We are incredibly proud of our Spring and Summer 2020 BA award-winning graduates and would like to spotlight their successes and accomplishments during their time at Mason. Read more about their stories below.
Peter N. Stearns Global Citizenship Award
Photo: Maasai women teaching Sophie the process of building a traditional boma hut
Sophie receives her B.A. in Global Affairs (summa cum laude) with a concentration in Human Security and a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Sophie is currently finishing her internship with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Africa Bureau. Her assignment to the Prosper Africa Executive Secretariat shaped her interest in aligning policies and development efforts to improve economic security in the global south. Sophie participated in two study abroad seminars. Last spring, she was among the few undergraduate students who went to Jordan and gained a life-changing experience through the Fieldwork with the Syrian Refugees program. She also spent her summer in the Philippines to carefully examine the complexities surrounding human trafficking. “The five nights I spent at Casa Esperanza, a temporary shelter for sexually abused children, compelled me to work harder and use my privilege and opportunities to make a difference.” Sophie also volunteered at Ayuda, a non-profit organization providing legal and social services to low-income immigrants in the DMV.
Before she joined GMU, Sophie lived in Dubai and worked as a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines. She has been to 56 countries so far. Sophie speaks Filipino and English as a second language. She will continue her academic career with George Mason as a graduate student of the International Security program. She hopes to dedicate her future career to public service and increase her involvement with the international community. Sophie would like to thank all her professors and academic advisor, Erika Marquina, for supporting her through her college career.
Outstanding Academic Achievement
Haeun lives in South Korea. This was her first entering the American school and studying the academic curriculum all in English at George Mason University. Studying at Mason Korea, she has developed her English ability and tried to do my best in studying global relations and issues. Especially, during the junior and senior years, by experiencing life in Fairfax, she grew up a lot in terms of academic maturity and widen her horizons to the world by meeting diverse thoughts of people and new cultures.
Ever since she was a child, she loved studying English and learning about social justice, so she dreamed of working as a diplomat, lawyer, or working for an international organization. This naturally led her to get into the Global Affairs studies that cover all of them. The primary focus of her whole academic years was to explore global issues and international relations by analyzing diverse perspectives. Adding on that, studying Global Economics and Management made her study more about the major flow of global relations. Then, in the first semester of junior in Mason Korea, Haeun participated in the student fellowship of the Center for Security Policy Center(CSPS) and she could study in international security. It led her to have deepened interests in security studies, to do minor studies in international security sectors and decided her future studies in international human security in graduate school. Now, she has not regretted to decide my major in Global Affairs.
During the time in Fairfax, Haeun’s whole life was composed of new experiences. At first, the entrance ceremony was highly impressive and interesting, and adding on that, the mason Gold rush game was also exciting. She volunteered in the garden and greenhouse through the sustainability class. She also participated in a professional conference and symposium held by CSPS in Arlington and learned a lot about the think tank’s idea on international security. She helped to coordinate the language exchange program for Korean students who want to practice their English and with students who want to practice Korean, it was a fantastic experience to make friends.
Hauen experienced diverse methods of writing and media platform by working as a staff writer of ‘The Voice’ which is an official newspaper media of Mason Korea. When she was a sophomore, there was a music festival among Incheon Global Campuses in Korea where she got the 2nd prize. It was an awesome experience standing on the stage singing.
Haeun wants to study more in graduate school with a major in international security studies until getting a doctoral degree. Then she hopes to work in international organizations under the United Nations related to human security sectors and be a person who teaches good lessons by delivering a good influence on the future generation.
Haeun would like to thank God and her parents who have taken care of her until now, all thankful professors who taught, helped and led her, Mason Fairfax and Mason Korea faculties especially in Career Development Center, student and academic affairs, and all of the people who helped her to adapt to new circumstances and challenge a lot in Fairfax. Lastly she thanks the department of Global Affairs and George Mason University.
