Class Notes

Through informal communication and the "Class Notes" section of Western's alumni magazine, Window, we hear about Political Science graduates and what they are doing in their careers.  Don't see yourself here?  We are always thrilled to hear from former students, so drop us a line at and let us know what you are up to!

2021 - Holly Chavet

In Fall 2024 Holly will be attending the University of Colorado Law School on a scholarship! She was admitted to five wonderful law schools; however, Colorado ultimately stuck out as the school that could best guide her in the direction of her academic and professional goals. She hopes to strengthen her leadership skills as a law student and one day be a mentor for other young professionals as a future attorney. Congratulations, Holly!

2020 - Phoebe DeMeerleer

In May 2023 Phoebe graduated from Boston University School of Law and will be completing a one year fellowship at the Conservation Law Foundation in Providence, Rhode Island. Congratulations, Phoebe!

2019 - Kieran Smith

Kieran was accepted to the Master of Arts in European Politics and Policy at University College Dublin in Ireland.  He will focus on EU foreign, security and defense policy.  Congratulations, Kieran!  (updated 9/19)

2018 - Catherine Jackson

Since graduation, Catherine has worked as a Program Coordinator at the UW Continuum College.  In Fall 2019 she begins a new chapter entering the masters program at the UW Evans School of Governance and Public Policy.  Congratulations, Catherine!(updated 9/19)

2018 - Asia Fields

Asia is a news resident with the Seattle Times and currently the night reporter. (updated 6/19)

2018 - Jessica Lederman

Jessica will be starting at the University of Washington School of Law beginning AY 2019-2020.  Congratulations! (updated 6/19)

2017 - Sarah Allen

Upon graduation, Sarah moved to New York and took an internship with BRAC; the internship subsequently turned into a fellowship and later a full-time position.  Through her work with BRAC, Sarah has traveled to Liberia and Bangladesh and, thanks to a professional development stipend, she is completing an online MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy.  In the future she hopes to complete a Masters in International Relations and continue in international development work.  (updated 10/19)

2017 - Liam Blunt

After a year of teaching in Namibia, Liam returned to the U.S. and is completing an internship with the Society for International Development in Washington DC.  (updated 10/19)

2017 - Amber Kelly

Recent graduate Amber wrote to say she is currently working with the Health Sciences, Education & Wellness Institute at Bellevue College.

2017 - Abigail Ramos

Abby is in her first year of law school at City University of New York.  In summer 2019 she is working as a legal intern with the Community Service Society in Manhattan. (updated 6/19)

2017 - Nora Selander

Nora Selander, B.A., history and political science, is Western’s new director of Government Relations. She came from The Evergreen State College, where she served as Government Relations Director.

2017 - Bridget Doyle Williams

Bridget is Community Engagement Coordinator with The Washington Bus, an organization that encourages youth voter registration and where she completed an internship during her undergraduate studies in Political Science.

2016 - Danil Vishniakov

After graduation, Danil relocated to attend the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where he was the Executive Editor of Inside Articles of Law Review, a member of the Federalist Society, and completed internships with the Detroit Land Bank Authority, the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Detroit, and  Office of the Principal Legal Advisor for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) in Detroit.  He has recently completed his law degree and hopes to work with the Justice Department Office of International Affairs.    (updated 12/19)

2016 - Shawn Plascencia

Shawn (JD Candidate '22) is currently attending Seattle University Law School.  Over the summer his criminal law class visited the Olympia and met Justices Gonzalez and Yu.  "Law school is (as) demanding as it is rewarding.  Stressful, competitive, and a lot of fun."  (updated 9/19)

2016 - Heather Heffelmire

After graduation Outstanding Graduate Heather Heffelmire (B.A. Political Science) participated in Teach for America in Baltimore.

2016 - Zachary Dove

Zach is in his first year of the PhD program in Political Science at the University of Santa Cruz; he is studying global environmental governance. (updated 6/19)

2015 -Zach Dugovich

Zach is working as a Political Action Representative with AFSCME International.  He kindly keeps us abreast of opportunities at AFSCME for Political Science students.  (updated 9/19)

2015 -Ella Berishev

Ella is working on a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution and Analysis at George Mason University and is currently an Executive Assistant at the USAID Food for Peace program.

