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In Memoriam

DELTA MURPHY(B.A., international relations, ‘47) Fullerton, CA (5/5/13) at age 86; former Whittier, CA mayor and city council member; at USC member of award winning debating team and Alpha Chi Omega; member of Whittier Parks and Recreation Commission; as chairwoman of planning commission for Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning in 1980s, helped develop plan for Santa Catalina Island; served as chairwoman of USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies.

THOMAS MALCOLM WALKER (M.A., international relations, ‘62) San Antonio, TX (7/12/13) at age 91; graduate of Officer Candidate School in Fontainebleau, France; served on front line at Battle of the Bulge during World War II and as infantry platoon leader commander in Erlangen, Germany; served as teacher and coach at Lynwood High School, CA; became professor of political science and history sports information director at Compton College from 1966 to 1986.

Alumni News

Michelle Sinclair (BA with honors in IR 2013) has recently joined ManattJones Global Strategies as a junior analyst.

Zara Lukens (BA with honors in IR and neuroscience 2011) has decided to enroll at the Harvard Law School in fall 2012. She was the winner of the $10,000 Renaissance Prize from USC in 2011. Zara competed in cross country and track and field at USC and recently finished second in the Seattle marathon.

April Ross (BA in IRGB 2005) was awarded the "Female Beach Athlete of the YEar" honor by USA Volleyball. April was a member of the USC beach volleyball team that won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2002 and 2003.

Carrie Ann Johnson (BA 1992) has been appointed adjunct professor of education at Point Loma Nazarene University.

John Nolan (MA 1981) was the keynote speaker for the Cabinet NG's annual Collaborate Conference. He is a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer, author and expert in the field of business intelligence.

Paul Lo (BA 1988) was co-presenter of a Bloomberg BNA webinar titled "Maximizing the Value of Global Credits and Incentives."

Esther Kia'aina (BA in IR and Political Science 1985) is a candidate for the 2nd Congressional District of Hawaii. She is currently the chief advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Omar Kader (SIR PhD 1981) was selected the 2012 recipient of the Kirk Englehardt Excellence in Business Ethics Award from Utah Valley University.

Richard Downie (MA 1983, SIR PhD 1995) co-hosted a discussion at the Heritage Foundation in NOvember titled "Central America's Ambassadors Speak: Next Steps Toward Central American Security."

Fred Seligson (BA 1967) is an English professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea. He was profiled by The Korean Herald for his research on the significance Koreans traditionally attach to their dreams. He has spent 20 years collecting the dreams of thousands of students, their parents and their grandparents.

Anna Miner (BA 2011) recently turned down a Fulbright to Egypt in favor of a sponsored year of Arabic study at Qatar University in Doha, Qatar with the Qatar Scholarship Program at Georgetown University.

Charlotte Florance (BA 2009) has signed on to the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee to head up a study on Libya.

Angela Pan (BA 2001) is in DC, working in the Executive Secretariat at State.  Her office handles travel logistics for the Secretary as well as processing memos and briefing papers destined for senior officials of the department, including the Secretary.  The posting is until mid-2013.

Mahmood Sariolghalam (PhD 1987) is Professor of International Relations at the National University of Iran in Tehran (Shahid Beheshti). His recent publications are Iranian Authoritarianism During the Qajar Period (Farsi), 2011; “The Evolution of State in Iran: A Political Culture Perspective,” published by the Strategic Studies Center of Kuwait University, 2010; Iran’s Political Culture, a field research in Farsi based on 900 questionnaires, third edition, 2010; “International Relations in Iran: Achievements and Limitations,’ in International Relations Scholarship Around the World edited by Arlene Tickner and Ole Waever (Routledge, 2009) and “Iran in Search of Itself,” in Current History, 2008. Professor Sariolghalam spent the 2009-2010 academic year at Kuwait University. He is a member of International Studies Association (US), Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum (Switzerland) and a Non-Resident Scholar at ASERI (Italy). Professor Sariolghalam was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC in late 2011.

Walter Ladwig (BA 1998) has an op-ed in the New York Times on the forthcoming BRICS summit in Delhi.

