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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.

Selection Criteria
  • Academic Excellence: select students are at the top of their class based on first-year GPA performance
  • Leadership: demonstrated leadership at the School and campus, as well as in community affairs
  • Citizenship: involvement in activities with a public purpose such as active volunteerism
  • Regional involvement: meaningful engagement in the Pacific region encompassing Latin America and Asia such as study or work abroad, internships and activities focusing on the region and its people

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.

Established by the family of the late philanthropists Charles and Marie Robertson and named in their honor, the foundation pursues a mission that was central to the Robertson’s philanthropic activities: strengthening the U.S. government and increasing its ability and determination to defend and extend freedom throughout the world by improving the training and education of men and women for government service, with particular emphasis on international relations and foreign 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 for Robertson Fellowships. 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 dollar 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. Professor Ulrike Schaede is the chair of this program at the School.

We commemorated 20 years of supporting Sylff Fellows on May 26, 2011 in conjunction with events celebrating 50 years of UC San Diego historic milestones, remarkable achievements and innovative firsts since the university’s founding in 1960. Read the story.

2018–19 Dean's Fellows

  • Savitri (Savi) Arvey, MPP '19

    Savitri (Savi) Arvey, MPP '19

    Career Track: Security Policy

    Arvey holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Latin American studies from Connecticut College. Prior to GPS, she worked on U.S.-Mexico bilateral educational exchange projects in Mexico City for five years, most recently serving as the program officer for Mexican graduate students at the Fulbright Commission in Mexico (COMEXUS). At GPS, she focuses on U.S.-Mexico relations and migration issues as a researcher at the Center for U.S.-Mexican
    Studies. She is the director of external affairs for the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and the managing director of the Journal for International Policy Solutions (JIPS). In the summer of 2018, she received a Tinker Field Research Travel Grant to conduct research on Mexico's policy towards returned migrants.

  • Isabelle Heilman, MPP '19

    Isabelle Heilman, MPP '19

    Career Track: Energy and Environmental Policy Program Design and Evaluation

    Heilman graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a bachelor’s degree in environment, economics & politics and Spanish. Her thesis “A Policy Proposal to Confront the Effects of Climate Change in the Agricultural Sector of Jalisco, Mexico” was awarded the 2013 Best Undergraduate Paper Prize by the Society of Policy Scientists. After graduating, Heilman received a Fulbright-García Robles scholarship and pursued a research project in Guadalajara,
    Mexico focused on state-level climate change action plans. After concluding her studies at GPS, she plans to pursue a career in climate change policy, with a focus on stakeholder engagement in the policy process.

  • Samuel (Sammy) Huang, MIA '19

    Samuel (Sammy) Huang, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Economics

    Regional Focus: Japan, Southeast Asia

    Prior to GPS, Huang worked in the education sector as a strategic planning assistant in Grinnell College’s Office of the President, as an English teacher in Nagasaki, Japan and a Chinese teacher at an after-school program in San Diego. He has studied abroad in Wonju, Korea, completed a yearlong International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University and held internships at Doosan Corp. Electro-Materials in Seoul and at Nicobar Group in Shanghai. Huang aspires to enter the foreign service and facilitate diplomatic solutions for collective action problems.

  • Michael (Mic) Johnson, MIA '19

    Michael (Mic) Johnson, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Economics

    Regional Focus: Latin America
  • Regan Kwan, MPP '19

    Regan Kwan, MPP '19

    Career Track: Security Policy Program Design and Evaluation

    Before attending GPS, Kwan had worked in the federal government and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco where he taught English and developed youth-related projects. His professional interests include security policy, food and nutrition security and program design and evaluation. These interests led to his summer internship in India where he helped a local NGO develop a project to improve rural livelihoods through an agricultural diversification plan. Additionally, he will serve in a leadership role for the Development Club at GPS. After graduation, he hopes to work in the international development sector as a program manager.

