Alumni Success Stories

Global Studies

Michael Cahill ’13

After graduating from Salve Regina, Cahill enrolled in the master's degree program in global governance, politics and security at American University's School of International Service, where he focused on the study of terrorism and counterterrorism.

As a graduate student, Cahill attended the Baku Summer Energy School in Azerbaijan and completed a practicum with the U.S. Department of Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. In the practicum, he and other students designed a counterterrorism curriculum that is now taught to mid-level police officers around the world.

In 2014, Cahill joined the U.S. Department of State. After interning in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, he was hired as a full-time civil service employee and selected as a Presidential Management Fellow. Fellows rotate through various offices in the federal government and are guaranteed future civil service employment. Cahill currently serves as a policy analyst for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Cahill said the most beneficial aspect of the global studies program at Salve Regina is its semester of study abroad. "There are a whole lot of different cultures outside the borders of the U.S.," he said. "I think experiencing different cultures firsthand is an integral aspect of any globally-based education."

Hannah Cazzetta ’15

While at Salve, Cazzetta spent a full year at Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile and participated in a month-long program in Grenoble, France. “Studying abroad was the largest influence for my professional work and academic studies,” she said. “It is such a defining experience, and it can teach you many different life skills and history lessons that you can't learn in a classroom.”

After graduation, Cazzetta taught at Lycee Rene Auffray, a vocational high school in Paris that attracts a mixed population of French and first-generation North African students. She was then awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach English at the University of Boyaca in Tunja, Colombia, the country’s original capital.

Her work as a Fulbright-funded English teaching assistant was both personally and professionally rewarding. “My older two sisters were adopted from Bogota, Colombia before I was born,” Cazzetta said. “My family got to visit me in Colombia, where we were able to retrace some steps from my sisters' birth stories. It was by far my most challenging year abroad but it was absolutely rewarding.”

As part of her plans to continue her global career, Cazzetta is pursuing a master’s degree in international higher education at Boston College.

Maria Leon Gomez ’15

The global studies program allowed Gomez to explore the effects of international development on her home country of Honduras, which culminated in her senior project, “The Effects of Drug Trafficking on the Socioeconomic Development of Honduras.” In her junior year, Gomez studied in Lyon, France, a transformative experience that helped her understand how France is uniquely positioned within and affected by the policies of the European Union.

After working with the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America for two years, Gomez interned with the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2017. She is currently living in Barcelona, Spain, working on matters of international immigration and international document services.

“Salve’s multidisciplinary approach in global studies gave me both the academic and practical skills needed for life after college,” Gomez said. “My time in class working with amazing professors and participating in crucial discussions of global issues gave me the necessary academic background, analytical and effective communication skills needed for the workforce. My degree helps me to adapt in cross-cultural environments, understand the interconnection among world global problems and engage successfully in international work.”

Tarah Waters ’12

After spending her junior year in South Africa, Waters returned to the continent after graduation, serving two years in the Peace Corps as a youth development worker in Morocco.

She next completed a fellowship at the Island Institute, an organization that works to sustain Maine’s island and coastal communities. While there, she developed lifelong learning initiatives and internship programs for local students and helped to plan a community-based makerspace.

Her free time is occupied by Dunia Unificada, a family business promoting sustainable travel. “We work closely with local partners to foster sustainable development through travel and tourism,” Waters said. “Our hope is to connect western tourists with socially and ecologically conscious businesses in the 100 countries with the lowest GDP.”

After living and working in Hawaii and Colorado, Waters recently returned to the Island Institute for another year of community and youth development consultancy.

“There is no lesson more valuable than pushing your limits to learn more about human nature and the globe you are a part of,” Waters said. “I have taught and been taught by students in South Africa, walked across ancient paths of the Sahara, and stood on top of ancient ruins. I have cried with strangers and shared life’s purest moments with people who shared no common language. And all of these memories I owe to the constant encouragement to be a social activist from my professors at Salve.”

Angela Wheeler ’12

Wheeler studied abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia and traveled to the Republic of Georgia in 2010 to independently research Soviet-era funerary traditions and in 2011 to participate in Wellesley College's summer archaeological field school.

After graduation, she spent a year in the republic on a Fulbright fellowship, interning for the International Council on Monuments and Sites and working with the Georgian National Museum. While completing Columbia University's graduate program in historic preservation, Wheeler also returned to Georgia twice for project work.

Wheeler is currently a Ph.D. candidate in architecture at Harvard University and a graduate student associate in Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. “I currently research global trends in architectural design and preservation, so I suppose I've never stopped being a global studies student,” she says.

“I was continually surprised by how much Salve accommodated my interests,” Wheeler added. “I was trusted to develop a course of study that actually prepared me for the work I needed to do after graduation. I certainly would not have made a strong Fulbright candidate if Salve hadn't allowed me to take region-specific language courses and summer programs for credit. Everything I've done since then has built on that foundation.” 

 

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