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Student Profiles

Our school is internationally recognized for its excellence, and a key reason for our growing distinction is our ability to attract the best graduate students from across the globe. Here is a sampling of our student scholars. 

Dean's Fellows

We are proud to introduce the students who have been selected as Dean's Fellows. This special distinction serves to signal the professional qualities of excellence that the school cultivates and honors, to reward outstanding performance by students and to create a prestigious group of high-quality students and alumni to showcase to the world. They are selected based on academic excellence, leadership, civic engagement and regional involvement.

Robertson Fellows

The Robertson Foundation for Government aspires to make a difference by offering annual financial support for graduate students pursuing federal government careers in foreign policy, national security and international affairs. Robertson Fellows at selected universities receive full scholarships and full internship stipends from the foundation. They also commit to work for the federal government for a minimum of three of their first seven years after graduation. Note: We do not receive unsolicited applications as an internal committee makes recommendations based on applicants accepted to the school and meets the mission of the program.

Sylff Fellows

Created in 1987, the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) program is designed to support graduate students studying in the humanities and social sciences fields at 69 universities in 44 countries. In 1991, a $1 million endowment was received to create the Sylff program at UC San Diego to support the education of outstanding students pursuing their graduate studies with high potential for global leadership.

2022–23 Dean's Fellows

  • Zachary “Zach” Belgum, MIA '23

    Zachary “Zach” Belgum, MIA '23

    Career Track: International Management
    Region: Japan and China
  • Mikah Bertelmann, MPP '23

    Mikah Bertelmann, MPP '23

    Specialization: Peace and Security
  • Katrina Boyd, MPP '23

    Katrina Boyd, MPP '23

    Specialization: Environmental Policy

  • Delaney “Laney” Crabtree, MIA '23

    Delaney “Laney” Crabtree, MIA '23

    Career Track: International Politics
    Region: Korea

  • Robert Daquila, MIA '23

    Robert Daquila, MIA '23

    Career Track: International Economics
    Region: China

  • Emily Davalos, BA/MIA '23

    Emily Davalos, BA/MIA '23

    Career Track: International Economics
    Region: Latin America

  • Yazmin Franco, MIA '23

    Yazmin Franco, MIA '23

    Career Track: International Politics
    Region: Latin America

  • Shivangi Gupta, MIA '23

    Shivangi Gupta, MIA '23

    Career Track: International Politics
    Region: Southeast Asia

  • Takahiro “Taka” Kanai, MPP '23

    Takahiro “Taka” Kanai, MPP '23

    Specialization: Environmental Policy; Program Design and Evaluation

  • Dayra Lascano, MPP '23

    Dayra Lascano, MPP '23

    Specialization: Program Design and Evaluation

  • Jaha McClean, MIA '23

    Jaha McClean, MIA '23

    Career Track: International Economics; International Management
    Region: Japan

  • Elizabeth Muthoni, MPP '23

    Elizabeth Muthoni, MPP '23

    Specialization: Inequality and Social Policy; Program Design and Evaluation

  • Jeffrey “Jeff” Myers, MPP '23

    Jeffrey “Jeff” Myers, MPP '23

    Specialization: Environmental Policy; Program Design and Evaluation

  • Marissa Myers, MPP '23

    Marissa Myers, MPP '23

    Specialization: Health Policy; Program Design and Evaluation

  • Joseph “Joey” Persico, MIA '23

    Joseph “Joey” Persico, MIA '23

    Career Track: International Politics
    Region: Latin America

  • Gabriel Rangel Visconti, MPP '23

    Gabriel Rangel Visconti, MPP '23

    Specialization: Environmental Policy

  • Salma Shaikh, MPP '23

    Salma Shaikh, MPP '23

    Specialization: Program Design and Evaluation

  • Peter Wilborn, MPP '23

    Peter Wilborn, MPP '23

    Specialization: Inequality and Social Policy; Environmental Policy

  • Junhui “Chris” Xu, MCEPA '23

    Junhui “Chris” Xu, MCEPA '23

    Specialization: Chinese Economy; Chinese Environment

  • Qingai “Sunny” Xu, BA/MPP '23

    Qingai “Sunny” Xu, BA/MPP '23

    Specialization: Inequality and Social Policy; Program Design and Evaluation

  • Marcia Yang, MIA '23

    Marcia Yang, MIA '23

    Career Track: International Politics; International Economics
    Region: China and Japan