2015 - Bennett Hanson

Since graduation, Bennett took and passed the U.S. Foreign Service Officer Test, worked with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund; he then worked with Bridge International Academies in Boston developing and overseeing "culturally-attentive educational materials for children in five countries".  Bennett is currently working as a researcher with Global Press. (updated 6/19)

2015 - Carly Roberts

Carly Roberts, B.A., political science, graduated in May 2022 from Gonzaga Law School, where she was a Thomas More public service scholar and editor-in-chief of the Gonzaga Law Review. Carly was sworn into the Washington State Bar in November and is completing a judicial clerkship in Seattle.

2014 - Ryan Hackler

Ryan Hackler, B.S., chemistry, and B.A., politics/philosophy/economics, is a postdoctoral appointee at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, where he was admitted into Argonne’s Chain Reactions Innovation, a lab-embedded entrepreneurship program. Ryan, who completed his doctoral degree at Northwestern University in chemistry in 2019, and his business partner Robert Kennedy will collaborate with scientists at Argonne to commercialize and scale up technology they codeveloped to convert plastic waste into value-added chemicals and consumer products. They hope to take things like plastic bags and convert them to motor oils, detergents, waxes and other useful commodities.

2014 - Olin Johansen

Olin completed his Masters in Public Administration at the University of Washington in June 2019.  His studies focused on affordable housing and tax policy.  He currently works as a capital budget analyst for the Seattle Housing Authority. (updated 9/19)

2014 - Kaylee Galloway

Kaylee served as a staff assistant in the U.S. Senate in 2015-2016.  She earned her MA in Policy Studies at the UW Bothell in 2018 and currently works as a Community Liaison officer for US House Representative Suzan DelBene.  In 2018 she was a participant in the UW Alene Moris National Education for Women Leadership Institute.

2013 - Christin Dulaney

Christin completed the MA in Political Science in 2013 and went on to internships with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the US Attorneys' Offices in addition to serving as a judicial extern with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  In 2019, Christin earned her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology and is an incoming Law Clerk at Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

2011 - Sarah Pozzi

An attorney and former law clerk for Lane County Circuit Court, Sarah Pozzi (B.A. Political Science) recently joined the law firm of Bodyfelt Mount in Portland.

2009 - Annie Walden-Newman

After nearly five years working on health policy in Washington, D.C., including working for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Annie Walden‐Newman (B.A. Political Science) recently graduated from Columbia University with a dual-degree Master"s in Social Work and Master"s in Public Health. She is now a clinical social worker in Colorado working with children and adolescents.

2008 - Cathy Kim

Since graduation - and playing collegiate golf at Western - PGA Class A Member Cathy Kim (B.A., Political Science) has been teaching golf, first as director of player development at TPC Summerlin in Las vegas and now, joining the teaching staff of the 1757 Golf Club in Dulles, Virginia .  (updated 9/19)

2008 - Kristina Mader

Kristina is currently serving as Senior Program and Research Manager for the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.  She is actively engaged in the Model United Nations program and in 2015 served as the Deputy Secretary-General of National Model United Nations. (updated 6/19)

2007 - Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo (B.A. Political Science) is known for her poignant, profound writing about racism, social justice, mental health and politics.  She is the editor at large of The Establishment, an online media platform run and funded by women. Her writing on social justice has appeared in The Guardian, The Stranger, the Washington Post, Time magazine and more. Her first book, "So You Want to Talk About Race," is a New York Times bestseller for people who want to explore the topics of race and privilege with people of different backgrounds. Oluo has presented on campus about race, gender and social change, as well as writing about politics.

2006 - Adam Lincolm

Adam Lincoln, B.A., political science, became the interim city manager of Pasco. He has been Pasco’s deputy city manager since 2020.

