Global Graduate Alumni & Testimonials


Jen Barnette -- Cohort 2008-10

"The MA program is more than just a graduate program; it's a community. The faculty, staff, students, and alumni are all awesome, engaged citizens that care about global issues and are taking an active part in creating a more just, equitable, and sustainable society. I cannot overstate how valuable I have found being a part of this community and having the opportunity to engage with professors and students, thinking both theoretically and practically about how to mobilize resources and make a difference. The faculty is trailblazing academics, but more importantly, they are wonderful human beings that you can sit with and grab a coffee or margarita. And the students that choose the MA program are among the brightest and most fun to be around that you will find anywhere. Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful places on this planet: you can hang out at the beach all day or go on a scenic hike in the backcountry. So in short, you'd be foolish to choose any other graduate program!"

Jamila Benako -- Cohort 2010-12

"My experience in the MA program was not only an incredibly enjoyable experience, but one that was rich, varied, and has given me a network of connections that will last a lifetime. The internship period is one of the most valuable parts of the degree, and sets our department apart from other programs. My experiences in Egypt, Peru, and D.C. led directly to my current position as Program Coordinator for West Michigan Refugee Education and Cultural Center. The close relationships I was able to form with my advisers led to connections at schools around the nation and, eventually, a full tuition scholarship to law school. I count getting this global studies  MA degree as one of the best decisions in my life thus far."


Amanda Chen -- Cohort 2006-08

"The success of the MA program in Global & International Studies is largely a reflection of the work of its core and visiting faculty - a collection of unusually talented scholars whose backgrounds and teaching skills make the academic experience at UCSB unequivocally excellent."

Joe Farsakh -- Cohort 2007-09

"The Global and International Studies Master's Program is an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the world through experience and exploration that will take you places you never expected.  No matter where you end up, you will take with you a solid global foundation and perspective that will serve you and the rest of the world well. For my Global Studies field work, I was living and teaching in the capital of Rwanda. I could see how Rwanda is healing and has rebuilt itself after a million people were violently and brutally murdered within a three-month period in 1994. A global studies perspective helps me better understand in historical, political, economic and cultural terms the challenges facing Rwanda today."


Flora Ferati -- Cohort 2006-08

"The faculty of this program understands the importance of preparing the next generation of leaders for a world that will be new politically, culturally, and technologically. Student diversity in our classes with students from China to Iran, Kosova to Guam, and the most excellent team of professors determined to support future leaders to make the world a safer, better, and more familiar place to live in has made this academic year the most exciting and fulfilling year in my life."


Dan Fibiger -- Cohort 2006-08

"The dedication and involvement of the professors is really quite astounding - I've never felt there was any problem, academic or otherwise, I could not approach them with. This dedication also transfers into their ability to combine more theoretical/academic teachings with pragmatic/practical case studies."


Amberjae Freeman -- Cohort 2006-08

"The professional and academic guidance and support I received as part of the MA program was exemplary. The interdisciplinary approach the program employs lends itself to deep, thoughtful consideration and assures that you emerge with a more complete viewpoint on any given topic than you might otherwise experience. Because the intellectual community is a passionate, compassionate and supportive one you will doubtless feel emboldened. You'll know with a fierce certainty that another world is indeed possible, and after completing the program you'll have the tools necessary to set the course for your success and that of the world around you. Ultimately, the Global Studies MA program at UCSB is an experience that is not to be missed! If I had to do it all over again, there is no other choice that I could make."

Chris Hortinela -- Cohort 2010-12

"The time I spent in the MA program has been essential to both my professional and personal development. During the first year of the program I was able to build a customized curriculum which focused on my interests in technology and society, CSR, and global governance. This intense, yet highly informative and engaging experience allowed me to position myself extremely well  and I was able to fulfill my internship requirement in Geneva, Switzerland at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU); a specialized agency of the UN responsible for issues of information and technology.  Currently I employed in the non-profit sector where I manage issues that relate to corporate social responsibility and caused based marketing. The academic rigor during my time in the MA program coupled with my hands on experience at the United Nations left me more than competitive in an extremely difficult job market. The MA program was instrumental in allowing me to pursue a field of work which is meaningful and fulfilling on an intellectual and personal basis by cultivating my ability to walk the line between academia and practical application."

Levi LaChappelle -- Cohort 2010-12

"The MA program, through its faculty and alumni, has an immense network that extends far into academia, civil society, and even the private sector. Because of these connections, I was able to secure paid internships, job offers, and most recently, acceptance to a premier PhD program. In terms of preparing for my future career, my experience in the M.A. in Global & International Studies program was unparalleled. The internship is one of the most unique and valuable parts of the M.A. program. During this time I was able to lead a group of students through South Africa, study in Peru, and work in New York City with the Clinton Global Initiative, where I was ultimately offered a staff position. Each of these opportunities was made possible by the enthusiastic support of the department. Moreover, it was incredibly easy to find guidance and cultivate close friendships with our professors – relationships which have served as my greatest resource in recent years and will hopefully continue for many years to come."


Samaneh Oladi Ghadikolaei -- Cohort 2006-08

"One of the most significant features of this program is the variety of courses that are being offered and taught by distinguished professors. No matter what educational and cultural background you are affiliated with, you can effectively utilize it in the MAGIS program."

Erica Mesker -- Cohort 2009-11

"My experience in the MA program far exceeded my expectations. Everything that I achieved while enrolled in the MA program was cultivated by the wonderful professors and staff who were, and still remain, consistently supportive and available. I was able to take courses that spoke directly to my academic interests as well as courses that enhanced my professional resume. The internship requirement of the MA program was really a stand out experience. I was provided with a Fellowship to work at the Clinton Foundation in New York City as a Development Intern. Following my internship at the Clinton Foundation, I went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for three months to research a community policing initiative for my MA thesis, which went on to be published as a book chapter. In short, the MA program provided me with my most valuable life-experience to date and allowed me to gain valuable professional, academic and research experience."

Sergey Saluschev -- Cohort 2012-14

"The MAGIS program allowed me to explore multiple dimensions of human rights both as a normative concept and as a tangible manifestation in international law in the context of rapidly changing and globalizing world. The rigorous academic setting and the diverse community of faculty and students in the program has challenged me intellectually and inspired me to continue my academic and professional journey."

Jenna Wolf -- Cohort 2010-12

"The most helpful aspect of the program for me was the opportunity to gain job experience abroad while completing the degree. The chance to merge academic theory with real world experience makes the MA program unique and much more comprehensive than other programs I considered."


  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2013

International Business, Corporate Social Responsibility

Social Entrepreneurship, Public-Private Partnerships

  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2012

political economy, sustainable development and the environment

  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2014

Global Governance, Human Rights, Sustainable Development, Global Culture

Social & Educational Gender Gap

  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2020

Migration and Refugee Studies, Housing/Land/Property (HLP) rights, Post-Conflict Reconstruction/Reconciliation, Human Rights/Global Governance

  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2013

Political Economy, Sustainable Development and the Environment

  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2013

Global Governance and Human Rights

  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2012

global governance and human rights

  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2017

Global Culture, Global Ideology, Global Governance, Civil Society, Middle East, Alternative Models of Political Organization, Affect Theory

  • MA Cohort 2006
  • Alumni
  • Graduate Student
  • MA Cohort 2016