Meet MGA Students


The Keough School’s master of global affairs program includes 70 students from 30 countries:

Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uganda, the United States, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

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.



Josefina Senese

Josefina Senese

Sustainable Development, 2021

Argentina

Josefina holds a BA in international studies from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, where she graduated with the second-highest grade point average in her class. As a student research and teaching assistant, she taught Introduction to Public Policy and Contemporary International Relations. Josefina has volunteered for the nongovernmental organization Asociación Conciencia, where she directed a public policy program for high school students. She also has worked as a consultant to the Trust for the Americas, a nonprofit group affiliated with the Organization of American States. Josefina is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, the Alpha Delta Kappas International Teacher Education Scholarship, and a Kellogg Institute Fellowship.

Gulzeyin Sharipova-Khalibaeva

Gulzeyin Sharipova-Khalibaeva

International Peace Studies, 2021

Kyrgyzstan/Russia

Gulzeyin Sharipova-Khalibaeva graduated from American University of Central Asia with a degree in international and comparative politics. She has more than a decade of experience working for diplomatic corps, international organizations, and businesses, where she promoted business development, created employment opportunities, and promoted minority rights. Gulzeyin is a recipient of the Thomas D. McCloskey Fellowship.

Jacqueline Shrader

Jacqueline Shrader

International Peace Studies, 2020

United States

Jacqueline Shrader most recently served as program director to a youth leadership development program serving emerging leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously, she worked in rural Peru on a team of social workers with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, implementing and supporting youth programs. Jacqueline has conducted research in Guatemala on how female civil society and grassroots leaders are confronting gender-based violence. Jacqueline is fluent in Spanish, and she holds a bachelor of arts in theology and religious studies from Seattle University. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Maria Isabel Leon Gomez Sonet

Maria Isabel Leon Gomez Sonet

International Peace Studies, 2020

Honduras

Maria Isabel Leon Gomez Sonet holds a BA in global studies with an international development concentration. She has worked with the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America on issues regarding U.S. foreign policy to Latin American, human and immigration rights, and social justice. Marisa has also interned at the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation on genocide and mass atrocities prevention. Most recently, she interned at at the Trust for the Americas, an organization affiliated to the Organization of America States in Washington, DC, for economic and social inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. Maria is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Frank Spesia

Frank Spesia

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2020

United States

Frank Spesia’s professional background focuses on education in underserved communities. He worked on primary education initiatives in Malawi and South Africa and taught 5th grade in Los Angeles as a member of the Alliance for Catholic Education. While teaching, he focused on creating a classroom and school community that was academically rigorous, safe, and inclusive. Frank holds an MEd from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in political science and peace studies from Notre Dame, where his research interests focused on social justice and education.

Nzubechi Pantaleon Uwaleme

Nzubechi Pantaleon Uwaleme

International Peace Studies, 2020

Nigeria

Nzubechi Pantaleon Uwaleme has five years of experience in the nonprofit sector with a special focus on peacebuilding programming and youth leadership development training. He worked as a project manager on the Emerging African Leaders Project of the Centre for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics, Inc. where he helped students facilitate social projects for community development. Nzubechi serves on the board of AfriPeace Sustainable Development Foundation, a collaborative African partner, and affiliate of AfriPeace Development Foundation, which is focused on promoting peace education. Most recently, he established Students for Peace Network (peace clubs) in 10 secondary schools in the Nigeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in quantity surveying from Federal University of Technology in Nigeria. Nzubechi is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Eduardo Jose Badilla Valdivia

Eduardo Jose Badilla Valdivia

International Peace Studies, 2020

Costa Rica

Eduardo Valdivia has worked as field and verification officer with the United Nations Mission in Colombia and as policy advisor on human rights and business with the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations. Through his career he has developed and implemented community engagement strategies with civil society groups and communities in their transition from conflict to recovery, with close attention to gender, ethnic, and human rights perspectives. He believes in the importance of public participation and citizen engagement as an effective tool to support peace efforts and capacity-building at the grassroots level. Eduardo is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Nate Van Duzer

Nate Van Duzer

International Peace Studies, 2020

United States

Nate Van Duzer has worked with local policymakers and elected officials for nearly a decade, first as an aide to a Seattle city councilmember and most recently with the administration and elected school board of Seattle Public Schools. These positions allowed him to interact with advocates, constituents, and the media while pursuing legislative and policy improvements in areas ranging from criminal justice reform to early childhood education to gun safety. Nate was active in the Seattle community and volunteered with a nonprofit organization that partners with youth to help them exit street life. He holds a BA in history from Georgetown University, with a minor in Arabic and a certificate in Islam and Muslim-Christian Understanding. Nate is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.


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