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.
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!
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.
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.