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Featured MA Alumni Profiles

 Megan BlashMegan Blash (MA 2009) is the Social Science department chair at a local high school, where she is also the curriculum leader and teacher of both AP U.S. Government and Politics, and AP Macroeconomics. “The Political Science MA program was a great fit for me as a working professional. I knew that the faculty would provide rigorous course work which would enhance my teaching and greatly increase my depth of knowledge, and I knew that I would be working with professors that offered support and worked to build a community of learners. I believe that the mentoring I received through this program prepared me for my current position.”
 Alfredo Carlos- featured AlumnusAlfredo Carlos (MA 2008) is a Faculty member in the departments of Political Science and Chicano and Latino Studies at California State University, Long Beach.  His particular specialization is in political economy with a focus in economic democracy, which consists in part of worker ownership, workplace and community democracy. He is also the founder and director for the Long Beach based Foundation for Economic Democracy that promotes the expansion of an alternative economies that empower working communities especially those of color, to be able to work and live with dignity. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine where he specialized in the fields of American Politics (Racial and Urban Politics) and Political Theory (Political Economy). He earned his M.A. in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach with a focus in Comparative Politics and International Relations and his B.A. is in History and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Professional and academic activities of recent MA alumni

Josh Casper (MA 2016) is teaching as an Adjunct Political Science Instructor at El Camino College. He is also the co-advisor for the college’s chapter of Alpha Gamma Sigma, the California Community Colleges Honor Society, and will soon be appointed Chair of the El Camino College Federation of Teachers’ Legislation Committee. Josh recently presented his research at both the Midwest Political Science Association Conference and at the Western Political Science Association Conference.

Sabrina Van der Linden Gonzalez (MA 2016) started the law program at the University of California, Irvine in fall 2016.

Andrew Gomez (MA 2016) works for the United Food & Commercial Workers’ Union Trust Fund, in the accounting department.

Edward Gonzalez (MA 2015) was accepted to the Political Science and International Relations (POIR) PhD program at the University of Southern California, and will begin his studies Fall 2017. His main areas of concentration are Comparative Politics, International Security, and Foreign Policy.

Melissa Nordall (MA 2015) entered the law program at the Boalt School of Law at UC Berkeley in fall 2016. Nordall was also accepted to law school programs at the University of Washington, American University in DC, the George Washington University, University of Minnesota, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of San Diego. Nordall has also been working for the International Refugee Assistance Project, representing clients from Iraq and helping their families obtain refugee status and special immigrant visas.

Brian Henderson Barrick (MA 2015) is a Student Services Specialist at East Los Angeles College.  Brian organizes campus workshops on topics of diversity, cultural responsiveness, and student equity.  Additionally, he is working to establish a campus Safe Zone initiative aimed at better serving the needs of undocumented and LGBTQ identified students.

Yasmine Arsala (MA 2015) After serving as a Development and Relations Intern for The Middle East Institute, Arsala is now a Senior Development Coordinator at JHPIEGO, an international non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, and works in their Baltimore headquarters.

Grace Malinao (MA 2015) is currently an instructor at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, and teaches a Law in American Society as well as American Government.

Berny Lazareno (MA 2014) is a PhD student in the Politics Department at U.C. Santa Cruz.  He is part of an international research project funded through the US Dept. of Defense’s Minerva Research Initiative that investigates the factors that contribute to individuals becoming or not becoming terrorists. As part of this project, he has coauthored a chapter for an edited forthcoming book. In February, he and his co-authors presented that chapter, entitled “Approving of but Not Choosing Violence: Paths of Nonviolent Radicals,” at the Naval Post Graduate School’s Department of National Security Affairs.  The chapter has also been accepted for presentation at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Philadelphia.

Alysse Florez (MA 2014) is working as a Litigation Assistant at a law firm in Century City.

Matthew Highland (MA 2014) recently was hired to be the Communications Director for the State of Iowa’s Medicaid program. Highland states, “Though I had an extensive communications background and experience, I know it was my Master’s degree from Cal State Long Beach that pushed me past the other candidates.”

Sam Juliano (MA 2014) is in the teaching credential program at CSU Fullerton, and is also substitute teaching in Orange County and coaching.

Dilyana Valeva (MA 2014) works as a Managed Transportation Account Executive at the Chicago-based company Echo Global Logistics. She also teaches introductory Political Science classes at Ashford University on the weekends.

Ryan Ashlock (MA 2013) is a financial associate for a private investment company in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas.

Othman (Ozzie) Ramadan (MA 2013) teaches 9th grade English at a local high school.

Donnie Bessom (MA 2012) is an adjunct professor of political science at Long Beach City College, where he teaches American Government. He is also involved in environmental curriculum development.

Vahid Niayesh (MA 2011) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, University of California, Irvine, and a research affiliate with the Center for the Study of Democracy at UCI.

Brittany Conrad (MA 2011) teaches at Long Beach City College and Pasadena City College, and is the Events Coordinator for Barks of Love Animal Rescue.

Jacob Lenerville (MA 2011) is a social science teacher, and an instructor at Barstow Community College. He is also Adjunct Professor of History/Political Science at Vanguard University of Southern California.

Amy Fernandez (MA 2010) is earning her J.D. this semester at California Western School of Law, and will graduate on the Dean’s List. For her work as a legal intern for the California Innocence Project, Fernandez received the Joe Walsh Award for outstanding performance.

Veronika Zubo (MA 2010) has been working as a research and communications associate in Washington, DC at a media and messaging company dedicated to state and local politics.

Stephanie Crahen (MA 2009) teaches English in Italy for the Cambridge Centre of English. In early 2016, she met with her former mentor, Dr. Mary Caputi, while Dr. Caputi was on leave in Florence.

Dana Randazzo (MA 2009) has been an Executive Assistant for a CA Congressman, as is currently working in public affairs at the UCLA Medical Center.

Katie Kruger (MA 2008) After graduating from our program, Kruger studied American politics and public law in the Government and Politics Department of the University of Maryland. Kruger then worked as a Data Analyst with the Federal Judicial Center, and has recently accepted an offer to contract with the Federal Aviation Administration as a Senior Analyst.

Jacob Larsen (MA 2008) is working as an associate employment law attorney for Perona, Langer, Beck, Serbin, Mendoza and Harrison, APC in Long Beach, CA.

Allison Evans (MA 2006) received her PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Western New Mexico University (WNMU). In 2015, she was named WMNU’s “Professor of the Year” (as determined by students’ votes), and in 2016 she was nominated for WNMU’s “Excellence in Teaching Award” (which is awarded by a faculty committee). She is currently doing fieldwork for her book, Protest in the Provinces: Coming to Grips with Capitalism in Russia’s Company Towns.

Laurie Houske (MA 2006) teaches political science at El Camino Community College. In spring 2016, she mentored current POSC MA student Joshua Casper in a “college teaching practicum.”

Tracey Somerville (MA 2005) taught liberal studies courses at CSULB, and political science courses at several community colleges in Southern California until 2012. She is now working in the private sector doing business development for an international professional services firm.

Ali Taghavi (MA 1997) is the Director of Communications at Pepperdine University. He also has worked in public relations for the University of California and the UCLA Health System.

We welcome news from our MA alumni! Please email and let us know how you are doing.