Alumni News

Our alumni are active individuals pursuing a wide range of interests. Here's what some of our former students have been doing since graduation!

Jean Heo (College, Anthropology, Class of 2010)

I've just finished up my first year in the urban planning department at Columbia University, and my experiences have been great. Stressful and extremely busy, but great overall. Columbia's program tends to be more theoretical and academic in nature, as opposed to other planning programs, but I think that's also why I've enjoyed it so much, coming from an anthro background. At the same time, I've learned lots of new technical and on-the-ground skills, as well as design and graphic skills, as presentations are a crucial component to this field (Columbia's planning program is also housed in the design school). Quantitative data analyses and spatial analyses are just some examples, but Columbia students really excel at thinking critically and looking at things from multiple lenses.

Thankfully, Georgetown's anthro department laid that essential foundation for me in undergrad. The anthro classes I took pushed me to take a wider, holistic approach, which I very much appreciated then, and especially now, in grad school. Planning is also undergoing some really interesting changes, in response to how our world is changing and urbanizing so rapidly - the urgent and relevant topics I've studied so far are proof of this. It's pretty exciting, and really allows you to do things and take action.

I'd highly recommend Columbia's program to any anthro students. The department is small, but faculty are excellent, and students are given plenty of flexibility to study what they'd like.

Chloe Asselin (College, Anthropology, Class of 2007)

Chloe has been accepted to the Urban Education Policy Studies and Leadership program at CUNY for the Fall 2013 Semester. It is a PhD program whose key goal is to identify effective policy and leadership strategies to enhance opportunities for urban students and families. Chloe will be working with Dr. Jean Anyon who uses political economy, as well as looking at race and social class, to assess the impact of public policy on neighborhoods and schools. She plans to use her doctoral research to develop innovative tools teachers can use to improve their students' academic and home lives, such as community organizing and White Studies, and to challenge traditional methods of teacher evaluation through the creation of new policy.

After graduating from Georgetown in 2007, Chloe went to Thailand for five months and volunteered with the Thai Youth Action Program, an organization that does HIV/AIDS and sexuality education in high schools. After returning from Thailand, she joined Teach for America and taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science in North Philadelphia for two years. After TFA, Chloe spent six months in South America volunteering. In Chile she worked on an organic farm, in Bolivia she taught nursery age children who live in prisons with their families, in Peru she helped maintain a national reserve, and in Columbia she was an aide and teacher in a center for abandoned children aged 0-5 years old. After these travels, Chloe went to the University of California, Los Angeles to do a Masters in Social Science and Comparative Education. She wrote her thesis on teachers involved in community organizing and social justice unionism for school reform. This fall, Chloe worked as a teaching assistant at Youth Build in East Harlem working with young people studying for their GEDs. At the moment, She is an assistant women's lacrosse coach at Kean University in New Jersey, while waiting to begin her PhD program in the fall.

Bettina Bergoo (College, Anthropology, Class of 2011)

After graduation Bettina worked briefly at an energy and environmental policy consulting firm before beginning a job as a systems analyst in the Defense Readiness Reporting System Implementation Office (within the Office of the Secretary of Defense). Her current position is an ongoing learning experience in military terminology and concepts as well as in computer science.

Bettina plans to pursue an advanced degree in energy policy and/or energy security with the hopes of entering the defense energy arena. The DOD being the largest single consumer in the world, her hope is that she can use her varied experiences in policy, defense, anthropology, energy and emerging technologies to leverage the DOD’s ability to contribute greatly to the reduction of the US carbon footprint, preserving health and promoting development across the globe.

Sarah Marie Ryan (College, Anthropology, Class of 2011)

Sarah is working with, an online platform for campaigns and social change, as their Human Rights Organizer in Washington, DC.

Davine Scarlett (College, Anthropology, Class of 2009)

A message to Professor Susan Terrio:

I was accepted into the Masters in Public Administration program at Florida International University and I was offered a job with the Posse Foundation ( as the Program Coordinator for their Miami office. I decided to go with the job and I have been with them since January of 2011. I have not given up on my graduate school aspirations, as I plan to start taking courses in the Fall of 2011. I just wanted to take this time to let you know what an amazing influence you have been to me, both as a professor, and also as a mentor. I truly cherished my time in your classes and now looking at the current course offerings, am extremely jealous of the undergraduates. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful guide and providing me with an environment where I felt that the pursuit of knowledge and having an open mind to explore were both valued and encouraged. I try to instill that same philosophy into our Posse Scholars who are getting ready to attend college this Fall.

Jessika Angulo-Duarte (College, Anthropology, Class of 2009)

Since graduating from Georgetown in 2009, Jessika has been able to apply her anthropological background within and outside of academia. Upon graduating, she worked for the Lombardi Cancer Center as Project Researcher for a study looking at the intersection of cultural values and cancer-related behaviors and outcomes among Latinos. Jessika now lives in Austin, TX and is the Research and Development coordinator for a marketing and communications firm where she is able to apply her research to design outreach and communication strategies.

