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Alumni News


Here are some brief write-ups on what a few of our alumni are up to. If you would like to share your latest news with us, just send an e-mail to international.studies@ohio.edu

African Studies Alumnus Abraham Zere

African Studies Alumnus Abraham Zere wrote a very interesting column about his experiences at Ohio University and in Athens for The Athens NEWS recently.  Click here to read the article.

Nathan Olah - Foreign Service Officer - USAID/West Africa

Nathan_Olah_Iraq I graduated in 2008 from the International Development Studies (IDS) program at the Ohio University Center for International Studies. My last Alumni Update referenced my work in 2009 in Badgdad, Iraq on a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Project implemented by Management Systems International (MSI), a private development company based in Washington DC. Since then, I have been working directly for USAID as a Foreign Service Officer and spent two years serving in the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru. My role with USAID/Peru was as a Regional Contracting Officer covering projects in Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Brazil and Peru. In 2013, I was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana to work for the USAID/West Africa Regional Mission covering nearly 20 countries in the region. While every country has its own particular needs, USAID operates regional activities in the sectors of Health, Environment, Economic Growth, Trade, and Democracy and Governance.


International Development Studies Alumnus receives 2013 Fulbright Scholarship to IEA Seminar in the UK

stephanieJackson Stephanie Jackson, International Development Studies 1998 alumnus, received a Fulbright International Education Administrator Award (IEA) to the United Kingdom (UK). Jackson is among the initial cohort of twenty U.S. international education and senior-level university administrators that were awarded a grant to the UK. Fulbright Scholars for the IEA Program were evaluated through a peer review process organized through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, nominated by the U.S.-UK Fulbright Commission, and then approved by the presidentially appointed, Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Read more about her award here.


Global Studies - Latin America Alumnus at Kent State

Janelle Keicher, Global Studies - Latin America alumnus, is now studying the Kent State graduate program in School Counseling.


Global Studies - Africa alumnus creates a video on a beer microbrewery in the West Bank

Global Studies - Africa alum, Nadine Ajaka, created a video called "Brewing for Peace" about how a beer microbrewery in the West Bank is putting a different face on resistance. Nadine visits the West Bank while on Fulbright in Jordan. See the video here.


Global Studies graduate completes internship with The Heritage Foundation on Capitol Hill

2012 graduate from Global Studies- Europe, Laura Kim, recently completed an internship with The Heritage Foundation on Capitol Hill. The experience included using her German language skills in radio interviews for German radio stations.


Global Studies- Asia alumnus shares her Peace Corp experience in China

Spring ’12 Global Studies – Asia graduate, Alexis Walters, shares a video  from her current Peace Corps Service in China.


Communication and Development studies alumnus receives Rolex Award for Enterprise

aggrey Aggrey Otieno, a 2011 Communication and Development studies graduate, earned the Rolex Award for Enterprise on June 13, 2012. Otieno will receive a grant of approximately $104,000 in support of his efforts to improve obstetric care in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Otieno's project is called Pambazuko Mashinani and it is a medical non-profit that will establish a telemedicine center bringing a state-of-the-art medical facility and trained, on-call obstetric staff to the community. Read more about Otieno's project here.


2004 Global Studies alumnus writes about his Peace Corps experience in Mongolia

Nathan Chamberlain, 2004 Global Studies - Asia alum was in Bayankhongo Mongolia from May 2008 to July 2010 in the Peace Corps. He was a small business advisor with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) implementing micro-finance, tourism and other programs. He and his wife (also an OU alum) wrote a Mongolia travel guide with 2 writer-photographers and 30 other contributors.



Undergraduate European Studies Major receives Fulbright

Directly after graduation in 2008, Diana Hujeij taught at Höhere Bundeslehranstalt für Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft Elmberg in Linz, Austria through the Fulbright Program. Upon returning to the states (Ohio) she opened her own retail store at a local mall and sold gift items from local and international artists (as well as hand made jewelry that she designed). She then worked with Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions in New York City and is planning on starting a masters in Strategic Marketing in England.


Tom Langehaug (IDS '09) is now Colorado State Program Specialist

Tom Langehaug (IDS '09) is now Colorado State Program Specialist for the Corporation for National and Community Service. He manages Colorado VISTA program, approves funding (grants) for Senior Corps programs statewide, and monitors both programs.



Gibbs Kanyongo is now an Associate Professor of Educational Statistics

Gibbs Kanyongo (IDS '98) earned his PhD in Educational Research and Evaluation from the Ohio University College of Education in 2004.

He is now a tenured Associate Professor of Educational Statistics and Research at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.








2005 Latin American Studies graduate serves over 3 years with the Peace Corps in El Salvador

Zach Garinger, 2005 graduate of the Latin American Studies Program, just finished a 3.25 year stint in the Peace Corps, in El Salvador where he served as a Youth Development Volunteer. He also worked on a two-year nutrition project based on Maya nut (or bread nut) and micro-business development. Garinger commented that Peace Corps was one of the best experiences of his life. He plans to work on a mega yacht for a year before starting a graduate program focusing upon peace and conflict resolution in Buenos Aires, Argentina for which he received a scholarship from Rotary International.