2006 - Robin Vasquez

2006 - Robin Vasquez (B.A. Political Science, Spanish) is the section chief of Workforce Strategies in the State Human Resources Division of the Office of Financial Management. She is also working towards a masters in Public Administration with a public policy focus at Evergreen State College

2005 - Alanna Imbach

Alanna Imbach (B.A. Political Science, Spanish) is a media relations manager and "storyteller-in-chief" for WaterAid, a nonprofit based in New York City dedicated to international development of clean water and toilets.

2002 - Mike Duncan

Mike Duncan (B.A. Political Science) produces the popular podcasts "The History of Rome" and "Revolutions".  His book "The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic" debuted at number 8 on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list.

2001 - Carl Gipson

Carl Gipson, B.A., political science, was appointed president of external and legislative affairs of the Pacific Northwest Region for AT&T, based in Redmond. Previously, he was director for external affairs for AT&T in Washington state.

2001 - Lindsay Naylor

Lindsay Naylor (B.A. Political Science) is currently Associate Professor and Graduate Director in Geography and Spatial Sciences at the University of Delaware.  In 2023, she was named a fellow of the American Association of Geographers, a lifetime appointment and honor.

2000 - Kiku Huckle

Kiku Huckle (B.A. Political Science) is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Pace University in New York.  She is also the faculty advisor to the university's Pi Sigma Alpha chapter.

2000 - Genevieve O'Sullivan

Genevieve O"Sullivan (B.A. Political Science) became director of communications and marketing for CropLife America.

2000 - John Lewis

The governor of Montana appointed John Lewis (B.A., Political Science) to be the director of the Department of Administration. Previously, Lewis served as Montana chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus.

2000 - Chad Sleight

Chad Sleight (B.A. Political Science) was sworn in as a Clark County District Court Judge and elected president of the Clark County Bar Association.

1999 - Julie Kline

Julie Kline, B.A., political science, recently became a trial lawyer at the Seattle law firm of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender. Previously. Julie was a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for King County and a senior adviser and interim general counsel to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

1998 - Nicole Gauthier

The Jefferson Transit Authority board recently appointed Nicole Gauthier, B.A., political science, as general manager of the transit agency that runs buses in and around Sequim, Poulsbo, Kingston, and east and west Jefferson County. Nicole had served as the interim general manager for several months.

1998 - Shane O'Day

Shane O"Day (B.A.E. Political Science; Secondary Education) is the principal of Shortridge High School in Indianapolis.

1998 - Zach Tinker

Zach Tinker (B.A. Political Science; Master in Teaching) became head football coach for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology football team.

1997- Steven Millman

Steven Millman (M.A. Political Science) is senior vice president for global research and operations for the market research company Dynata. He’s also a member of the board of trustees for the Advertising Research Foundation, a member of the Market Research Council, and a member of Western’s Marketing Advisory Board.

1996 - Trinity Parker

Trinity Parker (B.A. Political Science) is Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs for the Bellevue-based Symetra Life Insurance Company.  She was previously regional manager for Government and Community Relations for Seattle Sound Transit and has served on a number of civic and community boards including the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, the Corporate Advisory Board for the Greater Seattle Business Association, and the Foundation for Western Washington University.  (updated 9/19)

1995 - David Peterson

David Peterson (B.A. Political Science) recently became General Counsel for PAC Worldwide, a global packaging firm based in Seattle.

1995 - Elizabeth Frombgen

Elizabeth Frombgen (B.A. Political Science) was recently named president of Southwestern College in Kansas. Previously, she was vice president for academic affairs at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania.

1994 - Jacquelyn High-Edward 

Jacquelyn High-Edward, B.A., political science, was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to be a Spokane County Superior Court judge. Previously, she was a Spokane County Court Commissioner.

1992 - Janine Parry 

Janine Parry (B.A. Political Science) who has been at the University of Arkansas since 1998, was named a University Professor in the Department of Political Science in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Janine is also the director of the annual Arkansas Poll. 

