University of Southern Indiana
Where are USI Majors today?

Student Testimonials

US Embassy in Indonesia
Toni Brink: “I am posted to the US Embassy in Indonesia… What USI gave me was the opportunity to study under creative and caring faculty, like Dr. Aakhus, Dr. Mackay, and Heidi Gregori Gahan, who encouraged experiential learning and resourcefulness. This mindset and the habits formed at USI ultimately made me competitive, and five years into my diplomatic career I am on equal footing with my Ivy league colleagues. My most memorable IR courses were actually "Alchemy, Magic, and Mysticism" and "Travel Writing." These courses have proven more valuable to me than international politics or international law because they made me a more interesting person. Patty also encouraged us to study abroad in a foreign language and to pursue more than one foreign language. I studied abroad in French and German, and being able to demonstrate my ability to navigate different cultures and learn languages quickly was critical to my diplomatic career. I would encourage current students to complement their IR degree with at least one language and language-based study abroad. I would also encourage them to take courses simply because they are intellectually interesting; those are, after all, the only courses they'll likely remember anyway.”

French Teacher at International School, GA
Tharushi Wattewewa: “I was an International Studies and a French major at USI from which I graduated in April 2018. I currently live in Atlanta, GA where I am a Teacher of at International School. I teach French and serve as a cultural bridge for parents of other cultures who have difficulties in communicating with the team. Although this is not frequent, working with children of different cultures and countries makes my day. Every day brings a new challenge and being the bridge between two groups brings me much joy. International Studies majors don't necessarily focus on the corporate job market. Have an open mind and challenge yourself to see how far you can go.”

Peace Corps, Albania
Damien Lee:
“I am currently serving in the peace corps in the country of Albania. I teach English for grades 8-12 in a small village. I also lead a Girls Empowerment Group and help coordinate cultural activities, celebrations and different ways to engage students. I have done things from showing locals how to cook American foods and teaching self-defense courses.”

Masters degree in International Business Law (ESADE Law School)
Mauricio Paniagua: “My name is Mauricio Paniagua a former student-athlete at USI with double major in International Studies and Spanish Language. Thanks to my studies at our prestigious university I was able to work in many places around the world during the last years such as:

  • OSK Marketing and Communications at New York, Mercedes Benz public relations department
  • G-77 + China Summit at Santa Cruz
  • Bolivia, international press department
  • TMF group, at Barcelona-Spain. Legal department. Also my bachelor in INST helped me to get my masters degree in International Business Law at ESADE Law School where I had the experience to take part of the European Union seminar for lawyers in the headquarters at Brussels.”

Senate in Indianapolis
Katie Weber
: “I an international studies and Spanish double major. I graduated in 2016 and since then I have been working for the Indiana State Senate as a legislative assistant to two senators. I’m currently earning my MBA trough USI’s accelerated online program while working my full time job at the Senate in Indianapolis. I will be at USI’s job fair with the legislature later this month if anybody wants to stop by and chat with me.”

Transportation planner in Nashville, TN
Peter Williams:
“I graduated from USI in 2011 double majoring in International Studies and Spanish. During the program, I studied abroad in Argentina and did a research project in the Dominican Republic. After graduating, I earned a TEFL certification and taught English in both Guadalajara and Veracruz, Mexico. Later, I toured Europe. Professionally, I served with AmeriCorps in the University Division at USI and worked as a graduate research assistant while earning a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Louisville. I now work as a transportation planner in Nashville, TN. For me, the International Studies program cultivated a sense of adventure, compassion, and learning and prepared me well for additional education and graduate school.”

Travel Agent in Louisville, KY
Heather Hurst: “I graduated in 2011 with a degree in International Studies from USI. I am currently working full-time as a Travel Agent in Louisville, KY. I worked previously at the Frazier International History Museum. I interned at the Muhammad Ali Center. I travel frequently both internationally and domestically.  A large part of our business is leading school groups to destinations like Washington, DC, New York, and Boston. We also book large groups that we guide on international trips. The Travel Industry is a huge field, and they are many ways to work within the field. I encourage anyone with a passion for travel, or interest in international relations, to explore a career in tourism. From airlines, to cruise ships, to vacation planners, or even business travel, people will always travel, so be a part of this wonderful industry.”

General Counsel and Director of Practice Growth for SmartBox Dental Marketing
Gary Wilson

College: Studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester; Studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for an Academic Year

Law School: Attended Case Western Reserve University School of Law on an Academic Scholarship and graduated; held an internship with the Chilean Ministry of Justice; did a research trip to Guatemala as part of a course on child welfare. 

Career: "Currently I am the General Counsel and Director of Practice Growth for SmartBox Dental Marketing; a digital marketing agency based in New Albany, IN, that serves more than 500 clients in 3 continents.” 


  • Cody Draper is an Archives Intern with the City of Evansville.
  • Amanda Parker interned with Uncharted International in Evansville.
  • Irene Villanueva interned at the Evansville Museum in summer 2017.
  • Hope Peckenpaugh ‘17 was admitted to the Master of Health Administration program at USI and works as a graduate resident advisor at USI.
  • Taylor Heath ’17 was admitted to the Master of Public Administration at USI and works as a graduate assistant in International Programs and Services.
  • Damien Burge ’16 is an English teacher for the Peace Corps in Albania.
  • Kaitlyn Weber ’16 is a Legislative Assistant with the Indiana State Senate. 
  • Tiguidanke Diakaby ’15 is working with Americorps Vista and the Marion County Commission on Youth.
  • Chelsey Mayser ’14 worked at Uncharted International in Evansville.
  • Amy Shipman ’13 is a Study Abroad Coordinator at San Jose State University. 
  • Chelsey Mullins ’11 is a Study Abroad Advisor at Purdue University.

Contact Dr. Sukanya Gupta


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