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The Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) announces the 2022 Graduation Ceremony. If you are a graduating International Studies student who plans to attend the ceremony, please RSVP

Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) Graduation Ceremony

Michigan Theater
603 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Business Casual Attire Recommended (no caps and gowns)

5:30 pm - Graduates will begin lining up to process into the theater at the Michigan Theater, main lobby 
(students sit in own section separate from parents/family)
6:00 pm - Ceremony, Michigan Theater
7:30 pm - Ceremony ends 

For directions, parking, and accessibility information, please see Michigan Theater website.

Masks will be required at all times (unless you are actively drinking water) in the Michigan Theater for all attendees.

In order to enter the Michigan Theater, you will be required to show either a) proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (this can be your vaccine card, a photo of your vaccine card, or via ResponsiBLUE) or b) proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the last 72 hours. 

Michigan Theater employees will be verifying vaccination or negative COVID test status for each person who arrives. If an unvaccinated individual needs a last-minute COVID test, they will be directed to a CVS, Walgreens, or Target down the road (within walking distance) to purchase a home test. People who refuse to comply with the Michigan Theater's policies will be denied entry.

PICS Graduation Speaker – Karima Bennoune

Homer G., Angelo and Ann Berryhill Endowed Chair in International Law
Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law
University of California, Davis
Visiting Professor, University of Michigan Law School

Karima Bennoune holds the Homer G., Angelo and Ann Berryhill Endowed Chair in International Law and is a Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law. During academic years 2021-22 and 2022-23 she is a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan Law School. She served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights from November 2015 – October 2021. In 2017, she served as an expert in the reparations phase of the groundbreaking Al Mahdi Case before the International Criminal Court concerning intentional destruction of cultural heritage in Mali. A former Legal Advisor for Amnesty International, her field missions throughout her career have included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, Mali, Malaysia, Maldives, Niger, Pakistan, Poland, Serbia and Kosovo, Southern Thailand, Tunisia and Tuvalu. Her book, “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism,” which recounts the stories of people of Muslim heritage working against extremism, won the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The TED talk based on the book has been viewed by over 1.5 million people. Professor Bennoune serves on the scholar advisory board for Muslims for Progressive Values.

PICS Student Speaker – Hawine Getachew Eticha

B.S. International Studies; B.S. Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience; minor, Community Action & Social Change ‘22

Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Hawine is graduating with a double-major Bachelor of Science degree in International Studies with a focus on Global Environment and Health, and Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience with a minor in Community Action and Social Change.

Throughout her undergraduate career at the university, Hawine has been involved in human rights research on a project called Indigenous Africa, a platform that aims to demonstrate an awareness of various conflicts arising in indigenous communities throughout Africa. This project allowed her to help publish numerous cases of violations against indigenous populations, highlighting cases that have the potential to mitigate the injustice targeting indigenous people in Africa. Her research interests also include psychology and neuroscience, and she worked in the Becker Lab where she was able to investigate the effects of psychomotor stimulants on behavior
in rodents. She has also done advocacy work on nuclear non-proliferation through a fellowship with Beyond the Bomb, a movement to end nuclear war.

After completing her undergraduate degree, she aims to pursue a doctorate in Social Psychology working with marginalized identities. Recognizing that discrepancies in mental health across demographics exist, she will dedicate her career to achieving the goal of more accessible healthcare.

PICS Director Address – Robert J. Franzese, Jr.

Professor Franzese is Director of the Program in International & Comparative Studies, Professor & Associate Chair of Political Science, Edie N. Goldenberg Endowed Director of the Michigan in Washington Program, and Research Professor in the Center for Political Studies of the Institute for Social Research.

He is the 15th (former) President of the Society for Political Methodology, with research and teaching interests centering on the comparative and international political economy of developed democracies, most particularly macroeconomic policymaking in democracies under global interdependence, and on empirical methodological issues that arise from that substantive agenda, particularly statistical modeling of interdependence and complex context-conditionality.

