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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.

2023–24 Dean's Fellows

  • Eliza “Adair” Appleton, MIA

    Eliza “Adair” Appleton, MIA

    Career Track: International Politics
    Region: Latin America

    Adair Appleton holds a B.A. in international affairs and Russian studies from Texas A&M University. Prior to attending GPS, Appleton worked on Eurasian policy and human rights in Washington, D.C. In the summer of 2023, she served as an intern with the U.S. Russia Foundation, where she assisted the grants team and conducted research on human rights and the rule of law in Russia. At UC San Diego, Appleton is vice president of campus affairs for the campuswide Graduate and Professional Student Association and vice president of political programming for the GPS clubs Women Going Global and QuIPS.

  • Warsan Artan, MPP

    Warsan Artan, MPP

    Specialization: Program Design and Evaluation, American and Comparative Business Regulation

    Warsan Artan attended San Diego State University and graduated with a bachelor’s in political science and a minor in biology. While at SDSU, Artan served as part of the student government association Associated Students, which activated her passion for political engagement, equitable investment in community-based programs, and community-led systemic change. Artan currently serves as a board member for The Global Action Research Center, a local nonprofit organization that connects low-income communities and community organizations with researchers to ensure underrepresented communities are part of the dialogue to transform communities for the better. For over three years, she worked with Youth Will, a local youth-led organization. Additionally, Artan served as the co-vice chair for the county’s Human Relations Commission and has been a member of Caafimaad Collective, an initiative focused on empowering Somali women in their mental health journey. Artan has also completed the Urban Leadership Fellowship with RISE San Diego, a nonprofit leadership development organization.

  • Ray Berman-Schneider, MIA

    Ray Berman-Schneider, MIA

    Career Track: International Development and Nonprofit Management
     Latin America

    Ray Berman-Schneider graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in political science and English in June 2021. Before attending GPS, he worked as an administrative clerk for the Legal Aid Society of San Diego. In the summer of 2023, Ray interned at the nonprofit development organization iDE Global as a global business development intern to conduct market research on geographic expansion, government frameworks, infrastructure, and funding opportunities within the regions iDE works. He has also worked as a graduate student researcher for the Cowhey Center on Global Transformation and the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies. Currently, Berman-Schneider is a reader for UC San Diego’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and serves as the vice president of finance for the Journal of International Policy Solutions at GPS.

  • Arturo Chiquito, MPP

    Arturo Chiquito, MPP

    Specialization: American and Comparative Business Regulation

    Arturo Chiquito graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in political science and a minor in Catholic social traditions. After graduation, Chiquito worked as a research assistant in the Department of International Studies at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City. Chiquito also worked as a program coordinator at the UC San Diego Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies. In his role as program coordinator, he provided research support on issues related to the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship and oversaw the center’s programming. Currently, Chiquito is a teaching assistant at UC San Diego’s Sixth College and serves as the vice president of external affairs for the campuswide Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA).

  • Christopher Cuevas, BA/MIA

    Christopher Cuevas, BA/MIA

    Career Track: International Management
    Region: Southeast Asia

    Drawing from his experience of personal transformation, Christopher Cuevas believes that conflict and harm can be transformed in a non-adversarial way to promote healing and rebuild relationships. He recognizes that such realization only became available to him with the privileges of living in the U.S., in contrast to his upbringing in the Philippines, where lack of accessible resources compromises both material and mental well-being. Thus, he wants to study and apply the concept of restorative justice back home and elsewhere guided by the statistical tools he is acquiring from GPS. Some of his research interests in this area include social policies and programs that aim to reduce crime and recidivism rates, public perceptions on restorative justice, politicians' incentives to support or not support criminal justice reform, and mechanisms of transitional justice in post-conflict societies. Cuevas holds a B.A. in political science from UC San Diego. He has also worked as a research assistant, a fellow for a nonprofit, and a volunteer teacher for incarcerated people.

  • Mir Muhtadi Faiaz, MPP

    Mir Muhtadi Faiaz, MPP

    Specialization: Peace and Security, Program Design and Evaluation

    Mir Muhtadi Faiaz holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he was the recipient of the International Leader of Tomorrow award. He is passionate about learning, social impact, improving public policies and translating research into policy practice to empower people. He has been working as the graduate student researcher at the Center for Gender Equity and Health at UC San Diego. At UC San Diego, he is also serving as the vice president of academic affairs for the campuswide Graduate and Professional Student Association. In summer 2023, he will be working at the Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) unit within the World Bank. Previously, he has worked in management consulting, local government in Canada, and at the United Nations (UN) headquarters. Having lived and worked in three continents, he enjoys meeting new people, visiting novel places and learning about diverse cultures and their histories.

