Recent ISF Graduates

Megan Majd

International Human Rights and Environmental Policy

After finishing her thesis on indigenous rights in a comparative context in 2014, Megan began as a John Gardner Fellow. Each year a total of six Fellows are selected, three from UC Berkeley and three from Stanford University. Megan’s internship goal was to change the culture around how people see issues related to environmental justice, by finding innovative ways to educate people and to change the systems that perpetuate problems associated with environmental justice through systematic policy change. 

Currently, Megan is working with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She...

Read More

Jonathan Parker McDonald

Poverty and Education in the Dominican Republic

Jonathan Parker McDonald graduated in 2018. The title of his thesis was: "Are we really helping: The effects of child sponsorship on poverty mitigation in the Dominican Republic". Jonathan made two research trips to the Dominican Republic where he got to live in the homes of missionaries and in an orphanage while heading out into barrios and schools for research every day. He currently works as a Personal Financial Advisor for Northwestern Mutual.

Mollie McDowell

Health and Medicine

Mollie who graduated in 2012 writes: “ISF allowed me to carve out my own path (a critical skill in ’the real world’), figure out what I was actually interested in and make every class count. I also double majored in art, where I found myself exploring the same themes I was studying in ISF. Immediately after school I moved to San Francisco, started freelancing in interior design and even became a house manager and innkeeper. After a year, I wanted to move back to health, so I interned at Rock Health, a full-service seed fund that supports startups working at the intersection of healthcare...

Read More

Remy Mercer-Slomoff

Health and Illness

In 2014 Remy joined a cohort of 45 students in the UCSF Global Health Master's Program as a Master's student at the brand new Mission Bay UCSF campus. Remy is studying Global Health with an emphasis on reproductive health, breast feeding, contraception, and community health education in West Africa. 

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2011, Remy spent many months traveling throughout South East Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos). She rented an apartment on the island of Koh Chang, Thailand and became a Scuba Dive Master. She spent 4...

Read More

Jeanina Hardman Miller

Migration Studies

Jeanina Hardman Miller was the recipient of ISF's Department Citation Award in 2010.  Coupled with a minor in Spanish, her ISF concentration culminated in an honors thesis titled "U.S. Guest Worker Programs: Agricultural Exceptionalism, the U.S. Labor Market, Enforcement, & Globalization.”  After graduation, Jeanina volunteered in a technical high school in Antofagasta, Chile through a Chilean Ministry of Education and United Nations Development Program initiative.  She subsequently served as an AmeriCorps Fellow in San Francisco Superior Court's...
Read More

Devin Murphy

Samoan History and Geography

Devin will begin his Ph.D. work in Anthropology in 2017 at the University of Hawaii. Devin’s 2013 thesis, entitled "All Becomes One in the Basin of the Waterfall: Dialectics and Multiple Trajectories of Samoan History before the year 1900", explores the geopolitical history of Samoa, a remote Polynesian island chain, and was an honorable mention for The Library Undergraduate Prize in 2013.  The thesis explores the uneven development of capitalism throughout the South Pacific, challenges notions of Western historicization, and offers insight into the dialectical nature two historical...

Read More

Lucina Alcala Navarro

Housing, Community, and Economic Development

Lucina Alcala Navarro is a graduate student of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan. Her concentration is in Housing, Community and Economic Development.  She received her BA from UC Berkeley in 2010 with a major in ISF and with an area of focus in Environmental Sustainability Planning and a minor in Urban and Regional Planning. Lucina wrote her thesis on the Greening of Detroit and became passionate about the opportunities for this shrinking city which inspired her to pursue her master’s degree in Michigan. Lucina is grateful for the ISF major because...

Read More

Nathaniel Chi-Nhan Nguyen-Le

Globalization, Innovation, and Technology

After graduating in Spring 2015, Nathaniel Nguyen-Le will be attending UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television as one of six Cinematography MFA candidates. During his time at UC Berkeley, Nathaniel minored in Public Policy and Creative Writing and was active in a variety of organizations. Beginning his sophomore year, he conducted undergraduate research for Professor Ananya Roy. Their team pioneered innovative educational media on the changing perspectives of global poverty. The #GlobalPOV project has garnered over half a million views. Additionally, Nathaniel was an active film...

Read More

Kristen Norman

Cross Cultural Perspectives on Health and Illness.

Kristen graduated from ISF in 2012. As a Haas Research Fellow she conducted extensive research on microcredit and women's empowerment in rural Nicaragua. She later published her honors thesis entitled "Microcredit and the Discourse of Empowerment" in the Berkeley Undergraduate Research Journal

Since graduating, Kristen has become increasingly involved in social enterprise – creative, business-driven solutions to address complex social problems. Kristen now serves as the VP of Product Development at Global Family Farms, a social venture focused on building a marketing...
Read More

Ejiro Ntukeme

Community Health Sciences, Physical Activity and Nutrition

After graduating from Berkeley in 2012, Ejiro had the opportunity to work in various settings with different organizations, to improve the health of children and adults in underserved communities. She worked as a health educator in East Oakland, where she created an after school physical activity program which utilized various forms of dance as a foundation to physical activity exercises. She also had the opportunity to intern at the San Francisco Department of Public Health through the Health Career Connections (HCC), and served as an AmeriCorps Member in Sonoma County with St. Josephs...

