Students

Osgood Students

Lee EcatLee Ecat

Lee Ecat is a current sophomore in the Honors College at the University of Houston. He is pursuing a major in Management Information Systems and a minor in Accounting. Lee has an affinity for technology and international relations, and so under the mentorship of Dr. Shelton Williams, he researched the history of cyberwarfare’s rise as a major national security concern, with a focus on its effects towards United States-China relations. See his work sample video.

Anitra HowardAnitra Howard

Black Lives Matter, But Why Now?

Anitra Howard is a Batten Honors College student at Virginia Wesleyan University. She is pursuing a major in Political Science and a minor in History. During her time at Virginia Wesleyan, Anitra has participated in a championship winning Ethics Bowl team and has been slated to present her past research at multiple conferences. Anitra became interested in working with the Osgood Center after enjoying the lectures and events at an Osgood leadership program in the Winter of 2019. During her time with the Osgood Center, Anitra completed research on current racial relations in America.

Tania HameedTania Hameed

The Impact of COVID-19 on Women’s Rights

Tania Hameed is a recent graduate from the University of Houston with a B.S. in Biology, a minor in Leadership Studies, and Medicine and Society. During here time at the University of Houston, Tania was participated in the Bonner Service Leaders Program, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Peer Mentorship program, and the Student Government Association. She currently works as an Epidemiological Investigator with the Harris County Public Health Department in the Office of Science, Technology, and Surveillance. Tania will pursue a Master of Public Health in Global Health and a Master of Social Work dual-degree program next Fall. In the future, Tania aspires to lead in a Public Health NGO and to remain a life-long learner..

Fabiana ChaparroFabiana Chaparro

Fabiana Chaparro is a future international correspondent and social media journalist and manager. Fabiana is currently pursuing a Broadcast Journalism and Political Science double major with a minor in Creative Work at the University of Houston. Fabiana’s work sample is a video.

Q&A

What did you learn in our program?
News reports, as I’ve learned, need to capture the audience in invisible but plain-to-see ways: through your inflection, through your diction, and through how you frame and cut shots for video. Your story must always be specific, and must not stray too far from the main idea, and your video must assist you in telling a compelling story that will consistently engage your audience. More important than ever is the need to shoot various different videos and to properly research a topic, if you want to create a successful news report.

How will it contribute to your professional goals and personal plans?
My experience within the Osgood program allowed me to learn valuable practical skills from my mentor, Dr. Colin Campbell, as well as the importance of being a proactive self-starter in the professional field. Not only was I able to put my academic knowledge to use in a professional project, but I was able to hone and have a better grasp of what it means to work within my career.

Learning about international affairs from such knowledgeable people was also invaluable, and it aided me greatly when thinking about how I would approach my project. I am grateful to have been given the support and mentoring I needed to tell an important story.

Sherwin PhilipSherwin Philip

Geopolitics of the Chinese Banking Sector

Sherwin Philip was born and raised in India and came to the US in 2013. He is currently a senior majoring in Finance and Accounting at the University of Houston. He is very interested in financial institutions, and so he researched the geopolitical implications of the Chinese banking sector, working under the guidance of his mentor, Sheldon Ray.

Christobella DurretteCristobella Durrette

The Impact of Microloan Programs on the Lives of Palestinian Women in the Gaza Strip

Cristobella Durrette is a future journalist. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with a minor in Studio Art at the University of Houston. She worked with Les Janka. Cristobella conducted research on a microloan program focused on women in the Gaza Strip. Her goal was to narrate with words and images the experiences of the women and their communities.

Q&A

What did you learn in our program? How will it contribute to your professional goals and personal plans?
I gained experience conducting international relations and foreign policy research by exploring how microloan programs helped women to open businesses in the Gaza Strip. This opportunity allowed me to apply the skills I acquired conducting interdisciplinary humanities research to a subject of interest that I had yet to delve into in detail. Through the combination of an independent project and informational lectures, I have gained insight into a variety of international topics that will be useful in my future career as an international journalist.