  • Zhuohan Fang, MCEPA

    Zhuohan Fang, MCEPA

    Specialization: Chinese Economy

    Zhuohan Fang’s interests lie in the international energy trade market and climate adaptation policy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economy management from Zhejiang University. Prior to attending UC San Diego, she worked as a research assistant in several projects related to international trade and ecosystem evaluation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cooking and reading novels.

  • Alberto Fragoso, MPP

    Alberto Fragoso, MPP

    Specialization: Program Design and Evaluation, Environmental Policy

    Alberto Fragoso holds a B.A. in economics from Tec de Monterrey in Mexico. Fragoso previously worked in the public and nonprofit sector, including working in the economic affairs division at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, focusing on trade and attracting investment to Mexico; and at the Mexican Social Security Institute as a program supervisor in the Anticorruption and Integrity Division, where he oversaw implementation of a corruption measurement tool for the institute's procurement process. During his time at UC San Diego, he has worked as a graduate student researcher at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and as a faculty research associate. Fragoso currently works as a teaching assistant and serves as a board member for the Data Science for Policy and Strategy club.

  • Tamara Handfas, MPP

    Tamara Handfas, MPP

    Specialization: Environmental Policy

    Tamara Handfas is an environmental lawyer from Brazil. Her studies focus on climate change related to deforestation and land use change. She is also interested in international and subnational (state and provincial) cooperation to address this issue. While at GPS, Handfas interned with the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF Task Force), a subnational collaboration of 43 states and provinces working to protect tropical forests and reduce emissions from deforestation. She organized and attended the GCF Task Force workshop in the Brazilian Amazon, with the goal of envisioning a transition for the Amazonas state from a “business as usual” economic model to a bioeconomy one. This model is expected to be showcased at COP28 in Dubai in December 2023, which Handfas is attending. She also currently serves as the vice president of programming for the GPS Net Impact Club.

  • Emily Harris, MPP

    Emily Harris, MPP

    Specialization: Program Design and Evaluation, Peace and Security

    Emily Harris, originally from South Texas, graduated from Pepperdine University in May 2021 with a B.A. in international studies, focusing on political science and Hispanic studies. While attending Pepperdine University, she participated in the 2021 Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conferences (NAFAC) and studied abroad for a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After graduating, Emily worked as a study abroad coordinator in operations, student preparations and enrollment at Pepperdine University. As a 2022 Rangel Fellow, Emily spent the summer prior to attending GPS working in Congressman Juaquin Castro’s (D-TX20) Washington, D.C., office and worked at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in summer 2023. At UC San Diego, she is an instructional assistant, serves as the legislative liaison for national affairs in the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), and holds board member positions for the Strategic Studies Group (SSG) and Women Going Global (WGG). After graduating, Harris will enter the U.S. Foreign Service as an economic officer.

  • Guanhao “Edison” Hu, MIA

    Guanhao “Edison” Hu, MIA

    Career Track: International Politics
    Region: China

    Guanhao “Edison” Hu holds a B.A. in international politics from Sun Yat-sen University, China. As an undergraduate, Hu attended an exchange program at UC Berkeley for a semester, where he developed his interests in studying Sino-U.S. relations. He also had several research experiences affiliated with think tanks and scholars in China. Before attending GPS, Hu took a gap year and worked as a research assistant at China Overseas Security Institute. At GPS, Hu serves as vice president for China Focus Club.

  • Rhea Kalra, BA/MPP

    Rhea Kalra, BA/MPP

    Specialization: American and Comparative Business Regulation

    Rhea Kalra pursued her undergraduate education at UC San Diego receiving a B.A. in economics and a minor in technology, innovation and supply chain in 2023. Kalra's interests lie at the intersection of policy and technology, specifically in product management and innovation. During the summer of 2023, Kalra worked on launching a fintech product at Charles Schwab as part of her product management internship. Previously, Kalra worked as an environmental consultant for a private consulting company and as a research assistant for the Department of Economics at UC San Diego. On campus, Kalra has been involved in a student consulting organization (Triton Consulting Group) and a cultural service club (Project RISHI).

  • Mary Khachatourian, MIA

    Mary Khachatourian, MIA

    Career Track: International Management
    Region: Korea

    Mary Khachatourian holds B.A. in international affairs and diplomacy from Notre Dame University-Louaize in Lebanon. Throughout the summer, she interned as a research associate at Edelman Global Advisory (EGA), a Washington, D.C.-based advisory firm, where she supported business development and cultural initiatives for different entities mainly within the Middle East. At GPS, Khachatourian is the president of the Korea-focused graduate student organization Mannam.