  • Jae Ho Lee, MIA '19

    Jae Ho Lee, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: Latin America
  • Jane Lee, MIA '19

    Jane Lee, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: Korea

    During the past several years, Lee has dedicated herself to human rights issues. She helped the African refugees to get legal aid and humanitarian assistance at a non-governmental organization, The Refuge Pnan. In Korea, she taught English for North Korean escapee children at the YeoMyung school in Korea and helped North Korean escapees resettle in South Korea with the Citizen’s Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR). Before coming to GPS, Lee received a bachelor’s degree in international relations and global studies with minor in Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a president of Mannam at GPS, which promotes cultural understanding and cross-regional networking for those interested in learning about Korea. Lee plans to work as research assistant for Dr. Prather during the summer of  2018.

  • Elizabeth Linn, MIA '19

    Elizabeth Linn, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Economics

    Regional Focus: Southeast Asia

    Linn obtained her bachelor’s degree in public policy and worked for the County of Santa Barbara as a Real Property Agent for two years before matriculating into GPS, where she hopes to bridge the gap between international communities. At GPS, Linn is the president of China Focus, Strategic Consulting Community, founder of Interaction, a community service club and recipient of the 2018 Doming Liu award. Linn will be working as an intern in Intel’s Next Generation & Standards division throughout her second year and hopes to continue to work in the intersection of technology and policy after graduating.

  • Caio Mansini, MIA '19

    Caio Mansini, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: Latin America
  • Anh Nguyen, MIA '19

    Anh Nguyen, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: Southeast Asia
  • Jessica Patrick, MPP '19

    Jessica Patrick, MPP '19

    Career Track: American Policy in Global Context

  • Ha Pham, MPP '19

    Ha Pham, MPP '19

    Career Track: Energy and Environmental Policy

  • Andres Prieto, MPP '19

    Andres Prieto, MPP '19

    Career Track: Energy and Environmental Policy
  • Meghan Ramsey, BA/MIA '19

    Meghan Ramsey, BA/MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: Latin America
  • Valeria Buelna Sainz, MPP '19

    Valeria Buelna Sainz, MPP '19

    Career Track: Security Policy

    Over the past two years, Buelna Sainz has specialized in the Mexican - American border, working with the binational non-profit organization Border Angels, where she advocates for human rights, immigrant rights and social justice. In Tijuana, she has worked closely with the immigrant and refugee floating population. As program manager for Border Angel's "Bridges to Education" program, she mentored immigrant students with dual citizenship who live in Mexico and cross the Tijuana - San Diego border daily to continue their education in the United States. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the School of Economics and International Relations at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. She is the current president of the Public Policy Series club.

  • Carmen Sainz Villalba, MPP '19

    Carmen Sainz Villalba, MPP '19

    Career Track: Business, Government, Regulation

  • Jerin Tan, BA/MIA '19

    Jerin Tan, BA/MIA '19

    Career Track: International Management

    Regional Focus : Southeast Asia
  • Jacob Throwe, MIA '19

    Jacob Throwe, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: China

    Since graduating from Boston College, Throwe has held positions in both the U.S. and China, building upon his formal study of Mandarin Chinese. He spent a year in Nanjing, working with Chinese high school students as they navigated the American college admissions process. After that, he was between Boston, Hong Kong and Shanghai overseeing the development of an educational startup. Before attending GPS, he spent two and half years as the program coordinator for the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, performing a litany of roles as the department underwent profound change. During summer 2018, he will intern in Honolulu with US Pacific Command and the Daniel. K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.

  • Alyssa Tutterow, MPP '19

    Alyssa Tutterow, MPP '19

    Career Track: Program Design and Evaluation

    Tutterow earned her undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis in 2014 as a double-major in environmental biology and international sustainable development. Prior to GPS, Tutterow served as an environmental management volunteer with the Peace Corps in Peru and served as a youth specialist volunteer with AmeriCorps in Tucson, Arizona. Working with Professor Jennifer Burney, Tutterow researches the spatiotemporal clustering of Kawasaki disease and groundwater flow in the central valley of California. Tutterow also holds leadership positions with QuIRPS, Women Going Global and DevClub. After graduation, she hopes to delve into academic research in the field of environmental science with an interdisciplinary focus to help bridge science and policy.

