Category Archives: Previous blog posts

IL and Proud!

Sam Olyaei '11 and Sharon Pedrosa '13 conversing with current IL students.
Sam Olyaei ’11 and Sharon Pedrosa ’13 conversing with current IL students during an alumni panel on April 20, 2015.

Yesterday, about a dozen International Studies and International Business students were a captivated audience in Faber Hall Commons for an alumni panel held on a soggy Monday evening. The IL Program collaborated with the Career Planning Center and the Dolan School of Business, to host some gainfully employed Fairfield alumni with degrees in International Business or International Studies. The panel included Chris Tsombanos ’09 (International Business), a consultant at Advantage Communications Group, Amanda Marano ’02 (International Business), a senior account director with  Bloomberg Media, Sharon Pedrosa ’13, a community support worker with The Child & Family Guidance Center, and Sam Olyaei ’11,  a research specialist with Gartner.

The evening capped a yearlong push to focus IL programming on alumni engagement and career development. During the year, an additional five IL alumni were invited back to campus to share postgraduate successes. A few weeks ago, students had an opportunity to meet Victor Izquierdo ’03 (International Studies), a program manager with the Greenwich-based NGO, Friendship Ambassadors Foundation. A snowstorm prevented Sanja Davidovic ’09 (International Studies), who works with AmeriCares, from returning to campus back in January, but she has helped mentor some of our majors through recent internships.

Kelsey Greelish '12 sharing her experiences from Morocco with students.
Kelsey Greelish ’12 sharing her experiences from Morocco with students on October 20, 2014.

Last semester, our students had the opportunity to meet Kelsey Greelish ’12 (International Studies) who had just returned from a two-year Peace Corps stint in Morocco. Samantha Bremer ’12 (International Studies), from IICONN and Alexandra Luna ’05 (International Business), from Fisher International,  visited campus back in September. It was a privilege to host so many successful alumni during the academic year.  Some programs were more well-attended than others, but these events illustrated that our International Studies and International Business graduates were busy making their imprint in the world!

IL Major to Receive MLK Vision Award

Nicole Davidow '15
Nicole Davidow ’15

Nicole Davidow ’15, an International Studies and Philosophy double major, will be the student recipient of the 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Vision Award at the 2015 MLK Convocation, set for Wednesday, February 4 at 7pm in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Nicole is recognized as both an outstanding student and a well-respected student leader on campus. When she’s not studying, you can find her in the Center for Faith and Public Life, participating in the JUHAN program or down in the Egan Chapel, serving Campus Ministry.  She’s also found time to support Catholic Relief Services as a student ambassador.

Over the years, several International Studies majors have received this award, which honors students, faculty, and staff, whose lives have reflected Dr. King’s vision for American society. Past winners from International Studies include Chrystie Cruz ’06, Ashley Toombs ’07, and Sharon Pedrosa ’13.

This year’s Convocation speaker will be Dr. Clarence B. Jones, who was a political advisor, counsel, and draft speechwriter for Dr. King. To learn more about Dr. Jones and the 2015 MLK Convocation go here.

IL Students Produce Research

IL students capped the semester with a showcase of diverse research experiences. On December, we published first issue for Volume 2 of the Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship.  Three papers were published by Jaclyn Barden ’15, a graduating senior, and two recent graduates who submitted their papers last semester, Klevisa Kovaci ’14, and Xavier Francis ’14.

IL 50 students present research on water quality as a global issue.
IL 50 students present research on water quality as a global issue.

Some IL students presented their research in a public forum. On December 4 and 8, students in Dr. Suzanna Klaf’s section of IL 50 (People, Places, & Global Issues) presented their research projects on a variety of worldwide concerns in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Multimedia Room. Research topics included a focus on humanitarian crises in Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East, water quality issues, and gender and sexuality. IL 50 is one of four foundational courses offered through the International Studies and International Business majors. IL 50 also counts as a World Diversity elective.

If you are a student who is interested in having their research published, visit the Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship page or contact me at