Meet MGA Students


Current students and alumni from the master of global affairs program in the Keough School of Global Affairs represent more than 50 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; Haiti; Honduras; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Mali; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Morocco; Nepal; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Pakistan; Palestine; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Sierra Leone; South Africa; South Korea; Taiwan; Tajikistan; Trinidad and Tobago; Turkey; Ukraine; Uganda; the United Kingdom; the United States; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; 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.



Syeda (Fiana) Arbab 

Syeda (Fiana) Arbab 

Sustainable Development, 2021

United States 

Syeda (Fiana) Arbab is a Bangladeshi Muslim American and transnational feminist who has served as a racial justice and community organizer across the United States. Most recently, she conducted legislative analysis on youth justice for Georgia Shift, a nonprofit that encourages marginalized young people to participate in democracy. She is the former statewide youth organizer for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, where she worked with youth in marginalized communities. Syeda graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a BA in women’s and gender studies and psychology and a minor in sociology. As an undergraduate, she was co-founder and president of the Social Justice League and also student body president. As a student, Syeda was the recipient of a Coca-Cola Global Affairs Fellowship.

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.

Oneile Baitlotli 

Oneile Baitlotli 

Sustainable Development, 2023

Botswana

Oneile Baitlotli graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science and minors in international development studies and peace studies. Her interests in peace and development prompted her to participate in the Madrasa Discourses Immersion in Qatar, an initiative of the Keough School’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. She also worked with Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns through a McNeill Fellowship, a program for students dedicated to active, local citizenship.

As an undergraduate, Oneile interned in the early childhood education department at Afrika Tikkun in South Africa. She then worked with the Rusalia Resource Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Kenya that empowers girls from western Kenya with school tuition scholarships and mentorship. Oneile’s most recent internship was in the secretary-general’s office at Religions for Peace, an opportunity made possible by the Keough School’s Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion. These experiences deepened her interest in peace-centered development that recognizes and prioritizes human dignity. As a master of global affairs student, Oneile is the recipient of a Riberas Orjales Family 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. As a student, she was the recipient of a Don & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Mikaela Bona

Mikaela Bona

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2022

The Philippines

Mikaela Bona holds degrees in political science from Ateneo de Manila University. While on scholarship, she finished undergraduate and graduate coursework in global politics and earned minors in economics and Southeast Asian studies. As the school representative for more than 2,200 students, Mikaela successfully lobbied for tuition reform that resulted in significant aggregate savings for students. She also has been awarded study grants in Japan and Brunei Darussalam.

Mikaela has interned for Filipino nonprofits and government offices that advocate for indigenous peoples and agricultural workers’ rights, gender equality, and labor migrant protection. Through these experiences, she developed an interest in the intersectional relationship between misogyny, racism and economic underdevelopment. As a feminist and MGA candidate, she hopes to develop analytical skills that will better equip her in dismantling institutions of oppression and creating new structures that empower women of color. Mikaela is a recipient of a Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies 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.

 


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