What did you enjoy most of the experience? In other words, what you did not expect of (and you gained or learned from) the program?
Since I plan to incorporate illustration into my future journalistic practice through comics, I enjoyed having the opportunity to combine my artistic and research skills in a cohesive deliverable. When I applied for the program, I did not know whether I would be able to use my artistic talents in this opportunity. The support that I received from Dr. Williams and my mentor, Dr. Les Janka, encouraged me to incorporate my illustrative ideas into my final project.

What did our program mean to you in the midst of COVID19?
The remote program has allowed me to continue exploring topics of interest to me in a safe, remote format. Despite the inability to travel to Washington, D.C. as a result of COVID-19, the Osgood Center has provided me with ample enrichment opportunities.

Jesse MartinezJesse Martinez

Examining the Impact of Oil-Related Events on U.S. Domestic Policy

Jesse Martinez is a mathematics major currently enrolled at the University of Houston. Minoring in the field of Energy and Sustainability, Martinez became interested in working with the Osgood Center due to the expertise that guest lecturers had to offer in areas related to his minor such as geopolitics and energy-orientated domestic policy. His final project dealt with the role oil plays in U.S. domestic policy as well as foreign relations with research focused on energy expert Daniel Yergin’s 1992 “The Prize” documentary adapted from the book of the same name.

Keerti RaoKeerti Rao

U.S. Control Over a Covid-19 Economy

Keerti Rao is a finance and accounting student at the University of Houston Honors College. While completing her externship, she chose to research solutions to the impending recession due to COVID-19, under the mentorship of Charles Morrison. She plans on working in commercial banking and enjoyed learning about the role this industry plays on a macroeconomic scale.

Ekaterina LyubomirovaEkaterina Lyubomirova

Russia’s Future in AI

As a business student at the University of Houston, Ekaterina enjoyed participating in the first Summer 2020 session of the Professional Development Progr@m. Participating in it brought her new perspectives, experiences, and connections. Her research highlighted key issues about cyber security and Russia. She worked alongside Ty Miller, a Russian Studies graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Q&A

What did you learn?
This experience with the Osgood Center taught me different perspectives of foreign policy different from those taught traditionally in colleges. Additionally, having various professionals, lecturers, and researchers speak on their areas of expertise gave me the certainty that the information I was given came from reputable sources.

How did the program contribute to your professional goals and personal plans?
The program inspired me to look more closely at global issues, and as a business student, to take them into consideration.

What did you enjoy most of the experience?
I enjoyed the flexibility to tweak my areas of study while I received valuable guidance and feedback from the program mentors. I also enjoyed the speakers that focused on cybersecurity and Russia. I should say that I found the information that Dr. Shelton Williams and other guest speakers provided about graduate school programs very useful.

What did our program mean to you in the midst of COVID19?
The pandemic, and Osgood Center’ flexible approach, made it clear that despite the chaos around us, we can still do something productive. Although I participated in an online program, the professional seminars in which we learned about Washington’s culture inspired me to visit this city in the future.

Amritha SibyAmritha Siby

Impact of Coronavirus on Countries with Female Leaders

Amritha is a sophomore in the business honors program at the University of Houston on the pre-med track, pursuing a Finance degree with minors in Medicine & Society, Biology, and History. As a program associate at the Osgood Center, she conducted research on the impact of coronavirus on high and low income countries with female leaders. She absolutely loved this topic because it combined her interests in business, international relations, and healthcare.

Q&A

What did you learn?
Through this program and the different speakers, I learned that I am interested in global health.

How did the program contribute to your professional goals and personal plans?
The program was very positive for me; I am more confident about my story, my career goals, and my professional plans. Early in the program, specifically on the first professional development seminar (on May 12th), I realized something essential that made that session my favorite out of all. During this session, I learned how to build a narrative by tying together where I came from, why I want to do what I plan to do (and I will do!), and how my experiences can tie into my future.

What did you enjoy most of the experience?
I enjoyed working with my mentor, Sarah Hillware, very much! She stayed in touch with me, and she was very helpful throughout the entire process.

