In an effort to strengthen advising and retention, and build cohesion among the students in the major, the BAIS program created a Peer Advising program. Peer Advisors are current BAIS students who volunteer their time to share their expertise and provide basic information about the major, especially to new students. They hold drop-in office hours twice a week where they help students develop a four-year plan and provide referrals to other services on campus. Additionally, Peer Advisors sit on the BAIS Faculty Student Advisory Council, which meets monthly to discuss program issues and plan program events. Peer Advisors serve as leaders and exemplary students in the BAIS student community and gain valuable experience in collaborating with faculty and staff.
Spring 2013 Peer Advisors
Alex Cannarella is a sophomore majoring in International Studies, with a focus on Global Politics and Societies, with minors in European Studies and Legal Studies. She is knows French, and is currently studying Italian. She is planning to study abroad in Florence, Italy next year for fall semester. She is also in the SII program, which is a great program for her because she loves writing and reading. She hopes to go to law school some day, and study contract law or environmental law. She is from Portland Oregon, and loves it only a little bit more than San Francisco.
Bryce Chiodo is a junior at USF majoring in International Studies with a focus on Peace and Conflict studies and minors in Middle Eastern Studies and Jewish Studies and Social Justice. Bryce is well spoken in Hebrew and continues to improve his language skills in hopes of learning other languages such as Arabic and Farsi. He loves to travel, and this summer he was afforded the opportunity to go to Israel, Palestine and Jordan for three months. While there, he worked for a non-profit group called Windows, a triangle network of Israeli-Jews, Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian citizens of the Occupied Territories working together in youth empowerment and education.
Maribel Mercado is a junior majoring in International Studies, with a focus on Peace and Conflict Studies and Latin American Studies, and minoring in Philosophy. She is fluent in Spanish and has been studying Italian for five years, and hopes to learn more languages. Currently, she interns at the 350.org headquarters in Oakland. 350.org is a global grassroots organization dedicated to solving the climate crisis. Maribel is also the president of the young Association for International Studies (which you should join because it is so awesome!). Growing up close enough to the Bay Area in Sacramento, she has always enjoyed San Francisco. She loves to explore the city (often by jumping on a random bus and seeing where it leads her) and finds that the most undervalued things make it unique.
Kelsey Silva has finally returned to San Francisco after two semesters studying abroad. She was immersed in El Salvador through the CASA program and then studied and interned in Washington D.C. She is studying Latin America and Cultures, Societies & Values, and has been inspired to combat human trafficking through USF Erasmus project. She has loved examining cultures and analyzing people, both everyday and while traveling to new countries. This semester, Kelsey is writing her capstone thesis about El Salvador, as influenced by the country and the culture she fell in love with.
Jillian Smith is a sophomore at USF majoring in International Studies with a focus on Peace and Conflict Studies and minors in African Studies and Environmental Studies. Jillian is currently studying Swahili with the hopes of eventually traveling abroad to east Africa. She plays rugby at USF and works on campus at the Koret Health and Recreation Center, but is currently working on finding a potential volunteer or internship position with an international organization or non-profit.
Astrea Somarriba is a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and International Studies with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies and a minor in Latin American Studies. She is proficient in Spanish and has studied Italian, but she hopes to strengthen her language skills abroad in Bologna, Italy, where she plans on studying next fall, and Managua, Nicaragua. She grew up in the Washington, D.C. area but loves the vibrancy of San Francisco. However, as much as she loves California, Astrea is passionate about traveling and aspires to work as an art therapist for marginalized youth in Latin America. Her next trip is to Cambodia in the summer with her Erasmus class to explore the evolving definition of social justice in the context of the country's politics, culture, and economy. On campus, she can be found working in the Masters of Arts in International Studies office, or performing for College Players, a student-run theater organization.
Erika Wingerter is a senior at USF, majoring in International Studies with a track of Environment & Development and a regional minor in Asian Studies. Her main focus this semester is preparing for graduation and possibly going to graduate school in London. She is very interested in foreign policy and its influence on the treatment of the environment and marginalized populations. This past summer, she had the opportunity to work at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the Environment Science Technology & Health Section. She is currently interning at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office in the Child Assault Unit. She is really enjoying getting first-hand experience concerning U.S. legal policy and prosecution.