Meet MGA Students


Current students and alumni from the master of global affairs program in the Keough School of Global Affairs represent more than 60 countries including:

Afghanistan; Argentina; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belize; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Democratic Republic of Congo; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Ethiopia; Finland; The Gambia; Ghana; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Mali; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Pakistan; Palestine; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Sierra Leone; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Syria; Taiwan; Tajikistan; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine; Uganda; the United Kingdom; the United States; Uzbekistan; Venezuela; Vietnam; Yemen; and Zimbabwe.

Our students bring a wealth of professional experience in international development, education, peacebuilding, environmental conservation, human rights, humanitarian assistance, journalism, and other fields. All students in the class have received fellowships thanks to a number of generous families, as well as foundation support and funding from institutes and the university more widely.



Elischia Fludd

Elischia Fludd

Sustainable Development, 2023

United States

Elischia Fludd has worked in education assessment and tutored business English to students studying English as a Second Language (ESL). She is the founder and former executive director of EOTO World, a capacity-building nongovernmental organization focused on poverty eradication, peacebuilding, and sustainable development. As a community organizer, Elischia worked for Brooklyn Community Board 6 in youth services and also worked for Safe Horizon in a domestic violence shelter. As a student, she helped establish a university-wide sexual assault policy at the City University of New York.

Elischia led the NYC Alliance South Bronx project ENVISION, focusing on sexual violence prevention. She has served in government operations for the Red Cross and worked for the National Sexual Assault Hotline. As a freelance journalist, her work was syndicated nationally and internationally, and she has conducted market research for a private global research and analysis firm. Elischia is an award-winning social entrepreneur and advocate with a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an MBA from New England College. Her academic interests focus on climate change and social inequity. As a master of global affairs student, Elischia has been the recipient of a Lu San and Arthur Zhang Fellowship (2021-22) and a Coca-Cola Global Affairs Fellowship (2022-23).

Marla Zgheib

Marla Zgheib

Global Affairs + Specialization (offered through 2022), 2023

Lebanon

Marla Zgheib has served as a national junior professional at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, where she enhanced the tribunal’s contributions to peace and justice in local communities. She also has worked as a volunteer researcher for Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms and Proliferation (SCRAP) Weapons, strengthening female participation in disarmament work and using open source platforms to detect states’ activities related to weapons use.

Marla holds a BA in political studies with minors in international law, human rights, and citizenship from the American University of Beirut. As an undergraduate, she initiated a community project to reduce inequalities in the Lebanese educational system. Marla holds an MA in international studies and diplomacy from SOAS University of London. Funded by a SAID Foundation scholarship, she focused on nonproliferation and arms control in the Middle East. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a Keough Family Fellowship.

Clevyra Wang

Clevyra Wang

International Peace Studies, 2023

Indonesia

Clevyra Wang came to Notre Dame from Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) in Bali, Indonesia, where she was a learning and development officer. In this role, she implemented the monitoring and evaluation of the organization’s projects and also worked in a fundraising capacity. In her work at AJAR, Clevyra also focused on transitional justice, learning from survivors of post-conflict and conflict-prone situations in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and Myanmar. 

Clevyra holds a bachelor’s degree in law and is passionate about societal healing, particularly through acknowledging and responding to the experiences of survivors through reparations. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.

Alix Underwood

Alix Underwood

Sustainable Development, 2023

United States

Alix Underwood recently served as an AmeriCorps member for the City of South Bend’s Engagement and Economic Empowerment team. In this role, she acted as a liaison between neighborhood associations and city government and organized the city’s first neighborhoods consortium, a group of representatives from each neighborhood who convene quarterly with city personnel. 

As a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama’s Ngäbe-Buglé region, Alix built intercultural relationships, assisted a women’s artisan group in market analysis and group management, and supported local producers in fish tank construction and management. Prior to her Peace Corps service, Alix worked in environmental education, conservation, and freshwater research. She is fluent in Spanish and holds a BA in environmental biology. Alix is passionate about interdisciplinary approaches to the global environmental crisis and to global disparities in resource access. She hopes to pursue a career in international environmental policy. As a master of global affairs student, Alix is the recipient of a Pulte Family Fellowship and the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship.

Elise Verdooner

Elise Verdooner

Global Affairs + Specialization (offered through 2022), 2023

United States

Elise Verdooner, a Fulbright Scholar and returned Peace Corps volunteer, has worked in international development for seven years. She is the former executive director of TEEEM, a global nonprofit organization focused on health, education, and economic empowerment. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University with a focus on social enterprise administration and international social work. Elise is a member of the global social work committee at the National Association of Social Workers and a member of the Network for Social Work Management, an organization that honored her with the 2019 Mark Moses Distinguished Fellowship Award.

