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The Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) announces the 2024 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, May 2, 2024

Business Casual Attire Recommended (no caps and gowns)

5:00 pm – Reception begins
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

Ambassador (ret.) C.deBaca is Professor from Practice at the University of Michigan Law School.  He coordinated U.S. government activities in the global fight against contemporary forms of slavery as head of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons during the Obama Administration.  Previously, as one of the country’s most decorated federal prosecutors, Ambassador C.deBaca investigated and prosecuted crimes of human trafficking, immigration, hate crimes, money laundering, and official misconduct, and played key roles in modernizing U.S. anti-slavery laws and negotiating the modern anti-trafficking protocol at the United Nations.  

At Michigan Law, C.deBaca teaches on Criminal Law, Modern Slavery, Latinos and the Law, and the impact of forced labor in the built environment -- including through supply chains and illicit funding networks.  He is an Affiliate of Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, where he lectures in the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Architecture.  Ambassador C.deBaca is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Justice Department’s John Marshall Award for Litigation.  He served as an Open Society Human Rights Fellow and is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.   

Thea Kendall-Green is a recent graduate from just outside of Boston, Mass., who double-majored in International Studies and Linguistics, with a minor in Computer Science. Within International Studies, she specialized in International Security, Norms, and Cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa—a degree she hopes to use to promote peace, justice, and conflict resolution at home and abroad. She has previously worked for an international human rights law firm in DC; a non-profit advocating for a free, safe, and democratic Syria; and a local immigration law firm. Thea was president of the Delta Gamma Phi pre-law sorority, a member of Secretariat for Model UN at the University of Michigan, a research assistant with the WordLab linguistics lab, and a Donia Human Rights Fellow. Following graduation, she is currently choosing between accepting a Fulbright grant offer in Algeria or pursuing an MLitt in Peacebuilding and Mediation at the University of St Andrews.

Melanie S. Tanielian is the Director of the Program in International and Comparative Studies, an Associate Professor of History, and an elected representative on the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA).

Tanielian’s research and teaching interests center on the history of war, violence, and humanitarianism. She teaches courses on the history of human rights and mass violence and, as a trained Middle East historian, introductory courses to the region's history.

Her monograph The Charity of War: Famine, Humanitarian Aid and World War I in the Middle East tells how the Ottoman home front grappled with total war and how it sought to mitigate starvation and sickness through relief activities. It examines the wartime famine's reverberations throughout the community: in Beirut's municipal institutions, in its philanthropic and religious organizations, in international agencies, and in the homes of the city's residents. She is currently writing a new book, Fantasies of Humanitarianism/Humanitarian Fantasies: Germany and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1896-1933 (under contract with Cambridge University Press), and is concurrently conducting research for her third monograph, preliminarily titled Transnational Lunacy: Madness, Society, and Citizenship in a World at War, 1914-1919, as well as is co-editing a volume titled Afterlives as Archives: Affective, Embodied, and Mnemonic Legacies of the Armenian Genocide.

The American Council of Learned Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities have supported her most recent research.

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

Anthony Marcum's research agenda broadly focuses on understanding how power and relationships influence actors’ decision-making in the areas of conflict and post-conflict studies, conflict management, secrecy, democratization, and domestic political institutions. His current project focuses on military occupations following interstate wars, specifically how occupying powers can influence and control occupied territories to achieve the victor’s peace.

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!

Mariam Alshourbagy

Mariam is from Stevensville, MI, focusing on PED with a double major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and a minor in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences. On campus she is a member of Delta Gamma Phi, Sigma Iota Rho, a Senior Editor at the Michigan Journal of Asian Studies, a UROP Research Fellow, and a Columnist for Michigan in Color. After graduation, she will start a full-time position working in Intellectual Property consulting at Ankura while pursuing a Master’s in Business Analytics at Cornell University part-time.

Veronica Bargnesi

Veronica is from Buffalo, NY focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Spanish with a minor in Applied Statistics. On campus, she is a member of Michigan Club Swimming, the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program, Italian Student Association, and is a Donia Human Rights Fellow. After graduation, she is planning on applying to the Peace Corps and hopes to pursue a career in refugee resettlement.

Kayla Carpenter

Kayla is from DeWitt, MI focusing on Neuroscience with a minor in CCI and German. On campus, she is the co-president of the Global Scholars Program and a physics tutor at the Science Learning Center. After graduation, she plans on taking a gap year or two then applying to medical schools.

Anna Ceballos

Anna is from Washington, DC focusing on PED and double majoring in Economics. On campus, she is a member of the Global Scholars Program and works at MDining. After graduation, she plans on doing a year of service with AmeriCorps, where she will be tutoring and mentoring students in math at a high school in Boston, MA.

