Recent ISF Graduates

Christopher Adcock

Global Health and Society

A Fall 2014 graduate, Christopher is now pursuing concurrent MD/MPH degrees at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Chris wrote a comprehensive senior thesis on the dangers that the use of lead bullets poses to hunters and their families. He was a national semi-finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (Academic Heisman), selected for the PAC12 All-Academic first team three times, and listed as the second smartest player in college football in 2014 on Chris is also 2015 Oscar Geballe Post-Graduate Scholarship winner. Chris also majored in Business...

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Huda Adem

International Health and Development

After graduating in 2011, Huda participated as a Health Career Connection intern at Kaiser Permanente's Regional Health Education, working on domestic health education projects that focused on cultural competency and outreach. Following this experience, she pursued her interests in global health by participating in a project with the World Health Organization in Cairo, Egypt doing research on community based initiatives. After 6 months, she returned to the US to complete Kaiser Family Foundation's Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars program in Washington D.C. and engage in education and...

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Vrinda Agarwal

International Economic Development

Vrinda Agarwal previously interned at the White House and will start working full-time at Goldman Sachs as a Public Finance investment banking analyst after graduation this year (Spring 2015). She double majored in Political Science (Department Citation Winner) and ISF. Vrinda is very passionate about public service and leadership, and is a four-time recipient of the Cal Alumni Leadership Award. As a sophomore Vrinda co-founded the Big Ideas-winning non-profit organization 100 Strong, which serves to empower low income women through leadership development, mentorship, and entrepreneurship...

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SIerra Alef-Defoe

Bioethics and Global Healthcare Law

Sierra Alef-Defoe completed her thesis on quality of life in pediatric cancer care in Spring 2015 following a course of study in global healthcare law. She has been admitted to Yale's Summer Institute for Bioethics where she will continue her research on ethics in pediatric medicine. 

During her time at Cal, Sierra spent a semester in Washington, D.C., where she edited a guide for newly diagnosed brain tumor patients for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. She also spent one summer in the South of France, where she interned in the French Department of Public Health and studied in an...
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Melissa Barker

Higher Education and Access

Melissa provides this abstract of her 2011 thesis: “Attending UC Berkeley is Not Part of Your Welfare to Work Plan: The Social Impact of Welfare Reform on Low- Income Single-Mothers Pursuing Postsecondary Education”:

“Single-mother-students on welfare are a small and unique demographic in the institutions of Higher Education. While conducting research on Maui County , Hawai ' i and in Alameda County, California I qualitatively examined the trajectory of single mothers on welfare pursuing higher education at the University of Hawai'i, Maui and University of California,...

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Pat Beck II

International Financial Systems

 Since graduating from the ISF major in 2011, Pat scaled a startup BPO firm that specializes in the luxury goods market into the European marketplace as a Global Business Development Manager. This allowed for plenty of travel while he was tasked with opening new offices abroad. Presently, Pat is the Managing Director for the company's European subsidiary and advises the board of directors for the domestic firm. By identifying the right countries for growth while prioritizing work-life balance for future employees, Pat focused the company on factors beyond profitability.  This fall, Pat...

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Brit Benjamin

Globalization and International Trade

Brit graduated from ISF in 2010, having focused on globalization and international trade. Her thesis, Subordinating Women's Interest: Natalism and Heteronormative State Policy, was a comparative analysis of reproductive policy and propaganda in the United States, Germany, and the Soviet Union in the first half of the 20th century. After graduating, Brit worked for The Seasteading Institute, a non-profit working towards building autonomous cities in international waters to experiment...

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Soham Bhatia

Global Studies, Sociology and Innovation

Soham's research field was Global Studies, Sociology, and Innovation. The title of his thesis was "An Examination of Indian Entrepreneurs: From New Delhi to Silicon Valley". He studied abroad in Cuba in December 2017 and did a cross-cultural comparison of Cuban and Cuban American entrepreneurs. He is currently employed as a Business Development Specialist at itLab in Oakland, CA, and is the Co-Founder of SocratIQ.


Alex Bigman


Alex will be starting a PhD program in History of Art and Archaeology at the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU in Fall 2014, and looks forward to bringing his ISF training to bear upon his research within this exciting discipline. Alex’s thesis was an analysis of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, using cognitive linguistic theories of Mental Spaces and Conceptual Blending to explore how the modernist play's unusual structure helps to reveal the workings of its characters' minds. Since graduating, he has continued to develop his interest in art history through work as a freelance arts...

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Laura Bolton

Information Technology and Society

After graduating in the Spring of 2014, Laura moved to New York and began work at one of the world’s leading brand consultancies. The title of Laura's thesis was "Internet Privacy and the Behavioral Advertising Industry: Controversies, Challenges and Recommendations to Reduce Consumer Fears Online." Laura's thesis compared regulatory practices in Germany to those in the UK and US. 