Jessler Elvira Grijalva
As the eldest son of two immigrant parents from Latin America, one of whom is a small business owner who has recently obtained US citizenship, Jessler is aware of the implications of US national and international policies. He is determined to dedicate his career to upholding and advancing the principles of democracy that embody this country.
Jessler specialized in Global Affairs in order to receive a comprehensive education on national and foreign issues and dynamics that not only affect him, but everyone domestic and abroad. He selected Global Governance as his focus, as he felt it would provide him with a good knowledge base on transnational actors, whether it be the states of other actors and how cooperation can facilitate the resolution of international problems and challenges. His favorite class is a tie between International Security and International Economic Policy. Both instructors were fantastic and not only made the class enjoyable, but they were also very informative and interesting, which academically stimulated him every day. Professor Hunzeker and Professor Humphries definitely made his time in each respective course enjoyable and challenging from start to finish.
Post-graduation Jessler plans to use both his history and experience and what he’s learned at Mason to assume a position working in the public or private sector promoting the values of the United States and contributing to alleviate and resolve international conflicts. In general, the study of Global Affairs has significantly expanded his scope when it comes to assuming a global perspective not only regarding my immediate surroundings, but relating conditions, situations, and phenomenon to a global viewpoint.
Taylor is a graduating senior majoring in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Governance and a first year Accelerated Master's candidate in International Security at the Schar School of Policy and Government.
She has held multiple internships at the US Department of State with the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (Regional Affairs) and the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Burma Desk). Recently she interned at the US Embassy in Myanmar, and will spend this upcoming summer with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at the US Consulate in Mumbai. Previously, she interned with the Atlantic Council in the South Asia Center and spent over a year studying Hindi with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth in New Delhi. She has been the recipient of a Critical Language Scholarship to study Hindi in India and is fluent in Spanish and has working proficiency in French and Hindi.
She is interested in the intersection of international security and human rights, something she attributes to her academic experience at George Mason. While at Mason, she has had many unique learning opportunities, including a winter study abroad in Switzerland, where studied the role of international organizations in Europe and had the opportunity to attend meetings at the United Nations.
In the future, she hopes to have a career in public service, working in intelligence or in federal law enforcement. She wishes to thank all of her professors at Mason, specifically Madame Carol Saltzman, Dr. Yasemin Ipek, and Dr. Mark Katz. She would also like to thank her academic advisor, Erika Marquina, for all of her advice throughout the years.
Sohel is double majoring in Global Affairs, with a concentration in the Middle East & North Africa, and Anthropology. His academic interests vary widely and include many diverse subjects, but he is most interested in pursuing a career in ancient Near Eastern archaeology, with a likely research focus in pre-Islamic Arabia. In the long term, Sohel would also like to pursue, potentially after a career in archaeology, a role within the fields of international relations and foreign policy in regards to the Middle East, following upon his decision to concentrate on the Middle East. His current plans however are to wholeheartedly pursue a career in archaeology; He plans on taking a gap year after he graduates where he will obtain more professional experience in archaeology, and then in the fall of 2021 will hopefully enroll in a Master’s program in England for ancient Near Eastern archaeology.
Sohel came to Mason as an Anthropology major and was intending to take on Global Affairs as a minor, but he decided that he wanted to double major in it. It ended up being a great decision by really broadening his academic experience, and while really providing him with a whole other career path that he is passionate about! He especially appreciates and would like to thank Dr. Yasemin Ipek for the classes he took of hers while at Mason! Her courses on “People and Cultures of the Middle East” and “Refugees in the Contemporary World” really challenged him in a way that almost none of his other classes did and he is grateful for that.
His experience in the Global Affairs program has made an immeasurable impact on his future goals and plans! Thank you to the whole Global Affairs department and their fantastic program for this award!
Hea Su Lee
Hea Su Lee is graduating with a concentration of Global Governance and minor in Journalism.