Ben Toribio (BA 2011) has been hired as a professional staff member of the US Senate Ethics Committee.

John Kennedy (BA 1983) was appointed senior vice president of government and external affairs at Los Angeles Urban League, where he oversees the league’s fundraising efforts and serves as its liaison on government and public policy issues. Previously, he served as senior project manager for community involvement at Southern California Edison.

Scott Schwartz (BA with honors 2008) has been working in business in Bogotá since graduation. He is moving to a new job with Kroll Associates in Miami.

Rosella Cappella (BA with honors 2006) is finishing the Ph.D. in political science at the University of Pennsylvania this spring. She has won a post-doctoral fellowship at Dartmouth's Dickey Center, and has also just accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston University.

David Karl (SIR PhD 1997) has several op-ed pieces out. The Christian Science Monitor on the India-Pakistan rapprochmement: "The Iranian Factor in U.S.-Indian Relations," The Japan Times, "U.S.-India Relations: Pivot Problems," Center for Strategic & International Studies/Pacific Forum,

Nisha (Parekh) Vida (BA/MA 2007) is working on a project called Local to Global Life Works (LTG), a GMO Film Project, and will present the results of her Fulbright research at the Latin American Studies Association 2012 Congress in San Francisco this May. She writes: "LTG is directly inspired by my courses in IR at USC, harnessing the concept of 'levels of analysis' from individual to global, in order to consider some of the challenges we face as a human society. The GMO Film addresses major issues we face locally and globally, specifically: food access, food growth, threats to biodiversity, land rights, food rights, farmers rights, international trade/business issues, and international development."

Walter Ladwig (BA 1998) has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Asia on India's foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific:  

Nicholas Engler (BA 2008) recently wrote to Director John Odell: I was recently on campus visiting with professors discussing my plans to pursue a career in political risk analysis.  In speaking with Professor Starr, I made sure to communicate how important her class (IR 427) was to me. I thought I would share those reflections with you...IR 427 exposed me to a myriad of careers in the international affairs field.  I learned that analyzing global events is not just the job of academics and the State Department, but that any organization in either the private or public sector across a plethora of industries that does business abroad (a large and growing number in the age of globalization) has a vested interest in analyzing world events, and identifying and mitigating risk. Realizing this helped me to explore and develop new career goals which ultimately brought me to Standard & Poor's in New York and led me to pursue a career in political risk analysis for the investment community..."

Lauren Brodsky (BA 2011) recently wrote to Professor Wayne Glass: "I hope you've had a wonderful holiday and a happy new year! I have been very busy back here in DC and wanted to let you know that I started a new job about a month ago at the State Department in their Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs."

Alexandra Sandels (BA 2005) has had an article published in the LA Times. You can read it here:,0,2622756.story

Catia Confortini (SIR PhD 2009) has accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Wellesley College.

K. Christopher (KC) Branch (BA 1983) practices wine law representing vintners and growers from all over the world. He teaches other lawyers and students of wine in International Symposiums and schools in California and France about American Wine Law.  He and his wife (Anne McFeeters Branch (BA 1982)  have two boys, Patrick Branch, an international sports photographer, and Spenser Branch who is captain of the ASU Sailing Team and majors in Urban Planning.

Sahak Sargsyan (MA 2004) - currently holds the position of the Second Secretary at the USA and Canada Desk of the American Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. He joined Armenia’s Foreign Service in 1997 and held a number of increasingly responsible positions within the Ministry. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Armenia’s Vice Consul in Los Angeles, California, USA. He has studied at the Yerevan State University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, NATO Defense College in Rome and the University of Southern California where he earned a Master’s degree in International Relations. Sahak is a recipient of the Public Service Fellowship (IREX Armenia), Edmund S. Muskie/Freedom Support Act Graduate Fellowship (U.S. Department of State) and Tavitian Foundation Scholarship.