Laura was both an international student and California resident. She writes: “The ISF major was perfect as I'm a very independent person and loved formulating my own schedule of classes,...

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Kathy Correia Brasil

Identity and International Migration

The title of Kathy's thesis was “Translating Identity Across Borders: Interpretations of Asylum Seekers’ Queerness in the United States”. She is currently working as a Refugee Rights Advocate / Paralegal at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in Berkeley.


Berké Brown

Self-Efficacy, Society and Health

Before graduating in 2015, Berké was awarded two independent research grants becoming a 2014 S.U.R.F. Fellow and 2015 McNair Scholar. Berké was also awarded the EOP Achievement Award for leadership and community service, the Academic Achievement Program Award for his McNair Research, the Academic Achievement scholarship, and served as the Vice Chancellor's Public Fellow for the American Cultures Engaged Scholarship program.  

His research focused on internal and external motivation and their influence on health behavior. Drawing on course work in Public Health, Psychology and...

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Silvia Bruckback

Human Rights, Law and Social Justice

Having graduated in 2013, Silvia was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the National Honor Society. Siliva will be entering Georgetown Law School in 2017.

She received her BA in ISF: Human Rights, Law and Social Justice and African Diaspora Studies and a minor in Disability Studies. As an undergraduate she completed two honors theses in addition to serving as an intern and then TA for both the Health Service Internship and Field Study Internship, and as the University of California in DC Student Director. She interned at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, both in...

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Jason Budge

Workers and Organization

In the Fall of 2016 Jason Budge wil begin graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the PhD program in Sociology. He plans on focusing on the Department's famous "Class Analysis and Historical Change" field of study, with an emphasis on "Marxist and other radical traditions of sociology".

Jason's thesis was a study of worker cooperatives. Here is the abstract from his thesis:

"This research paper compares the experiences of workers from cooperatively and conventionally owned firms in order to examine...

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Bonnie Cherry

Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

Before attending UC Berkeley, Bonnie amassed 10 years of nonprofit/grant writing experience working for Native American cultural and resource centers. As a Cal student, her research focus was on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, where she attained highest honors in the ISF major and won the department citation. Her other accolades include the Center for Race and Gender Independent Research Grant, the Interational Area Studies Research Grant, and the Judith Lee Stronach Re-entry Prize for Prose. Bonnie will be attending the Joint JD/Jurisprudence and Social Policy Ph.D. Program at...

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Adam Oriel Cohen

Education and Public Policy

After graduating in 2014, Adam Oriel Cohen became a Fellow in Public Affairs at CORO which is a highly selective, full-time, nine month, graduate-level experiential leadership training program that prepares diverse, talented and committed individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena. In 2017 Adam began the study of law at UCLA.

Adam's thesis was a comprehensive comparative investigation of the history and effectiveness of remedial programs in the CUNY and the California State University systems. As an undergraduate Adam was a Research Apprentice to...

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Emily Cohen

Education and Disability Studies

Emily will begin her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy at USC in the Fall of 2015 and may continue for a third year to receive a Ph.D. As part of her admission package, Emily has been awarded a research opporunity in the Pediatric Department with Professor Sharon Cermak.

Emily summarizes her 2014 thesis: “In 1975 the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, addressed the inaccessibility of education for children with disabilities by requiring that all children with disabilities be provided a free appropriate public education (FAPE) (Individuals with Disability...

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Emma Crane

Race, Gender, and Political Economy

Emma Shaw Crane won the University Medal in 2009. 

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2009, she was a Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Fellow in Southern Mexico and Central America, where she helped to coordinate a series of popular education and community radio workshops for indigenous and Garifuna people’s organizations. The following year, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Colombia, where she worked with the Critical Medical Anthropology Group at the National University in Bogotá. With her colleague Camilo Ruíz, she did a yearlong ethnography of the young families of former...

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Stephanie Delaney

Cross-cultural Perceptions of Health and Illness

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2011, Stephanie went on to pursue a Master's degree at SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy. Her  degree was in International Healthcare Management, Economics and Policy, with a specialization in Global Health and Development.  In her final term, she had the opportunity to intern at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in New York. During her internship, she worked extensively with the malaria team, learning about seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) and the pilot study CHAI was launching in Nigeria to determine the most...

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Philine Endres

Science and Technology Studies

Philine graduated in Spring 2018, receiving the ISF departmental citation award. Her senior thesis, “Primary Care Deserts: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Primary Care Physician Shortages in California”, explores the relationship between primary care practitioner supply and health outcomes in the 58 California counties. While at Cal, Philine was a member of the club rowing team, worked as a resident assistant in the dorms and volunteered at a special needs aquatics program. Since graduating, she has been working as a behavioral therapist for children on the Autism...

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