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See what some students are doing after graduation


Ilsa Snyder – B.A. 2013
Major: International Politics (with a concentration in Political Economy)
Minors: Spanish and Business

Since graduation, Ilsa has been working at Integrated Properties, a real estate development firm in the Harrisburg area. As Assistant to the President, she performs all financial analyses on current and potential commercial, residential, and industrial projects. She has negotiated leasing contracts, purchase and sale agreements, and partner buy-outs; and has overseen the development process from initial negotiations with buyers and tenants to permitting and approvals and finally to land development, construction, and opening. She is a member of the Penn State Alumni Association, Capital Area Chapter. Through the Capital Area Chapter, she has volunteered with the THON committee to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund. In August 2014, she will be moving to Baltimore to enter the two-year Global MBA program at Johns Hopkins.

Emily Connor – B.A. 2012
Majors: International Politics and Geography
Minor: Arabic

Immediately after graduation Emily accepted an internship with National Geographic in Washington, D.C. and worked from January to April of 2013 in the Education Department there. She was responsible for managing the department's social media platforms and was a regular contributor to their blog. At the conclusion of the internship in May 2013, she was offered a contract position within the Education Department at National Geographic. Her work there has involved various projects, including, most recently, a National Science Foundation-funded project working in association with Michigan State University on climate change education.  She has also continued her Arabic studies this past winter in classes in Washington, D.C.  She hopes to enter a graduate program in the near future, and is leaning toward a program in international development.

Parsa Ghahramani – B.A. 2012
Major: International Relations
Minor: Middle East Studies

Parsa’s career after graduating from Penn State began with an internship at the American-Iranian Council and a stint as regional director for the Borgen Project.  He also worked as a Research Assistant at the Middle East Institute, where he conducted qualitative research on Iranian politics. In spring, 2014, he entered the Master’s Program in International Affairs at American University's School of International Service, and expects to receive his degree in 2016.   He is also currently a governance and communication intern with Greenpeace.



Eli Glazier – B.A. 2012
Major: International Politics

Eli is currently enrolled in a Master of Planning program at the University of Southern California, with plans to graduate in May 2014.  He is also working for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation Bicycle Program. He’s responsible for various tasks including mapping, graphic design, and data and policy analysis.



Laura Ross – B.A. 2012
Majors: Political Science; French and Francophone Studies; Comparative Literature;International Studies
Minor:  Italian

Laura worked for a year following graduation from Penn State as a paralegal specialist for the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.  She was responsible for reviewing documents to obtain evidence for cases and for assisting attorneys with preparation in fact-finding, case preparation and litigation. She also helped review Hart-Scott- Rodino filings to identify potential issues of competitive harm in proposed merger cases.  She is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management in the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is participating in their DC-Track program. This year she is taking classes in Pittsburgh; her second year (2014-2015) will be in DC where she will work an apprenticeship 4 days a week and take night classes.

Samuel Settle – B.A. 2012
Majors: Political Science & History

After graduating from Penn State, Sam joined Patrick Morrisey's campaign for Attorney General in West Virginia as the staff fundraiser. The campaign was successful, and Morrisey became West Virginia's first Republican Attorney General in 80 years.  After the campaign, he worked briefly as an independent consultant for a conservative PAC, before accepting a position in the new Attorney General's Office as a Consumer Advocate (a public liaison for the office).  Just over a year later, he returned to fundraising as the Development Manager of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where he is currently employed. He is responsible for the Symphony's donor relations and solicitations, sponsorship management, developing corporate proposals and event planning.  A resident of Charleston, WV, he is a volunteer firefighter with the Malden VFD, a Scholarship Committee member with the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, and serves on the Membership and Public Policy Committees of Generation Charleston. He is also an elected member of the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee, and the treasurer of RECON PAC (which supports conservative and libertarian candidates for state and local offices in West Virginia). In spring 2014 he will be running for a seat on the WV Republican State Executive Committee.

Arianna Simpson – B.A. 2012
Majors: International Politics and Spanish
Minor: History

After graduating in June 2012, Arianna worked with two other PSU alumni to found a software-as a service (SaaS) startup.  The startup was accepted into a tech accelerator in Princeton called Tigerlabs as part of the program's inaugural class, and Arianna moved there to pursue the project. In the same month, she was also selected as a finalist in the Global Development and Public Policy Challenge hosted by the George Soros Open Society Foundation, and spent a week in Budapest, Hungary competing in debate and public speaking challenges with other recent graduates from around the world. Upon returning to the US she resumed her work on the startup, focusing on many aspects of the business including sales, marketing, product development, fundraising, and more. She eventually chose to leave the company and joined an e-commerce startup called Shoptiques based in New York. As Head of Boutique Operations at Shoptiques, a destination site which aggregates boutiques' inventory from around the world, she managed relationships with over 100 partner boutiques both domestically and abroad. She was also responsible for the entire sales pipeline, from identifying to on boarding new partner stores. In May of 2013 she set off for several months of travel around southern Africa, backpacking through Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In November 2013 she was hired as an account manager at Facebook NY, where she currently works with several of advertising clients in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) vertical.

Mark Donovan  - B.A. 2011
Majors: Political Science and Communication Arts and Sciences
Mark Donovan is the Membership and Development Coordinator at Voices for Progress and Voices for Progress Education Fund, he works to connect major philanthropists, business owners, entrepreneurs, and campaign donors to public interest advocacy opportunities on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining V4P, Mark worked for a year and a half as a Regional Field Director at Obama for America leading a staff of 10 and building a team of over 2,300 volunteers.