  • Taysia Leung, MIA

    Taysia Leung, MIA

    Career Track: International Management
    Region: Japan

    Taysia Leung graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in anthropology and history in June 2020. Before attending GPS, she worked in Silicon Valley in hardware engineering, which grew her interest in international affairs after working closely with global clients. During the summer 2023, Leung interned at Mitsubishi Research Institute as a consultant in Tokyo, Japan, where she worked on digital policy solutions for the Japanese government and private sector. She also is a teaching assistant at GPS and the International Studies Program (ISP) and serves as president of the GPS Graduate Organization (GO GPS) and vice president of internal affairs for Asameshikai, GPS’ Japan-focused club. After graduating, she wishes to use her quantitative skills along with management knowledge to further her career within the technology industry.

  • Martin “Jay” Mancini, MCEPA

    Martin “Jay” Mancini, MCEPA

    Specialization: Chinese Politics and Public Policy

    Martin graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in neuroscience in 2017. His academic interests include the political economy of Leninist states, the roles played by religious institutions in economic development, and financial regulation.

  • Austin Newcomer, MPP

    Austin Newcomer, MPP

    Specialization: Program Design and Evaluation, Environmental Policy

    Lt. Austin Newcomer is an active-duty response officer and prior chief petty officer (marine science technician) with over 15 years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard. His most recent operational assignment was as the living marine resources officer at sector Columbia River, directing fisheries enforcement operations on the Oregon and Washington coasts. He has also specialized in oil and chemical spill response operations, having served on the Pacific Strike Team. Newcomer has earned the Certified Emergency Manager credential from the International Association of Emergency Managers after his many disaster responses, including Hurricanes Irma and Maria, dating back to the Deepwater Horizon spill. Austin is originally from Myrtle Point, Oregon, and earned his B.S. in natural resources from Oregon State University, graduating magna cum laude.

  • Minh Nam Pham, MIA

    Minh Nam Pham, MIA

    Career Track: International Politics
    Region: Southeast Asia

    Nam Pham completed his undergraduate degree in Japan and is currently pursuing research on foreign aid and the political economy of Southeast Asia. During the summer of 2023, he worked as graduate student researcher for professor Gordon McCord and Nico Ravanilla. This opportunity gave him experience in the local dynamics of political and economic development, as well as the application of advanced quantitative and spatial tools.


  • Megha Sanjay, BA/MIA

    Megha Sanjay, BA/MIA

    Career Track: International Management
    Region: Southeast Asia

    Megha Sanjay holds bachelor’s degrees in international business and speculative design from UC San Diego. As an undergraduate, she worked in several organizations, such as the Office of Student Advocacy, and was the editor-in-chief of the Prospect Journal of International Affairs. She also curated and helped design a commissioned art piece for the Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve that will be a part of the Getty Pacific Standard Time exhibit. Beyond her job as a business development associate for the telemedicine company Omnicure, Inc., she will be working as a teaching assistant at UC San Diego. Megha serves as the vice president of events for GO GPS, the president of Women Going Global, and is on the board for the Strategic Studies Group.

  • Archita Sharma, MPP

    Archita Sharma, MPP

    Specialization: Environmental Policy, Program Design and Evaluation

    Archita is a professional with experience in tech and social program evaluation. She has more than six years of experience working for a multinational firm as a deputy manager (monitoring and evaluation) in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Archita grew up in India and holds an undergraduate degree in electronics and communication engineering (B.Tech) from I.P. University, New Delhi. She also holds a master of arts degree in social work specializing in livelihoods and social entrepreneurship from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. Currently, she is working as a graduate student researcher at the 21st Century India Center, legislative liaison for state affairs at the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA) and is the president of GPS's Dev Club.

  • Peeyapat “Drew” Suthipongchai, MPP

    Peeyapat “Drew” Suthipongchai, MPP

    Specialization: Program Design and Evaluation, Environmental Policy

    Drew Suthipongchai holds a bachelor’s in international relations from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and a master's in economics and business from University College London. With seven years of policy experience, she has served as an officer at the Bank of Thailand and as an Associate at Asia Group Advisors, a policy consulting firm. Suthipongchai has contributed to the regulatory impact analysis for the Climate Change Act, in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Thailand and Thammasat University. Her research interests center on evidence-based policy design for climate change economics, climate adaptation and climate modeling.

    In addition to her academic and professional pursuits, Suthipongchai co-founded the Matilda Foundation, a nonprofit focused on education in Thailand, and currently serves as its managing director.