Sakethram DesabhotlaSakethram Desabhotla

Current and Potential Legal and Legislative Remedies Against the Chinese Government for Its Handling of the Novel Coronavirus

Sakethram is a pre-law student double-majoring on Finance and Management at the University of Houston, Honors College. He is also a scholar in the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) Pipeline Program. Sakethram loves learning about the intersection of business and law. He worked with Gregory Williams; Sakethram wrote a paper to analyze the legal actions applicable to address China’s government management of the COVID19 crisis. Check a sample of Sakethram’s work.

Q&A

What did you learn?
The Osgood Center for International Studies’ Professional Development Progr@m gave me insight into a variety of careers and experiences in policy, international finance, nonprofit work, and foreign affairs.

How did the program contribute to your professional goals and personal plans?
As a student passionate about the law, the insight I gained in the program broadened my understanding of how I could apply my business and law degrees in unique and meaningful ways. Osgood Center’s program helped me to be more objective about job expectations. One of the best pieces of advice I received in the program was to be mindful that “the job I will be hired to do is not necessarily the job that I will be doing after I am hired.” This piece of advice has helped me to maintain objectivity in a world where expectations of what a job should look like can often differ from what it really might be.

What did you enjoy most of the experience?
The highlight of the program for me was working with my mentor, Gregory Williams, a top international lawyer. With his support, I wrote a research paper on potential legal and legislative remedies against the Chinese government for its handling of COVID-19. This experience allowed me to view the law through a theoretical lens and delve into the various applications of international law.

What did our program mean to you in the midst of COVID19?
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many institutions to alter the course of their programming to ensure public safety. For many organizations, this meant cancelling programs or internships due to the difficulties of reformatting them. In this environment, the Osgood Center’s online program allowed me to continue my professional development as a student without sacrificing the safety of our society.


Ming Jun Ou

China
Summer Symposium on Foreign Policy

Ming Jun Ou

“The symposium provided me a brand new perspective to see the world. During the symposium I attended lectures given by experts, sharing their insights into foreign affairs, like the Euro-crisis. I learnt a lot and was deeply inspired by great ideas.

Apart from that the Osgood Center provided students the opportunities to visit Capitol Hill and embassies of different countries, which would surely enlarge visitors’ vision.

In the days in DC I met students from all around the globe and made new friends with them. This is a wonderful chance, for you and me, to enjoy and fulfill ourselves. I highly recommend this program to everyone.

Ícaro Gama

Brazil
National Model UN

Icaro Gama

“I had access to different people and culture, at the same time I made new friends and I am sure that now I have several homes in different parts of the world. I could discovered myself as a person with a role to play in the world, to care about what I could do to have a high impact around me and how I may contribute to the others too.”

Yuki Onogi

Japan
Professional Development Program

Yuki Onogi

I was Program Associate to the Osgood Center for International Studies during the summer of 2010. My primary work was to attend various conferences and conduct personal interviews with professionals regarding my specializations including energy security of Russia, Eastern Europe, Eurasia (REES) and their neighbors, such as China, India, and the Middle East. As the final assignment, I wrote a twelve-page paper on the geopolitics of the Nabucco and South Stream pipelines, natural gas pipelines planned to go through the Balkans from the Caucasus to the EU, while bypassing Ukraine. Thanks to the Osgood Center, I became more knowledgeable and made another great step towards becoming a specialist in energy geopolitics and economics in the former Soviet states, the Balkans, and beyond these regions. It was also a good opportunity to be acquainted with numerous researchers and interns working on international affairs. This visit was definitely educational and meaningful for my future career. I highly recommend this program.

Cigdem Sert

Netherlands
International Business Conference

Cigdem Sert

What an amazing time did I have during the International Business Conference in Washington DC.

In a short matter of time I learned so much and I was privileged to get a lot of insights of many experts. I will never forget the experiences of visiting the IMF, the World Bank, the State Department, Chinese Embassy, The Washington Center, Unites States International Trade Commission and not to forget the Capitol Hill.

