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Bryce Levitt

Bryce is part of the 2015-2016 Capstone cohort. He majored in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona. He currently works at a non-profit organization in his hometown of Flagstaff. 

Living Arrangement: Host family/apartment with American roommate

Internship: Non-profit start up focused on political music and the Moroccan labor system

Topics of interest: LGBT issues, politics

James Stratton

 

James is part of the 2015-2016 Capstone cohort. He majored in International Relations and the Political Economy at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Living Arrangement: Host family/apartment with American roommates

Internship: Local newspaper in reporting, editorial, and community relations desk

Topics of Interest: LGBT issues

Catherine Tappert

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Catherine is part of the 2015-2016 Capstone cohort. She majored in Government and Politics and Arabic Studies at the University of Maryland. She currently interns with EducationUSA (MENA division) and works for the UMD Summer Institute as a Language Assistant.

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment with American roommates

Internship: Center for Traditional Crafts, Library in Al-Jamaa Al-Kabir Women's Organization (Adult education/skills training, domestic abuse shelter)

Topics of interest: Making Moroccan friends, balancing dialects, vegetarianism, safety and street harassment 

Sarah Brown

 

Sarah is part of the 2015-2016 Capstone cohort. She majored in Linguistics and Arabic Studies at the University of Maryland. She currently works for the Center for Advanced Study of Language in College Park, MD. 

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment with American roommates

Internship: Center for Traditional Crafts (wood painting)

Topics of interest: Women's issues, long distance relationships, time management, Boren

Jace Livingston

 

Jace earned his MA in Persian Studies from UMD and he spent his Capstone Year in Tajikistan as a Boren Fellow in 2008-2009. After graduation, Jace worked in the Washington DC office of American Councils for International Education until 2012. He then returned to UMD to work at CASL as a Persian Language Faculty Research Assistant. In 2014, he took charge of CLS-Tajikistan and served as Resident Director. The following year he began working full-time as a DC-area EMT with American Medical Response in order to hone his emergency medical skills. In June 2015, he was asked to return to Tajikistan to serve as full-time Resident Director for in-country language programs, where he currently works now.

Living Arrangement: Host family (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)

Internship: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Topics of interest: Tajikistan, Boren, Fulbright, host family, health, security, linguistics, working abroad, cultural immersion

Ryan Murphy

 

Ryan is part of the 2013-2014 Capstone cohort. He majored in Operations Management and Arabic Studies at the University of Maryland. He currently works for a group based in Arlington, VA while pursuing a master's degree at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon.

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment with American roommates

Internship: Social Development Agency

Topics of interest: Working abroad, business

Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani

 

Hanif received his MA in Persian Studies at the University of Maryland in 2012. During his time in the Persian Flagship Program he interned for the entire academic year 2011-2012 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. He was also a Research Assistant for one-term (Fall semester), working on research project in which his contribution focused on Iranian foreign policy in Latin America and its effect on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For both the spring and summer semester, he was a staff assistant for the Wilson Center's Middle East Program (MEP), working directly with Dr. Haleh Esfandiari where his responsibilities included keeping Dr. Esfandiari abreast on both Iranian and regional affairs, with a focus on Iranian political affairs, as well as Iranian women’s issues and human rights. As a staff assistant at the MEP, Hanif was also responsible for daily administrative tasks such as organizing RSVPs and distributing promotional materials for MEP events, in addition to providing telephone reception support, answering email inquiries, and editing the MEP’s monthly newsletters.

 

Living Arrangement: College Park (stateside program only)

Internship: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Topics of interest: Internships, State Department, Media, Iranian Affairs, Career After Flagship, Think Tanks

 

 

Hirad Yaldaei

 

Hirad is a Persian Studies major and START (Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) minor at the University of Maryland and was part of the first cohort to participate in the domestic immersion program and complete his Capstone Year in College Park, MD (2014-2015). Hirad is currently finishing his minor and will be working with the UMD Persian Summer Institute in 2016.  

Living Arrangement: Persian House (domestic immersion)

Internship: Tavaana (www.tavaana.org) - Worked on translations from Persian to English and conducted research in Persian.

Topics of interest: domestic immersion, Tavaana, Internships, START Program

Aaron Anderson

 

Aaron majored in Persian Studies at the University of Maryland and was part of the first cohort to participate in the domestic immersion program and complete his Capstone Year in College Park, MD (2014-2015). Aaron is currently working his master's degree in Public Policy at UMD and doing a Pathways Internship (paid) with the Federal Government. He is also a graduate research assistant with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and has worked on polling Iranians about the nuclear deal, Syrian civil war, relations with Saudi Arabia among other issues. Additionally, Aaron leads trips for the University of Maryland Adventure Program.