He is (co-)author or (co-)editor of eight books, including the forthcoming Empirical Analysis of Spatial Interdependence, and more than fifty articles, chapters, and papers including recently “Model Specification for Spatial Interdependence,” “The Comparative and International Political Economy of Anti-Globalization Populism,” and “How Socioeconomic Malaise & Decline Fuel Xenophobic Nationalist Extremism.”

Recognition of PICS Honors – Anthony Marcum, PhD

Anthony Marcum is Lecturer III and the Coordinator of Experiential, Independent, and Honors Education for the Program in International and Comparative Studies.

Anthony Marcum’s research and teaching focuses on peace and security in world politics. His work addresses issues surrounding international wars and crises, military occupations, secrecy, and political accountability. Dr. Marcum's current research concerns postwar politics and how states use military occupations to enforce their preferred peace against former opponents. He is developing manuscripts on the initiation, duration, and outcome of military occupations from 1815 to the modern day.

PICS Class of 2022 Honors Recipients

Paulina Buchta
Natalie Gilbert
Liam Walsh
Armando Otero
Kayleigh Crabb
Noa Sreden
Tara Snapper
Brooke Weichel
Sam Volger

PICS seniors were invited to share more about their experience in the program. To read more about each of these International Studies seniors, click on the link on their name!

Paulina Buchta

Paulina is from East Northport, NY focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in Political Science and Polish; she is also a Business minor. On campus, she is part of SAPAC and Alpha Phi. After graduation, she will be going to Northwestern University for a Masters in Public Policy and Administration.

Suzgo Gondwe

Suzgo is from Farmington Hills, MI focusing on ISNC. He is part of the Michigan Air National Guard and SVA. He currently has a position with the Michigan Air National Guard as an Aviation Maintenance Production Controller. His immediate future plan is to enroll in an MBA program at the Ross School of Business.

Ciara Nolan

Ciara is from Lake Orion, MI focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Political Science. On campus, she is part of Model United Nations at the University of Michigan, WeListen, and PSIP. After graduation, she is going to Belfast for a fellowship researching the rights of non-Irish EU citizens in the UK following Brexit. She hopes to go into European policy or US-Europe relations, particularly US-UK or US-Ireland relations.

Tara Snapper

Tara is from Wellesley, MA focusing on PED and double majoring in Economics. On campus, she is part of Phi Beta Lambda,  Business Professional Fraternity Propel Business Group, Social Impact Consulting, PALMA, and Hillel. After graduation she will be working at Huck Capital as a summer analyst before joining the Peace Corps in  Colombia as a Community Economic Development Connector in September.

Gabriella Valderrama

Gabriella is from Bethesda, MD focusing on GEH and double majoring in Environmental Policy with a minor in Energy Science and Policy. On campus, she is part of Net Impact (impact investing club) and Beta Alpha Rho (Pre-Law and Public Service Fraternity). After graduation, she will be working at a solar company, Borrego, as an Associate Project Developer.

Liam Walsh

William is from Grosse Pointe, MI focusing on PED and double majoring in Economics. On campus, he is part of Central Student Government, the Honors Program, and Delta Upsilon. After graduation, he plans to begin working as a Junior Associate at Gasthalter & Co. in NYC.

U-M International Studies seniors were invited to add a pin to a collaborative map to share where they will be heading after graduation. Explore the map to see where the PICS Class of 2022 is headed!

Graduating U-M International Studies seniors were asked to share their fondest memories during their time in the Program in International and Comparative Studies. To read more about each of these International Studies seniors, click on the link on their name!

Kari Anderson

Kari is from Mercer Island, WA focusing on CCI and double majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Creative Writing. On campus, she plays clarinet in the Michigan Marching Band, is the Staff Manager for the Marching Band’s Business & Music Library, performs with the basketball pep band, and is a writer for The Michigan Daily. After graduation, Kari will be attending the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University for her Master’s of Science in Journalism.