Christina Craver
(BA in IRGB 2008) writes: "I'm currently doing an MA in Political Science, more specifically European Union Policy Studies, through James Madison University in Florence, Italy. I actually found out about the program initially through one of my IR professors from my study abroad as an undergraduate here in Florence. The program is really wonderful and is great for anyone interested in studying the EU and doing their MA abroad. Not only is the program based in Italy, but we have academic field studies trips to the EU institutions. We had our first trip in November to Brussels where we met with Members of the European Parliament, civil servants in the both the Parliament and Commission, and other EU officials. We'll be heading to Strasbourg in February and Brussels again in late April. I'm actually the first Trojan to go through the program, but I'd love to see more Trojans come through!"

Michele Gault (BA 1996) writes: "I recently moved on from my job with the U.S. House of Representatives, where I served as Congressman John Garamendi's district director for about a year and a half. Last summer, I was part of a Congressional staff delegation to Taiwan, sponsored by the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet government and business leaders and learn firsthand about one of our most significant trade and security partners. In August, I accepted a new position in Sacramento as director of outreach and partnerships for the California Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). This federally-funded program provides free and low-cost assistance to business owners and helps to create jobs and foster economic recovery. I regularly meet with international business and government delegations to brief them on U.S. and California programs that assist small businesses. I continue to be active in the USC Sacramento Alumni Club, where I've chaired the scholarship program for several years now."

David F. Sargent (BA 1962) writes: "Having retired from my career as a prosecuting attorney at the National Labore Relations board, ( much in the news recently) I am currently enjoying a new career as Arbitrator for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, as also as a panel member for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, (FIN RA)  adjudicating disputes in the securities  industry. I also continue to work as a Portuguese  contract interpreter for the U.S. Department of State,.  In my "spare" time I work as a Portuguese interpreter  over the telephone from our Tucson residence serving as a language intermediary for Portuguese speakers from around the U.S., Canada and England. I am pleased to note my deep debt for this career to SIR professor Norman Fertig for steering me to a one-year study abroad program in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.  That  experience set the course for my future marriage, my work with the NLRB, and subsequent work in the Portuguese language."

Gary Goldman (BA in IRGB 2011) wrote to Professor Steven Lamy: "I wanted to thank you again for making a difference during my time as an undergraduate. Your classes really opened my eyes to the field of International Studies, and I graduated with a fierce passion for development and social entrepreneurship. I moved to New York after May and am now working as a Business Development Director for MediaGlobal (, the independent news organization located at the United Nations and focusing on issues of development. This is a fantastic way to combine my love for issues relevant to International Development, as well as my interest in Business (since I have to reach out daily to organizations, corporations, foundations...)."

Heidi Hardt (BA 2005) In September 2011, she earned a Ph.D. in International Studies, with a specialization in Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. She is now doing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS), a joint research center between the University of Montreal and McGill University. She was awarded the Lawrence Finkelstein Award of the ISA International Organization Section forthe best high quality graduate student paper presented at the 2011 International Studies Association Annual Convention. Her paper was titled, "Keep friends close but colleagues closer: Informal relationships in peace operation decision-making."

David F. Sargent (BA 1962) wrote in with news: "Having retired from my career as a prosecuting attorney at the National Labore Relations board, ( much in the news recently) I am currently enjoying a new career as Arbitrator for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, as also as a panel member for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, (FIN RA)  adjudicating disputes in the securities  industry. I also continue to work as a Portuguese  contract interpreter for the U.S. Department of State,.  In my "spare" time I work as a Portuguese interpreter  over the telephone from our Tucson residence serving as a language intermediary for Portuguese speakers from around the U.S., Canada and England. I am pleased to note my deep debt for this career to SIR professor Norman Fertig for steering me to a one-year study abroad program in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.  That  experience set the course for my future marriage, my work with the NLRB, and subsequent work in the Portuguese language."


Dawn Powell (BA 2010) is ending her Fulbright fellowship in Brazil Nov. 30, USC Dornsife alumna Dawn Powell concludes that Brazil should lower barriers to Chinese business. She's featured in a USC Dornsife News article.


Elizabeth Barreras (BA 2007)is co-founder of Blue Kitabu, a nonprofit supporting sustainable education in developing nations. She organized a Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) program with Vice Dean and Professor Steven Lamy.

Alejandro M. Sueldo (BA 2007) has had several opinion pieces published recently. Three in the Moscow Times (available here, here and here) and one in the Small Wars Journal.

