Meet MGA Students


The Keough School’s master of global affairs program, a two-year program, includes 74 students.  Current students and MGA alumni represent more than 50 countries including:

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

The 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.



Pablo Arenas Gallo 

Pablo Arenas Gallo 

Sustainable Development, 2022

Colombia and United States

Pablo graduated from Indiana University with a BA in psychology and a passion for mental health, community development, and gender equity. As a student, he worked in the clinical research department at Riley Hospital for Children and served as a translator for a medical team in Italy that served homeless and refugee populations. After graduating, Pablo served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Eswatini, where he focused on HIV/AIDS prevention projects and promoted life skills and gender equity among youth in his community. He brings a multicultural perspective that stems from his experience living in Colombia, the United States, Brazil, Italy, and Eswatini. Pablo is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, and is conversant in French and siSwati. He is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Sebastian Bascom

Sebastian Bascom

Sustainable Development, 2022

United States

Sebastian Bascom served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Nepal, where he worked alongside farmers to improve the food and nutritional security of their communities. While in Nepal, he also spent time in the relief sector as a program development intern with Samaritan’s Purse. Following his Peace Corps service, Sebastian worked as a research assistant for Kansas State University. In this role he supported research on the impacts of digital credit on smallholder farmers in Kenya and the impact of COVID-19 on coffee farmers in Uganda. A graduate of Calvin University, Sebastian holds a BA in economics and international development studies. He is the recipient of a McKenna Center Fellowship.

Bryanna Beamer

Bryanna Beamer

International Peace Studies, 2022

United States

Bryanna Beamer most recently worked as a case manager with the University of Baltimore’s Choice Program, working with youth in the Juvenile Justice Department as a mentor and advocate in legal, educational, and personal realms. She also volunteered as a youth coach with the International Rescue Committee to help refugee youth acclimate to American culture. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, Bryanna created a junior high school boys and girls club focused on education, self-confidence, and employment opportunities. She also worked with farmers to develop nutritional practices and raised more than $10,000 to build a computer lab and library. Bryanna earned a BA in psychology from Shippensburg University with an emphasis on childhood adolescent development and minority group experiences. As a student, she conducted research on the effects of mindfulness on youth attention spans. Bryanna is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Jaclyn Elizabeth Biedronski 

Jaclyn Elizabeth Biedronski 

Sustainable Development, 2021

United States

Jaclyn Elizabeth Biedronski served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, where she taught English, led literacy interventions, and promoted youth empowerment and gender equality in local communities. She also is a former intern with Global Mamas in Ghana. A graduate of the University of Florida who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Jaclyn holds a BA in international studies and a BS in psychology. As a student, she co-founded the journal Global Perspectives and a global studies student group. Jaclyn also has experience as a research assistant and behavioral aid for children on the autism spectrum. She is the recipient of a Don & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Elizabeth Boyle

Elizabeth Boyle

International Peace Studies, 2022

United States

Elizabeth Boyle graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2020, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and international peace studies. As a student she studied and worked on interreligious peacebuilding, served as student body president, fought for the rights of sexual assault survivors with the nonprofit organization Know Your IX, and was the recipient of the Yarrow Award in Peace Studies. 

Elizabeth’s religious peacebuilding and civil rights work has led to internships at Religions for Peace, the US Commission on Civil Rights, USAID, and the US Department of State. She has traveled to Nepal, Qatar, and Oman, engaging in scriptural reasoning and interreligious dialogue through the Kroc Institute’s Madrasa Discourses research initiative and other Notre Dame opportunities. She also served as a seminar leader for Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns, leading teams of Notre Dame undergraduates through immersive seminar service experiences throughout the United States. Elizabeth is the recipient of an Ansari Institute Fellowship.

 

Andrew Caffro 

Andrew Caffro 

Sustainable Development, 2022

United States

Andrew spent more than five years in a leadership role with an international relief and development NGO that advances the work of local NGOs in South Asia. His responsibilities have included forming and growing partnerships, coordinating projects, communicating impact to stakeholders, and overseeing organizational operations. Prior to this role, he lived in India for a year on a Fulbright grant and worked as a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania. Andrew studied molecular biology and business at Grove City College. As an undergraduate, he spent a summer gaining exposure to NGO work in India and led three service trips to Providence, Rhode Island, where he worked on urban poverty issues. These experiences helped shape his academic and professional interests, which include poverty alleviation, humanitarian aid, nonprofit management, fragile states, and sustainability. His hobbies include running marathons, budget traveling, reading, playing bass guitar, and exploring off-the-beaten path urban neighborhoods in search of quality third wave coffee. Andrew is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Patrick Calderon

Patrick Calderon

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2019

Canada

Patrick Calderon recently worked for a Washington, DC-area international nonprofit, where he helped implement a State Department grant enabling undergraduate students from developing countries to study in the United States. He also has worked in education with immigrant and refugee populations in Canada and youth in Morocco. Patrick holds a B.A. in political science and theology from Notre Dame. As a master of global affairs student, he was the recipient of a Samuel and Kathleen Awad Global Affairs Fellowship.

Eric Canales

Eric Canales

Sustainable Development, 2022

United States

Eric Canales recently completed his Peace Corps service in Puyo, Ecuador, where he conducted horticulture therapy sessions with children and young adults with disabilities and led a project promoting food security among local farmers by establishing community gardens. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Eric enlisted in the US Air Force and worked for four years as a jet engine mechanic in support of the 71st Rescue Squadron. His passion for service began as a volunteer in Thailand following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and then in St. Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina. He is interested in the intersection between engineering and policy, specifically reinforcing civil infrastructure and promoting capacity-building in populations vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural hazards. Eric graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is the recipient of a Graduate School’s Deans’ Fellowship. 


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