Thomas Below

Thomas is from Rochester, MI focusing on PED and minoring in Political Science. On campus, he is part of Theta Xi Fraternity and the Michigan Pre-Law Society. After graduation, he will be working as an Associate and AlphaSights in New York City.

Tamara Felisha Bingham

Tamara is from Flint, MI focusing on CCI. On campus, she is part of the History Filipino American Student Association, YMCA, Comprehensive Studies Program, and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. After graduation, she will be doing research abroad in the Philippines and hopes to become an immigration human rights lawyer to use her cultural knowledge and multilingualism.

Kirsten Birman

Kirsten is from Caledonia, MI focusing on CCI and double majoring in Spanish. On campus she is a Peer Facilitator for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Mindful Leader Fellow for the Barger Leadership Institute, and member of the Peace Corps Prep Program. After graduation, she will be moving to Minneapolis, MN to pursue a career in environmental education and hopes to gain her Master’s in Nonprofit Management in the future.

Arianna Brangman

Arianna is from Mount Laurel, NJ focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Psychology; she has two minors in Crime & Justice and Political Philosophy. On campus, she is part of Sigma Iota Rho and the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program. After graduation, she will be attending King's College London pursuing an MA in Intelligence and International Security.

Abbi Brown

Abbi is from Long Beach, CA focusing on PED and double majoring in Economics with a minor in Spanish. On campus, she is involved in Best Buddies and SWIE. After graduation, she is moving to New York to work in economic consulting (specifically international arbitration) and eventually she hopes to work in international economic development.

Paulina Buchta

Paulina is from East Northport, NY focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in Political Science and Polish; she is also a Business minor. On campus, she is part of SAPAC and Alpha Phi. After graduation, she will be going to Northwestern University for a Masters in Public Policy and Administration.

Yushan Cao

Yushan is from Changsha, China focusing on PED. On campus, she is part of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, the Michigan in Washington 2022 Cohort, and is a Research Assistant with the University of Michigan’s Political Science Department. After graduation, she will continue her studies at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Kayleigh Crabb

Kayleigh is from Northville, MI focusing on GEH and double majoring in Political Science. On campus, she is part of One for the World Michigan, the Global Scholars Program, and the Michigan Journal of International Affairs. After graduation, she will be attending the Yale School of the Environment to pursue a Master of Environmental Management.

Grace I. Diaz

Grace is from North Bergen, New Jersey focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Political Science with a minor in History of Art. On campus, she is part of the Michigan Pre-Law Society. Her future plans include working for the Federal Emergency Management agency.

Allyson Dobrowalski

Allyson is from Boyne Falls, MI focusing on GEH and double majoring in Psychology. On campus, she is part of Generation Mental Health, Culture Collaboratory, International House, and Kessler Scholars. After graduation, she will be moving to New York City to pursue a career in either research, international relations, global health, communications, or consulting. She hopes to be working in a social impact space with an emphasis on cross-cultural communication and understanding.

Declan Doherty

Declan is from Morristown, NJ focusing on ISNC and minoring in Economics. On campus, she is part of the Michigan Business Group and Lambda Chi Alpha. After graduation, he will be working as a Strategic Business Consultant for Capgemini in New York.

Noah Ente

Noah is from Natick, MA focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in Entrepreneurship and Judaic Studies. On campus, he is part of The Michigan Daily and the Michigan Private Equity and Venture Capital club. After graduation, he hopes to find a career in private investing or attend business school.

Elyse Folkman

Elyse is from Los Altos, CA focusing on ISNC with minors in Spanish and the Environment. On campus, she volunteers at the campus farm. After graduation, she will be working at a recycling company on food waste solutions and hopes to do work in food policy in the future.

Halle Garman

Halle is from Granville, Ohio minoring with a focus on CCI and majoring in Spanish. On campus, she is part of NewLifeChurch and Project Outreach. After graduation, she hopes to use Spanish in medicine or missionary work in Spain, Cuba, or Ann Arbor.