  • Charles (Charlie) Vest, MCEPA '19

    Charles (Charlie) Vest, MCEPA '19

    Career Track: Chinese Economy

  • Kangyu (Mark) Wang, MIA '19

    Kangyu (Mark) Wang, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Economics

    Regional Focus: Southeast Asia
  • Qiuyi (Vivian) Wang, MIA '19

    Qiuyi (Vivian) Wang, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Economics

    Regional Focus: China

  • Alexander (Alex) Webb, MIA ‘19

    Alexander (Alex) Webb, MIA ‘19

    Career Track: International Economics, International Politics

    Regional Focus: China, Southeast Asia 

    Webb received a Boren Fellowship to study in Taiwan for the 2017-2018 academic year, and interned at the American Institute in Taiwan Commercial Section during summer 2017. Before attending GPS, he completed two years of service as a Teach for China Fellow at a rural primary school in China's Yunnan Province. His interest and experience in China led him to write articles on political and social issues for the China Focus Blog at GPS. After graduation, he plans to pursue a public service career focused on East Asian affairs.

  • Randall (Randy) Wilde, MPP '19

    Randall (Randy) Wilde, MPP '19

    Career Track: American Policy in Global Context

  • Nicolas (Nic) Zinter, MIA '19

    Nicolas (Nic) Zinter, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: Southeast Asia

2018–19 Robertson Fellows

  • Isabelle Heilman, MPP '19

    Isabelle Heilman, MPP '19

    Career Track: Energy and Environmental Policy Program Design and Evaluation

    Heilman graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a bachelor’s degree in environment, economics & politics and Spanish. Her thesis “A Policy Proposal to Confront the Effects of Climate Change in the Agricultural Sector of Jalisco, Mexico” was awarded the 2013 Best Undergraduate Paper Prize by the Society of Policy Scientists. After graduating, Heilman received a Fulbright-García Robles scholarship and pursued a research project in Guadalajara,
    Mexico focused on state-level climate change action plans. After concluding her studies at GPS, she plans to pursue a career in climate change policy, with a focus on stakeholder engagement in the policy process.

  • Samuel (Sammy) Huang, MIA '19

    Samuel (Sammy) Huang, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics, International Economics

    Regional Focus: Southeast Asia and Japan

    Prior to GPS, Huang worked in the education sector as a strategic planning assistant in Grinnell College’s Office of the President, as an English teacher in Nagasaki, Japan and a Chinese teacher at an after-school program in San Diego. He has studied abroad in Wonju, Korea, completed a yearlong International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University and held internships at Doosan Corp. Electro-Materials in Seoul and at Nicobar Group in Shanghai. Huang aspires to enter the foreign service and facilitate diplomatic solutions for collective action problems.

  • Eric Inumerable, MIA '20

    Eric Inumerable, MIA '20

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: China

    Growing up as a military brat, service has always been one of the guiding pillars of Inumerable's life. While a student at University of California, Los Angeles, he served his community as a volunteer tour guide and camp counselor for underserved youth in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. At UCLA, he majored in political science and Chinese, in order to position himself for a career in the U.S. government or advanced education. In the summer of 2017, Inumerable interned for the U.S. Department of State in Guangzhou, China. During his internship, he practiced his Chinese language skills and learned the intricacies of U.S. consular policy. Following his education at GPS, Inumerable hopes to pursue a career in the U.S. Government.

  • Vy Nguyen, MIA '20

    Vy Nguyen, MIA '20

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: Southeast Asia

    Nguyen graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, government, as well as Asian studies. Born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, she moved to the U.S. at age 11. Her experiences as an immigrant sparked a strong interest in international politics and led to several internships during her undergraduate degree, such as the Houston City Council, Texas State Capitol, Project Vote Smart and the Asia Society Policy Institute. In addition, Nguyen was selected to participate in a prestigious fellowship program in Washington, D.C. As part of her internship, she joined the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the State Department, where she helped to create a foreign aid budget for our allies in Asia. In the future, Nguyen hopes to pursue a career in international diplomacy, working to advance U.S. foreign policy interests.