She is originally from South Korea. She spent two and a half years in the George Mason University Korea campus (GMUK) and then spent one year on the Fairfax campus. She really enjoyed her whole experiences on both campuses. Since GMUK had the same educational curriculum with the main campus with amazing faculties and supports from school, she could fully enjoy various opportunities and learned that she can get as much as she works hard trying her best. With more variety, Fairfax campus also helped her to experience a wider world and compete with diverse students.
She could say GMU was her biggest source to grow herself with great opportunities such as working in student newspapers, student leaders, global ambassador, research fellow at Center for Security Policy Studies, school intern, RA, and more.
She is planning to attend graduate school of international relations and media field. She’d like to thank her professors, the GLOA and Journalism faculties for their guidance and support, with special thanks to her parents.
Pramila was born in Nepal and was adopted by an American family at the age of 7. She recently went back to Nepal after 15 years and reconnected with her biological family. Her American family and her Nepali family are proud of her for completing her degree. She has worked really hard these past 15 years in school and overcome many barriers. She is happy to be graduating this year and beginning a new path.
Throughout Pamila’s undergraduate has studied global affairs as her major and anthropology as her minor. The combination of these two fields of study has expanded her perspectives on a variety of issues and has helped guide her toward an interest in working in the non-profit sector, specifically in the domains of international development and women’s issues. Her long-term goals are focused around a career in international development and She feels that her participation in the numerous study abroad programs through Mason will be useful in preparing her to work in a country that is not her own.
After graduation, Pramila wants to complete a Master’s program in Crisis Management at Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Such an academic program would be a great way to continue to further develop the academic knowledge that she has gained during her undergraduate career. It would add to the skills that she has gained from her various professional experiences in the non-profit sector in order to equip her with a greater set of practical tools to use as she pursues her long-term professional goals within the field of international development.
Her favorite memories of Mason would be participating in activities that involved dancing. She joined the salsa club freshman year and had a blast dancing with the group. She was part of the Nepalese dance team and participated in the IWeek dance competition. The most exciting part about the IWeek dance competition would be dancing on the Center for the Arts stage, showcasing the Nepalese culture, hanging out with her teammates and reconnecting with her roots.
She wants to thank her grandmother, her parents, her aunt, and her friends for their support in helping her complete her degree.
Jongho was born in South Korea. He is graduating with a concentration in Media, Communication, and Culture. Prior to studying at George Mason University, he served his home country, South Korea, in Korean Army for 2 years. After he finished 2-year mandatory military service, he used to work in beauty industry for 3 years. He also has experience as a museum tour guide at his former university in the Philippines before transferring to George Mason University. Global Affairs program provided him an opportunity to think about issues that stem from globalization; things that have been easily overlooked and that we have taken for granted.
Global Affairs program helped him to free himself from a narrow viewpoint and to become an open-minded person. He also has some memorable experiences in both Mason Korea and Mason Fairfax. When he was in Mason Korea, he sang Korean national anthem with his classmates during Mason Night at baseball stadium while a crowd of thousands was watching. In Fairfax, one of the classes he took provided him and his classmates an opportunity to have a lecture on a certain topic regarding globalization in front of INTO Mason students.
He would like to thank his family and friends for their huge support and encouragement. He would also like to thank all the professors in Mason Fairfax and Mason Korea who taught him.
Mel Rahe (pronounced like "Ray") chose Global Affairs as their major in 2016 because they love traveling and learning new languages. Mel will be graduating with a major in Global Affairs and two minors in German Studies and Philosophy. Their favorite classes that they took for the Global Affairs major were International Economic Policy and Globalization and Culture. Mel plans on starting the Philosophy with a concentration in Cultural Theory Master's program in the Spring of 2021 and hopes to eventually get a doctorate in Cultural Studies. Mel is grateful for all the professors they have had over the past four years and looks forward to graduate school.