I met students from all around the world who added to the experience by bringing the flavors and colors of the rest of the world to Washington DC and shared their perspectives on issues discussed at the conference.

Every detail, including the hotel, was arranged very well. Thank you Osgood Center for this opportunity!

Tatum Enslin

George Washington UniversityTatum Enslin
A Student’s Perspective on Foreign Policy in DC

Justin Morris

USA
Leadership in a New Era

Justin Morris

My visit to Washington DC is one that will last a lifetime. I learned and experienced so much in the very short time I was there. The speakers for the Leadership program were very engaging and informative. The people I met in Washington were incredible individuals from different states, backgrounds, and educational goals. I witnessed history with my own eyes at the Inauguration of Barack Obama, which, I will be able to share with my future history students. Many of my peers select to travel abroad for January Term, but they truly missed out on this trip of a lifetime to our nation’s capital. The Osgood Center has a very distinguished program.

Stefanie Faith

USA
Leadership in a New Era 2009

Stephanie Faith

The leadership program was an experience I will never forget. I learned so much from the speakers we had and also met some amazing people from all over the world. I made friendships that I will keep for a long time and did it all in the amazing Washington, D.C.

Brett Savage

USA
Leadership in a New Era

Brett Savage

I learned so much from the guest speakers and different activities I took part in while at the conference. I will take my experiences I have gained from over the past 13 days with me for the rest of my life. Thanks again for letting me have such a fantastic opportunity.

YiJun Fan

China
International Business Conference (IBC)

YiJun Fan

The International Business Conference provided me a distinct perspective about globalization not only by allowing me to brainstorm with several leading policy experts and economists, but also exposing me to institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and others. It was a wonderful learning experience, and I am grateful to the Osgood Center staff for providing such a enriching opportunity to students from around the globe.

Zach Walker

USA
America Decides

Zach Walker

As a graduate student working for a Master of Public Policy degree, I could not have been in a better place. Washington, DC is the hub of this nation’s public policy work, and I didn’t fully realize that until I was actually there in the middle of everything. I can’t count how many articles I have had to read from the Brookings Institution, CSIS, or of course Congress. And I know that I have invested many free hours in watching CSPAN. To hear from senior fellows in these institutions and to be able to ask them questions in person is exponentially better than reading any article.

But just going to Washington didn’t assure that I would have such an amazing experience. That’s where the Osgood Center comes in. The people and places that the Osgood Center connects students to is simply amazing. Despite being a military officer, there is no chance that I would have been able to go to the Center for National Policy, where there was a mix of senior DOD officials, a senior correspondent from The Economist, and a group of Osgood students all in the same room. I was able to have a conversation with a senior Pentagon official about the future of energy use within the military. I don’t know where else, or with any other group, that could happen.

In the course of one week, I made new friends while making connections that will enhance my career opportunities. I highly recommend Osgood Center programs to anyone who is interested in a career in public service.

Mohsine Bensaid

Morocco
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

Mohsine Bensaid

“The way the conference was structured allowed for lots of give-and-take, adopting the ritual model of communication. The cultural diversity created through the different cultural backgrounds the participants came from has actually made so much room for receiving and giving, learning as well as teaching. This was not merely fulfilled within the rooms in which the meetings were held, but even outside. The fact that the majority of the participants stayed in one dorm allowed for healthy, effective interaction amongst participants. Fernando Rubio, an Austin College student, revealed, “The greatest thing that I truly learned from this conference is how significant it is listening to others and how important it is to forge human relationships, especially with those coming from different cultures.”

The participants had a chance to meet with top-level politicians, successful businessmen, and brilliant leaders. Presumably, the entire essence of the conference is about leadership. And to me, leadership is not about one, but about those around one. The participants had the opportunity to discuss the very meaning of leadership and ones of the many most current, burning issues with experienced leaders.

Alexis Reed

USA
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

Alexis ReedThe speakers/guests at the ILC were extremely motivational, and encouraged ILC students to learn more about leadership as well as themselves. Prior to the conference, I was under the impression that leaders of politics and corporations too often sacrificed their values and ethics in order to gain financial and/or political prowess; nevertheless, the speakers disproved these preconceived notions.

