News, Events and Awards in 2013

Sophomore Crisha Carlos Helped Local Candidate Win!


As the "Youth Chair" for Dr. Rozzana Verder-Aliga's campaign for city council in Vallejo, Dominican University's Crisha Carlos played an important role in mobilizing voters. She organized house parties, BBQs, and worked to get the youth involved in the campaign and out to vote. As a result, Dr. Verder-Aliga ousted the incumbent by a very impressive almost 10% margin!



Dominican Debate Club Participates at the 3rd Annual UC Davis Invitation Debate Tournament

fall-2013-dominican-debate-team.jpgThe Dominican University Debate Club sent three teams to the 3rd Annual UC Davis Invitation Debate Tournament on November 9-10, 2013. They completed 6 full rounds of Worlds/British Parliament style debate against teams from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, USC, Humboldt State, Loyola Marymount, Claremont, Cal Poly SLO, Laverne, and Portland State. Pictured from left to right: Magda Fitipaldi, Robert Mason, Carson Niello, Rachel Traina-Grandon, Crisha Carlos (judge), Justin Paraoan, Sofia Hernandez, Daniel Tapia-Jimenez (alumni, judge), Tristan Meyer (judge, not pictured). We are very proud of their admirable performance and look forward to future tournaments!


Dominican Debate Club Hosts a 3 Round Scrimmage

Debate ClubOn May 11, 2013 Dominican's debate club hosted 6 debaters from UC Davis plus their debate coach Colin Murphy and a guest judge in a 3-round scrimmage. 




Alumni Juleah Cordi (Class of 2010) Graduates with Distinction from Chico State with an M.P.A.

Juleah completed her Masters in Public Administration at Chico State in May 2013 and currently works as a project coordinator for the Sutter County Resource Conservation District.  She is responsible for all District event coordination and facilitation. Ms. Cordi is also the senior grant writer for the District, including research and development of potential grant funded projects as assigned by the District Manager. Her other contributions include editing documents, reports, and invoices, working with other staff on collaborative projects, and providing outreach to constituents throughout the District’s sphere of influence. 


Update from PLEN Conference in Washington, DC

Magdalena FitipaldiMagdalena Fitipaldi (double major International Studies and Political Science) received a scholarship to attend PLEN's 19th Annual Women and International Policy Seminar in Washington, DC in May. Magda told us about her experience and here is what she had to say: "We met so many amazing women, all very talented, inspiring and hard working! Also, unlike most conferences, we did not simply stay in one place and had speakers come... instead, we went around the whole city to hear each speaker! Although my feet complained quite a bit due to so much walking, I could not have asked for a better week!" The conference also included practical advice for improving resumes, how to ask for informational interviews, maximizing one's LinkedIn profiles, and how to search for internships and jobs.



Blake Ward (Class of 2013) History major, Pre-law minor will attend UC Hastings School of Law in the fall

We are thrilled to announce that Blake Ward will attend law school at UC Hastings this fall. We wish him the best for a bright future and fulfilling career in the field of law. 


Carson Niello (Junior, Political Science major) will Intern for Senator Barbara Boxer in Washington, DC 

Carson will spend the summer as an intern for Senator Boxer in Washington, DC. Carson has spent the past two summers as an intern for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. We look forward to hearing about Carson's experience when he returns in the fall.


Alumni Caitlin Vejby (class of 2011, International Studies and Political Science double major) will attend UC Santa Barbara's Graduate School for Global and International Studies in Fall 2013

 Caitlin's interest in international conflict and the role of non-profits in the international community will be furthered this fall when she enrolls in UCSB's Master's program for Global and International Studies. Caitlin received a full scholarship along with a teaching assistant position. Caitlin was also accepted to programs at Columbia University, the University of Denver, American University, Arizona State University, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Congratulations to Caitlin and we look forward to hearing more from her as she progresses through the program. 