As a youth development volunteer with the Peace Corps in Botswana, Elise worked on organizational capacity building, HIV prevention and outreach, and gender equality initiatives. As a master of global affairs student, Elise is the recipient of a Pulte Family Fellowship.

Matthew Talamantes

Matthew Talamantes

Global Affairs + Specialization (offered through 2022), 2023

United States

Matthew Talamantes comes to Notre Dame from Washington, DC, where he worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer in youth development. He partnered with Up2UsSports and Teens Run DC, mentoring students in academics, health, physical education, and social-emotional learning. 

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Matthew served for two years as part of the community health program in Ecuador. He organized camps and clubs to promote sexual health and gender equality and co-founded the dance group Kawpi Pacha, which to this day continues to cultivate self-esteem, leadership, and overall health and wellness in the community. Matthew continues to focus on becoming a change agent in the world, a process that he started while coaching college football for seven years. He holds a BA in philosophy from Texas Christian University. As a master of global affairs student, Matthew is the recipient of a Keough Family Fellowship.

Anna Thomas

Anna Thomas

Sustainable Development, 2023

United States

Anna Thomas graduated cum laude from Elon University with a BA in environmental studies and political science. After graduating, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, where she worked with local farmers to promote sustainable agriculture techniques. Continuing her work on food security issues, Anna joined AmeriCorps VISTA and helped develop Highwater Farm in Silt, Colorado, a nonprofit farm. She was selected as a 2020 National Young Farmers Coalition Colorado Water Fellow and served as the farm’s youth program coordinator, creating a summer program that enabled high school students to learn technical agriculture and communication skills. As a master of global affairs student, Anna is the recipient of a Rogalski Fellowship.

Melvin Sharty

Melvin Sharty

International Peace Studies, 2023

Sierra Leone

Melvin Sharty graduated from the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, majoring in history and sociology. He also is an alumnus of the Community Solutions Program, a professional leadership development program. Melvin has worked in monitoring and evaluation at the Network Movement for Democracy and Human Rights, taking on roles such as project officer and monitoring and evaluation manager. He also provided quality assurance support for a social accountability project funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

In 2018, Melvin documented the role of youth in peacebuilding and implications for policy review, a project of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders in the Netherlands. His research goals include identifying mechanisms for sustainable peacebuilding during violent crises in sub-Saharan Africa. As a master of global affairs student, Melvin is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Hafsa Sheikh

Hafsa Sheikh

Sustainable Development, 2023

Pakistan

Hafsa Sheikh holds an MPhil degree in development studies from the Lahore School of Economics. For her graduate research, she explored the impact of personal character strengths on the academic performance of undergraduates. As a student she volunteered for nongovernmental organizations in the health, education, and relief sectors. 

Hafsa has five years of professional experience with nonprofit groups such as Akhuwat, an organization that provides interest-free microloans to Pakistan’s poor. She also has worked with Youth Impact, an organization that conducts wilderness-based leadership programs for youth. Serving as the head of social impact, she collaborated with nongovernmental organizations focused on working toward the Sustainable Development Goals. Hafsa also has worked with Training Impact Limited, a corporate training firm, where she learned about human development and experiential education. Hafsa aims to learn about sustainable solutions to ending poverty and also to promote quality education in Pakistan. As a master of global affairs student, Hafsa is the recipient of a Riberas Orjales Family Fellowship.

Alberto Solís-Castro

Alberto Solís-Castro

International Peace Studies, 2023

Mexico

Alberto Solís-Castro holds a degree in political science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a degree in protection of human rights defenders and social activists from ​​Pablo de Olavide University in Spain. He is a peacebuilder with 15 years of experience in positive conflict transformation. 

Alberto is the former executive director of Serapaz, a nongovernmental organization created for mediation between the Zapatista armed indigenous movement and the Mexican government in 1996 and now dedicated to working with social movements in Mexico. Alberto has advised and accompanied social movements in more than 80 cases focused on defense of territory and natural common goods, forced disappearances, truth and justice, democratic conditions, and the defense of economic, social, and cultural rights. He also has experience in dialogues with high-level authorities such as presidents of Mexico, human rights defenders, organizations fighting against impunity, trade unions, student movements, and artists. As a master of global affairs student, Alberto is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.


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