2015

Darcel Sanders (Political Science, Psychology '09) Named Legislative Director for State Senator Carol Liu

Darcel Sanders (Political Science, Psychology '09) has been named Legislative Director for State Senator Carol Liu (SD 25), a Democrat from Southern California.  In her new role, Sanders manages the Senator's legislative team and bill package as well as advises her boss on the state budget and matters being taken up on the Senate Floor.  Darcel's policy focuses are in the areas of Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education, Public Safety, Human Services, Agriculture, Poverty, and Women's/Children's Issues. Read more about Darcel, her time at Dominican, and her other impressive academic and career achievements.

Political Science Major Receives Findley Fellowship and Interns in Washington, DC

Junior Political Science major Tegist Worku received a Findley Fellowship to intern this past summer at the National Council of U.S.-Arab Relations. Her experience in Washington, D.C. included excursions to places such as the Freer and Sackler Galleries, and the Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art. Read Tegist’s amazing story..

World Affairs Council Lecture, Dinner, and Program at Dominican on Thursday, December 10

Dr. Laurence Michalak, former vice-chair, center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley, is a cultural anthropologist who has spent 10 years in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab spring, and just returned October 29 from his most recent visit. On Thursday, December 10, in the Creekside Room, he will talk about the economic and political challenges facing Tunisia as it struggles to make democracy work and of the implications, not only for Tunisia, but the Arab world as a whole. Read more about the evening's World Affairs Council meeting

Photo of Adrienne Formentos, 2010 graduate

Mentorship Experience Helps Lead Alumnae to Georgetown

Adrienne Formentos ’10 graduated Cum Laude and Pi Sigma Alpha as a double major in Political Science and English, but her working relationship with academic adviser Gigi Gokcek did not end once she received her diploma.

Five years later, Adrienne has chosen Georgetown University over Boston University and five other colleges to enter graduate school and Gokcek, associate professor in Dominican’s Department of Political Science and International Studies, has been with her every step of the way.

“Every single decision I asked her for help left and right. When a faculty adviser becomes your adviser and then your mentor it’s very special … Gigi’s mentorship is even more valuable because she has always been there. Not too many young adults get to have those role models after college.”  says Adrienne, who will enter Georgetown’s Master of Science in Global Health program in the fall. Read more. (Pictured: Adrienne Formentos, '10)

Dominican Alumna Lands Job as Paypal Intelligence Analyst

Melissa Divens (class of 2015), political science major has landed a job as an intelligence analyst for PayPal. She is responsible for monitoring the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa), which, alone, has 19 locations spread out through 16 countries. In her capacity as intelligence analyst Melissa tracks political, social, economic, and weather patterns. She recently wrote about the EuroZone crisis and is currently following the ongoing Israel-Palestine Conflict along with the Calais Crisis.

Melissa’s day typically consists of monitoring the news and sending out needed advisories or bulletins to make sure PayPal employees traveling in certain regions of the world are safe. She says, “it is like I’m writing a one-page research paper every day, all over again. All of my information goes to the executives of the company. That way they are aware of the physical environment around the company’s location, as well as potential safety hazards either for local employees or for those traveling to at-risk areas."

We are proud of Melissa and not surprised by her recent success. Prior to graduating from Dominican, Melissa submitted a senior thesis on “Terrorist Black Holes: The Case of Northern Ireland.”

Meghan Nelson (Class of 2015) Offered a Position at Taddei, Ludwig & Associates

Meghan Nelson, a 2015 graduate in honors political science and business just accepted a position at Taddei, Ludwig & Associates, a wealth management firm located in San Rafael. Taddei, Ludwig & Associates (TLA) offers investment advisory, group retirement plans, and other risk management with financial planning at its core. Meghan was offered a position at TLA as Support Advisor.

In this unique role she will have the opportunity to work closely with Kirk Ludwig, Partner at TLA. This November TLA, will be sending her to Boston to attend IMPACT, a Charles Schwab invite-only conference, where she will have the have the opportunity to learn and meet other investment advisors from all over the country.

Meghan is very excited to start her career to at TLA. As as undergraduate Meghan studied abroad in Austria, presented her honors thesis on foreign direct investment and political risk at the Pi Sigma Alpha Annual Conference in Washington D.C., interned with U.S, Capital Partners, served as the President of Dominican's Accounting and Finance Association, participated in the Honors Service-Learning program where she was a student leader at the Marin County Community School, and graduated with a 3.96 GPA.

With the support of TLA, Meghan plans to continue her education to become a CFP (Certified Financial Planner). We are very proud of Meghan and wish her great success in her new position at Taddei, Ludwig, and Associates.                           