PLEN's 19th Annual Women & International Policy Seminar Conference in Washington, DC May 20-24, 2013

Magdalena Fitipaldi (double major International Studies and Political Science) received a scholarship to attend PLEN's 19th Annual Women and International Policy Seminar in Washington, DC in May. The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) hosts a variety of seminars for women interested in policy careers. We are very excited to have Magda attend the seminar in May and look forward to hearing about her experience. 


Students Attend the Model United Nations Far West Conference

Students from the Model United Nations class attended the Far West Conference in San Francisco April 19-23, 2013. This year we had two student delegations representing Switzerland and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). Needless to say the North Korean team has been very light of recent events!  The North Korean delegation placed second out of a field of over eighty delegations, winning the Slanczka Achievement Certificate for excellence in diplomacy.

  U.N. Conference 2013            Model UN

Janelle Harris (Class of 2011) Summer Externship with State Appellate and Superior Court in San Jose

Janelle Harris (Class of 2011) is completing her second year in law school at the University of San Francisco and has received a summer externship working for the State Appellate and Superior Court in San Jose. She will spend four weeks with Justice Mihara (an Appellate Court Judge), and 4 weeks either in the civil or criminal superior court. Internships with Judges are always very competitive, so we are very excited that she was chosen.


Alumni Brandon Ernst, who graduated in spring 2012 as an honors student with a bachelor's degree in political science and business management, has been awarded the 2013 Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace to attend Middlebury College in Vermont. Brandon will be spending eight weeks this summer in the Chinese language immersion program. Currently Brandon is an entrepreneur in the technology industry focusing on web design and social media. At DataFly Web Development, Brandon helps small to medium sized businesses increase client awareness through online communication, create technological efficiencies among internal operations, and develop web applications customized to their business needs. After Middlebury, Brandon's future goals include participating in the Peace Corps in Asia or Africa, and then attend graduate school to earn dual MBA and Master of International Affairs degree. Brandon is also a 2010 fellow at the Institute for International Public Policy.


On April 4, 2013 we were very fortunate to have Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-2) and Congressman John B. Larson (CT-1), Chairman of the Task Force on Election Reform hold a panel discussion about Election Reform on campus. They were joined by local experts and engaged in a thoughtful and encouraging discussion about what has been proposed at both the state and federal level to reform the electoral process. Penguin Radio recorded the event. Click on the link to listen

Panetta Institute Congressional Internship Program 2013 Candidate Selected

We are thrilled to announce that Daniela Leyva, Political Science major (Class of 2014) has been selected to participate in the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Congressional Internship Program. 2013 marks Dominican's 15th year of participating in the program. Daniela will be in Washington, D.C. for the fall 2013 semester working for a member of the California congressional delegation. We will greatly miss Daniela next fall, however, this is a fantastic opportunity for her to continue her already impressive commitment to public service. The Department is extremely proud to have Daniela represent Dominican University of CA and we look forward to hearing about her time in Washington, DC upon her return.

Alpha Delta Omicron Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha Welcomes New Members

On Tuesday, March 5th 2013, the Alpha Delta Omicron chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, on the Dominican University of California campus, welcomed eight new members: Emma Anderson, Lupe Cornejo, Daniela Leyva, Gabi Linares, Kalina Machlis, Kelsea Vaughan, Blake Ward, and Whitney Myers. All of the new Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science National Honor Society) initiates met the criteria for membership: completion of least one-half the credits required for the baccalaureate degree; completion of at least ten semester-credits of work in political science including at least one upper-division course, with an average grade of B or higher in those courses; and achieving an overall GPA placing them in the top one-third of their whole class (e.g., junior or senior class). Members need not be political science majors to qualify but are expected to continue their excellence in the discipline through various opportunities made available to them by the Pi Sigma Alpha National Office ( Dominican’s Alpha Delta Omicron chapter was established in fall 2006 to recognize faculty and student interest and scholarship in the discipline of political science. Past Alpha Delta Omicron members have gone onto intern in Washington D.C., attend law school, and pursue graduate degrees in political science and international relations. All of our current and new members will be recognized for this high-achievement once again at Dominican University’s annual Honors Ceremony at the end of spring semester 2013.

