The data: our call to action
To close the knowledge barrier 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.
It doesn’t make sense for each student to spend countless hours doing the same research about scholarships, internships, and international opportunities that their predecessors did. There need to be ways to pass this information on from student to student. This is what the Global Community College Transfer Network seeks to do. From transfer student to transfer student, we hope to pass along the information, resources, and connections that were most helpful to us as we pursued work in international affairs.
Transfer students encounter a number of well-documented obstacles that differ significantly from those of their peers. In addition to being part of the transfer community, some of us are also first generation college students or hold other identities that are traditionally underrepresented in a university environment.
As a diverse group of students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, some of us have overcome significant obstacles as we pursued opportunities in government, policy, and global international. A few of us had senior transfer students to mentor us along the way; others did not. We are proud to say that among us are Boren, Erasmus Mundus, Fulbright, and Schwarzman Scholars, as well as Rangel and Pickering Fellows. We created this website to provide a number of resources that we wish we would have known were available when we were newly minted transfer students.
Who We Are
Nicholas 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 spent his final year dual-enrolled at the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad in Amman, Jordan, where he was a David L. Boren Scholar. A passionate advocate both for the value of social sciences and community colleges, Nicholas has spent 3+ years living in the broader Mediterranean and has worked in a variety of capacities with the State Department, Advisory Committee on Public Diplomacy, and Smithsonian Institution. He is currently a John Gardner Public Service Fellow at USAID and will be heading to Morocco on a Fulbright Research Grant in Spring 2021.
Jasmine Stoltzfus is a transfer student from Shasta College. She graduated from the University of California, Davis summa cum laude and as the 2018 outstanding senior from the College of Letters and Sciences. She majored in International Relations and her interest in immigration policy has led her to internships at the U.S. State Department and British Home Office. During a Spring in Jerusalem honors program, Jasmine conducted research, completed immersive language study, and interned with the Center for International Migration and Integration. After working as an Immigration Paralegal in the San Francisco Bay Area for two years post-graduation, she received a Fulbright Partnership Award to complete her MA in Global Security and Borders in the United Kingdom.
Marcus Loiseau is 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. This fall Marcus will be beginning a double masters in globalization 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, working as a policy intern for Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Senator Kamala Harris. Marcus is strongly committed to the advancement of diplomatic and economic partnerships between U.S. leaders and their strategic counterparts in Africa and Latin America.
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, dedicating 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 and will pursue an M.A. in Digital Humanities at King’s College London in Fall 2020.
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. While at Berkeley, she engaged in research apprenticeships, internships, and management positions with international organizations such as Amnesty International, Berkeley Law’s Human Rights Center, and the International Rescue Committee. She published a report on AI and Child Rights with UNICEF, presented her research on Syria to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and represented UC Berkeley at Amnesty International’s annual Digital Verification Corps Summitt at the University of Hong Kong. In 2019, she was awarded the Gilman Scholarship.
Camille Bismonte transferred from the University of Portland to Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She is currently a senior majoring in Economics and minoring in Spanish. She spent the past academic year as a NSEP David L. Boren Scholarship in Jakarta, Indonesia where she worked at an Indonesian foreign policy think tank focusing on geopolitics. Currently, she is interning as a Research Intern for CSIS’ Southeast Asia Program. She also was a Critical Language Scholar in Malang, Indonesia in 2018, and later became the CLS Alumni Ambassador for Indonesian. Camille is Filipino-American and her other interests include talking to any and all four-year university transfers, language learning, and international exchange as a first-generation student and person of color.
Jordan Fontaine is a transfer student from Berkeley City College in California, and is now studying at Columbia University in the city of New York. Jordan studied International Relations at BCC and is now pursuing a degree in Applied Mathematics. He is passionate about sustainable development, national security and foreign relations. Jordan spent last summer in Morocco studying Arabic at the American University in Tangier as a CLS cohort member and the previous summer in Maadi, Egypt also studying Arabic. Moving forward Jordan plans to continue studying throughout Africa and the Middle East in order to develop his language skills and cultural understanding.
Alexa Fosdick is a senior at UC Berkeley pursuing a degree in Political Science. She currently works as a Communications and Research Assistant with the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, where she is also an Undergraduate Fellow. Alexa transferred from Diablo Valley College in 2018, where she competed in speech and debate. Alexa is passionate about mental health policy, interfaith dialogue, and Middle East politics, and hopes to one day pursue a career in foreign affairs. Her interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict brought her to the Jerusalem for a term, and she hopes to pursue future opportunities in the region.
Shoshana is a transfer from Los Angeles Pierce College who is now a Junior at the University of California, Berkeley. She studies Anthropology, Global Studies, and Public Policy and was inspired to explore this intersection by growing up in diverse parts of LA and at the intersection of her own Moroccan heritage. As a first-generation student and child of immigrants, she watched her peers and friends establish academic and professional careers in which she knew little about and didn’t think that “I could do that”. From that experience, she has become a devout advocate both for community colleges and the GCCTN initiative for opening up her eyes to a wider world. Before returning to school, she spent two years living in France teaching English and is currently working for the LA Unified School District.
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