Fatima is honored to be given the Global Affairs Student Achievement Award. Majoring in Global Affairs has been such a rewarding experience. The best part about the program is that it is interdisciplinary, so she was able to learn about various topics from different disciplines. She concentrated in International Development which allowed her to take courses in economics, anthropology, and global health. She is also pursuing honors in the major which requires a comprehensive research project done over the course of a year. Fatima’s research topic is about the rise of Hindu Nationalism in India and how it has affected the Kashmir Conflict. The Global Affairs program has afforded her great opportunities that she knows will guide her in her professional career. She is grateful to all professors, friends, and family.
Thank you to all the professors and staff who made it possible for Sonja to achieve so much during her short time at Mason. She came to Mason with uncertainty of what to study, but with a strong passion to travel and a desire to study languages. She was uncertain of the path to take as well as what her goals were exactly. With that in mind, she is forever great full for those who helped guide her in the right direction. First, she discovered the Global Affairs Department and after falling in love, she found out that she could focus on Human Security. Discovering the concentration finally put a name to what she wanted to do. She has not only been able to discover her career aspirations at Mason, since she began her studies, she has found a passion for backpacking and have explored incredible places including Guatemala, Tanzania, Germany and Ecuador. Now she is happy to say that she is graduating early and intends to begin her Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies in Magdeburg, Germany while focusing on human rights violations. Once again, thank you for all of you who helped her get here.
James is from Fredericksburg, VA. He spent the past four years at Mason working on his degree in Global Affairs with a Global Governance concentration and a minor in Intelligence Analysis. He plans on commissioning into the Army Reserve in May as a Signal Corps Officer and to work as a Security Specialist for the government. He is really interested in International Security and Counterterrorism, so many of his classes within his program have been centered around those subjects. His favorite class was GOVT 346 (American Security Policy) with Professor Roberts. It was very informative, and he really appreciated the class structure because it was more seminar based as opposed to lecture. He highly recommends it for anyone who wants a better understanding of our country's current security apparatuses. The past four years at Mason have been incredible and he is truly grateful for everything that he has learned within the Global Affairs Program. He thinks what makes this program unique to others is that this degree plan is incredibly diverse allowing you to make it your own. Through his classes and his professors, he has learned the multitude of perspectives and the importance of global understanding. James wants to thank everyone in the Global Affairs Program, his Cadre in the GMU ROTC program ("Patriots Lead the Way!"), and his loving family for always supporting him in everything he does. Thank you.
Alexandr is a transfer student from NVCC where he finished his Associate of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Political Science. While he was torn between various International Relations programs that Mason was offering, he was really interested in learning about various other fields. He ended up choosing Global Affairs with concentration in Global Governance. He had an opportunity to study various fields and create various projects. He has written about the use of Artificial Intelligence in Warfare for his capstone, created environmental blueprint based on Belizean environmental policy for Environmental Policy in Developing Nations class, and wrote a response to the idea of a more fair taxation system for Economics of Developing Nations class. He also participated in the Fall 2019 Global Politics Fellowship, where he achieved Outstanding Fellow Award. Outside of the class he also participated in the Alexander Hamilton Society, a national organization that focuses on the debates surrounding foreign policy and national security of the United States. As a Vice President of the club, he is delighted at the debates that Mason students bring to our club and humbled by providing a platform for such a fantastic student body. Beyond school, Alex is planning to continue working in the fields of national security and foreign relations in think tanks and government organizations. His specific fields of interest include Great Power competition and 21st century conflict strategy and analysis. He would also like to thank Dr. Colin Dueck and Dr. Susan Keltner for their tireless work on making him the best writer he can be.