Natalie Gilbert

Natalie is from Grand Rapids, MI focusing on ISNC (honors section) with a minor in the History of Law and Policy. On campus, she is part of the University of Michigan Gayly, University of Michigan Hillel, a Chinese language partner, Poetics Lab intern, a Fulbright Slovakia intern, and a Student Manager with Michigan Dining. After graduation, she will be pursuing a dual-masters degree in Global Social Work and International Relations at the University of Michigan.

Suzgo Gondwe

Suzgo is from Farmington Hills, MI focusing on ISNC. He is part of the Michigan Air National Guard and SVA. He currently has a position with the Michigan Air National Guard as an Aviation Maintenance Production Controller. His immediate future plan is to enroll in an MBA program at the Ross School of Business.

Charlie Goodwin

Charlie is from Great Neck, NY focusing on PED with a minor in Entrepreneurship. On campus, he is part of WCBN Sports, the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, and the Alliance Consulting Group. After graduation, he will be working as an Investment Banking Analyst with HSBC in New York City.

Hayden Page Dahlvik Graves

Hayden is from Traverse City, MI focusing on CCI and double majoring in Romance Languages and Literatures with a minor in Translation Studies. On campus, he is part of the RC, Language Resource Center, English Language Institute, Inter Cooperative Council, and ITSA - Italian Student Association. After graduation, he hopes to find himself in Europe - either in France or Spain.

Caroline Grueneis

Caroline is from Park Ridge, NJ focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in German and History. On campus, she is part of Big Ticket Productions and the German Club. After graduation, she is going to be a Student Life Program Coordinator at the University of Iowa.

Aakriti Gupta

Aakriti is from New Delhi, India focusing on GEH and triple majoring in Environmental Studies and History. She is part of Michigan TAAL dance group, the Epsilon Eta Environmental Fraternity, Residential College Peer Mentoring, the PitE Club, UMTaekwondo, and the Model United Nations club. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in environmental diplomacy.

Xhulia Guri

Xhulia is from Dearborn focusing on CCI and double majoring in English. On campus, she is part of Michigan Foreign Policy Council, Xylem Magazine, Research Assistant for Michigan Institute in Computational Discovery & Engineering. After graduation, she will be working as a College Connections Coordinator for LSA Advancement.

Eleanor Henry

Eleanor is from Laguna Beach, CA focusing on PED with minors in Business Administration and Spanish Language and Culture. On campus, she is part of Lean In (Women in Business Club), U-M Ross Green Wolverine Legal Committee, College Democrats, and the Sigma Kappa Sorority. She has served as a financial intern on Eli Savit Washtenaw County Prosecutor Campaign and volunteered at Community Day Care for a semester. After graduation, she plans to work for Cost Management Consulting in NYC.

Rebecca Herrera

Rebecca is from Bayonne, NJ focusing on PED. On campus she is part of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc, Mi Casa Es Tu Casa, Inc., PALMA, Director of the National High School Model United Nations, OptiMize Social Innovation Challenge, Latinidad Magazine, OJEADA Magazine, ALMA, and worked in a lab ,with Dr. Ormond MacDougald. After graduation, she will be an incoming Associate at AlphaSights on their Client Services Team in New York City.

Hailey Hoffman

Hailey is from Glenview, Illinois focusing on ISNC and double majoring in History with a minor in Crime and Justice. On campus, she is President of Alpha Chi Omega, a member of the Pearl Project, and a member of K-Grams. After graduation, she will be moving to Spain to teach English for the upcoming school year, while planning to continue her education in the Fall of 2023 by pursuing a Masters Degree in National Security Studies in Washington D.C. In the future, she aspires to work for the United States Department of State on issues related to Nuclear Nonproliferation.

Alexandra Kantor

Alexandra is from South Salem, New York focusing on ISNC with a minor in Law, Justice, and Social Change. On campus, she is a group leader for Wolverine Support Network (WSN) and a volunteer for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC). After graduation, she will be a Client Protection Associate at AlphaSights in New York City.

