Alumni Individual Stories

Yasmine AnsariYasmine Ansari near a river with a bridge in the background

Hometown:  Tehran, Iran
Additional Degrees:  Women and Gender Studies and Arabic
Languages: English, Farsi, Arabic, Spanish
International Experience: United Kingdom
Extra Curriculars: Seattle University Students for Justice in Palestine

Yasmine Ansari is currently doing a masters in International Relations of the Middle East at University of Edinburgh.

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Melissa Cuevas, 2019Melissa Cuevas

Hometown:  Mountain View, CA
Additional Degrees:  Chinese (minor), Spanish (minor) and Latin American Studies (minor)
Languages: English, Spanish, Chinese
International Experience: Mexico, Dominican Republic
Internship Experience: Intern for Senator Patty Murray’s Seattle Office, Virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Intern for NorCal World Trade Center
Extra Curriculars: Student Alumni Ambassadors

Melissa Cuevas is currently doing a masters in International Economics and Latin American Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  She recently conducted a virtual internship in the Centro de estudios China-Mexico (CECHIMEX) in Mexico City. 

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Michael Ninen, 2020Michael Ninen in Taxco, Mexico

Hometown:  Portland, OR
Additional Degrees:  Spanish (Major); Latin American Studies (Minor)
Languages: English; Spanish
International Experience:  Mexico, Guatemala
Internship Experience:  One Equal Heart Foundation
Extra Curriculars:  Leadership Committee on Intersectionality and Justice (LCIJ); International Studies Advisory Board; Connections Leadership Program Mentor for students of color (CLP); First to Soar Peer Mentor for first generation students.

Michael Ninen is working as a project coordinator at Neighborhood Partnerships (a non-profit organization that works towards housing stability and financial security in Oregon). He was awarded a Fulbright to teach in Mexico and a Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, but due to Covid-19 he was not able to travel. 

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Genevieve Jesse, 2018Genevieve Jesse

Hometown:  Omaha, NE
Additional Degrees:  French (major)
Languages:  English, French
International Experience:  Grenoble France (French in-France program)
Internship Experience:  Days for Girls International (Seattle, WA)
Extra Curriculars:  Women's Soccer, Co-Ed Club Soccer, Université Grenoble-Alpes Club Soccer

Genevieve Jesse is a project coordinator at Strategic Capacity Group (a non-profit dedicated to enhancing security at home and abroad). While she conducted a master’s in International Affairs at George Washington University, Genevieve worked and interned with several organizations in Washington D.C. including The Brookings Institute, the Global Network for Africa’s Prosperity, and The Hoover Institution and Ascendant Program Services.

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Lucas Christensen, 2020Luke Christensen

Hometown:  St. Louis, MO
Additional Degrees:  Political Science (Major), Arabic (Minor)
Languages:  English, Arabic
International Experience:   Salamanca, Spain
Internship Experience:   Mona Foundation;
Extra Curriculars:   Men’s Swim Team

Luke Christensen is currently studying towards a law degree at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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Ruth Yohannes, 2019Ruth Yohannes in front of the Eiffel Tower

Hometown:  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Additional Degrees:  Political Science (minor)
Languages:  Amharic, French, English
International Experience:  France
Internship Experience:  Sahar Education (Seattle), Tara Expeditions (Paris, France)
Extra Curriculars:  Director of Student Life, Student leader and mentor at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, French tutor

Ruth Yohannes is currently studying towards a law degree at Santa Clara University School of Law. She recently volunteered for a year at AmeriCorps.

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Andrew Orita, 2020

Hometown:  West Windsor, NJAndrew Orita Law School graduation
Additional Degrees:  Japanese (minor)
Languages:  English, Japanese
International Experience:   Japan
Internships:  Intern at Japan Society in New York, NY; Intern at the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in Trenton, NJ
Violinist in the SU Chamber Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra club at Sophia University

Andrew Masaru Orita ’20 graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School on  May 15, 2023.  After taking the bar, Andrew will join Davis Polk & Wardwell in their New York office.  He thanks the INST faculty for their support during his time at Seattle U.  He also thanks the INST department for its support of his year-long study abroad in Japan that sowed the seeds for his law school career. 


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Isabeau J. Belisle Dempsey, 2019Isabeau Belisle Dempsey

Hometown:  Chicago, IL
Additional Degrees:  (Spanish (major), Latin American Studies (minor)
Languages:  English, Spanish
International Experience:  México, Guatemala
Internship Experience:  Global Visionaries in South Seattle
Extra Curriculars:  Central America Initiative at Seattle University

Isabeau currently works at Seminary Co-op Bookstores (a non-profit that partners with the Chicago community to sell books) and as a freelance editor. They are a co-author of the forthcoming book: Imagining Central America: A Short History (University of Cincinnati Press) 

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David Lin, 2018David Lin

Hometown:  Spokane, WA
Additional Degrees:  History (major)
Languages:  Spanish
International Experience:  London, UK
Internship Experience:  Office of Senator Maria Cantwell – Seattle, WA; Security Properties – Seattle, WA
Extra Curriculars:   Seattle U Men’s Rugby Club; Kings College London Rugby Club

David is currently a financial analyst at Security Properties (a real estate investment company in Seattle). After working with them as an intern while studying at SeattleU, he found a permanent position in the company in 2018.