Alexander J. Orona (College, Anthropology, Class of 2009)

Shortly after graduating from Georgetown, Alex was accepted for summer studies at The Hague Academy of International Law attached to the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration. For the year 2009-2010, he held a teaching position in western culture at Wuhan University, Hubei Province China. In March of 2010, he was awarded a US Fulbright grant to study the development of the rights and obligations of individuals under international law. Concurrently, the Dutch government awarded Alex its highest scholarship for graduate work, the HSP Huygens. Alex then enrolled in a legal Masters program in international law at Maastricht University while also conducting his Fulbright research. As of November 2010, he was serving as President-Elect of the National Association of Student Anthropologists, the student section of the American Anthropological Association.

Alex will begin PhD work at the University of Cambridge in October 2011. Alex's specialization is legal and political anthropology, with a topical interest in public international law. His dissertation research will map the production of international law in the context of new global modes of rule-making and governance, with an eye towards understanding the international legal class and their diasporic concentrations in the capitals of international law. Alex has just completed a Fulbright year in the Netherlands looking at subjectivity, feminism and international law.

Scholarships: Fulbright, HSP Huygens
Leadership: President-Elect of the National Association of Student Anthropologists
Areas: International law; political and legal anthropology; governance, corruption and rule of law.

Class of 2008

Our senior majors combined anthropology with other majors and minors such as English, Government, Peace and Justice, French, Studio Art and Business. These educational experiences have informed the post-Georgetown career paths they enter. Two have been accepted to first-tier law schools, the University of Chicago and New York University, one was awarded a Fulbright to do research on gender in modern Tunisia, one was accepted to the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, and one has applied to the Georgetown University Medical School. Our graduates have secured a variety of professional positions including Merrill Lynch, the Division of Immigration Health Services at the Department of Homeland Security, Kadix Systems, a consulting firm in Arlington, VA, a refugee resettlement agency in Maryland, a labor rights NGO in India, and the Advisory Board Company in DC doing research on best practices in hospitals and health care organizations. One of our double majors in Anthropology and French was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study for a year abroad in Tunisia where she will conduct research on gender and women's worlds. One of our male majors accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and, in preparation for that career path, completed a spring 2008 tutorial in the Anthropology of the Military with Andy Bickford, an anthropologist specializing in such issues at George Mason University. In past years our graduates have been accepted to prestigious graduate programs in anthropology at Yale, Columbia, and NYU, been admitted to Medical school, and accepted teaching positions at Sidwell Friends School in Washington as well as Teach for America.

Katherine Foley (College, Anthropology, Class of 2008)

Since graduating from Georgetown College in 2008 Katie has molded her anthropology background into a social worker career. While completing her M.S. in Social Work at Columbia University, she worked at three BronxWorks Senior Centers and in International Adoption at Spence-Chapin. Currently Katie is the Collaborations Coordinator, strengthening Spence-Chapin's national and community partnerships with international and domestic adoption agencies and facilitators around the country.

Along with working with families adopting internationally, Katie often travels the country to represent Spence-Chapin at conferences, informational meetings, and inter-agency gatherings. Recently Katie had the opportunity to present at the Mapping Adoption conference, sponsored by the Alliance for the Study of Adoption & Culture. The presentation, “Identity in International Adoption: The Interplay of the Political and the Personal ~ A Case Study of Roma Children Adopted from Bulgaria”, explored the often conflicting self-identity influences for Roma adoptees in the United States. Katie has found social work to be a complementary field to anthropology and frequently draws upon the readings and lectures from her time at Georgetown. Katie is interested in connecting with current and former anthropology students also working in child welfare.

Laura Pugliese (College, Anthropology, Class of 2008)

Since graduating from Georgetown in 2008 Laura has been working overseas in South Africa for a small NGO, where she coordinated an after-school tutoring program for high schools in one of Cape Town's squatter settlements. This program was in response to an incredibly severe need and mid-year 2010 the Department of Education picked up their project and began to implement it on a much larger scale. She now serves as the Development Officer for this organization, where she manages all of their funding submissions, donor relations, PR, media, etc. It's been a really great experience, but after nearly two years she is returning to the USA to begin graduate studies.

Laura intends to move away from the education sector, and is applying for MPH programs with a focus in global health, as well as some general international studies MA programs where there is a health concentration. She thinks that it fits in very nicely with her background in Anthropology and her combined work experience. Laura has always been very passionate about health care inadequacies on the global scale, and she's excited for the opportunity to channel this passion into her academic studies.

