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Political Science

International Relations MA Alumni Updates

Nataliia Kasianenko (MA 2012)

Nataliia was selected as a Maddy Institute Legislative Scholar and spent the summer interning with Assemblyman David Valadao in Sacramento. In fall 2012, she started to work on her PhD in Political Science at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Palingwinde Yves Ouedraogo (MA 2011)

Pallingwinde is pursuing an MBA with Project Management at
Mount Saint Mary's University. He is also a full time intern/project assistant
with the National Democratic Institute in Washington, DC. Yves is interested in
pursuing a career in international development.

Sherif Fouad (MA 2010)

Sherif is currently pursuing his PhD in Political Science at McGill University.

Paul Betancourt (MA 2009)

Paul recently published his MA thesis, The Swiss Model: Can the Swiss Model of Confederation be Applied in Afghanistan? (LAP Publishing, 2010), and is currently working on a book about environmental policy. Since receiving his MA, Paul started teaching in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences at the University of Phoenix in Fresno, while he also continues to farm.

Johannes Siemson (MA 2009)

Johannes currently lives in Washington, DC and works for a consulting company that helps international companies invest and/or establish businesses in the US. In the rare free time that he has, he researches various topics that interest him.

Stephanie Stockdale (MA 2008)

Stephanie presented her research at a conference on the Armenian Diaspora at Boston University in Feb. 2010.  Her paper, entitled “Cultural & Social Factors of the Armenian and Jewish Diasporas of Argentina: A Comparative Study,” looked at the formation of these two diasporas in Argentina and how social and cultural factors affected their integration into Argentine society.  Stephanie also teaches human rights and genocide seminars annually for high school students and teachers in Fresno Country, reaching 100 or so participants each year. In the meantime, she is completing her MBA in Global Management at Thunderbird this spring (2010).

Jonathan Lewman (MA 2007)

Upon graduating, Jonathan was commissioned in the United States Army and continues to serve at the rank of Captain. He has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division. Jonathan's positions have included Battalion Governance and Economic Development Coordinator and Senior Military Advisor to the Kunar Provincial Government. A solid background in economics and political theory gained by his IR Master's has allowed him to understand and affect strategy, policy, and outcomes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Suki Nawaz (MA 2007)

I currently work as a Visa Specialist/ International Student Advisor at the University of California, Merced. I also worked as an advisor for the UK and Ireland Study Abroad programs and have  been actively involved in efforts to internationalize the campus and the Merced community since 2008. My IR  degree certainly inspired and prepared me to enter the field of International Education, which had always been my goal.

Myat The Thitsar & and Myat Thet Thitsar (MA 2007)

The Thitsar twins are both currently working for an accredited NGO in Myanmar on projects ranging from governance to livelihood and food security.  They are involved in program and project evaluations and assessments as well as issue-based socio-economic research, including Social Impact Monitoring in Post-Nargis (funded by World Bank) and Impacts of Global Financial Crisis on Myanmar Women (funded by Oxfam GB).  Beside this full time work, The and Thet are also part-time instructors for a Capacity Building Center teaching courses on International Relations and community mobilization.

Simon Haeder (MA 2007)

After completing his MA, Simon served as the Carl Albert Fellow at the University of Oklahoma and then completed an MPA at Fresno State while working at a local non-profit organization to improve access to health care for the underserved populations of the Central Valley.  He will begin work towards his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin at Madison this fall (2010).

Alexander Ott (MA 2005)

I am the Executive Director of the California Apple Commission, California Blueberry Commission and the California Olive Committee.  The California Apple and Blueberry Commissions are state commissions in charge of market access, research, pest and diseases, education, and provide for a unified industry voice apple and blueberry issues.  The California Olive Committee is a federal marketing order that is in charge of marketing, research, inspection and compliance for the California Olive industry.  Also, I completed the California Agricultural Leadership program (Class 37).  Our class traveled to China, Laos and Thailand for our international studies portion.

Adam Stirrup (MA 2005)

Following graduation from the IR program, Adam attended San Joaquin College of Law where he wrote a Law Review Comment entitled “Hidden Cargo: A Cautionary Tale About Agroterrorism and the Safety of Imported Produce, ” served as the San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review Editor-in-Chief and was awarded Best Oral Advocate and Best Brief Finalist in the George A. Hopper Moot Court Competition.  Adam graduated with his Juris Doctor (with Distinction) and began his legal practice with McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte & Carruth LLP in Fresno.  Adam is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Fresno State Alumni Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the Fresno County Young Lawyers Association and a member of the Emeritus Group of the San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review.

Tonia Korakis (MA 2005)

Since graduation, Tonia moved to the Bay Area where she is now a Public Relations Manager at Beautisol ( a sun care company. She is also co-founder of iFabbo (International Fashion & Beauty Bloggers Organization). She is about to move to Greece where she will continue to work on these ventures and handle the international aspect of iFabbo.

Alumni: Send your updates here:   (subject line: “alumni update”)