Recent ISF Graduates

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

Dana Rosen

Education and Technology

After completing her thesis exploring comprehensive design for 21st-century educational technology, Dana launched her business development career in Silicon Valley at several high-profile technology companies. 

She writes, “Writing my honors thesis was one of the most impactful experiences of my college career. Learning how to conduct comprehensive research and how to effectively present it to an audience directly parallels what I do in my job every day. ISF helped me become wildly successful in my career and allowed me to connect...
Read More

Kritika Sah

Cinema in Bollywood and Hollywood

After graduating in Spring 2015, Kritika Sah began working full-time at Lions Gate Entertainment as a Franchise Management Assistant in the Worldwide Theatrical Marketing division of the Motion Picture group. Having previously interned at CBS Interactive, NBCUniversal, and Twentieth Century Fox, Kritika chose her ISF field of study and focused her thesis on the effects of globalization on the production and consumption of motion pictures in Hollywood and Bollywood. 

During her time at Cal, Kritika was heavily involved in leadership within the film and entertainment communities. She...

Read More

Neil Shankar

Human-Computer Interaction

While a student at Berkeley, Neil worked as a freelance designer/developer at several SF startups. The title of his thesis was "Evaluating Compliance with User Interface Accessibility Standards in the United States". After graduation he will continue freelancing as a UI/UX designer in the Bay Area. You can read more about his work at

Govind Shantharam

Health Economics & Policy

Govind will be attending Brown Medical School in the Fall of 2016. As an undergrad, Govind double majored in ISF and Philosophy. With an ISF concentration in Health Economics & Policy, Govind’s thesis examined ways to improve patient engagement in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2014, Govind coordinated a health advocacy program for a non-profit in New York City, where he assisted families and small-businesses with a variety of post-enrollment health insurance issues. In the spring of 2015, Govind attended a pre-medical science curriculum at...

Read More

Reece Soltani

Globalization and Development

Reece remains primarily interested in the cross between technology and education, and a believer in the market as a stable route toward economic progress. Reece recently joined a Silicon Valley Start-up in its first year of establishment as the Vice President of Business Development. Prior to joining the global education platform FEDU, she was an AmeriCorps Fellow (New Sector Alliance Program) at Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) where she expanded the capacity of program development and delivery within the Policy and Impact Evaluation team. The year before joining PCV, Reece was the Field...

Read More

Nikkil Sudharsanan

Health and Development

After graduating in 2010, Nikkil enrolled in a Master's of Public Health program at Emory University. While at Emory, he worked on two main projects; the first examined chronic disease and migration in urban India, and the second examined the relationship between population aging, macroeconomic changes, and global diabetes prevalence. He is currently a PhD student in Demography at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research interests are in measuring the contribution of early childhood health, education, and health behaviors to adult morbidity and mortality.

Nikkil’s  ...

Read More

Ryan Swanson

Climate Change and Energy Systems

Ryan initially chose Interdisciplinary Studies because  "its rare combination of creativity and rigor allowed [him] to study abroad for a year in Beijing while also pursuing [his] research interests in climate change and energy policy." His senior thesis, titled “The Political Economy of Wind Power in China: Challenges and hopes to transform China’s electricity sector,” won the 2012 UC Berkeley Library Prize for Undergraduate Research.

After graduating in December of 2011, Ryan found his way back to Beijing and worked as assistant to the director of the Department of Science,...

Read More

Kimeshia Thomas

Language and Power

In the Fall of 2013  Kimeshia Thomas matriculated into the medical program at University of Washington.  Currently, she is a second year medical student. Kimeshia writes: "I am extremely passionate about educating and empowering patients.  Eventually I desire to pursue a concurrent MD/MPH degree, engaging in a cross-cultural investigation of different approaches to pain management with respect to labor. With this joint degree, I hope to be a part of a community health center that not only acknowledges the underlying issues that prevent patients from seeking care, but also alleviates these...

Read More

Ryan Triolo

Energy Politics

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2011, Ryan worked on various research projects with organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. On one project with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization he worked as a project lead in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Ryan is now completing a joint master’s degree in International Policy Studies and Public Policy at Stanford University. With continued interest in international energy-economic systems he has done research on electricity interconnections in Mexico,...

Read More

Juan Manuel Velez

Politics of Agriculture and Rural Territoriality

Juan Manuel has been accepted for graduate study at the University of Toronto. In 2017 Juan Manuel was awarded The Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize, and will be working on a project in his native Colombia after graduation. In 2016 he won the Haas Scholarsp. Juan Manuel emphasizes that the ISF major gave him the opportunity to have a critical and interdisciplinary approach to agrarian questions. This is reflected in his Senior Thesis, entitled "Seeds of Reconciliation: Seed Sovereignty as a Form of Reparation for Victims of Violence in Colombia", in which he examines how farmers have...

Read More

Sagar Vora

Financial Public Policy

Since graduating the ISF program in May 2014, Sagar's been working as a Investment Banking Analyst at the Australian Investment Bank, Macquarie Capital in New York City (part of the larger Macquarie Group Limited). He currently focuses on assisting companies raise capital through both debt and equity securities, alongside providing advisory services (specifically concerning mergers and acquisitions, and other special situation capacities). Sagar covers companies within the telecommunications, media, and technology space ("TMT"). 
At Berkeley, Sagar Co-Founded...
Read More

Patrick Waldrop

New Media

Patrick graduated in 2014 and writes: “
I decided to pursue a degree in ISF because I wanted to let my curiosity be my guide during my time at Berkeley.  It was a great experience and I would recommend it for anyone who wants a meaningful challenge.  I took courses in Sociology, Media, Engineering, Cognitive Science, and Information and each enriched my understanding of my thesis.  This Fall I will be starting at UCLA as an MFA candidate in the Producers Program at the renowned School of Theater, Film, and Television.”

Here is the abstract for Patrick's thesis “The purpose of this...

Read More

Tiffany Ellen Yang

Culture and International Relations: East Asia

Tiffany graduated in spring 2018. Tiffany has been accepted to the Masters in East Asian Studies graduate program at Stanford University for fall 2018. 

The title of her thesis was “Political Symbols in Northeast Asia:Analyzing the Media Portrayal of Symbolic Disputes Between China, Japan and South Korea from 2012-2013”. She  won many awards and distinctions during her tenure at Berkeley, including:

  • Fiat Lux (formerly Incentive Awards Program) Scholar from August 2014 – May 2018. 
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship 
  • Berkeley Study Abroad...
Read More