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Hope Verenakaiwai Tucker, 2018Hope Tucker with group of students in Indonesia

Hometown:  Honolulu, HI
Languages:   Bahasa Indonesia
International Experience:   Serbia, Indonesia
Internship Experience:   NGO Atina in Belgrade, Serbia

Hope currently works as a Fiscal Supervisor for the Rental Relief and Utilities Program for Hawaii, in the Catholic Charities Hawaii (a non-profit organization). She found this position after returning from a volunteer position at Peace Corps in in West Java, Indonesia


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Ryan Giannini, 2018Ryan Giannini

Hometown:  Phoenix, Arizona
Additional Degrees:  Political Science (major); Asian Studies (minor); Japanese (minor)
Languages:  English, Japanese, Vietnamese
International Experience:  Japan
Internship Experience:  City of Seattle Legislative Department
Extra Curriculars:  Seattle University Youth Initiative; Shorinji Kempo

Ryan recently graduated from the University of Washington School of Law. While studying towards his law degree he conducted internships with Disability Rights Washington, University of Washington Student Legal Services, and the Federal Trade Commission Northwest Region

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Meaghan Bogart, 2017Meaghan Bogart

Hometown:  Portland, OR
Additional Degrees:  Latin American Studies (minor)
Languages:  Spanish
International Experience:  Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Peru
Internship Experience:  Global Washington
Extra Curriculars:  SU running club; Casa Latina

Meghan currently works as a Bilingual Review Program Specialist at Organic Materials Review Institute (a non-profit that provides services for organic certification based in Eugene, OR). 

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Iris Ivaniš, 2017Iris Ivanis

Hometown:  Požega, Croatia
Additional Degrees:  Strategic communications (major)
Languages:  Croatian, English, Slovenian
International Experience:  United States, Slovenia
Internship Experience:  Seattle University Athletics
Extra Curriculars:  Seattle University Volleyball; Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; volunteering - Seattle University Gala, Forterra Seattle, Seattle Expanding Your Horizons, and St. Mary’s Food bank

Iris Ivaniš is conducting a Ph.D. in Security Studies at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. She has had several positions at the University of Ljubljana including research assistant in the Faculty of Social Sciences and as a EUTOPIA project officer. 

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Olivia Mejia-Martinez, 2017Olivia Mejia-Martinez

Hometown:  Los Angeles County, CA
Additional Degrees:  French (major); Political Science (major)
Languages:  French and Spanish
International Experience:  France; Senegal; Nicaragua; Colombia
Internship Experience:  NPH USA; King County’s Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; Intake & Referral Legal Intern at King County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Legal Clinic; Immigration Legal Intern, Law Office of Andre Olivie.
Extra Curriculars:  Center for Service and Community Engagement + the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI); Seattle U’s Professionals Without Borders; Student Executive Council; President of Sigma Iota Rho; Seattle U’s Orientation Programs; Spanish & English language teacher at a local public elementary school in Grenoble, France; Peer Advisor and Office Assistant with Seattle U’s Education Abroad Office; Cast member in the Vagina Monologues (renamed the $#%$* Monologues) on-campus; Office of Multicultural Affairs’ first #BlackLivesMatter Retreat & Legislative Action Day

Olivia currently works as tutor and teaching assistant for PBLWorks (an international non-profit). She volunteered over two years teaching abroad after graduation (in Colombia with Fulbright and in France with TAPIF).

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Cilia Jurdy, 2016Cilia Jurdy standing in front of green foliage

Hometown:  Seattle, WA
Additional Degrees:  Art History (minor), International Economic Development (minor)
Languages:  English, Arabic
International Experience:  Amman, Jordan
Internship Experience:  Frye Art Museum, Shelley Morrison Associates
Extra Curriculars:   SU Sigma Iota Rho Honors Society

Cilia Jurdy is Development Director at FEEST (Food Empowerment Education & Sustainability Team). Before finishing a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University, Cilia worked at Open Doors for Multicultural Families and at the West Seattle Helpline. In addition, after graduation, Cilia returned to Jordan to volunteer in programs assisting Syrian refugees.

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Andrew (Andy) Gorvetzian, 2015Andy Gorvetzian

Hometown:  Albuquerque, NM
Additional Degrees:  Spanish (major), Latin American studies (minor)
Languages:  English, Spanish
International Experience:  Semester in Santiago, Chile; research trips in Guatemala, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Nicaragua
Internship Experience:  Research intern, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Hyderabad, Telangana, India (SU International Development Internship Program); Data management and programming support, El Centro de la Raza, Seattle, WA
Extra Curriculars:  Coalitions Director, Seattle University Teens for Justice and Service (JustServe); Intramural basketball and soccer; Spanish tutor and conversation group facilitator

Andy Gorvetzian is currently conducting a masters in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. After volunteering at AmeriCorps, he worked as a research assistant Universidad Centro Americana (UCA) in Nicaragua, the University of New Mexico, and at the American Planning Association. 

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Daniel Griffith, 2012Daniel Griffith

Hometown:  Portland, OR
Additional Degrees: Spanish (minor)
Languages:  Spanish, Tagalog, French, Japanese
International Experience:  Argentina, Philippines
Internship Experience:  U.S. Department of State internship at U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Extra Curriculars:  multicultural student organizations and International Student Center;
martial arts; event planning; large-scale cooking, bartending, and catering

Daniel is an International Program Director at Kaya Collaborative (a non-profit dedicated to activating communities in the Filipino diaspora as engines of social change in the Philippines). While he conducted a master’s in Intelligence and Security Studies at Georgetown University, Daniel worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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