Daniela Leyva (Class of 2014), Selected for the California Campus Compact Community Engagement Student Fellowship

We are so proud to announce that Junior Daniela Leyva was selected as a California Campus Compact Community Engagement Student Fellow for January 2013- May 2013. 20 students from 10 California campuses were selected in January 2013 as the first cohort to participate in California Campus Compact's Community Engagement Student Fellowship (CESF) program, a 4-month initiative specifically designed to support student leaders advancing service, service-learning and community engagement at California Campus Compact member campuses throughout the state.

CACC-CESF student fellows will serve as student leaders/liaisons between DUC and community agencies to deepen/expand our partnerships. Fellows will participate in a student cohort, EDJE (Education Dedicated to Justice and Equity), which explores the social, political, historical, and economic contexts that shape their stories and impact the lives of the people and communities they work with for social change. This process deepens understanding and builds capacity to transmit this social justice perspective to other students and faculty in order to increase student awareness and community voice.

Kalina Machlis Invited to NCUR 2013

Senior international studies and communications major, Kalina Machlis, has been invited to present her senior thesis project at the 2013 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Kalina’s paper abstract was chosen from more than 3,500 submissions for presentation at this year’s NCUR, which takes place April 11-13. Kalina’s research paper, "Social Movements: A Comparative Case Study of Students Protests in California and Chile," relies on content analysis to investigate fundamental differences in student movements. Her findings reveal that students in Chile are more likely to participate in social movements than those in California. This fall Kalina also participated in the Exit Polling Project conducted on Election Day by Dominican Political Science and International Studies students. See the news item posted below for additional information about the project.


We are proud to announce that alumna Darcel Sanders (honors political science and psychology, class of 2009) will join the California Senate Fellows Program for the 2012-2013 term. The California Senate Fellows (CSF) Program “is one of the oldest and most distinguished service learning programs in the country. The CSF program offers college graduates a paid, full-time legislative staff position in the State Capitol for 11 months.” While at Dominican, Darcel played on both the volleyball and basketball teams, worked as a Director of Community Outreach for the Associated Students, served as the president for both Phi Alpha Delta (the pre-law co-ed fraternity) as well as Pi Sigma Alpha (the political science national honor society), and founded the Dominican Political Science Association (DPSA).  In fall 2008, Darcel interned for Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s office in Washington DC through the selective Panetta Institute’s internship program. Prior to graduating in May 2009 Darcel was selected to Teach for America. In this capacity she has been working for Frick Middle School in Oakland while simultaneously earning a teaching credential and working toward a Master’s degree in Education at Alliant International University.  In 2011 she was a Bay Area finalist for the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award.  In her spare time she has also coached with Marin Juniors Volleyball Club and worked as interim head volleyball coach at Mills College for which she was recognized as the NCAA Association of Division III Independents Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year. We wish her continued success in all her future endeavors.

Darcell Sacramento Picture

Call for 2013 Panetta Internship Applications:

Applications Due February 25, 2013

Eligibility: Dominican University of California Sophomores and Juniors in good academic standing may submit an application, regardless of major.  Applicants must attain Junior or Senior Status by the time that the internship starts.

Applicants must submit:

  • A cover letter that includes your name, address, phone number, e-mail address.
  • A statement of purpose explaining 1) why you are interested in the internship, 2) how the internship fits with your academic and/or career plans, 3) what makes you generally and particularly qualified to take advantage of the internship and 4) your interest and commitment to public service
  • An interview with the selection committee will be required and you will be notified after applications have been submitted.
  • An unofficial copy of your Dominican University transcripts and two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a Dominican University faculty member.
  • All financial aid questions need to be answered prior to the end of Spring semester.

Please send applications to: Dr. Christian Dean, Department of Political Science & International Studies, Dominican University of California, 50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA  94901-2298.  Please feel free to contact Professor Dean if you have any questions about the internship  ([email protected], 415-485-3298).

Volunteering in Kenya

Alumna Adrienne Formentos (Class of 2010, Political Science) recently traveled to Kenya to volunteer with the Vincentian Lay Missionary to lead a summer camp for kids. To read about her experience, please visit our blog page.