1992 - Scott Ryan

Scott Ryan (B.A. Political Science) cofounded Math Adventure, a non-profit that combines math, puzzles, the arts and interactive theatre at elementary school events in the Seattle area.

1991 - Monya Mandich

Monya Mandich (B.A. Political Science) is a global senior director at Expedia Media Solutions, overseeing Expedia's integrated marketing and communications.

1990 - Mari Leavitt

Mari Leavitt (B.A. Political Science) has worked in higher education for more than 22 years and served as former Deputy Director for Pierce County Human Services.  Currently she represents the 28th Legislative District in the Washington State House of Representatives; she is vice chair of the College and Workforce Development Committee.  (updated 9/19)

1990 - Dick Freier

Dick Freier (B.A. Political Science) was named the football coach for Anacortes High School.

1990 - Dann Mead Smith 

Dann Mead Smith, B.A., political science, is a consultant on public policy issues and the co-leader of Project 42, a non-profit advocacy group that funds, launches and mentors organizations that prioritize free markets and personal liberty. Previously, Dann spent 20 years as president of the Washington Policy Center.

1989 - Scott Hugill

Scott Hugill (B.A. Political Science) became city manager for Mountlake Terrace.

1986 - Eileen Sullivan

After graduating from Western, Eileen went on to earn her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington and today has more than 20 years experience in public policy and government relations.  Eileen is currently Senior Manager for US State Public Policy at  (updated 12/19)

1984 - John Saunders

John Saunders (B.A. Political Science, English, Economics) recently became vice president for commercial real estate services for Columbia Bank in Tacoma. Most recently, he served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps.

1982 - John Mansfield

John Mansfield (B.A. Political Science) was recently named vice president of Strategic Development for CTC Global, an Irvine, California, company that manufactures high-capacity ACCC overhead power-lines.

1982 - Bill Reichardt

Bill Reichardt (B.A. Political Science) recently retired as Sheriff of Skagit County.

1980 - Kathryn Nicolas

1980 - Kathryn Nicolas (B.A. Political Science) is the managing editor of History of Education Quarterly at the University of Washington.  She received her Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from UW in June 2018.

1973 - Dean Kahn

Dean Kahn (B.A. Political Science) recently retired from the Bellingham Herald, where he had been a reporter, news editor, columnist and magazine editor. Before joining the Herald in 1986, Kahn also worked as a statehouse reporter for United Press International in Jefferson City, Missouri, and Olympia.

1973 - Michael Farris

Michael Farris (B.A. Political Science, History) recently became CEO and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, a socially conservative legal defense organization. Previously, Farris was the founding president of Patrick Henry College and the Home School Legal Defense Association.

1972 - Deane Sandell

Deane Sandell (B.A. Political Science) retired from the Whatcom County Sheriff's office in 2003 and continues to serve on the Northwest Washington Fair board of directors.

1971 - John Doherty

John Doherty (B.A., Political Science) recently retired as Clallam County District Court Judge.

1971 - Reynaldo Pascua

After a long career, Reynaldo "Rey" Pascua (B.A. Political Science and Ethnic Studies) retired from the Washington Child Welfare Services but he is keeping busy.  In 2019, Rey was awarded the Vanguard Award from the Washington State Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) for his contributions to advancing the causes of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Rey is the President of the Filipino American Community of the Yakima Valley, a Trustee on the Filipino American National Historical Society, and a former Commissioner of CAPAA.  He has been integral to the passage of Senate Bill 5865 making the month of October Filipino American History Month.

1967 - Karen Symms Gallagher

In 2019, WWU recognized Karen Symms Gallagher (B.A., Political Science) as a Distinguished Alumna of Woodring College of Education.  Over her career, she has worked as a professor, scholar and academic, administrator and is currently the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education, one of the top 10 graduate schools of education in the country.  She is the author of numerous publications on educational politics and policy and is currently chair of the board of directors of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.  (updated 9/19)

1966 - Ralph Munro

Former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro (B.A. Political Science and Education) received an honorary doctorate from Western at Commencement in March, when he also gave the Commencement speech.