Jailene Acevedo

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Russian ‘21

Hometown: Chicago, IL and San Juan, Puerto Rico 

Affiliations: Delta Gamma Phi (DGPhi) 

Future plans: “I will be taking 2 years off before going to law school!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Getting to take a wide range of courses and study abroad!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “As a first-generation Latina, there were many obstacles set to deter me from success, but I thank my family for their unconditional support and my community for always reminding me that we can also make it. Additionally, thank you to the professors in PICS and the Slavic Department whose dedication and genuine interest in the subjects taught never failed to inspire me to want to continue my education further.”

Vedika Aigalikar

BBA Business Administration; minor, International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21 

Hometown: Troy, MI

Affiliations: Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, Project WriteOn, Michigan Sahana and working as a Ross School of Business teaching assistant.

Future plans: “I will be working in investment banking post-grad at HSBC.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for all your support!”

Natalie Angell

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); minor, Education for Empowerment ‘21

Hometown: Fife Lake, MI

Affiliations: America Reads, Michigan in Washington 

Future plans: “I will be getting my Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Michigan.”

Selina Asamoah

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, AfroAmerican and African Studies ‘21

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Affiliations: African Students Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Beta Eta Chapter, Kessler Scholars 

Future plans: “Applying to Law school.”

Naomi Barlava

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BA Sociology ‘21

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Affiliations: SAPAC 

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Getting to go to all the speaker events throughout the years.”

Anna Barr

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: East Lansing, MI

Affiliations: PALMA, Kappa Omega Alpha Pre-Law and Public Policy Fraternity

Future plans: “North American Language and Culture Assistant Program in Spain.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Realizing that many friends from all over the University of Michigan with diverse backgrounds and interests ended up finding their way into this program. I can't wait to see how our careers take shape and the ways we will change our field for the better!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Just a big thank you.”

Kaitlyn Bell

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Middle Eastern and North African Studies; BA Political Science ‘21

Hometown: Saginaw, MI

Affiliations: Inter-Cooperative Council, Alpha Phi Omega, Arabic Club

Future plans: “I plan on working in New York for a year then going to graduate school in the Middle East.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “PICS gave me the ability to learn about the world and travel for the first time in my life. With the major's focus on foreign language, I have been able to learn so much more and connect with people in Arabic that I would not have been able to otherwise.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to all the professors and GSIs who have believed in me and supported me throughout the years.”

Grace Biermacher

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Economics ‘21

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Affiliations: Alpha Delta Pi, The Consilium Group for Policy Research, Peace Corps Prep, Department of Sociology Research Assistant, University Musical Society Student Employee

Future plans: “I am hoping to work in government affairs and start off by working for an elected official either in Michigan or Washington, D.C.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory would be meeting so many other PICS majors while abroad in Barcelona and making lifelong friends.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my professors and peers for making my college experience so enjoyable! I have truly enjoyed being a part of this community.”

Benjamin Bronkema-Bekker

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science; BA Russsian; Honors ‘21

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Affiliations: On campus: UNICEF at the University of Michigan (President), Pi Sigma Alpha (Co-President), Sigma Iota Rho, Students Helping Honduras; Off campus: American Federation of School Administrators

Future plans: “I plan to enroll in the MA program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at Stanford University in September.”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “Getting to experience Russian food and culture at extracurricular events held by my instructors.”

Miranda Campe

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA German; BA Russian ‘20

Hometown: Ortonville, MI

Affiliations: Adelia Cheever Club, Rotaract Club

Future plans: “I plan to attend business school after working abroad for a few years.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memories are all with the friends I made in my many PICS classes.”

Joseph Carpenter

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Asian Studies ‘21

Hometown: Troy, MI

Affiliations: Greek Life, the XI Chapter of the Zeta Psi International Fraternity

Future plans: “I will be staying in Ann Arbor while I continue to search for career-starting jobs and/or positions in China as an English teacher.”

Fondest memory of PICS experience: “My fondest memory is of Rachel Wright coaching me through the sub-plan selection process. I was extremely worried that CCI wouldn't be able to land me as good of jobs as the other sub-plans, but Wright guided me saying that I should select what I am most interested in and to go with my gut. I ended up selecting CCI and I could not thank Wright enough for all she has done for me and the Program over the years!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I had some high highs and low lows during my time here, but never did my peers, parents, or professors turn their back on me. I owe them all quite a lot.”

Katharine Carpenter

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Affiliations: Delta Gamma Phi, Michigan's only pre-law sorority; Sigma Iota Rho (International Studies Honor Society); Detroit Partnership; Office of Undergraduate Admissions Tour Guide

Future plans: “Gap year, then law school.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Taking INTLSTD 401 with Professor Dincecco! That was such a fascinating and enjoyable class, I was sad we only met once per week!”

Nicole Carrieri

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Spanish; minor, Science, Technology, and Society ‘21

Hometown: Somers, NY

Affiliations: Beta Alpha Rho Pre-Law and Public Service Fraternity, The Yleana Leadership Foundation

Future plans: “I will be working as an Investment Analyst at Mercer in New York City!”

Fondest memory of her PICS Experience: “My fondest memory of my PICS experience was studying abroad in Madrid!”

Madalasa Chaudhari

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Entrepreneurship ‘21

Hometown: Troy, MI

Affiliations: “I was in The Michigan Daily working for the Social Media section from late freshman year to early junior year. I've been doing Taekwondo at the U-M Taekwondo club on campus since my freshman year. Currently, I am working as an Instructional Assistant (IA) for the class SI 360 which I've been doing since my junior year.”

Future plans: “I hope to work internationally in the future somewhere in the business or development realm but for now, after graduation I will be working in technology consulting in St. Louis, Missouri as an Associate Consultant in Digital Operations.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I had the incredible opportunity to work as an Economic Development Intern in Albania during the summer after my sophomore year. It was a phenomenal experience working to improve the economic development in the Albanian tourism industry with my fellow U-M interns. This opportunity would not have been possible without the funding and guidance of the incredible PICS staff. I am grateful to them to have been able to fulfill my dream of interning abroad and enriching my PICS degree with an international experience.”

Gabriella Chernyak

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Chemistry; minor, French and Francophone Studies ‘21

Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

Affiliations: SafeHouse Center, Research

Future plans: “I want to practice international human rights law.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I loved every class I've taken. I chose classes that I wanted to take and they aligned perfectly with my major, so I feel as though I've truly made the most out of my college career.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I want to thank my parents and my sister Sofie for their unconditional support, as well as the wonderful and brilliant teachers I've had along the way.”