Certificate of Merit
Lucia is graduating with a concentration in Global Inequalities & Responses and minor in Conflict Analysis & Resolution. During her time at Mason, she focused her studies on understanding worker rights and the responsibility that governments and businesses share to protect them. When she arrived at Fairfax from Pittsburgh, she was initially nervous about studying so far away from home, but GLOA 101 and the classes that followed assured her she made the right choice. Through her courses, she met Dr. Ashley, Dr. Hultin, and Dr. Ipek, who encouraged and guided her curiosity and growth as a student. She also had the opportunity to study abroad at Oxford University and join SCAR’s Peacebuilding Fellowship. After Mason, she will temporarily move to Brazil with the support of Fulbright to study the beneficial practices of sustainable cotton production and its local impact.
Nicholas will be graduating with a degree in Global Affairs and a Concentration in Global Governance. As a native of New Jersey, Nicholas discovered his passion early on after he decided to enroll in a Russian language course during his freshman year of high school. Following high school, Nicholas wanted to continue his Russian studies - therefore, he paired his degree in Global Affairs with a minor in Russian. It was a very satisfying moment for Nicholas when he was able to judge at the annual Olympiad of Spoken Russian, a Russian language competition, since he competed three different times when he was in high school.
As a Global Affairs Major, Nicholas was able to immerse himself with a wide array of coursework throughout his time at GMU. Some of his favorite courses include the Government and Politics of Russia, the War on Terror, International Relations Theory, and American Foreign Policy. Nicholas truly felt his studies come full circle during the winter term where he decided to take part in a study abroad program in Fribourg, Switzerland. He coupled the information he learned while at Mason with the different perspectives that he was exposed to during his time at the University of Fribourg, the United Nations in Geneva, as well as various institutions of the European Union. This was truly an unparalleled experience for him, and he believes that this was the perfect way to conclude his time at GMU.
Nicholas would like to thank Dr. Levine and Professor Guglielmi for expanding his knowledge of the Russian language. The Russian department is a close-knit group, and he benefited greatly from that. Nicholas would also like to thank Dr. Katz and Dr. Shiraev. He believes they played an instrumental role in his development during his time at GMU. Even though Nicholas will be moving on from GMU in May, he will never forget all of the incredible experiences that GMU, as well as the Global Affairs program, had to offer.
You Jin Cho
Youjin was born and raised in South Korea and is attending George Mason University Korea. She is graduating with concentrate in Global Economy and Management and minor marketing. She is interested in various fields especially urban planning and environmental issues. Not only taking the business-related field but also took classes on EVPP (Environmental Science and Policy) and did OSCAR URSP research to find the way to create intergovernmental involvement based on migratory birds and wetland conservation various counties in EAAF (East Asia-Australian Flyway). Her first year in Mason Fairfax was her best experience ever in her life as a student of George Mason. Exchange of different culture and knowledge among students from various backgrounds widen her perspective as a Global Affairs student. One of her favorite classes is GLOA 400 Capstone class with Dr. Bockman about Global Cities and Global Crisis was my best class
Youjin’s future plan is she would like to take some time to think about her future along with all the various experiences that she had in Mason.
She would like to say thanks to Dr. Ahn who allowed me to research the OSCAR URSP program, Dr. Bockman, and all the professors she has ever met in class.
Matthew is a Global Affairs Accelerated Master’s Student with an interest in international development and global security. The most memorable experience he has had at Mason was studying abroad in Havana, Cuba, where he met his girlfriend Nancy Duan. The impact that GLOA has had on him has made him more knowledgeable about different cultures and has inspired him to work with shaping the international processes between different countries. Matthew would like to thank Professor Niklas Hultin for being there for him as a mentor in scholarly research and Krystalyn Morton for inspiring me to continue my academic journey to grad school.
Maggie is a graduating senior double majoring in Global Affairs and Russian and Eurasian Studies. She is also in the Accelerated Master’s program for Global Affairs, which means that she'll be graduating again next May with her Master’s in Global Affairs. George Mason isn't getting rid of her just yet!
