Alanna Imbach, Political Science Major (2005)
Why Political Science?
I found my way to Political Science entirely by accident. In my second year at Western, I decided that I wanted to major in International Relations—a major that wasn’t offered by Western at the time. In order to transfer schools to the program I (thought I) was interested in, I was required to take Intro to International Political Economy. It was my first-ever political science class, and I immediately knew that Western’s Political Science program was exactly what I’d been looking for.
Which professors did you find most influential?
Professor Adam Resnick taught the International Political Economy course that first got me hooked on Political Science as an exciting path of study for me at Western. Dr. Vernon Johnson and Dr. Amir Abedi were hugely influential as mentors and in charting my life-long path in the areas of immigration policy, refugee law, international development and public policy.
What are you doing now?
Since graduating from Western, I’ve put my skills to work as a social worker, policy analyst and advocate, as well as key public information, communications and marketing positions within international organizations ranging from nonprofits to the United Nations.
Upon graduating from Western, I was offered a full-ride scholarship to the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, where I earned my Masters degree in International Solidarity Action: Humanitarian Aid, Migration Law and Cooperative Development. I stayed on as a Program Assistant working with the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid in Barcelona, and was later offered a well-paid internship position as Policy Associate at the International Catholic Migration Commission in Geneva, Switzerland doing advocacy work at the United Nations. After a stint working as an external evaluator of the UN Refugee Agency’s policy work in Morocco, I took a position as Public Information Officer at the UN World Food Programme in New York City.
Eager to get back to nonprofit work, I left the UN in 2012 to join WaterAid, the #1 ranked international nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives through clean water and toilets. Here, I lead the organization’s US media outreach, working to tell compelling human stories, secure media opportunities, and forge strong relationships with partners that move issues—including online inﬂuencers, media professionals, key government authorities, donors and private businesses.
Later this year I’ll be moving back to the Greater Seattle area to open Vibe Coworks, a shared workspace and coworking community geared towards empowering people to lead healthier, happier work+home lives, while also boosting our local economies.
Update (January 2018): Vibe Coworks was named 2017 Emerging Business of the Year by the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce. In November 2017, WWU on the Peninsula joined Vibe Coworks as a Corporate Catalyst founding member. Read more here.