Semia Clay

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Community Action and Social Change ‘21

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Affiliations: Sister 2 Sister President; 826Michigan volunteer tutor

Future plans: “Hopefully the Peace Corps. If not, I would like to work for a nonprofit and following that, graduate school!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “International Studies classes with Professor Uehling!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “To my family, my friends, my peers— Thank you so much for all of your support. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without you.”

Scott Cohen

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Scarsdale, NY

Affiliations: Wolverines for Israel, Ross Emerging Markets Club, DKE Fraternity

Future plans: “Saving the world.”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “My time in the classes of Dr. Anthony Marcum”

Adam Cohn 

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); minor, Entrepreneurship ‘21

Hometown: Huntington Woods, Michigan

Affiliations: Student Life Advisory Board, Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Michigan Real Estate Club, Sport Business Association 

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “Choosing a major that reflected my interests was challenging. I declared International Studies second semester junior year. I was fortunate to find a home in PICS, allowing me to tailor my curriculum around my interest in Urban Planning and development.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Sheer appreciation to everyone who has invested in my success.”

Katherine Corbett

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health) ‘21

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Affiliations: Print Photo Editor of SHEI Magazine, Fashion photography for New York Fashion Week

Future plans: “Teaching English in Spain.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad.”

Zoe Corser

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Asian Languages and Cultures ‘21

Hometown: Ontonagon, Michigan

Affiliations: Volunteered as a conversation Circle Facilitator with the English Language Institute

Future plans: “Hopefully working internationally with a think-tank, an international organization, or an international company.”

Fondest memory of her PICS experience: “Strolling through the U-M central campus on early crisp fall mornings, picking up a cafe mocha from one of the many local coffee shops and a free bagel from the League, and scurrying off to morning classes.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “To my professors; thank you for being so accommodating and understanding during this crazy final year, and for continuing to inspire me. To my family; thank you for letting me carve my own path and always being supportive, I love you all dearly. To my peers; Looking forward to changing the world with you guys.”

Camille Cummings

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Gender, Race, and Nation; minor, Law, Justice, and Social Change ‘21

Hometown: Westwood, MA

Affiliations: Undergraduate liaison for Women and Gender in Public Policy, Co-founder and VP Legal Services of In My Shoes, volunteer for Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan, member of Sigma Iota Rho, member of K-grams

Future plans: “Planning on attending law school in Fall 2022.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad at Sciences Po in Paris.”

Nicholas Daniel

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Urban Studies ‘21

Hometown: New York City, NY

Affiliations: Kappa Alpha Pi, Michigan Sailing Team, Spanish Conversation Club, SHEI Magazine, Semester in Detroit 

Future plans: “I am currently looking for jobs in real estate and urban planning in NYC!”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “I would have to say that my fondest experience has been working with the PICS Honors thesis cohort despite the challenges of the pandemic. The group is full of diverse interests and perspectives which makes the thesis process all the more rewarding and unique.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you all so much for everything these past four years! I have made lifelong friends, mentors, and built a community of like minded and passionate individuals. As always, I would like to add a special thanks to my spectacular parents who made this all possible!”

Katherine Davis

BS International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BS Biology, Health, and Society ‘21

Hometown: Barnstable, MA

Affiliations: Delta Gamma Fraternity, Empower Through Health UM, Health Promotion UM,

Future plans: "Beginning in August, I will be working as a healthcare consultant for Kaufman Hall in Chicago. I am incredibly excited to get into this field, especially to learn more about the dynamics of various-sized health systems. In the future, I am looking at returning to school for a Masters of Healthcare Administration (MHA)."

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: "Creating relationships with the incredible faculty! Through the diverse options that PICS offers (especially through INTLSTD 301 and 401 courses), I have been able to study under incredible faculty multiple semesters in a row. This has allowed me to not only cultivate incredible relationships with them, but to push myself as a student by examining their material from different stances each semester."

Annika Dhawan

BS International Studies (Global Environment and Health); minor, Biochemistry ‘21

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Affiliations: AED (Academic Chair), Michigan Movement (VP), Spanish Club (VP), GET Access Telehealth Initiative (volunteer)

Future plans: “I am planning to work as a research assistant for a year before pursuing medical school.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Going abroad to study public health in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Though it was severely cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had a wonderful month living in Buenos Aires, integrating into my host family's community, attending the annual march on International Women's Day, and visiting Mount Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I would like to stress to my peers the individuality of our careers, rooted in a shared interest of multiculturalism, global involvement, and willingness to explore. Looking at our PICS collective world map, we are headed to different corners of the globe with a huge array of careers and aspirations. Never doubt your path because it is unique and if you are confident in what you aim for, you will get there. Thank you to my amazing professors and advisors in PICS - I'm lucky to have chosen such an awesome major.”

Margo Dickstein

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science ‘21

Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI

Affiliations: Michigan Hillel, I-LEAD, Alpha Phi Omega

Future plans: “I hope to engage in peace-making work in the Middle East, particularly focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My study abroad experience! I was an exchange student at Sciences Po in Paris and had an amazing time experiencing Europe with new friends. While it was cut short by COVID-19, the two months I spent in Paris were inspiring, and I can't wait to go back.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I would like to thank my family for always encouraging me to succeed and teaching me that the world is a better place when people strive to do good. To my amazing friends who were there for me when I was at some pretty low points in my life, thank you for keeping me afloat and encouraging me to follow my dreams.”

Ella Draplin

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Organization Studies ‘21

Hometown: New York City, NY

Affiliations: Michigan Community Scholars Program, Program on Intergroup Relations, AIESEC, Sigma Iota Rho

Future plans: “Working in public or international policy to advance equality and justice at home and abroad.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Learning Spanish and discussing culture and film in my language courses and learning about migration while abroad in Mexico.”

Samantha Drozdowski

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21

Hometown: Fraser, MI

Affiliations: Aerial Arts

Future plans: “Hopefully law school.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Looking at fascist artwork on a field trip for my Global Fascism course.”

Marley Duerst

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Spanish; minor, Education for Empowerment ‘20

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Affiliations: Michigan Animal Respect Society, Victors FC, the Edward Ginsberg Center, PALMA

Future plans: “Planning to teach English in Spain through a government program.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad in both Costa Rica and Spain!!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I have so many people to be thankful for. Love you mom and dad!!”