Steven Kensinger (College, History, Anthropology Minor, Class of 2008)

Steven graduated from Georgetown College in 2008 with a BA in History and a minor in Anthropology. After working with the anthropologists at Georgetown, Steven knew that he wanted to switch fields and pursue graduate work in Anthropology. Steven's minor in Anthropology from Georgetown provided him with a solid introduction to the discipline that prepared him well for graduate study, and in 2009, he entered the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. His MA thesis, "He iwi tahi tatou: We are one people? Maori self-determination, biculturalism, and the Waitangi Tribunal - An anthropological perspective" investigated the production of public history in New Zealand via the state's indigenous land claims process, and its implications for Maori political subjectivity. Steven received his MA from the University of Chicago in 2010, and has just accepted an offer of admission and a commitment to five years of full funding (tuition waiver and teaching assistantship) from the PhD program in Anthropology at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, where he hopes to continue his research on post-colonial societies in the Pacific.

Katharine Lang (College, Anthropology, Class of 2007)

Katharine Lang graduated in December 2007 as a double major in Anthropology and American Musical Culture. She is still living in Georgetown and is currently working full time as a teacher and Softball Coach at a Quaker School in the District. A paper that she wrote as an undergraduate Anthropology major has just been published in Focus Anthropology (an online journal out of Kenyon College). The paper is entitled: Chronic Homelessness: A Look at the Cracks in Society and Why Many People Have Slipped Through Them.

Ian Bourland (SFS, Class of 2004)

Ian is currently advising grad students and teaching a course of his own design that merges anthropological and humanities methodologies to investigate African art since 1960. He is a visiting professor at the University of Illinois and is based at the University of Chicago. He is working on a project that will hopefully be published as a book called "Diaspora as Modernism."

Ian recently reflected on his time studying anthropology at Georgetown with the following message to Professor Terrio: "I just wanted to say thank you. I know now more than ever that I have a long road ahead as a scholar and as a teacher. I see the glimmer and the passion in some of my kids (half anthro, half art history) and am getting a sense of life on the other side of the classroom. In light of all that, I understand what a blessing it was for all of us--me, scott, andrew--during our time at Georgetown."

Isaac Gagne (SFS, Culture & Politics, Class of 2004)

I am currently pursuing a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at Yale University. As a fourth year student after two years of coursework, a qualifying exam, and a year of teaching assistantship, I am now pursuing fieldwork in Japan. My research focuses on morality, ethics, and faith in contemporary Japan through participant observation in several religious and secular “moralizing institutions.” In particular, I am focusing on changing ideologies of the individual’s role in society and how individuals’ faith in social institutions of family, school, and work is shifting in the midst of globalization, demographic change, contemporary moral panics and socioeconomic malaise. By participating in group activities, interviewing members, and observing interactions I am analyzing the everyday discourse of moral standards and processes of instructing ethical dispositions in individuals through ideological education and institutional re-socialization.

My current anthropological work in Japan stretches back to my time at Georgetown University where I gained the practical and theoretical skills that have been vital for graduate research. In addition to intensive Japanese language instruction I was able to take a wide variety of courses that gave me a historical-cultural perspective on East Asia and Japan in particular, including courses in Japanese history, religion, film and literature. I was introduced to anthropological theories more broadly through the course Interpreting World Cultures which provided cross-cultural perspectives through a range of ethnographies while encouraging students to think about fieldwork methodology and ethics. Later courses introduced fundamental works on social theory and critical theory from Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Gramsci, and gave students a chance to analyze how social theory becomes embedded in contemporary ethnographies. Lastly, researching and writing an honors thesis gave me the opportunity to translate my skills and knowledge into a professional work that proved an invaluable asset when applying to graduate schools and working on publications. As a whole, the diverse range of courses and talented professors at Georgetown University gave me the inspiration to continue studying anthropology and cultivated solid roots in anthropological theory and practice from which I have been able to continue to grow in graduate school.

Update 4/26/11

Isaac Gagne, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Yale University, has returned from Japan after completing 18 months of fieldwork research. He is writing a dissertation entitled, “The Threshold of Ethics: Spiritual Self-Improvement and Moral Orientation in Everyday Life in Neoliberal Japan.

Ryan Hathaway (College, Anthropology, Class of 2002)

After graduation Ryan Hathaway spent five years in DC with the Institute of International Education working on various Fulbright Scholar programs. He first worked with US Fulbright Scholars teaching and researching in the Asia/Pacific region, and then worked with the Fulbright Specialist Program on short-term grants for collaborative projects like curriculum development and teacher training. During his graduate program Ryan spent time working with INEE, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, which is a network of academics, practitioners, and policymakers working to provide quality education in emergency and post-crisis settings. He assisted INEE with the launch of the 2nd edition of their Minimum Standards Handbook.

Ryan is graduating this spring with an MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia U. The title of his thesis is "Implementation of the INEE Minimum Standards: A Comparison Across Protracted Refugee Contexts".

If you are a graduate of the Department of Anthropology  and would like to be featured, please send your entry to Laura Chippeaux ( We look forward to hearing from you!