News from Justin Sheets, 2005 Asian Studies Graduate

sheet I am very much using what I learned studying International Studies - Asia at OU. I am currently working as an English teacher in junior high schools in Suzuka, Mie, Japan. I'd like to take this opportunity to say that, while the problems in Northeast Japan are catastrophic, the rest of the country is safe and going strong. We will recover and we appreciate the support of the international community. The photo is from our recent graduation ceremony.





Roger Anderson, African Studies graduate 2009 is among the winners of the Fulbright award

Anderson, who received his master's degrees in African studies and French in June 2009, will travel to Morocco. His project is titled "Al-Harrali and the Wahdat al-Wujud: A translation and analysis." He also will be taking advanced Arabic classes thanks to a Critical Language Enhancement Award, also provided through the Fulbright program.

Click here for more information







Omolola Anne Famuyiwa a recipient of SLDF

omolola Omolola Anne Famuyiwa (CommDev ’07) was a recipient of a Sexuality Leadership Development Fellowship (SLDF) and conference participant, which took place from 19th – 30th July 2010. The SLDF is an annual capacity development programme organised by the ARSRC (African Regional Sexuality Resource Centre), a project of Action Health Incorporated (AHI) with funding from Ford Foundation. The workshop brought together participants from Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria to Action Health Incorporated, Lagos to develop a better understanding of the concepts and contexts of sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights in Africa, increase the capacity to interrogate specific contemporary sexuality issues and challenges on the continent, and articulate how to engage with promoting sexual health and rights in different countries.


Alumnus rises high in his home country of Laos

Anouparb Anouparb (Parb) Vongnorkeo, MAIA Class of 1998, has served as Director of the United Nations Division (Social and Economic Affairs) and member of the Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos since June 2006. During the past decade, he has travelled extensively to more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe, America, and Africa. He has also been a regular member of the Lao delegation attending the annual UN General Assembly as well as several regional and international events.


Merida, Mexico Study Abroad almunus' endeavors in Mexico

Barton Rice is a class of '96 and alumni of the Merida México study abroad program. After graduation he was commissioned in the US Army and served from 1996-2004. After 2004, he was hired by PepsiCo (Pepsi) where he served as the Director of Marketing Equipment Management (MEM) Field Operations - México for just over a year. He has recently been promoted to Director of MEM Field Operations for the North Business Unit. He is responsible for the strategic service vision, planning and execution for the México market with an annual budget of $25 million and the asset stewardship of over 350,00 pieces of equipment valued at over $12 million. Says Rice, “the International Studies Program-Latin America was a great well rounded program that definitely prepared me for my positions in the Army and with Pepsi.”



Kurie is a USINDO Representative in Jakarta

Southeast Asian Studies Graduate Kurniasih "Kurie" Suditomo has been appointed the new USINDO Representative in Jakarta, starting August 2, 2010. Kurie has been a journalist and reporter with Tempo (including Tempo, Koran Tempo, and Tempo Interactif) for over ten years. She was a Fulbright Scholar, receiving her Masters Degree in Southeast Asian Studies from Ohio University in 2005, and her Bachelor's Degree in Communication from Padjadjaran University, Bandung. She is an accomplished writer and reporter in both Bahasa and English, including coverage of how Indonesians view the United States.

Mark Mason's Experience in Conflict Transformation

Mark Mason, OHIO alum Based in Germany, Mark joined Cubic Corporation in 2016 as an Operational Environment Specialist. He has a key role in advancing the stabilization curriculum for US and NATO brigades preparing for potential deployments to transitioning environments. The training focus is on restoring functional governance and civic engagement in conflict and post conflict environments.

From 2008-2010, Mark conducted social science research along the Hindu Kush Mountain range for the DOS and DOD. He then spent two years training USG personnel for work on District Support Teams and Army Civil Affairs Teams for deployments to Afghanistan. From 2012-2014 Mark led the Governance and Stability Team on the USAID 120 million, AECOM implemented, Stability in Key Areas- South project project based in Kandahar. The program focused on transition, functional governance and civic involvement in local development to exercise community resilience while addressing sources of instability at the district and provincial levels.

The focus on enabling resiliencies within a conflict system attempting to change into a post conflict or peace building system were the same topics Mark researched in his OU master’s thesis, The Panarchy of Peace.

Under the guidance of Dr. Frank Bernard, Dr. Elizabeth Collins and Dr. Dauda Abubakar, Mark conducted his self-financed field research in post-conflict Aceh, Indonesia between 2006-2007. Should you download Mark’s thesis from Ohiolink, please shoot him note at  mmason.siam@gmail.com

Mark enjoys speaking at international studies programs. He has a MA in International Affairs and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Ohio University. He was recognized with the Commanders’ Award for Civilian Service to the Army and Thailand’s foreign volunteer of the year in 1996. 




Stephanie Jackson Named Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor

Stephanie Jackson (IDS '98) was selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Academic Advisor award at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2010.

This annual, institute-wide award recognizes outstanding performance in undergraduate academic advising.





Deanna Behring named as the recipient of the 2010 Spirit of Internationalization Award

deanna Deanna Behring (IDS '87) is Director of International Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University. She was selected as a recipient of the 2010 Spirit of Internationalization Award at Penn State. These annual awards honor women with international interests who have shown extraordinary strength of character and commitment to the cause of internationalization, whether through a specialized focus on one project, or a variety of initiatives or methods of support.





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