Jillian Drzinski

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Entrepreneurship ‘21

Hometown: Grosse Ile, MI

Affiliations: Phi Sigma Pi - National Honor Fraternity, Center for Educational Outreach, U-M Residential College

Future plans: “After graduation, I plan to focus on innovation and equity in education. I am unsure yet of exactly what this will look like, but I hope to combine my passion in innovation and entrepreneurship with my passion of education, policy, and government.”

Fondest memory of her PICS Experience: “I have taken so many incredible PICS courses with wonderful professors that have defined my college experience, it is difficult to choose just one! To fulfill my PICS major, I was able to take courses through the School of Education, Ross School of Business, the Residential College, and many different LSA departments - I loved the breadth and variety of courses I was able to explore!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I am so thankful for all of the support I received from my family, friends, professors, colleagues, and everyone that I met along the way. I couldn't have done this without such a great support system. So much love to all - you all mean so much to me (this of course includes Maizey & Milo - my kitties!).”

Ava Easterwood

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Women's and Gender Studies ‘21 

Hometown: Romeo, Michigan

Affiliations: UNICEF-UM, Best Buddies at UofM, ENGin, Family Learning Institute, ELI Conversation Circle

Future plans: “Columbia University to earn my graduate degree in International Educational Development.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I loved having the ability to take courses across various disciplines for my International Studies major. I was able to take classes in so many different topics, and this would not have been possible in a different program. I particularly loved my ELI 390 class - Teaching English as a Second Language. This course, taught by Judy Dyer, led me to realize my dream of teaching English abroad and obtaining my TEFL certificate. I'm attending graduate school in the fall for international education, and this would not have happened without PICS.”

Julia Ebben

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA German; BA Political Science; BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Lake Orion, MI

Affiliations: Women's Club Rugby (UMWRFC), Central Student Judiciary, Dean of Students Advisory Board 

Future plans: “I will likely be moving to Germany in the fall to pursue a Master's!!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Overall, I have just loved the Program, the friends that I have gotten to take classes with, and the new friendships that I've made along the way! And, of course, the new things that I've learned as well!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that has helped me make it this far! I am simply so incredibly grateful.”

Christopher Feng

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Economics ‘20

Hometown: Troy, Michigan

Affiliations: REACH Consulting Club, Asian Consortium for Economic Development (ACED), and University of Michigan Active Citizens Alternative Spring Break Program (MAC-ASB)

Future plans: “I am planning on going to law school this fall!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I really enjoyed studying abroad at Shanghai in 2018, and the group trip my cohort went on to climb the Huangshan Yellow Mountains.”

Sophia Filipe

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Organizational Studies; minor, French and Francophone Studies ‘21

Hometown: Saline, Michigan

Affiliations: Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Detroit Downtown Boxing Gym Academic Tutor

Future plans: “Working for Cisco Systems in San Francisco in the Corporate Social Responsibility department.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My study abroads in Palestine-Israel and Senegal! How fortunate was I to maximize my learning in the global classroom!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “College is a time for founding our consciousness of the world and its truth. I am grateful to my peers, family and professors for imparting their wisdom and truth to help me better understand the world and myself.”

Gabriella Gigante

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Communication and Media Studies; minor, Business Administration ‘21

Hometown: Grosse Pointe, MI

Affiliations: Best Buddies

Future plans: “I have a management consulting position in NYC!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “INTLSTD 401 and 301 courses, and my study abroad experience!”

Haley Gritz

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Spanish; Honors ‘21

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Affiliations: President of Sigma Iota Rho, Kappa Delta Sorority, Women's Rugby

Future plans: “I am taking a gap year before law school! I want to move to Latin America to solidify my Spanish skills and participate in a different community during this time.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I loved the INTLSTD 401 class I took with Howard Tsai because we got to tour many different museums and get personal access to artifacts!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “To my parents and professors: thank you for supporting me, encouraging my learning, and helping me through the challenges of these four years! To my peers: I wish you luck in all future endeavors - I am so excited to see what we accomplish!”

Katarina Guelpen

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science ‘21

Hometown: Harrington Park, NJ

Affiliations: StartUM Entrepreneurship, Women in Law, One Love 

Future plans: “I will be attending law school in the fall where I plan to study international law.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My favorite memory was my study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my parents who gave me the opportunity to attend the best school in the world!”

Lauren Guido

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Film, Television, and Media ‘20

Hometown: Novi, MI

Affiliations: WOLV-TV (I started off as a crew member all the way back as a freshman and now I"m the General Manager of the organization!), Michigan Active Citizens Alternative Spring Break (Native American Social Justice and Immigrant Rights), Detroit Partnership, Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, and working on MANY film productions notably the Lenovo New Realities VR Series (2020), Inhuman (2019), and Weiner Police (2019)

Future plans: “I am currently working as a Producer for a TV show with the Michigan Learning Channel; a statewide public television partnership offering instructional content to support the education of students and to provide alternative resources for families and teachers. I am building my career upon the foundational belief that media's accessible nature allows it to impart meaningful impact and positive social change.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “This is such a nerdy answer, but the "glow" I would get while reading through all the class offerings during registration. I would always find it so difficult to narrow down what classes I would take since there were so many compelling course offerings. It felt like such a privilege to be spending four months learning and thinking deeply about topics I was genuinely passionate about. Fortunately, I can still look at course syllabi after I graduate so I may continue my learning!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I want to offer everyone... peers, parents, professors, and everyone working behind the scenes... my hugest expression of gratitude! Thank you so much for being a part in helping me gain the precious knowledge I've obtained while in this Program. It truly takes a village and I'm only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the work that is done to create the learning environment I was so fortunate to inhabit.”

Cristina Guytingco

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Business ‘21

Hometown: Mt. Pleasant, MI

Affiliations: Filipino American Student Association, United Asian American Organizations, Vietnamese Student Association DVN (Dem Viet Nam), Give Merit FATE Program, Michigan in Color Columnist, Comparative Literature Department Research Assistant, Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (ODEI) Student Advisory Planning Group, ODEI Student Advisory Planning Group DEI Summit, Magnify Program, +Lab Fellow, Facilitator, English Language Circle English Language Institute

Future plans: “I see myself working in Washington, D.C., and working in a policy/advocacy organization.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory in PICS is studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. I learned a lot while being in Spain, learned so much about the culture, had great experiences traveling abroad with friends, and used my Spanish skills to deepen my language skills. It was an overall amazing experience, and I was glad I was able to study abroad at least once before COVID-19.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my parents, first and foremost, for giving and sacrificing everything for me. I wouldn't be who I am without them, and I wouldn't have made it to this point without them. I would like to thank my peers, for being great fellow learners and thinkers from which I have learned a lot from, and for pushing for change and justice for a more just world. I would like to thank all my professors, who have enlightened my experience in college, and given me so much more than just knowledge and education. Thank you all so much!!”