She came all the way from sunny Tampa, Florida to experience everything that she could in her four years at Mason, and she think that she did a pretty good job with that. During her time here, she studied abroad twice (at Moscow State University and a semester abroad at Oxford University), worked on-campus at the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) for almost three years, and completed two internships at non-profits in the DC/Virginia area with international focuses (Just Neighbors and the Institute for Education).
The Global Affairs program at Mason taught her so much about the world around her. She learned about conflict analysis, global economics, international development, and so much more that will be an important background for any career in her future. “What is she going to do next?” That's a great question that she still doesn't have a good answer for. Every time she gets asked that she has a different answer. For right now, her next step is to finish her Master's degree and then take it from there. She also aims to get a cat in the near future, but that's not the "future plan" that family keeps asking her about.
I'm so thankful for everyone at Mason who has helped shape her experiences. Especially Dr. Woolsey in the Honors College, who has been the best advisor she could've asked for. She came into college with so many extra credits from high school, so together we came up with a lot of creative class schedules that allowed her to get the most out of every semester. Every time she went to him for advising he would ask "Wait- when are you graduating again? I feel like you could've graduated a semester or two ago". Well, now I'm finally graduating!
Nada is from Egypt. She is a graduation with a concentration in Global Governance. Mason gave her a lot of great opportunities, life experiences, and unforgettable memories. Academic wise, she studied abroad through the GEO department, she studied in France at Sciences-Po, which is ranked top of the world political institutions. Through the study abroad program, her studies at Mason, and her internship at Center for International Private Enterprise, she has a greater understanding for international relations through different lenses. Hence, she is able to understand her field of interest, she would like to work at NGOs, IOs, or think-tanks, such as the United Nations. She is interested in human rights, women empowerment, and environmental policies.
Nada has had an amusing and amazing memories all around the Fairfax campus at Mason. Starting from learning salsa at the Azucar Salsa Club and dancing in different parts of the campus in the middle of the crowd. She has had picnics with her friends at Mason Pond. Another memory is when it snowed, her and her friends would get floaters and slide across the mini gardens and play with snow. At Mason, she met her friends, who were exchange and international students and have had great memories with them.
Throughout her time at Mason, she has met great people that have helped her succeed. They supported her to pursue her goals. She would like to thank her family, professors, her advisors, and her friends. Thank you all for making her time at Mason memorable and unforgettable!
Marisol is honored to have received the Global Affairs Certificate of Merit. She will be graduating with a concentration in Global Inequalities and Responses and a minor in Immigration Studies. During her time as a global affairs student, she has been given the opportunity to turn her passion into reality. In the near future, she will be attending law school to become an immigration attorney and serve those in need. Marisol cannot thank her family enough for helping her every step of the way and supporting her dreams since the very beginning. “Thank you, mom and dad”
Connor is honored to be awarded the Certificate of Merit within the Global Affairs School. As a Global Affairs student, he has had the opportunity to further his education in environmental conservation through a minor in Sustainability Studies and study human rights through a concentration in Global Inequalities and Responses. Led by his passion for humanitarian efforts he spent nine months interning for the Human Rights Campaign where he fought for LGBTQ rights and equality. Through his minor, he diversified his education in the environmental protection field including his capstone work where he set the foundation for a student-led farmers market on campus. During the winter break of his senior year, he had the amazing opportunity of studying abroad where he delved into the Monumental Politics of Rome and Athens. Post undergrad, he hopes to continue fighting for LGBTQ rights and ensure environmental conservation for generations to come. Connor would like to thank his family for their continued support throughout this journey and all his friends who stood by his every step of the way.
Shreya's time at George Mason has been filled with interesting and colorful experiences that she'll remember fondly for years to come. The classes have been rigorous and intellectually stimulating not to mention the diverse group of people she has had the privilege to share classrooms and befriend throughout the years. While we are going through some tumultuous times right now, Shreya has no doubt that what she has learned here will serve her well with whatever she does in the future.