Kat Skiles '07 Alum Among "Most Powerful Women Staffers on Capitol Hill"

Kat Skiles ’07, digital director and senior adviser to Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, has been named one of “The 20 Most Powerful Women Staffers on Capitol Hill” by the National Journal.

Kat has spent her career in Washington helping elected officials and the organizations that support them get their message across in the most actionable and effective manner possible. Kat was inspired to pursue a career in politics during her experience as Dominican’s Panetta Institute Congressional Intern in 2006. Her internship placed her in service to the Washington DC office of the late Congressman Tom Lantos, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Kat graduated with a degree in Political Science and minors in Religion and Pre-Law.

Kat’s faculty mentor Alison Howard, Assistant Professor in Dominican’s Division of Political Science and International Studies, History, and Economics, recalls that as a student Kat was always looking for new and innovative ways to inspire and attract others to causes important to her. She was selected to deliver the Undergraduate Senior Address.

Kat's faculty mentor Alison Howard, Assistant Professor in Dominican's Division of Political Science and International Studies, History, and Economics, recalls that as a student Kat was always looking for new and innovative ways to inspire and attract others to causes important to her. "I'm not at all surprised that she has become influential on 'The Hill' and has done an amazing job in her chosen profession," Howard says. "Most importantly, however, Kat was always extremely kind and generous and showed tremendous empathy for everyone she met. These characteristics, combined with her intelligence and drive, have certainly served her well." Read the entire article here.

Congratulations to our Current and Former Students!

The Department of Political Science and International Studies is happy to announce that several of our current and former students are heading to graduate/law school in Fall 2015.

Audrey Curtis (class of 2009) was admitted to law school at Harvard University, New York University (NYU), Northeastern University, University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Southern California. She will be attending NYU.

Magdalena Fitipaldi (class of 2015) was admitted to the Global Studies graduate program at University of California Santa Barbara, and the Latin American Studies graduate programs at University of California Los Angeles, University of California San Diego, and Stanford University. Magdalena will be attending Stanford.

Adrienne Formentos (class of 2010) was admitted to Global/Public Health graduate programs at Boston University, Emory University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, University of Maryland, and Tufts University. Adrienne will be attending Georgetown.

Vanessa Hanson (class of 2015) was admitted to University of Edinburgh’s graduate program in Global Crime, Justice and Security, the graduate program in Intelligence and International Security at King’s College of London, the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies graduate program at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and the International Studies graduate program at University of Washington. Vanessa plans to study at University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Melissa Graveson (class of 2015) will be attending law school at Willamette University.

Tegist Worku Selected to be an Intern with the National Council on US and Arab Relations

Sophomore Political Science major Tegist Worku is one of 25 nationally selected students who will be spending the summer in Washington, DC as interns with the National Council on US and Arab Relations. Tegist will intern with the Syrian American Council on US and Arab Relations. Tegist will intern with the Syrian American Medical Society. We look forward to hearing all about her experience! 

Magdalena Fitipaldi '15 Named Newman Civic Fellow

Congratulations to senior Political Science and International Studies double major Magdalena Fitipaldi '15 for being named the recipient of a Newman Civic Fellows Award. Earlier this month, she learned that she had been accepted to Stanford University Graduate School where she will pursue her M.A. in Latin American Studies. Read more about Magda's Dominican experience.

Interested in an International Career?

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, offers a unique set of graduate programs that prepare students for professional, global careers. The Middlebury Institute offers Master’s degrees in business, international policy and education, translation and interpretation, and language teaching. Graduates also attain second language proficiency, intercultural skills, a global mindset, and go on to meaningful careers in government, international business, education and nonprofit organizations in more than 100 countries. Farah Muhsin Al-Mousawi is a student ambassador to the Non-Proliferation and International Studies Program (NPTS) and a Dominican University Alumna. Farah will be speaking about the Middlebury Institute on Friday, March 27 from 12:15-1:00pm in Guzman Hall 201. Lunch will be provided for any students interested in learning more about graduate study at the Middlebury Institute. Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 24, to Professor Gokcek at gigi.gokcek@dominican.edu.

Students Presenting at Academic Conferences Spring 2015

Seniors Meghan Nelson and Vanessa Hanson have been invited to present research for their undergraduate thesis this spring at several academic conferences. Meghan, who is an honors double major in political science and business, has been invited to the Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society) 2015 National Student Conference to take place in Washington, D.C. on February 14th. Meghan will present research on, “How FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) Affects Political Risk.” Vanessa, who is a political science and international studies major, has been invited to the Southwestern Political Science Association conference to take place in Denver, April 9-11 and to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research to take place at the Eastern Washington University, April 16-18. Vanessa will present research on, “Looted Antiquities: Economic Opportunity for Terrorists.” Congratulations to both students!

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