  • Wei-Hsin “Sabrina” Tang, MIA

    Wei-Hsin “Sabrina” Tang, MIA

    Career Track: International Economics, International Management
    Region: China

    Wei-Hsin "Sabrina" Tang holds a B.A. in political science, specializing in international relations, from National Taiwan University (NTU). During her time at NTU, she worked as a legislative assistant in the Legislative Yuan, conducting research on U.S.-China foreign policy. She also interned at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she received the National Diplomatic Award. Tang's academic journey took her abroad as an exchange student at the University of Mannheim in Germany, supported by the NTU Voyage of Aspirations Scholarship. Before coming to GPS, she spent a year at UC Berkeley participating in the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program, focusing on research related to U.S.-China trade. In the summer of 2023, Tang interned at iDE Global, a Denver-based international development nonprofit organization. She worked with the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) team, where she analyzed data and implemented feedback mechanisms for project evaluation. Currently, Tang holds the position of co-president of the GPS Consulting Club and serves as a graduate student researcher at the Center of Taiwan Studies.

  • Akshay Yeddanapudi, MIA

    Akshay Yeddanapudi, MIA

    Career Track: International Economics, International Environmental Governance
    Region: Latin America

    Akshay Yeddanapudi graduated from UC San Diego in 2022, with a B.S. in physics and astrophysics, a B.A in political science and a minor in mathematics. While an undergraduate, he coauthored a paper in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. His senior thesis in experimental cosmology studied the performance of magnetic shielding developed for the Simons Array telescopes examining CMB radiation. He was a recipient of the 2021 Center for Matter at Atomic Pressures summer program award. At GPS, he worked as an intern for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to study the future of private sector intelligence. During the 2022-23 academic year, he worked on an independent research project with professor Gaurav Khanna to understand the impact of sanctions and their broader effects on connectivity in the international community. During the summer of 2023, he worked as a graduate student researcher with Molly Roberts, studying U.S.-China scientific collaboration, and is currently a faculty research associate with Khanna, studying the determinants of supply chain resilience via the application of methods developed in mathematics and computer science. For the 2023-24 academic year, he is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Policy Solutions.

2023–24 Robertson Fellows

  • 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.

  • Anna Misenti, MIA '25

    Anna Misenti, MIA '25

    Career Track: International Politics

    Anna Misenti graduated from Occidental College in 2017 with a B.A. in diplomacy and world affairs. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Nepal, where she conducted an independent research project on community-based finance systems in Lower Mustang. She also completed an internship at the United Nations Foundation and conducted research on human trafficking to support Occidental professor Laura Hebert's publication of "Gender and Human Rights in a Global, Mobile Era." After graduation, she received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant and spent 10 months teaching and leading community engagement projects in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Since 2019, Misenti has worked at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, supporting democracy and governance programs across Southeast Asia.

  • Eugene Parrish, MPP '25

    Eugene Parrish, MPP '25

    Career Track: Inequality and Social Policy, Peace and Security

    Born and raised in Stockton, California, Eugene Parrish is a 2023 alumnus of Virginia State University, graduating with a bachelor’s in political science. While at Virginia State, Parrish canvassed the greater Richmond area for numerous Virginia politicians — such as the late Congressman Donald McEachin, Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan and former delegate Lashresce Aird — and was instrumental in planning several campus voter registration and advocacy events. Volunteering with AmeriCorps, he discovered his life journey was to be of service to others. After interning with the Library of Congress as a Junior Fellow, Parrish found that he could combine his passions with his career interests, and he plans to continue that lifelong commitment by working in the public sector.
  • Jackson Rice, MIA ‘25

    Jackson Rice, MIA ‘25

    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.

2023–25 Sylff Fellow

  • Daniel Hershfield, MIA '25

    Daniel Hershfield, MIA '25

    Career Track: International Politics
    Region: Southeast Asia

    Daniel Hershfield graduated from UC Berkeley in 2020 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in global poverty and practice, following his transfer from Glendale Community College. At UC Berkeley, he served as a research assistant with the Program on Security Institutions and Violent Instability. Hershfield also researched communal violence in India while interning abroad at the Centre for the Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai. Post-graduation, he contributed to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the Jewish community as a member of the nonprofit UpStart's inaugural Jews of Color Career Development Program. As a senior research assistant at ACLED, Hershfield led the analysis of political violence, civil unrest and domestic extremism in regions such as North America and Oceania. After graduation, Hershfield aims to help build a more peaceful and democratic world by shedding light on critical issues relating to good governance and security through a career in research.

Read more student stories → GPS News