My PS Story

Stories from Political Science alumni and how they are using their University of Illinois degree now.

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  • CRISTINA VALDEZ PINEDA (’15) graduated from Illinois with a double major in Political Science and Communication. She now works at Ernst & Young (EY) as a Senior Economic Consultant in their...
  • AMBER MCREYNOLDS (‘01) always had an interest in politics and government. With both of her grandmothers having served as election judges and her father’s career as both a lawyer and a judge, it’s no...
  • JESUS MAGANA (‘13) was not always sure of his career path.  However, while attending Illinois as a Political Science student, Magaña was the Civic Engagement Intern with the University YMCA on...
  • JENINE SALEH (‘15) majored in both Political Science and Global Studies, receiving highest distinction honors during graduation. Saleh originally decided to study Political Science and Global...
  • Quite a few graduates from the Political Science department at the University of Illinois might someday end up on the east coast, but far fewer will have had a journey similar to RESHMA SAUJANI (BA ’...
  • MICHAEL ALLENSWORTH (BA ‘14) attended the University of Illinois originally majoring in MCB on the Pre-Med track but soon realized it was not for him. Allensworth always had a passion for politics...
  • While studying Political Science at Illinois, AMANDA BRADY ZIFFRA (BA ’08) was President of the Women's Lacrosse Team and spent time studying abroad in both Greece and Curaçao. After finishing her...
  • For Professor ALAN WISEMAN (BA ’96), his professional career stems from a hot day in Champaign, Illinois in August 1993. Dr. Wiseman was planning to complete an internship program in Washington, DC,...
  • MARK GLASSGOW (‘16) is a Co-Founder and Producer at Chicago Media Angels, a business dedicated to connecting investors with talented, independent filmmakers. They also assist in the production of the...
  • Growing up in Taiwan, where politics permeates every day life, MURPHY PERNG (BA ’11) developed an interest in the subject. Her family openly shared their views on international affairs with her, and...
  • MORGAN McCLAIN-McKINNEY (BA ’09; MA ‘11) was a political science major throughout her years at Illinois, but her interests shifted from pre-law to international affairs.  While in college, she took...
  • BRADY COLLINS (MA ‘11), an alumnus of the Masters in Civic Leadership program, never expected to pursue a career in academia. As an undergraduate student in Global Studies and Economics, he was...
  • RYAN SPAIN (BA ’05) graduated with a dual degree in Political Science and Speech Communication and Bronze Tablet Honors. After graduating, Spain worked for a local non-profit economic development...
  • When KASEY UMLAND (BA ’05) accepted a program staff position at the University YMCA twelve years ago, she was returning to a place she had called home for the duration of her undergraduate degree....
  • AMY RADLINSKI (BA ‘17) pursued her interest in international politics in the Department of Political Science at Illinois. She majored in Political Science with minors in French and Global Studies...
  • JANICE LIN (‘16) has always been adept when it comes to political science, developing a passion for the subject in high school. She came to the University of Illinois as a Political Science major...
  • NATASHA DOLMON (BA ’14) spent much of high school engaged in politics, so naturally she selected Political Science as her declared major. However, she initially found the job market to be...
  • For EVAN KELLER (BA ’16), studying Political Science at Illinois was “never in question.” It all started with his 8th grade current events class, where a dedicated teacher encouraged passionate...
  • EMILY GARNETT (BA ’05; MA ’07) always knew she wanted to do something with politics or law. During her time at the University of Illinois she developed a close relationship with some of her...
  • ROBERT DOUBEK (’66) grew up in an American family with Czech roots. They were bakers and confectioners for three generations, including his. In 1962, he enrolled at the University of Illinois,...
  • NICK HARRER (’02) has always had an interest in broadcast journalism. Even at a young age, you could find him sitting at home each night watching the latest local newscast of the 1992 presidential...
  • MITCH DICKEY (‘16) is the University of Illinois Alumni Alliance’s Advocacy Coordinator, where he helps manage federal and state advocacy efforts on the University of Illinois’ behalf. The...
  • JAYLIN D. MCCLINTON (‘16) is a graduate of the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois. Out of college, he worked as a Reuss intern at the University of Illinois Foundation. He...
  • MARY O’CONNOR (’74) had always been interested in Political Science and decided to pursue this interest at the University of Illinois. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, O’Connor continued on and...
  • MARIE JOHNSON-DAHL ('16) did not always know what she wished to study when she got to the University of Illinois. In fact, it wasn't until her AP Comparative Government class in high school did she...
  • JOHN BECK (BA ’71; MS ‘74) started at the University of Illinois in 1967 as a student in what is now known as the Division of General Studies. He transferred into the Department of Political Science...
  • JUSTIN GERBER (’15) entered the University of Illinois not as a political science major  but after a semester of not feeling connected to his classes, he started to look for other options. Gerber...
  • LARRY HARRIS, JR. (‘15) has always had an interest in government and foreign affairs, and that led him to the Department of Political Science. During his time as a student here, he had a number of...
  • JULIA AZARI (‘02) started college hoping to be a journalist, and she selected political science because she hoped to do political journalism.  As she studied political science, she fell in love with...
  • AMANDA SONNEBORN (‘99) was born into a “very political” Springfield family, and she interned in the General Assembly while still in high school. Her decision to major in political science grew from...
  • ROB HUCK (’71) is a retired UI fundraiser and major supporter of the University of Illinois. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Illinois, he served in the United States Navy, and went on...
  • MEREDITH WIECK ('09) works as a Feature Film Executive in the production and development department at Lionsgate, an entertainment studio based in Los Angeles, California. She began college as a...
  • TERRY WELCH (’76) grew up in Springfield with a Republican father and a Democratic mother who enjoyed engaging the family in political debate. Studying political science at the U of I felt like “a...
  • DAVID ADELEYE (’14) has spent the past few years working in multiple advisory roles within the Obama Administration at the White House and Department of Homeland Security. During his time at the...
  • WILLIAM BILLEAUD (’85) is an international business executive. He is the President of Lombard Global, Incorporated, which provides investment banking and management consulting services to companies...
  • WENDY NETTER EPSTEIN (‘99) entered the University of Illinois intending to go the “pre-med” route. However, when she started classes, she quickly learned that she enjoyed political science the most,...
  • JOHN COADY (’74) explains how his study of political science influenced his judicial career path and life in this way: “Politics is my life.”  In college, he was involved in activities including...
  • MICHELLE (EACK) MORA (‘11) entered college through the general curriculum program (a forerunner to the Division of General Studies) with hopes of studying business and going to law school. After...
  • CATHERINE TOPOLINSKI (’13) enjoyed study abroad in both India and Belgium while she was in college. She chose to study political science because she enjoyed the courses.  She thinks political science...
  • SARA CLINE-HOWLAND (‘10) was interested in history and politics while in high school, and a major in political science seemed like a natural fit. While at the U of I, she became President of her...