Read More

Rodrigo Ochigame

Science and Technology Studies

Rodrigo majored in ISF with a concentration in Science and Technology Studies and graduated in the Spring of 2015. 

His research examines the computational regulation of social and political life. In the fall of 2016, he will join MIT as a PhD student in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society.

His honors thesis investigated algorithmic filtering as a form of information control. Algorithmic filtering is the primary mechanism for selecting, distributing, and displaying information on social media platforms with feeds, such as Facebook, Twitter...

Read More

Rebecca Olson

International Relations

After graduating in Spring 2015, Rebecca is planning to pursue a Master’s Degree in Europe in International Relations. Originally from West Virginia, she managed an environmental film festival before moving to California, where she managed an inn full-time and took community college classes before transferring to Cal. While at Cal, she continued to work as an inn manager while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a research focus of Feminist Perspectives in International Relations. This focus has allowed her to explore relations between nations and the effects...

Read More

Obinna Onyenedum

Urban Studies

Obinna Onyenedum graduated in Spring of 2015 and is currently living in New York City. After graduating from Cal, Obinna participated in the Alternative Break’s summer internship, Magnolia Project, in New Orleans. He interned with Neighborhoods Partnership Network (NPN Nola), a non-profit organization created Post-Katrina, which targets systemic inequities made apparent by the hurricane. Obinna worked with community organizers, city officials and fellow interns to analyze the impact new companies, like Uber and Air BnB, were having on low-income communities. The main question he brought to...

Read More

Margaret Joy Perret

Science, Technology and Society

Meg was among the five finalists for the University Medal in 2015, and is currently a Ph.D. student in the History of Science program at Harvard. Meg wrote her senior thesis on the queer biological forms that life takes in the anthropocene and the limits of traditional thought in thinking through the challenge that they pose. The thesis was published in the Berkeley Undergraduate Journal 27(2). Meg also majored in Gender and Women's Studies and Integrative Biology

“I believe that the process of producing knowledge is an inherently political process,”...

Read More

Rebecca Peters

Water and Political Ecology

Rebecca won the University Medal in 2014. Read about her here:

Jon Phillips

Psychology and the Self

Jon will be starting the Higher Education M.Ed. program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Fall of 2016. Jon double majored in ISF and German. Using corpus linguistics software, Jon wrote his thesis on the new psychology of happiness and critically examined its linkages to historic self-help movements. He paid special attention to difficulties marginalized groups face in pursuing happiness while drawing on his philosophical training to interrogate the ideal of happiness itself. 


Lorna Porter

Community and Human Development

Lorna who graduated with Department Citation in 2013 will begin her Master's in International Education at UC Davis in the Fall of 2015, on a full merit scholarship. Lorna writes about her ISF experience: “ISF has helped me approach every situation with a multi-disciplinary approach, and with the confidence that I can create my own path. ISF taught me that those that are willing to work outside the system are often those who create impactful change.  I absolutely loved working on an honors thesis, one that focused on the integration of Rocinha (a Brazilian favela) as a legalized...

Read More

Michelle Reed

The Social and Economic Effects of Capitalism

The title of Michelle's thesis is "How the 2008 Great Recession Impacted U.S. Home Ownership". Her many awards include Phi Beta Kappa, the International Golden Key Honors Society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is currently working towards obtaining her California Real Estate License while working with Eastdil Secured as a Real Estate Analyst.




Betsy Rohney

Language, Culture, and Identity

While at Berkeley, Betsy conducted independent field research in New Zealand and won the Independent Field Research Grant from the Center of Race and Gender. The title of her thesis was "My Language is Awakening: Exploring Barriers and Pathways toward Māori Heritage Language Proficiency". As a student, she worked concurrently with Asian-Pacific American Student Development (APASD) to bring Pacific Islander issues to the forefront of the UCB administration to help improve the experiences of Pacific Islanders on campus. After graduation, she co-founded Oceania Connects (...

Read More

Antonio Roman-Alcala

Sustainability and Political Ecology

After graduating from ISF in 2012, Antonio continued his work with two urban agriculture projects and the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance. He began began work on two other food systems-related projects: the California Food Policy Council (where he was hired as a facilitator and research consultant) and the Frogtown Farm in St. Paul, Minnesota (where he was hired to lead a community design process). In the fall of 2013 Antonio began an MA program in Development Studies, majoring in Agrarian and Environmental Studies, at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague,...

Read More