To close the knowledge barriers to global education opportunities for community college students and those at underserved public institutions, while building a platform to connect current community college and transfer students with recruiters, stakeholders, and participants within the foreign affairs landscape.
OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM
Nick Shafer is a transfer student from Foothill College. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with dual B.A degrees in Anthropology and Arabic Language & Literature with a minor Public Policy. He is a foreign affairs professional with a regional specialization in the Middle East and North Africa. A previous recipient of the Boren Scholarship in Jordan and Research Fulbright in Morocco, Nick is currently a Marshall Scholar living in the United Kingdom where he is completing graduate studies in international development and Middle Eastern Studies. He works as a freelance consultant working on humanitarian policy and Middle Eastern affairs, and has previously worked at the USAID Middle East Bureau, the State Department, Advisory Committee on Public Diplomacy, and Smithsonian Institution.
Jasmine Stoltzfus is a transfer student from Shasta College. She graduated from the University of California, Davis summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and as the 2018 outstanding senior from the College of Letters and Science. After working for two years as an Immigration Paralegal in the San Francisco Bay Area post-graduation, she completed an MA in Global Security and Borders from Queen’s University, Belfast in the United Kingdom. Her graduate studies were supported by a U.S.-UK Fulbright Partnership Award. Afterwards, she spent a year in Catalonia, Spain. She now works at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
Leia Yen is a transfer student from El Camino College. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in English and minors in Digital Humanities and Global Studies. Her research on data politics, migration, and digital storytelling have received awards and recognition from institutions such as the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. She is also a passionate advocate for the CC/transfer community and dedicated much time to mentoring and developing resources through UCLA’s Transfer Student Center. In 2019, she became the first transfer student at UCLA to win the Marshall Scholarship. She completed an MA in Digital Humanities at King’s College London and will begin her MSc in Social Science of the Internet at the University of Oxford in 2022.
Marcus Loiseau was a transfer student from Santa Barbara City College. Originally from Queens, New York, he graduated with departmental honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelors in history and a minor in public policy. Presently, Marcus is pursuing a double masters in international relations with a focus towards economic development as an Erasmus Mundus scholarship-recipient at Ghent University in Belgium and University of Wroclaw in Poland. Marcus has interned for the State Department and U.S. Congress, where he has worked as a policy intern for both Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Senator Kamala Harris. After graduation in July 2022, Marcus will be moving to Dallas, Texas, to work as an investment banking operations analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Camille Bismonte is a transfer student from the University of Portland. She graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s in Economics and a minor in Spanish. While at Georgetown, Camille received the Critical Language Scholarship (2018), NSEP David L. Boren Scholarship (2019), the Foreign Language & Area Studies Scholarship (2020), and the Fulbright Research Fellowship (2021). Camille is currently working at Albright Stonebridge Group, part of Dentons Global Advisors, as an Associate in the East Asia & Pacific practice. She utilizes her Filipino and Indonesian language skills at work for Southeast Asia, Australia, and Pacific Islands business and trade issues. Prior to ASG, she worked at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Southeast Asia Program, and the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI). She is particularly passionate about language learning and international exchange as a first-generation student and person of color.
Samantha Archie is a transfer student from the Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville. She graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and the Global Economy and a minor in Global Health. At USC, she was awarded the David L. Boren Scholarship in 2016 to study Kiswahili in Tanzania. Since graduating from USC, she has worked for several international non-governmental organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa doing quantitative and qualitative research in the fields of international development and public health. In 2020, she completed a Princeton in Africa fellowship with the International Rescue Committee in Sierra Leone and she currently works as a Research Associate with FHI 360 in Durham, North Carolina. In 2022, she became President of the National Security Education Program Alumni Association. In her free time, Samantha loves to bake cakes, teach swim lessons, and cheer on the Trojans (Fight on ✌🏻).
2022 Mentorship Program Advisors
Nicole Musano is a transfer student from San Diego Miramar College. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2021 with a BA in Global Studies, focusing on development in Latin America. During undergrad, Nicole interned for the State Department’s Office of Andean Affairs and USAID’s Press Office. As an intern, she promoted U.S. foreign policy objectives by monitoring global media coverage, tracking interagency clearance requests, and generating briefing materials for U.S. officials. She is currently a Program Associate on the Collaborative Services team at Meridian International Center in Washington D.C.
Naz Balkam is a transfer student from Berkeley City College. She is a graduating senior from the University of California, Berkeley pursuing a B.A in Political Science. She is a dedicated public servant looking to better her community in the Bay Area through legislative advocacy and outreach. Her goals have led her to work with the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs, the City of San Jose’s Rent Stabilization Program, and the City of Oakland. In these spaces, Naz was able to combat timely concerns regarding the housing crisis and COVID-19, ultimately shaping her desire to work specifically in public service.
FORMER EXECUTIVE MEMBERS
Co-Executive Director & Co-Founder
Diana Chavez-Varela is a transfer student from Santa Barbara City College. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Political Economy with a concentration in International Development and Globalization and a minor in Human Rights. Guided by a passion for public service, she engaged in research apprenticeships, internships, and management positions with international organizations. She is deeply passionate about intercultural exchange and destigmatizing community college educational pathways.