William Jay Clancy

William is from Grand Rapids, MI focusing on PED double majoring in Information with a focus in Information Analysis. On campus, he is a Peer Advisor at CGIS, a PICS Office Assistant, a member of Sigma Iota Rho and the Peace Corps Prep Program, a Donia Human Rights Fellow, and part of Michigan Real Estate Club. After graduation, he is hoping to pursue analyst work focused on human rights before continuing his education in technology and international studies.

Annabel Curran

Annabel is from Ferndale, MI focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Spanish. On campus, she is a Senior Editor and Writer for The Michigan Daily, Copywriter for The Michiganesian Yearbook, and a Marketing and Social Media Intern for the University of Michigan College of Engineering. After graduation, she will attend the Ross School of Business and pursue a Master of Business Management.

Audrey Dozeman

Audrey is from Caledonia, MI focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Asian Studies with a subplan in Japanese. On campus, she volunteers with Jewish Family Services. After graduation, she plans to start a career in Japan.

Sophia Grant

Sophia is from Dexter, MI, focusing on ISNC with a double major in History and a minor in Law, Justice, and Social Change. On campus, she is a Co-President of the Michigan Running Club, a member of Blue Model UN, a History Docent at the Detroit Observatory, and a Senior Research Assistant at The Reckoning Project. After graduation, she will be staying here for three more years as a J.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan Law School. 

Madeline Grobelny

Madeline is from Twinsburg, OH focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in Political Science and Spanish. On campus, she is a member of the Michigan Foreign Policy Council and is a University of Michigan Spanish Peer Tutor. After graduation, she will be attending law school in Fall 2024.

Ryann Halland

Ryann is from Grand Rapids, MI focusing on PED and double majoring in Spanish. On campus, she is a member of The Quito Project, AIESEC, and Sigma Iota Rho. After graduation, she will be starting a job as a Business Analyst at Meijer.

Anna Heiss

Anna is from Clyde, MI, focusing on ISNC with a minor in Asian Languages and Culture. On campus, she is the Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Journal of International Affairs and a member of the Michigan Snowboard Club. After graduation, she will be attending New York University to pursue a Master of Science in Global Security, Conflict, and Cybercrime.

Cameron Hempton

Cameron is from Clarkston, Michigan focusing on GEH and double majoring in Biomolecular Science with a minor in Philosophy. On campus, he plays the tenor saxophone in the Michigan Marching Band and the Basketball Pep Band, is a member of Team DRIP, a member of an MHEAL project team working to reduce the burden of diabetic foot ulcers in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico through health education. He spends time volunteering at the U-M Hospital in the med/surgery unit responding to patient call lights and he is also a member of Sigma Iota Rho. After graduation, he will be staying at the University of Michigan in the fall to pursue a Master's in Public Health in Global Health Epidemiology and to have another year in the Marching Band. He hopes to pursue a career at the intersection of international relations and health intervention design to further work toward fostering global cooperation in the health sphere.

Bilal Irfan

Bilal is from Canton, Michigan and Lehore, Pakistan focusing on GEH with a minor in Islamic Studies. On campus, he is the former President of LSA Student Government, Founder and Chair of the Muslim Coalition, and performs research in Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Michigan Medical School. He is also Chair of the Islamophobia Working Group, and is a part of the Student Organization Funding Committee. After graduation, he plans to earn his Masters in Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. 

Zoha Khan

Zoha is from Northville, MI focusing on GEH double majoring in Biology, Health, and Society. On campus, she is the President of Elevate, an intersectional feminist club, a FLAS scholar, and a former writer for the Michigan Daily and MAE magazine. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year to conduct research and explore personal interests before applying to medical schools. 

Kathryn Kowal

Kathryn is from Ann Arbor, MI, focusing on GEH with a minor in Sustainability. On campus, she is a 2023 Winner of the CGIS Photo Contest, a member of the Tri-Delta sorority, a former intern at the Miles Jeffrey Roberts Foundation, and a member of the Peace Corps Prep Program. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in sustainability. 

Martha Lewand

Martha is from Scotch Plains, New Jersey focusing on ISNC with a minor in Law, Justice, and Social Change. On campus, she is a member of Beta Alpha Rho Pre-Law and Public Service Professional Fraternity (BAR), The Michigan Daily, Paper Airplanes Nonprofit Organization, and the Public Service Internship Program (PSIP). After graduation, she is going to be an International Communications Intern for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C this summer. Beginning in September, she is going to teach English in Spain for a year.

Aleezah Gul Manzoor

Aleezah is from Grafton, Wisconsin, focusing on CCI with a double major in Political Science. On campus, she is the former President of LSA Student Government and a member of the Wolverine Support Network. After graduation, she hopes to work in refugee resettlement or perform legal services work in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and then attend law school.