  • Cory Rogers, MIA '20

    Cory Rogers, MIA '20

    Career Track: International Environmental Policy

    Regional Focus:  Southeast Asia

    Prior to entering GPS, Rogers was based in Indonesia, where he worked in various positions as a journalist and editor, most recently serving as a Communications Officer for UNICEF Indonesia. A native of Chapel Hill, NC, Cory holds a history degree from Oberlin College and a bachelor’s of music from Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied jazz percussion. Upon graduation, Rogers was awarded the Shansi Fellowship to Gadjah Madah University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where he taught undergraduate English language courses and tutored graduate students at the Center for Religion and Cross Cultural Studies. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing, traveling and plucking out songs on his guitar.

  • Meghan Scott, MPP '20

    Meghan Scott, MPP '20

    Career Track: American Policy in a Global Context

    Scott was born and raised in Connecticut and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics. She began her career as a research assistant in the International Finance Division of the Federal Reserve Board, where she analyzed developments in exchange rate and sovereign bond markets for both policy and long-term research projects. She was then promoted to research assistant to the director of the division, where she contributed to presentations on the foreign outlook to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and oversaw the production of briefing materials for the chair and other board members traveling to international meetings, including the G20, OECD and BIS. Scott’s exposure to the economic issues at the forefront of the international policy arena has motivated her to continue her career serving the U.S. government, with the hope of promoting sustainable and inclusive global development.

  • Michael Schwab-Holler, MIA '19

    Michael Schwab-Holler, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Economics

    Regional Focus: China

    
A former financial controller for Premium AEROTEC in Augsburg, Germany, Schwab-Holler was also a Boren Fellow as an undergraduate student, traveling to Beijing to study Mandarin. He also received a grant from the Office of National Intelligence and University of South Florida’s National & Competitive Intelligence Program to attend a summer seminar on Russian foreign policy in Estonia and Finland. Schwab-Holler hopes to pursue a career in the U.S. government.

  • Jacob Throwe, MIA '19

    Jacob Throwe, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: China

    Since graduating from Boston College, Throwe has held positions in both the U.S. and China, building upon his formal study of Mandarin Chinese. He spent a year in Nanjing, working with Chinese high school students as they navigated the American college admissions process. After that, he was between Boston, Hong Kong and Shanghai overseeing the development of an educational startup. Before attending GPS, he spent two and half years as the program coordinator for the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, performing a litany of roles as the department underwent profound change. During summer 2018, he will intern in Honolulu with US Pacific Command and the Daniel. K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.

  • Taylor Tielke, MIA '19

    Taylor Tielke, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Politics

    Regional Focus: China

    Tielke graduated magna cum laude from Concordia College with a bachelor’s degree in global studies and political science. At Concordia, he stayed busy working as a leader in several campus organizations as well as academic honor societies. On the weekends, he competed with the speech and debate team. In his junior and senior years, Tielke was selected for department honors and was asked to take part in a public debate with a Nobel Peace Prize acceptor on nuclear proliferation. After graduation, he volunteered with the Peace Corps and was assigned to China. At his site in Chongqing, he predominately works with first generation college students. Outside of the classroom, Tielke created long-term programs such as a gender inclusive (and nationally competitive) spoken English team and a teacher training program to prepare and send teachers abroad to conduct research and observe teaching pedagogy in other countries. Ultimately, Tielke will use his time at GPS to build on his Peace Corps experiences and advance his goal to work for the U.S. Foreign Service.

2018–19 Sylff Fellows

  • Savitri "Savi" Arvey, MPP '19

    Savitri "Savi" Arvey, MPP '19

    Career Track: Security Policy

  • Talor Gruenwald, MIA '20

    Talor Gruenwald, MIA '20

    Career Track: International Development & Nonprofit Management

    Regional Focus: Latin America

  • Justin Lesniak, MIA '19

    Justin Lesniak, MIA '19

    Career Track: International Economics

    Regional Focus: Latin America