2022–23 Robertson Fellows

  • Elisabeth Earley, MIA ’23

    Elisabeth Earley, MIA ’23

    Career Track: International Development and Nonprofit Management
    Regional Focus: Latin America

    Elisabeth Earley graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in political science, specializing in quantitative methods and survey design. There, she worked as a research assistant investigating international anticorruption interventions and assessing their effectiveness and scalability. She also conducted survey experiments measuring confirmation bias for political news on social media. Outside of academic research, Earley studied Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, played intramural soccer and coordinated volunteers for the student-led organization Bears for Elder Welfare. After graduation, she assisted fieldwork in Brazil and Nepal for the World Bank, and most recently, served as project manager for a large-scale study by the Inter-American Development Bank that used banking and mobility data to track and measure the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latin American SMEs.

  • McKenzie Hartman, MIA ‘24

    McKenzie Hartman, MIA ‘24

    Career Track: International Politics

    McKenzie Hartman was raised in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and international relations and diplomacy and minors in Spanish and German. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Chile and interned with the Political/Economic section of the U.S. embassy in Bolivia, where she researched for the annual human rights report and helped organize bilateral exchanges between health professionals. After graduation, she worked for the Franklin County Board of Elections and hiked the Pacific Crest Trail across the country. She then served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany. There, she taught classes on both the English language and American culture and politics. McKenzie hopes to use her time at GPS to prepare her for a career in diplomacy.

  • Jackson Rice, MIA ‘24

    Jackson Rice, MIA ‘24

    Career Track: International Economics

    After growing up in San Diego, Jackson Rice attended UC Berkeley and graduated in 2020 with a B.S. in Society and Environment with the highest distinction. During his time at UC Berkeley, he worked as a writing tutor at the university's Student Learning Center. After graduating, he received a scholarship to study Mandarin in Taiwan from 2021-22. His background working in education and love for his time studying abroad solidified his desire to pursue an international career in public service. Jackson comes to GPS with a plan to specialize in China and, upon graduation, utilize his Mandarin skills and training to work in diplomacy and policy analysis on U.S.-China relations.

  • Peter Joseph Wilborn, MPP ’23

    Peter Joseph Wilborn, MPP ’23

    Career Track: Inequality and Social Policy

    Peter Joseph Wilborn is an Atlanta native and 2019 graduate of Morehouse College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Affairs. While at Morehouse, he participated in the STARs Program as a research assistant at UC San Diego and was a Public Policy and International Affairs fellow at the Ford School in the University of Michigan. Following graduation, he joined the Peace Corps as an English teacher, where he also worked with local communities in East Africa until he was evacuated by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. Upon his return, he joined the Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) as a site manager for COVID-19 testing centers, eventually leading the logistics planning for all Georgia-based sites. His interests lie in regional and international development and policy geared toward human security, and plans to continue developing those skills while at GPS.

2022–23 Sylff Fellows

  • Brandon Callegari, MIA ’23

    Brandon Callegari, MIA ’23

    Specialization: International Politics and Korea

    Brandon Callegari graduated from Princeton University in 2021, with a B.A. from the School of Public and International Affairs. While at Princeton, his research involved human rights for displaced peoples, with a specific focus on North Korean defectors. He has previously interned in Indonesia and South Korea for community development and human rights nonprofit organizations, spearheading sustainable development projects for local villages in Bali and creating United Nations petitions to recognize atrocities committed against Zainichi Koreans after the Korean War. At UC San Diego, Callegari is continuing his focus on North Korean human rights and international human rights issues more generally.

Read more student stories → GPS News