Victoria Jackson – B.A. 2010
Major: International Politics
Minor: Spanish

Victoria went the University of Texas at Austin and received an M.A. in Government, writing her Master's thesis on “Patterns of Electoral Support in Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela.” While in school at UT Austin, she worked as a research assistant in the Department of Government, and assisted faculty in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department in collecting data on the acceptance rate for under-represented ethno-racial groups at the university.  In the summer of 2012 she taught the research methods portion of a course on “Afro-Caribbean Politics and Culture in Central America,” for the UT Austin study abroad program in Nicaragua.  Victoria moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico in May, 2013, and worked as a freelance journalist at the Caribbean Business Newspaper.  She recently moved back toher hometown in California.

Samantha Miller – B.A. 2010
Majors: Political Science and Philosophy

After graduation, Samantha  joined the 2010 Teach for America Greater Philadelphia Corps, as a  third grade teacher in a North Philadelphia first year turnaround school, Young Scholars Frederick Douglass Elementary Charter School.  While completing her two-year commitment to Teach for America, she also attended the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in May 2012, with a Masters of Science in Education. During the summer of 2012, she worked as a Summer Mentor Teacher to Teach for America trainees, while also developing a literacy curriculum for the Scholar Academies Charter Network.  She returned to Young Scholars Douglass for a third year and served as Third Grade Lead Teacher. In August 2013, she began studying for a law degree  at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She will be interning for The Honorable Judge Barbara McDermott of Philadelphia’s 1st Judicial District in summer 2014.  In addition to academic and professional activities, she has been a New Leaders Council Fellow in Philadelphia and a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania; and is teaching one period of Constitutional Law to Philadelphia high school students each week.

Sean Griffin – B.A. 2009
Majors: International Politics and Economics
Minors: Spanish; International Studies

Following graduation, Sean served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where his primary assignment was as an English teacher. After returning from Ukraine in December 2011, he worked with Poverty Resolutions, first as an intern and then as Program Manager. Poverty Resolutions is a nonprofit organization that carries out development projects in Haiti, as well as delivering educational programs about poverty to students in the US. While the founders, Matt and Andrew Jones, were working on their MBAs at Penn State, PR was based out of State College. Although the organization is now located in Doylestown, PA, PR continues to partner with Penn State students and professors to raise funds to support projects in Haiti. While working with PR in Doylestown, Sean also volunteered as a volleyball coach for Hatboro-Horsham High School and Infinity Volleyball Academy.  He is currently in his  first year at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he is pursuing a Master's Degree in International Development.

Jessica Erickson – B. A. 2008
Major: Political Science
Minors: Spanish, International Studies

Jessica graduated in spring 2008, and entered the Pre-med Post-baccalaureate program at the Harvard Extension School, Fall 2009 - Fall 2011.  During 2010 -2012, she worked at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, as a research assistant (2010-2012), in the Department of General Internal Medicine. Her research was part of a study regarding the signs and symptoms as well as etiological factors involved in chronic fatigue syndrome. She also worked in the Department of Quality & Safety at Brigham and Women's on a project evaluating preventable medical errors in the hospital system. Additionally, she worked for Partners Healthcare in  Boston as a research assistant for publications on clinical decision support in the Clinical Informatics Research & Development department (2012-2013).  She is currently a student in Temple University’s School of Medicine, Class of 2017; and is a co-author of three articles in medical journals that appeared in 2013 and 2014.

Jason Jones – B.A. 2007
Major: International Politics
Minor: History

After graduating in 2007, Jason spent 5 years in the United States Marine Corps (2007-2012), specializing in geospatial intelligence.  He performed non-traditional and advanced geospatial analysis, developed software tools to tackle complex intelligence problems, and managed the production and dissemination of thousands of geospatial products in support of combat operations.  He also spent 3 years as Platoon Sergeant of a geospatial intelligence platoon, both while state-side in California and while deployed to Iraq in 2009 and to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2012. In 2012 he entered Columbia Law School, where he is studying corporate finance law.  He has worked as a judicial intern for a federal judge in the Southern District of New York and as a legal researcher for an early-stage technology start-up called Shake Law. In summer 2014, he will be working as a summer associate at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in its corporate finance group.

Melinda Kuritzky – B.A. 2006
Majors: International Politics and Spanish

After receiving her B.A. at Penn State, Melinda was a pre-kindergarten teacher in Teach For American in Houston, 2006 – 2008.  She then enrolled in Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she received a Master of Public Policy degree in 2010, with a concentration  in International and Global Affairs.  In the summer of 2009 she completed an internship at U.N headquarters in New York, in the Peace Affairs and Disarmament Branch; and during 2009-2011 she was a research assistant in the Center for Population and Development (Cambridge, MA).  In 2010, she went on to Harvard Law School.  She served as an intern in summer 2011 with Public Counsel (a legal services organization in Los Angeles) and Barrera, Siqueiro y Torres Landa (law firm in Mexico City); and as an intern in summer 2012 with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP (Los Angeles) and Foley Hoag LLP (Washington, DC).  She received her JD from Harvard in 2013. She is currently an attorney with Foley Hoag, LLP in the International Litigation and Arbitration practice, where she conducts legal research and writing, participates in witness interviews and manages contract attorneys.

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