Francisca is a Global Affairs major with an Economics minor who is interested in International Trade, Law, and Economic Development. Her Nigerian-American heritage and her growing love for the Spanish language inspired her to focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America in the majority of her studies. Her most memorable moments at George Mason University was joining the Black Mambas African Dance Team, where she had learned to not be afraid of her background and to keep in touch with her culture through dance. In the academic realm, her former professors, Abigail Devereaux and Audrey Pettibon had inspired her to pursue academic challenges such as applying for an Economics Minor and studying at the University of Oxford for her first study abroad experience. Francisca’s long term goals are to work for the World Trade Organization or the World Bank Group as an Economic and Trade Analyst or as a Trade Lawyer. But in whatever capacity that God puts her in, she wants to ensure that she will give her all in helping others and continue to challenge herself in the life she has been given. She would first and foremost like to thank God for allowing her to complete her degree program and to meet the wonderful professors, peers, and mentors in the George Mason Community. She would also like to thank her mother, Edemakong Esema, who continues to stir the fighting spirit that is within her. Lastly, she would like to thank her family, friends, and others who have stood by her side through this stage of her life.
Viktoria is a Russian and Canadian citizen, which has influenced her to pursue a double major in Global Affairs and Russian Studies. She has a passion for exploring the issues, policies and trends that affect our international community. She has enjoyed many classes at Mason, but one of her favorites would be Contemporary Post-Soviet Life with Professor Johanna Bockman. Her global affairs studies have taught her to better appreciate the world we share and to continue to foster transnational interconnections.
Erie was born and grew up in South Korea for the majority of her life. She is graduating this Spring semester with a concentration in Human Security and minoring in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. The most memorable experiences at Mason are countless, but to choose one, on-campus student organization activities were amusing since the student clubs were important hubs for her to not only relieve stress from academic works, but also to build up relationships and meet fellow Patriots. If everything goes as planned, she wishes to study at graduate school as a full-time student to research Human Security and international development.
Emily is graduating with a double major in Global Affairs and Religious Studies. Her concentration is in Asian Studies. Emily’s favorite classes include Introduction to Anthropology, Arts of India, Religions of the West, and Alexander the Great to Cleopatra. Emily highly recommends taking any classes taught by Charles Garretson or Christopher Gregg. One of Emily’s favorite parts of college was traveling to Jamaica through the Study Abroad Integrative Learning program. A Wisconsin native, Emily hopes to stay in the Washington, D.C. area after graduation. Emily would like to thank Religious Studies professors Dr. Garretson and Dr. Ro for expanding her perspective on religion and spirituality. She also thanks her parents for supporting her decision to go to an out-of-state university.
Steven is a Northern Virginia native and transferred to George Mason in the spring of 2018. He is grateful for his time here and especially the 2019 spring semester where he was as a Global Politics Fellow. During his time as a Fellow, he was fortunate to intern for two George Mason Alum at a lobbying firm called David Turch & Associates.
The professional relationships he built at the firm helped him secure an internship that summer at the Niskanen Center as a Government Relations intern. Additionally, Steven interned at the Department of State: Foreign Service Institute the following semester in the fall of 2019. To end his busy, yet exciting time at George Mason, Steven participated in a study abroad program in a winter Switzerland and France focusing on the European Union and United Nations. Even though it was short, he loved his time in Europe and the trip reminded him of his love for international politics.
He would like to thank his friends and his family who supported him throughout his studies. He would like to specifically thank his professors Dr. Ghosh and Dr. Braun for their support and for making his time at George Mason special. Steven is pursuing a career in foreign diplomacy and would like to work either on Capital Hill or at the Department of State.