Melanie Hawkins 

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Linguistics ‘21

Hometown: Yonkers, NY

Affiliations: UROP, Indigenous AFR (student organization)

Future plans: “I am pursuing a program development position at a non-profit in the Dominican Republic that provides transformative education to underserved communities of color. I will then return to the U.S. to attend law school.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory is taking INTLSTD 401: Achieving Liberalization: Influences and Issues in Postwar Democratization with Dr. Marcum.”

Yingchao He

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Asian Studies; minor, History; minor, Costume Design ‘21

Hometown: Queens, NY

Affiliations: Arts Ambassador at Arts at Michigan, Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Volunteer Virtual Mentor at Center for Success

Future plans: “After graduation, I hope to learn.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Spending three weeks attending symphonies, exploring fine arts museums, and devouring bratwursts from the many street vendors during my study abroad in Vienna, Austria! During this experience, my roommates and I also took a day trip to Budapest in Hungary where we'll never forget nearly missing our bus back!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “To my professors, thank you for challenging me to step beyond my comfort zone and inspiring me to be more confident in my curiosities. To my friends, thank you for sharing in this incredible and *unprecedented* journey--for the emotional and contentious 1AM conversations, the late-night study sessions, and every quarantine boba run. And to my parents, thank you for always supporting me and encouraging me to pursue my passions.”

Marie High

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BA Sociology ‘21

Hometown: Grosse Pointe Park, MI 

Affiliations: Sigma Iota Rho, Delta Gamma Phi, AMPM, Rock Climbing Club, Italian Student Association 

Future plans: “I will be taking time off to explore career options and discover life outside of being a student before preparing to apply to law school. I will spend the summer continuing to work at University Flower Shop as a florist and business manager. I have a long term goal of finding the career that best fits me and still does the most good for the world, while being a global citizen.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying on our floor in Weiser Hall and being part of Sigma Iota Rho - International Studies Honor Society.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for your work in trying to make this year as normal as possible, and still honoring our graduation.”

Eleanor Hirschman

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21

Hometown: Saginaw, Michigan

Affiliations: MUNUM, K-Grams, Michigan Medicine

Future plans: “I will be attending the University of Connecticut School of Law to pursue a career in public interest law.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My INTLSTD 401 class with Dr. Melanie Tanielian!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I would like to thank my parents for all their support over the last four years (and the eighteen before that!), and to my peers in PICS for creating such an enriching academic environment that has challenged me and allowed me to grow as a person.”

Isabelle Hoekstra

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); minor, Gender and Health ‘21

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Affiliations: Alpha Phi Omega, Phi Delta Phi, Team Aquador, Public Health Association

Future plans: “Attending Grand Valley State University (GVSU) as a candidate for a Master of Health Administration. I really want to work on bridging a gap in healthcare access and equity.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My favorite PICS memory is being able to connect with so many people of so many various backgrounds and identities.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I could never thank any of you enough for your constant support of my academic endeavors. I know I can accomplish my goals with you all by my side and with all of the knowledge and lessons you have taught me.”

Zi Lang Joshua Huen

BS International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BS Economics; minor, Applied Statistics ‘21 

Hometown: Hong Kong

Affiliations: President of Hong Kong Student Association

Future plans: “I will be working full time on a Rotational Program at PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong in September 2021.”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “Making new friends in the INTLSTD 401 seminars. I enjoyed the seminar so much that I took INTLSTD 401 twice (for different topics of course)!”

Eneida Hysi

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, History of Law and Policy ‘21

Hometown: Riverview, MI; Tirana, Albania; Tripoli, Greece

Affiliations: Girl Up Michigan, MRAP, AASO, [RE]vive, Immigrant Justice Lab

Future plans: “I will be joining City Year Detroit as a 2021-2022 AmeriCorps member. Then, I will attend grad school (either law school or master’s or both).”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I've always enjoyed picking classes for a new semester. PICS has such a large and interesting selection of classes that backpacking was always fun to me!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for all the lessons you taught me, which I will never forget.”

Phoebe Johnson

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BA Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; minor, Business ‘21

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Affiliations: FATE mentorship program, Fair Labor Association Student Committee, Net Impact

Future plans: “I hope to pursue a career in global health with a development agency in Washington, D.C.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Traveling to Iceland as part of the PICS Arctic Internship Fellowship.”

Kelsie Johnston

BA International Studies (Global Health and Environment); BA Spanish; minor, Science, Technology and Society ‘20

Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI

Future plans: “I will be working as a Consumer Safety Officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory is taking International Studies 301 on Concepts in Global Health and creating my own public health intervention.”

Suma Kanuri

BS International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BS Statistics; minor, Business Administration ‘21

Hometown: Princeton, NJ

Affiliations: Vice President of Sigma Iota Rho

Future plans: “I will be working on Procter & Gamble's IT team in the Fall! I'm very excited for this next step, and one day I hope to work abroad.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “PICS has genuinely shaped the way I want to live my life. Learning about the world while in my classroom inspired me to make the effort to get those experiences. PICS allowed me the opportunity to combine my interest in data analytics and comparative culture by supporting me in an international internship in Bali. While completing this analytical work, while living in a completely new place, I never felt more happy or purposeful. PICS' support helped me realize how important it is for me to live abroad one day.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my parents for supporting me in every way. Words cannot describe how truly grateful I am for you. I would not be where I am without you guys at every step. Thank you to my professors and GSIs for helping me look at the world in a way. You have helped spark a passion in learning about all of us and how we live in this great big world- it is something that I will continue to pursue for the rest of my life. And lastly, thank you to the PICS advising staff. Rachel and Kelsey, thank you for helping me navigate through this for the past 4 years. Your patience and guidance, from helping me to pick classes to supporting me with abroad, has shaped my PICS experience here. Thank you to everyone along the way!”