Nicole Meishan Lin

Nicole is from Grand Rapids, MI focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Political Science with minors in Paleontology and Chinese/Asian Language and Culture. On campus, she is part of the Student Community of Progressive Empowerment, SAPAC Survivor Empowerment and Ally Support (SEAS), Residential College, Sigma Iota Rho, Harvest Mission Community Church, and Michigan Muscle Club. She is a RA at East Quad and has received a Donia Human Rights Center Fellowship. After graduation, she hopes to work in DC.

Hannah Martin

Hannah is from Farmington Hills, MI majoring in Sociology and minoring in the CCI sub-plan. On campus, she is part of the Global Scholars Program and the Black Student Union. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year before law school to gain work experience and study for the LSAT.

Clarisa Moreno-Middleberg

Clarisa is from Marlton, NJ focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Women and Gender Studies. On campus, she is part of the Michigan Marching Band, Michigan Basketball Band, Michigan Foreign Policy Council. After graduation, she will be attending the University of Michigan to pursue a Master of Management degree at the Ross School of Business and hopes to pursue a career in International Business Compliance.

Violet Needham

Violet is from Chesterton, IN focusing ISNC and triple-majoring in Sociology & Japanese Studies. On campus, she is part of the Sigma Iota Rho International Studies Honors Society, and the Japanese-English Exchange Program. After graduation, she has been offered a position to study cryptocurrency at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan.

Ciara Nolan

Ciara is from Lake Orion, MI focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Political Science. On campus, she is part of Model United Nations at the University of Michigan, WeListen, and PSIP. After graduation, she is going to Belfast for a fellowship researching the rights of non-Irish EU citizens in the UK following Brexit. She hopes to go into European policy or US-Europe relations, particularly US-UK or US-Ireland relations.

Arianna Pollack

Arianna is from Rockaway, NJ majoring in Economics and minoring in the GEH sub-plan and Public Policy. On campus, she is part of Ethical Investments Club, MUSIC Matters, Public Service Internship Program, Society of Women in Economics (SWIE), and the Michigan Journal of Economics (MJE). After graduation, she will be interning in London at Kite Insights working in sustainability consulting and hopes to live in Spain before her full-time job as a Sustainability Assistant at Deloitte in January.

Quentin Powers

Quentin is from Arlington, VA focusing on ISNC. On campus, he is part of the Michigan Journal of International Affairs, Sigma Iota Rho, and ELI Conversation Circles. After graduation, he will be taking some time off.                       

Brenna Schnelbach

Brenna is from Brighton, MI focusing on PED with a minor in Political Science. On campus, she is part of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. After graduation, she will be completing the DSIP program for the School of Information and afterwards, she hopes to spend a year volunteering in France before attending law school.

Jenna Segal

Jenna is from Millersville, MD focusing on ISNC and double majoring with a BFA in Dance. On campus, she is Vice President of the Dance Student Assembly and has worked on independent research projects. After graduation, she hopes to continue her current research exploring art's ability to foster social cohesion in local and national communities.

Caroline Shrock

Caroline is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Political Science with a minor in Judaic Studies. On campus, she is part of the Jewish Resource Center and Delta Delta Delta. After graduation, she is planning to start law school in 2-3 years and is interested in human rights law. For now, she is hoping to work in New York or DC in the nonprofit or advocacy sectors.

Annabel Smith

Annabel is from Bloomfield Hills, MI focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Political Science. On campus, she is part of UNICEF, the Michigan Pre-Law Society,  Students Demand Action Clubs and volunteers at a local elementary school. After graduation, she will be working as a Business Development Associate with POLITICO.

Tara Snapper

Tara is from Wellesley, MA focusing on PED and double majoring in Economics. On campus, she is part of Phi Beta Lambda,  Business Professional Fraternity Propel Business Group, Social Impact Consulting, PALMA, and Hillel. After graduation she will be working at Huck Capital as a summer analyst before joining the Peace Corps in  Colombia as a Community Economic Development Connector in September.

