Alumni

Class of 2011

 

Michael Baca graduated from Amherst College in 2006 with a B.A. in history. The son of a Foreign Service Officer, Michael spent much of his childhood abroad, living in Ecuador, Canada, Ethiopia and India. While in college, he took a semester off to work and travel in South Africa. Based in Johannesburg, he managed to visit all nine South African provinces as well as the southern African states of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. Michael interned at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Africa Program during the first seven months of 2007 before working at the Department of Defense for two years. A 2009-2010 MacMillan Merit Award recipient, Michael is studying security challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing primarily on the Gulf of Guinea and Sahel regions. He has spent the summer of 2010 at the State Department?s Bureau of African Affairs serving as the acting Liberia Desk Officer.

David Bargueño

David Bargueño is a Foreign Affairs Officer and Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of Global Food Security (S/GFS) at the U.S. Department of State. David’s portfolio covers food security policy in the Western Hemisphere, as well as strategic trilateral partnerships with Brazil, South Africa, and India. Prior to joining the State Department, David was a Fox Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town, and he served as a Public Interest Fellow in the Appeals Bureau at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He has consulted with the Office of the Premier of the Western Cape Province in South Africa, and he has volunteered with WorldTeach Namibia and Habitat for Humanity in Mexico. David holds an M.A. from the Council on African Studies at Yale, and a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. His first languages were Spanish and English, and he is proficient in Zulu, Portuguese, and French.  

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Kathleen Gualtieri graduated from the University of Virginia, earning a BA with Distinction in History with a focus on Africa and a minor in French Literature and Language. As an undergraduate, she spent six months at the Institut d'Études Politiques at the Université Lumière de Lyon Deux in Lyon, France. Following graduation, she worked for three years as an international advocacy and policy associate at the Save Darfur Coalition. In this capacity, she led efforts to coordinate advocacy and build the capacity of partner organizations across Africa, Europe and the Middle East working to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict in Darfur. In addition, she was responsible for developing the organization’s policy with respect to preventing sexual violence and building an effective civilian protection force to promote security in the region. Before joining Save Darfur, she worked briefly at the Women Thrive Worldwide, a non-profit organization that promotes women’s economic opportunity in the developing world. At Yale, Katie is broadly interested in conflict and post-conflict situations in the Great Lakes region, including issues relating to human rights and conceptions of justice. Specifically, she plans to focus her research on the participation of women and youth in post-conflict reconstruction efforts in east and central Africa.

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Andrew Iliff received his B.A. ('04) magna cum laude in Social Studies and African Studies from Harvard University. He has also studied at Lester B. Pearson United World College in Canada and at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Andrew grew up in Zimbabwe and has spent time in Rwanda and South Africa. He has worked for the International Centre for Transitional Justice, Human Rights Watch and WilmerHale. He is currently working on his thesis on the Tree of Life reconciliation workshops in Zimbabwe.

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Rachel Mandel received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2008. In addition to a focus in Anthropology, she received an African Studies Certificate and completed an additional independent concentration in Gender and Sexuality. As an undergraduate she participated in a study abroad program through the School for International Training (SIT), spending 5 months travelling the coast of East Africa and doing two months of independent study and fieldwork in Mombasa, Kenya. During this time she worked on attachment with International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH) in conjunction with their MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) Peer Education project. She returned to Mombasa the following year with the help of an honors research grant to continue her work with the LGBT population of Kenya in preparation for the completion of her undergraduate honors thesis – an exploration of the obstacles to a gay-rights movement in the political, cultural, legal, and religious climate of East Africa. During the summer of 2010 Rachel participated in the two-month Advanced Kiswahili course in Mombasa, Kenya and also received a fellowship to continue research for her MA thesis. Having worked independently from ICRH since late 2007, she will be examining the role of international organizations in local social justice movements. ICRH and Kenya Medical Research Institute, University of Washington (KEMRI-UW) will be used in concurrence with the burgeoning LGBTI-rights movement in Kenya as case studies in a larger commentary on the motives and local impact of NGOs and other multinational organizations.

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Eva Namusoke received her B.A. in History and International Relations from the University of Exeter (UK) in 2006 with Honors. While at Exeter she wrote her undergraduate dissertation on the colonial and missionary history of Africa focusing in on Uganda, her home country. Eva grew up in a variety of African countries, ranging from Malawi to Ethiopia, personally witness to the incredible beauty and inequality on the continent. At Yale Eva is broadening her understanding of Africa, considering issues of gender, development, HIV/AIDS and education. In addition, she is studying Kiswahili which she hopes will compliment her native language of Luganda. Following research in Kampala, Eva plans on writing her Master’s Thesis on the relationship between religion and politics in the government of Uganda. She hopes that her time at Yale will equip her with the tools needed for the development of the continent she calls home.