Ethan William Markby

Ethan is from Hartland, MI focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in History and German with a minor in Music. On campus, he is a trumpet player in the Michigan Marching Band, Ice Hockey Band, Volleyball Band, and Fanfare Band. After graduation, he will pursue jobs that can combine his majors; in particular, he is interested in exploring positions with a large amount of international exposure, or positions that focus on analysis of contemporary military affairs.

Lauren McKenzie

Lauren is from Dundee, MI focusing on GEH with a minor in Social Class & Inequality Studies. On campus, she is a member of the Michigan Marching Band - section and rank leader of the piccolo section - and part of Sigma Iota Rho. After graduation, she is looking forward to spending time with family and friends as she re-centers herself and explores avenues in the public health world.

Chris Medina

Chris is from Grand Rapids, MI focusing on PED and double majoring in Latino/a Studies. On campus, he is involved in La Casa, optiMize, Sigma Lambda Beta, the Comprehensive Studies Program, the Spanish Language Internship Project, and Proyecto Avance Latino Mentoring Association. After graduation, he plans on taking a gap year to gain work experience before returning for a Master's in Social work with a sub-plan in Global Policy. His long-term goal is to work with immigrants and refugee resettlement.

Nina Naffziger

Nina is from Moraga, CA focusing on ISNC and double majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in Middle East Studies. On campus, she is a Donia Human Rights Fellow, a member of the President's Advisory Committee for Labor Standards and Human Rights, Wallenberg Humanitarian Medal Executive Committee, U-M Tour Guides, Sigma Iota Rho, and U-M History Club. After graduation, she will be pursuing a PhD in Sociology at UCLA starting in the fall.

Sylver Riddell

Sylver is from Charlotte, North Carolina focusing on GEH and double majoring in Neuroscience. On campus, she is a member of Wolverine Support Network, MedLaunch and Adaptive Gymnastics. Following graduation, she will be moving to Boston to work as an Associate at L.E.K Consulting.

Lillian Lynnette Ruehmeier

Lillian is from Newaygo, MI focusing on ISNC and triple majoring in Political Science and Spanish. On campus, she is the Programming Chair of Phi Delta Phi Pre-Law Honors Society, a volunteer for the Children’s Literacy Network, and a member of Women in Law. After graduation, she is working as a Paralegal in New York City at an Immigration Law Firm.

Nadiezhda Sharapova

Nadiezhda is from Petoskey, MI, focusing on GEH and double majoring in International Studies and Environment. On campus, she is a Co-President of the Michigan Foreign Policy Council, an Undergraduate Fellow for Sustainable Business at the ERB Institute, and the former Vice President of Michigan Sustainable Strategies. After graduation, she will be working in a Renewable Energy Graduate Rotational Position at Equinor. 

Samantha Slager

Samantha is from Grandville, MI, focusing on PED with a double major in Spanish and a minor in Entrepreneurship. On campus, she is the Vice President of the Sigma Iota Rho International Studies Honors Fraternity, a team lead for Dexter High School Young Life, and an administrative and personal lines assistant at BHS Insurance. After graduation, she will be participating in the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program teaching English in Spain for a year. Afterwards, she hopes to attend graduate school and work in the human rights field. 

Sarah Stolar

Sarah is from Minnetonka, Minnesota, focusing on ISNC with a double major in Romance Languages and Literatures and a minor in Environment. On campus, she is the President of the Sigma Iota Rho International Studies Honors Fraternity, a member of the Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity, the Vice President of Community Outreach for Books for a Benefit, and a Peer Facilitator for the UROP Environment Section. After graduation, she will be working in the environmental or legal industries for a couple years and then plans to attend law school to study international and environmental law.

Jacqueline Tapper

Jacqueline is from Paw Paw, Michigan focusing on INSC and triple majoring in Spanish and Psychology. On campus, she nannies, is a member of SAPAC, and fosters with Great Lakes Dog Rescue. After graduation, she will attend law school.

Maria Wajahat

Maria is from Wayzata, MN and focusing on GEH. On campus, she is the former Vice President of LSA Student Government, a member of the The Muslim Coalition, and conducts research on pathogens in drinking water. After graduation, she will be attending medical school and working in global health down the road.

Martina Zacker

Martina is from South Orange, NJ, focusing on ISNC with a double major in Communications and Media and a minor in Digital Studies. On campus, she writes for the Michigan Daily, and after graduation she will be working with NBC Universal in New York City as part of the company’s Page Program. 

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.

Veronica Bargnesi

Alexandra Dunie

Hannah Feng

Madeline Grobelny

Ryann Halland

Roni Kane

Kathryn Kowal

Sarah Stolar

Thea Kendall-Green

Emily Sedewitz