Alyssa Knight

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Asian Studies ‘21

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Affiliations: Residential College

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I met some of my closest friends through PICS”

Arielle Kohn

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Highland Park, IL

Affiliations: EnCore dance team, AEPhi sorority

Future plans: “I don't know for sure, but I know that I want to be in a position where I'm helping people and using my education to its fullest!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Being in classes with and learning from extremely motivated individuals making global connections and striving to make the world a better place.”

Hannah Kuriakose

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Environment; minor, Writing ‘21

Hometown: Northville, MI

Affiliations: MUNUM, Indigenous Africa, Flowdom Dance Team, International Center Student Council, Freedom House Detroit

Future plans: “I am currently job-hunting and hope to find opportunities where I can utilize my academic background, writing minor skills, and personal interests to work for a year or two. I do intend on going to law school after working for my gap year (or two) to pursue a focus in international and environmental law. My interests post-law school seem broad, but they all relate to the realm of foreign diplomacy or something where I can merge sustainability into domestic and international human rights and synergistically mesh top-down decision-making processes with grassroots passion and advocacy.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Taking INTSLTD 401 with PICS friends!”

Clarice Lacey

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Russian ‘21

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

Affiliations: UM Equestrian Team

Future plans: “I'll be working for the Department of Justice!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory is my study abroad experience in Saint Petersburg, Russia.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I would like to thank my parents for the opportunities they've given me and their unending support, my academic advisor Brent for believing in me as I pursued my dream career, and my professors for challenging me and pushing me to think beyond the box.”

Elizabeth Lawrence

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Sociology ‘21

Hometown: New York City, NY

Affiliations: The Michigan Daily, Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, Prison Creative Arts Project

Future plans: “I'm pursuing journalism after graduation, and I'm particularly interested in health and education coverage. I'm interning for The Baltimore Sun this summer.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memories in PICS are from sophomore year, when I used to hang out in the office in Weiser Hall with my friend who worked there. The office has the most beautiful, welcoming vibe and it was a great place to kill time before I had to run to my next class.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Huge thank you to my family, friends, professors, GSIs, and everyone who's helped me get here!”

Julia Lifton

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science ‘21

Hometown: Metuchen, NJ

Affiliations: Internal VP of LiNK at UMich, Co-President of Konnect, Director of Outreach for Korea Leadership Group, Assistant Editor for Michigan Journal of Asian Studies, Research Fellow for Nam Center for Korean Studies 

Future plans: “I hope to pursue a career in world politics and return to graduate school or law school in the near future.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory was taking Globalized Ancient Worlds with Professor Howard Tsai, where we visited various museums and collections like the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, the Hatcher Map Library, the Clements Library, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my friends, parents, and my professors for their endless support these past four years. I am more grateful than I could ever express and I will never forget the memories and friends I have made at Michigan. Forever, Go Blue!”

Claudia López-Balboa

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Performing Arts Management ‘21

Hometown: New York City, NY

Affiliations: Capital Consulting Group, Musket, Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Delta Gamma Sorority 

Future plans: “Corporate Banking at BMO Capital Markets in Chicago.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Taking INTLSTD 401 - People, Land, and Time which was a particularly great class with Dr. Uehling. I have several PICS friends in that class I still talk to all the time like Adam Cohn and Tom McGowan!”

Jason Marshall

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development) ‘21

Hometown: Jericho NY

Affiliations: Go Blue Wear Pink

Future plans: “Vault Health NY”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “PICS classes.”

Kaila McCormack

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Law, Justice, and Social Change  ‘21

Hometown: Clarkston, MI

Affiliations: I am involved with College Democrats, Girl Up, and Eventing at U-M on campus. I was also involved in the Michigan In Washington Program during my junior year. Off campus, I am a nationally rated member of the United States Pony Clubs (USPC).

Future plans: “I will be attending MSU College of Law starting fall semester 2021. While at MSU, I hope to set myself up with the knowledge and experience to make tangible change in the lives of others through the law. I'll be exploring international law, immigration law, and criminal law during the next three years.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I had signed up for the PICS Alumni Career Panel my sophomore year because I was extremely stressed about not being able to decide on a major. During the panel, I heard alumni talk about the various paths they were on and how their paths to their current career weren't straight. While all of them had extremely different careers, they had all graduated with the same degree. Each one of them expressed how many opportunities an International Studies degree gave them and how the experiences they had within PICS helped them in their current career. Not only did this convince me that International Studies was the major for me, it also eased some of my nerves about finding my way.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I am so grateful for my parent's love and support throughout my college years and their encouragement as I graduate and move on to law school. They have been my biggest cheerleaders and I couldn't have completed my University of Michigan journey without them by my side.”

Thomas McGowan

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21

Hometown: McKinney, Texas

Affiliations: University of Michigan Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), Michigan Fly Fishing Club, Backpacking Club, Sigma Iota Rho - International Studies Honor Society 

Future plans: “After I graduate, I will accept a commission into the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, after which I will report to the USS Oscar Austin DDG-79 homeported out of Naval Station Norfolk, VA to begin the process of becoming a fully qualified Surface Warfare Officer. Eventually, I hope to be selected for Naval Intelligence or the Navy’s Foreign Area Officer Program. After completing my initial commitment to the United States Navy, I hope to return to graduate school and complete a master’s degree in International Affairs or History and return to the fleet.”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “I think that my fondest memory in PICS would be taking INTLSTD 401 - Refugee Voices with Professor Uehling. She taught about a subject she was passionate about which helped the students in the class really stay engaged and become passionate themselves about the material. A challenge over Zoom no doubt.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me during the last four years. I would also like to thank the fantastic professors that have helped shape my education, Professor Uehling, Professor Marwil, Professor Cole, and all the others who taught me invaluable lessons in the classroom, and helped me to better understand the world around me.”

Noelle McNamara

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BA Anthropology; minor, Community Action and Social Change ‘21

Hometown: Rochester, MI

Affiliations: Lead content creator for Health Law Institute 

Future plans: “Pursuing a Master of Science in Global Health from George Washington University.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My favorite PICS experience was spending a semester in Washington, D.C. and I’m so excited to go back after graduation for graduate school.”

Rani Mehta

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Princeton, MA

Affiliations: Campus Symphony Orchestra, Peace Corps Prep Program, Community Matters Facilitator for First Year Experience, Director of Membership of the Panhellenic Peer Educator Sexual Violence Education and Empowerment Division, Former Chapter President of Zeta Tau Alpha

Future plans: “After graduating, I am going to be a Care Manager for a community health center in New York City called Sun River Health! My position will require me to link Spanish-speaking patients on Medicaid to housing, social services, mental health resources, nutrition counseling, and primary care.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “PICS encouraged me to study abroad my junior year, which led me to Quito, Ecuador. While this experience was unfortunately cut short because of COVID-19, it was one of the most transformative and memorable opportunities I have had during my time at University of Michigan. I am so thankful for PICS for making it happen!”

