Eric Persons ’14 MPA/IR appointed as vice president for institutional advancement at Cazenovia College

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Eric Persons has been appointed as vice president for institutional advancement at Cazenovia College in central New York. In his new role, Persons will be responsible for leading Cazenovia College’s Fundraising Office, overseeing the college’s fundraising efforts. He will also supervise the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations and participate in key college administrative events associated with external affairs. Previously, Persons worked at Syracuse University, where he began his career with the university as the director of community engagement and economic development, then as director of administration and engagement, and finally as associate vice president of government and community relations. More information about Persons and his new position can be found here.

Shana Udvardy ’90 BA (IR) has articled published on the importance of confirming new FEMA administrator

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Shana Udvardy’s article, “5 Reasons Why Congress Should Immediately Greenlight the Nation’s Natural Disaster Responder-in-Chief,” was published in June of 2017. In the article, Udvardy draws from her expertise as a climate preparedness specialist with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She posits that Congress should waste no time confirming the newly appointed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator, Brock Long. It appears Udvardy’s plea to Congress paid off: In late June of 2017, shortly after Udvardy’s article was published, Brock was confirmed as FEMA’s next administrator by the U.S. Senate with an overwhelming majority. More information about Udvardy and her article can be found here.

Shuntaro Tsukamoto ’97 MAIR is now head of product management at Vanguard Investments Japan

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Shuntaro Tsukamoto is now head of product management at Vanguard Investments Japan. Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment companies. In his new role, Tsukamoto is in charge of establishing client relations and maintaining investment services to Japanese clients. In addition, he assists Vanguard clients throughout Asia as a fixed income product specialist. Previously, Tsukamoto served as vice president at Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co., Ltd in Tokyo, Japan. 

Jennifer Osias ’13 BA (IR/PSc) is now senior strategist at Revolution Messaging

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Jennifer Osias is now senior strategist at Revolution Messaging. Based out of Washington, D.C., Revolution Messaging is a digital marketing and advertising firm founded by key members of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign. The organization is aimed at advancing progressive causes for a diverse clientele–from political campaigns and government agencies, to labor unions and nonprofits. Previously, Osias served as candidate fundraising assistant for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the official campaign arm for the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Jessica Ernst ’10 MPA/IR publishes new book, “So You Want to Save the World: A Guide to Pursuing a Career in International Development”

alum-news-buttonJessica Ernst has published a new book, So You Want to Save the World: A Guide to Pursuing a Career in International Development. Drawing form her career in government, nonprofits, and private companies, Ernst’s book aims to help aspiring development professionals begin their journeys into international development.  Ernst has had works published in the International Affairs Review, leading industry websites, and influential donor reports, and she has traveled to 38 countries and counting. Currently, she is knowledge management and training manager with Dexis Consulting Group, working with USAID. More info about Ernst and her new book can be found at jessicakernst.wordpress.com.

Marion Araque ’11 BA (IR) is now campus director at Citizen Schools

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Marion Araque is now campus director at Citizen Schools, an organization that advocates to make expanded learning the new normal for all students. In her role as campus director, Araque supervises and mentors a group of AmeriCorps teaching fellows and volunteers, and serves as an instructional leader for the Citizen Schools program. By using an apprenticeship program known as the Extended Learning Time model, Citizen Schools partners up with public districts to add instructional time to the school day by offering hands-on learning opportunities, academic support, and structured homework time.

Eric Heighberger ’93 BA (IR) is now chief of staff at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

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Eric Heighberger has been appointed to serve as the chief of staff for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This is not his first appointment with FEMA.  During the George W. Bush Administration he served as deputy director for legislative affairs, and later as advisor to former administrator David Paulison and deputy administrator Harvey Johnson. He also worked with FEMA’s Public Assistance program in New York City from 2001-2003, and was deployed with the same program after the 2004 hurricanes in Florida. In addition to his work with FEMA, from 2008-2009 he served on the White House Homeland Security Council as director of response policy. Aside from his positions with FEMA and the White House, he has worked in the private sector and on Capitol Hill. Prior to his current role with FEMA, from 2013-2017 he was deputy staff director for the House Homeland Security Committee. Additionally, he served as a professional staff member to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee from 2011-2012.