We are saddend to write of the passing of Kevin McDonough (MA 1980). He died unexpectedly on June 2, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Leahy (PhD 1981) and their two children, Sean McDonough and Maura Crvarich.

Lauren Brodsky (BA 2011) just started as a Program Associate with Phelps Stokes working in their International Exchange Programs division in Washington D.C. "I coordinate the Department of State's International Visitors Leadership Programs! I am in my second week now and everything is still new and exciting! (but I am of course missing the sunny LA weather)"

Timothy Johnson (BA 2011) is working for Rep. Linda Sanchez, where he is  researching trade agreements. He recently wrote to Prof. Bozovic, "I don't know where I'd be without IR 430."

Aubrey Priosko (BA 2007) started a new job on June 1. She is working at the State Department's Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (aka PEPFAR) as a Program Support Officer and will likely be on their Latin American/Carribean team and their Asia team, as well as consulting on their West Africa team.

Rezarta Godo (BA 2003) is the Director of International Relations and European Integration at the Ministry of Education and Science of Albania. At a recent European Commission event she gave a presentation on Albania's national policies, actions and work to develop research infrastructure.  

Wei Liang (PhD 2003) is the recipient of the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Middlebury College.

Chris Jones (BA 2008) will attend Stanford Law School next fall (2011).

Jean Brodeur (BA 2002) has been at USC Federal Relations for the last five years, and is moving on to a new job.  She will be Senior Public Policy Associate at InterAction, the largest association of US-based non-profits that do international development, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief. "I am so excited to get back to foreign policy!"

Kristen Sample (BA 1990) has been living in Latin America since graduating from USC, exept for two years at the Kennedy School (MPP 1993). For the last seven years, she has been working in Lima, Peru with International IDEA, an IGO focused on supporting democratic processes and institutions. She is currently the Head of Mission for the Andean Region.

Luke Thominet (2008) had an article published a few months ago in Politics and Culture about the Iraq War. The article can be found here.  He is attending Northern Michigan University, pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and teaching undergraduate composition courses.

Alejandro Sueldo (BA 2008) is in Russia advancing his research with CSIS on Russian nuclear/defense policy. He has been offered a summer legal position with the White House. "I will be doing litigation/govt. ethics/fiscal law issues. It'll be great to be back in DC as well."

James Whitcomb Riley (BA 2006) has just had his dissertation published at e-International Relations.

Christopher Darnton (BA 2002) has two articles forthcoming. "Rivalry and Rapprochement in Early Cold War Central America" is forthcoming in the June 2011 issue of Security Studies, and "A False Start on the Road to Mercosur: Reinterpreting Rapprochement Failure between Argentina and Brazil, 1972" is forthcoming in Latin American Research Review in 2012.

Paul Levin (PhD 2007) has just published a new book entitled Turkey and the European Union: Christian and Secular Images of Islam.

Serena Simoni (SIR PhD 2008) has accepted a Tenure Track Assistant Professorship at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama starting Fall 2011. 

Lyn Boyd-Judson (Ph.D.) has just published a new book entitled Strategic Moral Diplomacy: Understanding the Enemy’s Moral Universe, published by Kumarian Press.

Dan Dvorsky (BA & MA 1983) is the new Executive Vice President for Rock-It Cargo's Corporate Expedited Group after Rock-It Cargo acquired assets of Silicon Valley based Core Logistics Corporation and LA based B. E. Logistics (where Dan was President & CEO).

Christian Orr (BA 1997) graduated in May 2010 from the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, GA, and in July 2010 he graduated from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Training (ICESAT), also at FLETC.

Megan Putnam (BA 2007) was commissioned in November and is currently at Fort Huachuca preparing to start Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leadership Course in May. "HUMINT is such a fascinating field, and it's where I want to end up in the Army."

Cosmin Florescu (BA 2003) Graduated May 2009 from George Washington University with a MPH. He was selected to be one of the student speakers on the National Mall in front of the US Capitol. "I got to meet White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel backstage and he stopped me onstage after the speech to shake my hand. It was quite an unexpected surprise and definitely a huge honor." The speech is available online here.

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