Shreetika Singh is a senior from Houston, TX majoring in Global Affairs with a concentration in International Development. During her academic career at GMU, she presented her research on pesticide poisoning in Kenyan farmers at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, studied International Political Theory at Oxford University, and received the Top Fellow Award during her semester as a Global Politics Fellow on the Arlington Campus. She also competed on the nationally-ranked Mason Forensics Team for two years. While she is not standing in the long Chipotle line in the JC or taking selfies with a starship robot, she volunteers with her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, for Breast Cancer Education and Awareness. For her Honors project in Global Affairs, Shreetika traveled to India to research human trafficking and collected extensive interview data. Her research was selected for presentation at the National Conferences of Undergraduate Research in Bozeman, MT. Upon graduation, Shreetika plans to work as a paralegal at a Federal Employment law firm in D.C. Her long-term the goal is to attend law school and become a practicing attorney. Global Affairs has had a profound impact on her life, she says, “It has made me hyper-aware of the world around me, and how rapidly things can change. Combatting climate change, electing capable leaders, and condemning human rights violations around the world is essential now more than ever”.
Justine Marie Suegay
Justine Suegay is graduating with a double major in Spanish and Global Affairs, with a concentration in Media, Communication and Culture. As part of the Honors College, her research and academic interests involved Asian American studies, media representation, sociolinguistics, immigration, social justice, and education equity. On campus she was very involved with the Asian American community as a former President of the Filipino Cultural Association and outgoing President of the Asian Pacific American Coalition. She was also a Committee Head for Immigration Monologues and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month for the past three years. Additionally, she has worked at the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education as a Student Staff Coordinator. Outside Mason, she has been a Congressional Intern and has years of non-profit experience serving a Filipino American federation.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Justine’s global perspective was complemented by her global affairs studies that comprised some of her favorite classes. From learning about intercultural communication, to globalization & culture, or cross-cultural anthropology to postcolonial literature, her Global Affairs major has made Justine passionate about her identity, history, community, and activism. Justine plans to pursue a career in higher education and leadership development, with the goal of supporting students of color and historically marginalized communities on university campuses.
Ma Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson is a graduating senior at George Mason University. She will be graduating with a concentration in Human Security and a minor in Intelligence Analysis under the Criminal Justice Department. She chose this degree combination because she enjoys learning about different cultures, history, languages, groups of people, and the national security apparatus. Prior to college she was a student at the Global Studies and World Languages Academy of Tallwood high school where she was introduced to International Studies and began her journey to becoming a “global citizen.” Her love and passion for traveling and learning new languages has also kept her interested and engaged with the program.
At Mason she studied two semesters of Arabic and French and plan to continue Arabic in graduate school. In the near future she will be taking on a master’s degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in Global Conflict and Security. As you can tell she has really enjoyed this major, mainly because it not only teaches from an academic standpoint but also life lessons as she continues to learn about what our world is truly like—the good and the bad. For her future career path, she hopes to become a Foreign Service Officer and possibly a Special Agent for an Office of Inspector General, preferably USAID where she has been interning for and have enjoyed her experience.
She wants to thank God, her family, and friends for the support and always being there to encourage her to do better. She also wants to thank her past supervisors and colleagues from UI as well as her current team at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being who has been there to guide her, mentor her, and supported her throughout her four years at Mason. Without her loved ones, she truly would not be where she is today.
When Jacob began college, he would never have imagined that Global Affairs would become his major, nor could he have imagined the places it would take him. Right out of high school he attended the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry's (SUNY ESF) Ranger School Program, where he learned practical skills relating to surveying, forestry and conservation. However, he soon realized this was not the career path he wanted and spent a good bit of time in Northern Virginia attending NOVA community college and working before coming to GMU.
His time at GMU has been meaningful and certainly memorable. He will never forget studying in Beijing with professor Zhang, nor will he forget his time working as an intern with the National Archives. His coursework continues to impact the way he thinks about the world and has given him a greater appreciation of the ways in which individuals, communities, and governments interact with each other.
He would like to thank his parents and his sister for supporting him through good times and bad, as well as his professors for all they have done to broaden his understanding.
May 15, 2020