Victoria Tan

Victoria is from Novi, MI focusing on ISNC with a minor in Spanish. On campus, she is part of the Beta Alpha Rho Pre-Law & Public Service Fraternity, The Michigan Daily, and the Michigan Journal of International Affairs. After graduation, she will be taking a year to travel before applying to law school.

Caroline M. Theuerkauf

Caroline is from Midland, MI focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in Political Science and German. On campus, she is part of the LSA Student Government, the LSA Student Honor Council, the Global Scholars Program, and the Michigan Active Citizens Spring Break Program. After graduation, she will be attending law school.

Jamie Todd

Jamie is from Milan, MI focusing on ISNC with a minor in French. On campus, she is the co-president of the Michigan Recreational Tennis Club and a member of University of Michigan Hillel organization. After graduation, she hopes to work overseas and improve her French and Chinese language skills.

Gabriella Valderrama

Gabriella is from Bethesda, MD focusing on GEH and double majoring in Environmental Policy with a minor in Energy Science and Policy. On campus, she is part of Net Impact (impact investing club) and Beta Alpha Rho (Pre-Law and Public Service Fraternity). After graduation, she will be working at a solar company, Borrego, as an Associate Project Developer.

William Patrick Walsh III

William is from Grosse Pointe, MI focusing on PED and double majoring in Economics. On campus, he is part of Central Student Government, the Honors Program, and Delta Upsilon. After graduation, he plans to begin working as a Junior Associate at Gasthalter & Co. in NYC.

Glennie Webster

Glennie is from Beverly Hills, MI focusing on ISNC with a minor in French and Francophone Studies. On campus, she is part of the Michigan Journal of International Affairs, Freedom House Detroit, and AIESEC. After graduation, she will be going to graduate school in Europe either for International Security Studies or an International Relations program. 

Brooke Weichel

Brooke is from Olney, Maryland focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Political Science with a minor in Gender, Race, and Nation. On campus, she is a Marketing & Media Assistant at the U-M International Institute, a  volunteer with SAPAC, and a Conversation Circle Facilitator with the English Language Institute. After graduation, she will be attending the University of Oxford for the MPhil in Politics (European Politics and Society).

Faith Christine Williams

Faith is from Philadelphia, PA focusing on ISNC with minors in Anthropology in French. On campus, she is part of Sigma Iota Rho, the Kappa Omega Alpha fraternity for pre-law and public policy, the New Movement Dance Club, the Public Service Internship Program, an assistant with PICS, and an employee with Michigan Dining. After graduation, she will travel abroad before starting work at the Evergreen Strategy Group as a Summer Fellow.

Suki Zhao

Suki is from Escanaba, MI focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in Political Science and American Culture. On campus, she is part of LSA Student Government and Michigan Taekwondo. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year before potentially attending law school.

Aidan Wallace Johnston

Aidan is from Dallas, TX focusing on PED. After graduation, he will begin working for Oracle in Boston as a member of their BDC Program.

These graduating seniors were each highlighted as an International Studies Student Spotlight and asked to share an influential experience they had that connected to their International Studies major or minor. To read more about each of these seniors, click on the link on their name!

The following PICS seniors were awarded PICS funding for global study, research, or internship opportunities. Read their testimonials from their impactful experiences by clicking on the links below.

Faith Williams – 2020 Rose Silverman Fellow

Hannah Martin – 2021 Rose Silverman Fellow

Clarisa Moreno-Middleberg – 2021 Rose Silverman Fellow

Paulina Buchta – 2021 PICS Summer Fellow

Yushan Cao - 2021 PICS Summer Fellow

Natalie Gilbert – 2021 PICS Summer Fellow

Irisa Lico – 2021 PICS Summer Fellow

Armando Otero IV – 2021 PICS Summer Fellow

Dylan Prime – 2021 PICS Summer Fellow

Hannah Martin – 2021 International Human Rights Fellow