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Class of 2010

Seraphine (Phine) Hamilton received her B.A. in English and Africana Studies from William Smith College in 2006 with honors. Since then she has been teaching English and coaching soccer and basketball at the Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ. While at Peddie, she developed the curriculum for two courses: “Unheard Voices” and “Africa Through the Novel”. As an educator, she strives to open windows, doors, even crevices for her students in an attempt to shed light on different perspectives and experiences. These classes gave her that opportunity.

Her love for African literature and history developed at an early age. But her desire to focus her life’s work in these areas solidified during a 6-month residency at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa. During this time she came face to face with a new culture and a tremendously exciting and satisfying way of life. Phine, a two-time NCAA Division III All-American and one-time Academic All-American soccer player, integrated herself naturally by playing on the University soccer team as well as a regional semi-professional team. During her time at UWC, she had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of her personal heroes and role models. This experience showed that the Archbishop was authentic and real, unmarred by decades of fame and recognition. His messages of equal civil rights and a common education system resonate with her. His approach and commitment inspires her. While at Yale, she plans to explore the impact of current and historical political events on educational systems in the Southern African nations. With that said, she plans to return to southern Africa as an educator, explorer, and proponent for peace.

Mohamed Yunus Rafiq comes with eight years experience working in the community development and cultural sector in Tanzania, where he co-founded Aang Serian,a Global NGO (www.aangserian.org.uk). Mohamed Yunus grew up and lived in Arusha, Tanzania for 26 years before pursuing his B.A. in Bloomington, Indiana at Indiana University (IU). He graduated from IU in the summer of 2007 with a B.A. in Telecommunications and Near Eastern Cultures and Languages. For his McNair research at IU , he studied the role of poetic performances in airing grievances in Tanzania. He is hoping to extend his undergraduate research interest as he commences his graduate studies. Specifically, he would like to explore how classical Swahili texts dealt with the issue of health and then connect it to how contemporary forms such as Bongoflava frame this issue. Mohamed Yunus continues to be an active participant in various UN forums such as the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples Issues and UN-Habitat. In his leisure, he likes to compose poetry and write short stories. One of his fictional works will be published in an anthology, at the beginning of 2009, under the title of Modern Short Friction Stories from Kenya. He is moving to New Haven with his wife and two small sons.

Jason Warner graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2006 with a BA (Highest Honors) in International Studies - Africa. In addition to spending a year at the Université de Montpellier (France) as an undergraduate, he also backpacked through Senegal researching linguistic policy in the public schooling domain, culminating in a thesis centered on Senegal’s potential to achieve Millennium Development Goal Number Two, the provision of universal primary education.

Following graduation, Jason worked for the French Government as a public school teacher in French Guiana. Intrigued by its neo-colonial relationship with France, he is now compiling the first comprehensive history of French Guiana available in English, focused specifically on why, after nearly four centuries of colonization, it has yet to gain independence from France. He has interned and/or served as a contributing writer at TransAfrica Forum, The Institute of Caribbean Studies and FranceWatcher.com and speaks with varying degrees of success: French, Spanish, Portuguese and Yoruba.

At Yale, Jason was broadly interested in African and Caribbean nations’ roles in the international political economy and their pursuit to achieve social justice by breaking free from exploitative relationships with the so-called “West.” Specifically, he focused on French foreign policy towards its former and present colonies in Africa and the Caribbean, particularly in regards to questions of decolonization, neo-colonialism and the ideology of Françafrique.

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Class of 2009

 

Kimberley Roosenburg first set foot in Africa at eighteen and, after three months living and working in a horseback safari camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, she was hooked. She received her B.A. (’03) from the University of Virginia, majoring in English Literature with a minor in Foreign Affairs, and also studied at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Oxford, U.K. After graduation, Kimberley returned to Botswana and African Horseback Safaris, where she became increasingly convinced of the importance of wilderness and of the potential for development through nature-based initiatives. She then found work in New York that combined her interests in Africa, conservation, and foreign affairs at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC). As Production Manager for the CBC’s Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP), a global initiative to improve the practice of conservation by improving training in conservation, Kimberley has spent time in Madagascar and South Africa. At Yale, she plans to pursue her interest in environmental issues, as well as study the historical and political contexts of Africa’s development challenges.

Rachel Silver - Ms. Silver received her MA in the African Studies program in 2009. She has worked with Somali refugee communities in Maine, USA and Dadaab, Kenya since 2003. She co-authored Educated for Change?: Gender, Schooling, and Forced Migration Among Somali Women and co-edited They Were Very Beautiful. Such Things Are. with Patti Buck. She is cofounder, along with Patti Buck and Ismail Ahmed, of Matawi, a nongovernmental organization that supports education, civic engagement, and leadership in the global refugee community. Ms. Silver currently directs the Dadaab Young Women’s Scholarship Initiative and works as a Donor Relations Specialist for a partner organization of Matawi, the Kenya Education Fund.