Unlike my counterparts from Texas, Morocco, and Pennsylvania, Turkmenistan, I have a lived in the Washington-Metro area for all of my life. However, I had spent most of my time “outside of the beltway,” as they say, both literally and figuratively. After the ILC, I strongly desire to become deeply immersed in the culture that exists “inside the beltway,” which, I feel, will help me immensely in my pursuit of the defense for international human rights.

Aanbar Hassan

Morocco
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

Aanbar HassanThe ILC was a life-changing opportunity for me. The visits to the White House, the Congress and other government offices and think tanks were very educational. I certainly learned a lot in the two weeks I spent with Shelly and Gaya.

The aspect I enjoyed the most was the ability to interact with people who accomplished so much by just hard work and determination and now serve as role models for students like myself.

Szende Szabo

Romania
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

Szende Szabo

The ILC was definitely more than I expected. Besides the astonishing speakers that we had, I most enjoyed meeting my peers. Fascinating students, dedicated to breaking down the boundaries that cultures and traditions have imposed on us by being willing to engage into dialogue and listening to the other side on issues.

The ILC not only allows you to learn a lot about leadership, but it is also very creative by using Washington, DC, the heart of US politics and an ever-changing environment, as its classroom, providing students with unique experiences that are always relevant to the times we live in.

Thank you very much for this unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever, through which I not only learned about leadership, but all the fundamental values connected to it.

Abdelkarim Foulfaula

Morocco
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

Abdelkarim Foulfaula

The diversity characterizing the activities I took part in was something that has provided me with an ability to look at different things, and different issues from different perspectives.

During the conference, I had the chance to meet with different people including students and guest speakers from whom I learned a great deal. Attending this conference has resulted in improving my learning skills, both at the academic and the professional level, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the ILC.

James Trent

USA

James Trent

International Leadership Conference (ILC)This conference has taught me more about leadership than any study of historical figures or literature possibly could.

With Washington, DC as our classroom, we have learned life lessons from influential leaders in business and politics. We learned the principles that guided these leaders’ decisions and ultimately led them to success.

The lectures from the Osgood board members had the most influence upon me. I think that now I am beginning to understand the relationship between humility and eventual respect, between admitting ignorance and eventual knowledge, and between empowering others and in turn raising oneself.

Mohamed Aboulhaya

Morocco
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

Mohamed Aboulhaya

I was really fortunate to attend the International Leadership Conference. I am sure that the two weeks I spent interacting with peoples from different domains will serve as a conduit towards shaping my way ahead. More importantly, learning about leadership is an insightful experience I was always looking for. I enjoyed listening to the speakers and guests and learning about their own experiences and achievements. These individuals taught me the importance of self-reliance, determination, hard work, and resilience.

I consider my experience with the Osgood Center to be one of the best educational experiences I’ve ever had. I’m really thankful to the Osgood Center’s staff, namely Dr. Williams and Gaya. My experience was great, and I’m looking forward to attending it again.

Maya Saryyeva

Turkmenistan
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

Maya Saryyeva

Attending the ILC was one of the most exciting events of the year because it exposed me to a number of opportunities in such an important and metropolitan city, like Washington DC. Giving students like me a chance to meet and communicate with some of the leading political and social figures was one of the most exciting parts of the conference. It is through discussions with those leaders, that I strengthened my inner drive for my personal and societal goals; and I am sure a number of students will concur with me on this matter. I also liked the fact that ILC underlined the importance of young generations from different parts of the world in breaking down personal and social barriers, and encouraging them to strive for their ambitions, no matter how great or challenging they are.

Loubna Arrach

Morocco
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

Loubna Arrach

The ILC taught me a lot about leadership not only by exposing me to prominent leaders and speakers, but also allowing a lot of interaction with my peers. One of my favorite features of the conference was that everyone was very accessible; we were able to participate by asking questions, commenting and receiving immediate feedback.