie spends her time exploring SF by way of restaurants, museums, music venues, and walks through SF’s diverse neighborhoods. Christie loves traveling, mostly recently returning from a two week adventure in Thailand, and is a lifelong skier excited to explore the mountains of the West. She is passionate about cooking new dishes, Jackson Browne, finding San Francisco’s best Bloody Mary and scoop of ice cream, and obsessing over Michigan football (whose games often begin at 9am on the West Coast; hence, the Bloody Mary search…). While she is a definitive New Yorker at heart, Christie feels the pull of California more each day, and couldn’t be happier for the opportunity to work here in the International Studies Department.

October in Review

The semester is officially past the halfway point and the holidays are fast approaching! Take a moment to look back at October, and check out how the International Studies Department packed this month chock-full of opportunities to for our students to learn outside the classroom. In between studying for midterms, IS students relaxed at socials, lunches, and speaker events.

dsc_0013October 5- How I Got This Job Series (Abby Rubinson)
To start off the month, IS hosted the first installment of the “How I Got This Job” Speaker Series, featuring Abby Rubinson. Abby spoke to students about her own experiences working in non-governmental organizations focused on human rights and the environment, and provided some valuable tips on developing careers in non-profits. Number one on her list? Be flexible. Flaunt the diversity of your skills as an International Studies student, and show employers a willingness to go the extra mile in everything you do.

dsc_0122October 10- New Student Lunch: Study Abroad
Our final New Student Lunch this semester was a hit, and our adept group of Peer Advisors each shared their Study Abroad stories with new students looking to integrate real-life international experiences into the major. This lunch also highlighted all the different ways students can study abroad during their time at USF, whether they’re on a budget or crunched for time! New students left the lunch confident about the option to study abroad in ways that work best for them.

img_7836October 13- Game Changer with Omer Ismail
Our Fall keynote speaker was Omer Ismail, the co-founder of the Darfur Peace and Development Organization. Omer has worked with international relief organizations promoting human rights for over thirty years, and is the current Policy Advisor at the Enough Project. Omer discussed the work of The Sentry, an initiative founded in conjunction with the Enough Project to fight the facilitation of genocide and mass atrocities in the African continent through the use of legitimate networks of international finance and trade. Students and faculty engaged in a lively discussion of legal tools that could be used to prosecute international human rights offenders.

October 18- San Francisco State University Graduate Recruiting Fair
October also means recruitment is picking up for the MAIS program! This month, Administrative Director Christie Meno and Program Assistant Amanda Mitchell headed out to Merced for the annual graduate fair at San Francisco State University, and the San Francisco Idealist Fair. We also held an on campus info session and are pumped up to continue recruiting exciting new minds to contribute to our Masters program.

Oct 26- Human Rights & Environmental Justice
International Studies was made proud by the outstanding work of our faculty this month, and a big shout out goes to Professor Brian Dowd-Uribe for his participation in a panel discussion sponsored by the 11th Hour Project and USF’s Environmental Management Program. This event focused on the panelists’ work on building community partnerships to create more just, equitable, and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. In an inspiring parting note, moderator Joe Sciortino, Executive Director of The Schmidt Family Foundation, called upon USF students to engage in this important work by mastering advocacy skills and community organizing to enact meaningful change from the ground up.

 

Finally, a big thanks to everyone who participated in and contributed to International Studies events this month. This the wraps up our October debrief, and look out for the next one at the end of November!

Staff Friday: Jenny Alcivar

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty (or staff) members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty and staff do!

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Jenny and (ahem) MATTHEW PERRY, Calabasas, CA.

Jenny Alcivar is currently the Program Assistant for the undergraduate major in the International Studies Department. Growing up in Virginia just outside Washington, D.C., Jenny dreamed of moving to California to work in television. During her second year of college, she met a researcher on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, who helped her get an internship on the show that summer. While continuing her college education at Santa Monica College, she interned for a commercial/music video production company while working part-time in Beverly Hills. Following graduation from SMC, she got a job at Hand Prop Room, which supplied props to movies, television shows, commercials, music videos, and even the LAPD during a counterfeit money sting operation!

All good things come to an end, and eventually, the shine of LA and working in television wore off, so Jenny decided to change her career path. While hunting for schools to study marine biology, she took a spontaneous Labor Day weekend vacation to the Bay Area. After spending a few foggy, colds day in the outer Sunset, she fell in love with San Francisco- Karl had snagged another one! Six months later, she was attending San Francisco State University to finish her bachelor’s degree, ultimately deciding to major in history and minor in political science.

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Jenny, center left, and the SF State delegation to the Sacramento Legislative Seminar.

While at SF State, Jenny found her nerdy niche, twice attending the Sacramento Legislative Seminar and becoming the secretary in the Political Science Student Association. The latter responsibility led her to co-chair the planning of the political science graduation ceremony, giving her skills that would later come in VERY handy. Her notable research projects included “Representation and Revolt: Peasants as an oppressed majority in medieval England,” which discussed how the rise of education among the peasant class led to a rise in revolts and a demand for rights and “Commission vs. Legislature: There Is No Silver Bullet,” a comparative case study on the methods of redistricting and the rise of partisanship. Told you it was nerdy.

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Communications team at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The summer between her junior and senior years, she went back to DC to intern on Capitol Hill for the communication department at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). She quickly figured out that she did NOT want to be a professional political operative (it was not as fun as The West Wing made it seem), but she did get to meet Rahm Emmanuel, currently the mayor of Chicago and then-Chairman of the DCCC, and was instrumental in sending at least one corrupt congressman to jail.

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Jenny and friends on the Brooklyn Bridge (the perks of living in Jersey!)

Following graduation from SF State, Jenny pursued her interest in political science, specifically gender and representation, so with the help of a mentor, she applied to graduate school. After being accepted to her top choice, she made the difficult decision to leave San Francisco to move to New Jersey and attend Rutgers University. She quickly realized that graduate school was not for her and ultimately left the program. She moved back to the DC area the following year, working at CD/DVD/vinyl manufacturer. Though she loved being closer to her friends and family, she missed San Francisco! Luckily, her mentor heard that a new job was being posted at USF, and Jenny’s next career path, this time in higher education, began right here at USF.

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Jenny and friend overlooking the River Thames, London.

In her spare time, Jenny loves traveling, listening to podcasts and compulsively Instagramming her food. She’s been to 44 of the 50 states (missing only Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Michigan) and driven across the U.S. seven times. She obsessively loves the San Francisco Giants, particularly first baseman, Brandon Belt. Jenny also enjoys reminding people that the Giants first started their World Series winning streak after she returned to San Francisco. Coincidence? She thinks not! Her favorite places in the world (besides San Francisco) are Disneyland, Vancouver, Manhattan, and London.

Next up on Jenny’s travel list is Ecuador to explore her father’s homeland and Australia to fulfill her dream of petting a wombat.