Marina Meyer

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Sociology ‘21

Hometown: Long Beach, NY

Affiliations: Global Scholars Program, Alpha Phi Omega, Michigan Community Scholars Program

Future plans: “Americorps then graduate school!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory of my experience in PICS was studying abroad in Grenoble, learning French and experiencing a new culture.”

Amanda Mintz

BBA Business Administration; minor, International Studies (Political Economy and Development) ‘21

Hometown: Sag Harbor, NY

Affiliations: In My Shoes Inc., Alpha Chi Omega - Theta Chapter, Spoon University, K-Grams, BBA peer coach

Future Plans: “Pursuing human rights law.”

Fondest memory of her PICS experience: “All of my classes!”

Karuna Nandkumar

BA Public Policy; minor, International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

Affiliations: Michigan Foreign Policy Council, Students of Color in Public Policy, Ginsberg Community Leadership Fellow, Amazin' Blue A Cappella

Future plans: “I will be studying Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing as part of the Schwarzman Scholars Class of 2022. I hope to pursue a career in diplomacy and international security policy.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “The summer after my sophomore year, PICS gave me the opportunity to work with a human trafficking clinic in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. This experience shifted my worldview and shaped my career aspirations.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Without the support of my family, peers, and professors in PICS and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, my academic and professional pursuits over the past four years would not have been possible. I would especially like to thank Professor Uehling and Bryna Worner for their invaluable guidance.”

Michelle Nguyen

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science ‘21

Hometown: Sterling Heights, Michigan

Affiliations: Sigma Iota Rho

Future plans: “My goal right now is to gain some work experience doing something related to human rights advocacy or the immigration law field before going to law school. I hope to go to law school in the next few years to become a human rights and immigration lawyer.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad in Switzerland for the multilateral diplomacy program.”

Celia Oleshansky

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Art History ‘21

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Affiliations: SAPAC, PCAP

Future plans: “In L.A. working towards a career in television writing.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “When Professor Tsai showed us the virtual reality gallery he made and his avatar looked like a noodle.”

Leanne Olona

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Asian Studies; minor, Education for Empowerment ‘21

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Affiliations: Michigan Journal of Asian Studies, U-M English Language Institute Conversation Circles

Future plans: “I will be working with the Pennsylvania College Advising Corps to help increase the number of low-income, ​first-generation college, and underrepresented high school students who enter and complete higher education.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Sharing multiple classes with familiar faces and being able to share similar experiences together.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I am incredibly thankful for everyone who has supported me and cheered me on over the past four years. Especially to my friends, family, and mentors for helping me feel confident in my interests and passions.”

Melanie Ong

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development) ‘21

Hometown: Singapore, Singapore

Affiliations: Korea Leadership Group (Outreach), Singapore Students Association (Treasurer), Bridges International, Rotaract Michigan

Future plans: “I will be pursuing a Master in International Business at the University of Auckland, New Zealand upon graduation. I hope to eventually go into a career that would utilize both my knowledge and skills within the field of global markets and international business.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “During a class on Postwar Democratization, we were allowed to choose a country we were interested in and conduct in-depth research to form a 15 page paper. This class was incredibly interesting and definitely one that has shaped my further curiosity into South Korea and its political history.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors or others?: “I am forever grateful to my friends, parents, and most importantly, my professors for their endless support during my college education. It has been far from easy, but I am forever indebted. To Michigan itself, thank you for the memories and friends I have met here that will never be forgotten. Forever, Go Blue!”

Alexa Orlandea

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21

Hometown: Northville, MI

Affiliations: Executive Board for EnspiRED Runway

Future plans: “I plan to spend my gap year researching, after which I will pursue law school.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Making close friends in my classes :)”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I'd like to thank my professors for all their wisdom & guidance over the years!”

William Overland

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Education  ‘21

Hometown: Ypsilanti, MI

Affiliations: Volunteer Coordinator with Camp Kesem at The University Michigan; volunteer with SAPAC's Bystander Intervention and Community Engagement Cohort;  Undergraduate Admissions Tour Guide pre-COVID-19; Alternative Spring Break Intern with Saint Mary Student Parish.

Future plans: “I see myself getting a job as a middle or high school social studies teacher and working for a few years before returning to graduate school to study history or educational policy.”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “My fondest memory in PICS was taking INTLSTD 101 and 401 with my friends! I learned so much in such a short period of time and it was so fun to have my friends there with me through it all.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I am so grateful for my time here at PICS. I would not have made it here without the tremendous support from so many people and their continued faith in me as I struggled. Thank you for believing in me.”

Jadah Parker

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA French ‘21

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Affiliations: Programming chair of the National Council of Negro Women on campus

Future plans: “After graduation, I'm hoping to be teaching English somewhere in France.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory of my PICS experience is the generosity of Kelsey Banfield, my PICS advisor. She has always been so helpful and willing to meet when I needed guidance in the major. She has been one of my favorite parts of PICS.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I would like to thank my professors and advisors for all their help and actually pouring into their students. It has increased my passion for learning even more. Thank you to my parents and my sister for supporting me throughout my college experience.”

Julia Pascale

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Affiliations: Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-law Fraternity, FATE Mentorship Program 

Future plans: “I will be working with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and then will be applying to law schools.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Having the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain.”