Living Arrangement: Persian House (domestic immersion)

Internship: Tavaana (www.tavaana.org) doing translations and creating website content

Topics of interest: domestic immersion, veteran, Graduate School, Internships, Outdoor Recreation, Military Program

Jair Solis

 

Jair is a Persian Studies major and Global Terrorism minor at the University of Maryland, and he was in the first cohort to participate in the domestic immersion program and complete his Capstone Year in College Park, MD (2014-2015).

Living Arrangement: Persian House (domestic immersion)

Internship: Tavaana (www.tavaana.org)

Topics of interest: domestic immersion, veteran

Arianne Aryanpur

Arianne graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in History and then attended the University of Maryland for her Masters of Professional Studies in Persian, during which she spent her Capstone Year in Tajikistan (2009-2010). Arianne is currently working in higher education marketing and previously worked in healthcare marketing.

Living Arrangement: Host family all year

Internship: BBC Persian in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Topics of interest: Tajikistan, BBC Persian, Host family

Thomas Triebwasser

 

Tommy graduated from the Persian Flagship Program and spent his Capstone Year in Tajikistan (2010-2011). He majored in Persian Studies and later returned to UMD for his Masters of Professional Studies in Persian. Tommy has worked in a variety of positions as a linguist and translator for government contractors and other organizations.

Living Arrangement: Host family all year

Internship: Jadid Online

Topics of interest: Tajikistan, Linguist, Translation

Mykala Ford

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Mykala is part of the 2014-2015 Capstone cohort. She majored in International Relations and Arabic at Michigan State University. She is currently completing her undergraduate degree and plans to move to Florida in the winter to begin her career. 

Living Arrangement: Host family all year

Internship: Painting at the Center for Traditional Crafts

Topics of interest: Women's issues, long distance relationships

Amy Waterhouse

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Amy is part of the 2014-2015 Capstone cohort. She majored in Arabic Studies and French Language and Literature at the University of Maryland. She currently works for UMD's Arabic Flagship Program and Project GO and is also a research assistant at the Center for Advanced Study of Language.

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment with American roommates

Internship: Center for Traditional Craftsmanship/ Toulal Center for Female Development

Topics of interest: Women's issues, linguistic issues, cooking and living questions, travel

Kyle Pilutti

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Kyle is part of the 2013-2014 Capstone cohort. She majored in Humanities, Pre Law, and Arabic at Michigan State University. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is also a graduate research assistant at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. 

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment with American roommates

Internship: Meknes Cultural Center

Topics of interest: Women's issues, in-country relationships, coffee shops for studying, favorite snacks at the hanoot

Chad Ratashak

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Chad is part of the 2014-2015 Capstone cohort. He majored in Arabic at the University of Oklahoma and has a Master's in International Studies. He currently produces a podcast called "The Mazyan Bizaf Show" and tutors students in Economics. 

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment with wife

Internship: Carpentry at the Traditional Craftsmanship workshop/ remote sensing (converting satellite images to maps) for agricultural land in Morocco

Topics of interest: Married students, Christian religious observance

Nathan Vest

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Nathan is part of the 2014-2015 Capstone cohort. He majored in History and Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked as a language partner and instructional support assistant at the UT Summer Institute and currently works as a global case coordinator at Foster LLP, an immigration law firm in Austin. 

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment

Internship: Administrative assistant in the ICU of Mohammed V Hospital/ Great Mosque Library outreach programs to local students

Topics of interest: Maximizing time for language acquisition, dialects, getting the most out of the program academically and professionally

Andrew Chandler

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Andrew is part of the 2014-2015 Capstone cohort. He majored in Arabic and International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. 

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment with American roommates

Internship: Center of Traditional Moroccan Crafts/ Ministry for Islamic Affairs

JoAnne Kosta

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JoAnne is part of the 2014-2015 Capstone cohort. She majored in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is currently finishing her undergraduate degree while working as the Program Assistant to the OU Arabic Flagship Program. 

Living Arrangement: Host family for six months/ apartment

Internship: Law firm of Ayouche Rachid/ horse stables

Topics of interest: Women's issues, balancing dialects, in-country relationships, studying tips, cultural phenomena 



Carrie Hildebrandt

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Carrie is a part of the 2014-2015 Capstone cohort. She majored in Arabic Studies and International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland. She currently works for the Eurasia Foundation helping to build democratic and free market institutions in the Middle East. 

Living Arrangement: Host family/ apartment with American roommates

Internship: Translating at the Chamber of Commerce/ micro-finance organization/ Agency for Social Development

Topics of interest: Vegetarianism, women's issues, in-country relationships, host families

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