Alana Porter

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Capac, Michigan

Affiliations: Good News Christian A Cappella, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Future plans: “My goal is to go to law school, but I want to take a couple of years off before jumping headfirst into law. In the meantime, I'm looking into paralegal and legal assistant positions with local immigration organizations. I studied abroad in Granada, Spain my sophomore year so I'm super excited to return to Granada, even if temporarily, after things with COVID-19 improve.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I don't think I have just one fondest memory of being in PICS, but I would just say I love the flexibility of the Program. I loved being able to pursue all of my interests and meet students in drastically different majors than me. One of my favorite memories is probably when my PICS advisor told me I would be able to study abroad and have most of the classes count. It was a huge weight off my shoulders and the study abroad turned into the most amazing experience of my undergraduate career!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I am so thankful for the ways my parents have supported me throughout college, whether it's sending me surprise care packages or making sure my apartment is conducive to life (that step-stool actually came in handy!) or taking my calls and letting me complain about things that probably won't matter a week from now. I love you both. <3”

Samantha Redlich

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BA French and Francophone Studies ‘20

Hometown: Potomac, MD

Affiliations: Seven Mile (student volunteer organization); Kol Hakavod (student a cappella group)

Future plans: “I am looking forward to heading back to France in the near future - hopefully this coming fall. I was studying abroad in Paris right before COVID-19 hit, and have been thinking about spending more time there post-graduation since then. I'd love to polish my French language skills, immerse myself in a new culture, travel, and explore France's world of work for a little while. Eventually, I see myself with a career in public health, specifically community health and health equity.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “During my sophomore year, I went to a few PICS alumni panels and career discussions. I really enjoyed spending an hour or two on the top floor of beautiful Weiser Hall - eating a delicious snack and listening to a speaker talk about their diverse international experiences.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you!”

Seth Reinhard

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Comparative Literature; BA French ‘21

Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland

Affiliations: Sweetland Peer Writing Consultant, Kappa Alpha Pi, Michigan Community Scholars Program

Future plans: “I will teach high school English in Philadelphia through Teach For America (TFA) and pursue my Master in Education at the University of Pennsylvania.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad in Morocco!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my professors and classmates for creating such inspiring academic spaces and to my family for their unconditional support.”

Rebeka Rooks

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Environment ‘20

Hometown: Holland, MI

Affiliations: Michigan Running Club, Residential College

Future Plans: “Pursuing a Mast er of Urban and Regional Planning Master's at UofM (Taubman).”

Fondest memory of her PICS experience: “Taking the class Circulating Worlds."

Samuel Rosenblum

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA History ‘21

Hometown: New York, NY

Affiliations: Michigan Journal of International Affairs, Editor in Chief

Future plans: “Starting a career in foreign policy.”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “My fondest experience was spending a summer through Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates (GIEU) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This was a life-changing experience!”

Isabel Saville

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA English ‘21

Hometown: Marshall, Michigan

Affiliations: Intern at Freedom4Girls, a charity that donates menstruation products and provides education on period poverty, menstruation, and empowerment for people who menstruate; annual performer in Students for Reproductive Rights, and Justice's The Vagina Monologues; grocery delivery for Jewish Family Services

Future plans: “I would like to work for an organization that addresses and combats gender inequality and women's health issues on a global scale.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Attending (albeit virtually this year) the PICS Alumni Career Panels and learning about all that has been accomplished by people with the same major as me.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my friends, family, and all of the people at PICS who have supported me in my education! I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Dr. Anthony Marcum and Dr. Michelle Bellino for all that you both have taught me.”

Hannah Schneider

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); Honors ‘21

Hometown: Romulus, MI

Affiliations: Sigma Iota Rho - International Studies Honor Society, service chairwoman in Sigma Alpha Omega, Research assistant in the Center for Political Studies

Future plans: “I will be tutoring at an elementary school in Providence, Rhode Island for a year before attending medical school in 2022.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My favorite memories in PICS are attending the lecture given by Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and joining Sigma Iota Rho!”

Caroline Shoopman

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Dexter, MI

Affiliations: SAPAC (CORE Volunteer), Community Matters Cohort Program Facilitator, Leading Women of Tomorrow Vice President, PALMA (Proyecto Avance Latino Mentoring Association) Tutor

Future plans: “I will be attending law school either in Boston or New York in the hopes of studying international human rights law.”

Ellie Simon

BS International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BS Earth and Environmental Studies; BS Environment; minor, Mathematics ‘21

Hometown: Plymouth, MI

Affiliations: FATE Mentorship program

Future plans: “I hope to be working in sustainability!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad in Iceland through the Green Program and the PICS Arctic Internship Fellowship.”

Laura Stahl

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA History; BA German ‘21

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Affiliations: Campus Philharmonic

Future plans: “Graduate school.”

Fondest memory of her PICS experience: “Studying abroad.”

Annalise Steketee

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BA Environment ‘21

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Affiliations: Net Impact, Erb Undergraduate Fellowship, Gamma Phi Beta, Order of Omega

Future plans: “I would love to work abroad after graduation, once it is safe to do so! I hope to work in the social and environmental impact space within a corporation.”

Fondest memory of her PICS experience: “I enjoyed spending a month abroad in Peru with my classmates learning about the effects of globalization on indigenous communities in South America!”

Alexis Stern

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21

Hometown: Manhasset, NY

Future plans: “After graduation, I hope to be living in New York City while I am working for the health care company Cigna. I cannot wait for this next chapter in my life!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Learning about different cultures throughout my experience at the University of Michigan. International studies also influenced me to go abroad which changed my outlook on the world and I am forever grateful for my abroad experience.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “To my wonderful parents, thank you for everything you have done for me! I love you so much!”

Erin Strauss

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health) ‘21

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL

Affiliations: University of Michigan Women's Basketball, Michigan Pre-Law Society, Center for Campus Involvement, Blood Drives United

Future plans: “I'd like to attend law school after taking a gap year to teach English in Thailand. I'm looking forward to traveling and exploring Asia, a part of the world I have not yet visited!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “PICS provided me with a grant to study abroad in Vienna, Austria. Although my time was cut short due to COVID-19, it was an amazing and transformative experience. I hope to make it back to Europe soon!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for the encouragement, support, and laughs along the way. I couldn't have done it without you!”

Damaris Stroker

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Education for Empowerment; minor, Law, Justice, and Social Change ‘21 

Hometown: Charleston, SC

Affiliations: Global Scholars Program, Detroit Partnership, Ginsberg Center Alternative Spring Break, Michigan Housing, Alpha Phi Omega, La Casa

Future plans: “I will be joining the Teach For America corps in San Antonio, TX to teach bilingual elementary education. I am passionate about increasing educational equity for migrant communities, and I hope to work in policy making or law in the future!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Through PICS funding, I was able to study Arabic in Jordan, which proved to be one of my favorite college experiences!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my family for all of the support and love :)”

Arielle Sturr

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science ‘21

Hometown: Rochester Hills, MI

Affiliations: Kappa Alpha Pi (pre-law fraternity), TA for Ross School of Business, UROP, Greek Life 

Future plans: “I would like to make an impact on the world through digital optimization. In this new age of COVID-19, it is increasingly important that we work together to make digital resources accessible for everyone.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My favorite memory is sitting in the small desk style chairs in the lobby of the PICS building and studying there for several hours. Although this moment may not be as big as studying abroad or traveling somewhere exotics, I enjoyed sitting with people who were studying the same topics as me and genuinely wanted to learn more about the world around us.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Growing up in a relatively small town in Michigan, I felt very content with the world around me. I had not traveled much, but I thought I had a decent understanding of the international system. I was so wrong. The bubble I was raised in never exposed me to the hardships and triumphs of the world and what every nation has to offer. I was never exposed to my impact on the world or how I could make change. The Program in International and Comparative Studies has given me more than I could ever have expected. I will leave the Program not only with an academic understanding of the international system, but with real world experience and memories of learning more about how incredible and complex our world is. I am so thankful to have burst my bubble so quickly and will never again reign myself in and stay content with the knowledge I have. I will continue to grow and learn and listen in order to understand the people and places that make our world so incredible.”

Lauren Suga

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Entrepreneurship; minor, Science, Technology and Society ‘21

Hometown: Manhasset, NY

Affiliations: AIESEC

Future plans: “I will be an Associate Consultant at Aon in San Francisco, California.”

Fondest memory of her PICS experience: “I remember freshman year going to meet with a PICS advisor because I was incredibly intrigued by the major but unsure of myself and what I could do within it. I vividly remember Kelsey Banfield telling me that just because I did not have everything figured out did not mean I would not find myself and make an impact. She told me to learn as much as I could within PICS and that opportunities would await. I took her words forward and opened myself to all of the experiences PICS had to offer. Four years later, I could not be more grateful for that advice and hold it as a core personal value as I enter the professional world.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for an amazing PICS experience!”

Samantha Szuhaj

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science; BA Spanish ‘20

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Affiliations: Tutoring organization (PALMA), Kappa Omega Alpha Pre-Law Fraternity, U-M branch of a non-profit, The Michigan Daily

Future plans: “Moving to the east coast for a government consulting job! I plan on heading back to grad or law school down the line.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I was able to study abroad in Madrid due to the PICS emphasis on international educational opportunities. I am forever grateful to have been able to take part in this!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for your kindness and support throughout these last four years! Ann Arbor will always be a second home. Go Blue!”

Lilian Varner

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21 

Hometown: Jackson, MI

Future plans: “I currently have an internship where I work as a Marketing and Media Assistant in U-M's Arts and Culture Department, and intend to continue working at the University to pursue a career connecting students and the community by highlighting and celebrating diversity.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I would like to thank everyone in my support system for believing in me, and for being the reason I push myself to succeed in the first place. I would like to thank each of my professors that I have had here, I cannot express how impactful and genuine I found each course at this University to be, and I will utilise your lessons throughout my career and life. Finally- I would like to thank my fiancé who has watched me struggle through my undergrad career as no one else has. From Jackson College, the application process, to transferring and somehow getting to graduation, he has not ceased being there to support me and believe in me. I feel honored to be a Wolverine alumna, through and through!”

Katherine VerMeulen

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health) ‘21

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI 

Affiliations: Phi Gamma Nu, business development organization (PGN) 

Future plans: “I am currently working as a research assistant for Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my family for your immense support throughout my college journey. I am so blessed, and would not be here without the help you have given me. Thank you for always believing in me!! I love you all <3.”

Theodora Vorias

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development) ‘21

Hometown: Dexter, MI

Affiliations: The Michigan Daily, Budget Allocations Committee for the LSA Student Government

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Getting accepted to study abroad even though it got cancelled.”

Hannah Walsh

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Sociology ‘21

Hometown: Northville, Michigan

Affiliations: Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity, Italianissmo, SAPAC, 

Future plans: “I will be attending University of Michigan School of Education for my Master’s and Certification in Secondary Education! I hope to be a high school teacher and one day a history professor!”

Fondest memory of her PICS experience: “Having amazing classes with Professor Greta Uehling!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Go Blue!”

Shengbo Wang

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BBA Business Administration ‘21

Hometown: China

Future plans: “Graduate school.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Awesome seminars, professors, and classmates.”

Jack Webb

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Economics; BA German; minor, Philosophy ‘21 

Hometown: Howell, Michigan

Future plans: “Law school (to be determined where).”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “Meeting so many awesome people!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for sharing your passion for International Studies!”

Claire Weil

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Spanish; BA Psychology; minor, Education for Empowerment; minor, Mathematics ‘21

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Affiliations: WeRead tutoring, Sigma Iota Rho

Future plans: “I am planning to teach English in Spain for a year or two, then get a Master's to be a teacher or a speech language pathologist.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad for a semester in Quito, Ecuador.  Best part of that experience was working in a school in Quito as an English teaching assistant!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for all your support and for allowing and encouraging me to create my own path!”

Evelyn Winter

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science; minor, German ‘21

Hometown: Byron Center, MI

Affiliations: Residential College, Campus Day Leader, SAPAC volunteer, Central Student Government

Future plans: “Off to law school!”

Fondest memory of her PICS experience: “The wonderful professors and classmates I've been able to learn from."

Georgia Wood

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation) ‘21

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Affiliations: Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Public Service Intern Program, UROP, Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, The Consilium Group, The Ginsberg Center

Future plans: “Washington, D.C.!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Being able to go abroad to Geneva, Switzerland and meet the best people in PICS!”

Yunyang Xia

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BA Psychology ‘21

Hometown: Beijing, China

Affiliations: Alliance Consulting Group, Undergraduate Psychology Society, Language Tutor (Chinese), and Society for Human Resource Management

Future plans: “I will be attending Cambridge University in the United Kingdom for MPhil in Development Studies.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Studying abroad during my freshman year summer in Vietnam with amazing peers from both the U.S. and Vietnam.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “The PICS experience has been absolutely amazing and meaningful because of my fellow peers and friends who are open-minded and perspective. Farewell and hope you all the best in your future academic and career endeavors! I would also like to thank all the professors for their teaching and being understanding especially during this special time. Finally, I would like to thank my parents for always supporting, respecting, and being there for me.”

Isabella Zampierollo

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Economics ‘21

Hometown: Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Affiliations: Michigan Innovative Marketing Club, Student Ambassador for MVMNT Fit, Student Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Tutored Spanish for CSP

Future plans: “After graduation I will be joining Amazon in Seattle, Washington as part of their Retail Undergraduate Program!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Traveling to Perú with Prof. Howard Tsai and my classmates.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for everything.”