Chris, Cookie, and a Career Workshop!


At our last meeting, Chris Jensen, a senior I/ST major, introduced some awesome internship opportunities for his non-profit organization Southern Cross Humanitarian.

Chris,who is now the Project Director for SCH, has been working with children with disabilities and help providing shelters for internal refugees in South America. SCH aims to bridge cultures and provide long-term solutions for children in South America, and they need YOUR help!

SCH is currently looking for interns to help in Peru and Columbia. All you need to do is dedicate yourself for two months and $200 (meals and housing included) to make some children’s lives a little bit better. =)

Check out their homepage for more information: South Cross Humanitarian or e-mail Chris at


Thanks to Cookie Partansky, ISSA Co-Chair and SWANA Ambassador, for presenting a fun, interactive game called “Global Players” where we acted out real world scenarios where as global players (major NGOs, IGOs, MNCs, etc) we had to devise strategies on tackling major crises such as, tsunamis, nuclear attacks, etc.

After we saved our global neighbors from complete fall outs by ecological and terrorist disasters, we all scrambled on over to the International Career Workshop. Major thanks to our presenters for providing us with great information and advice into possible careers for I/ST and non I/ST majors:

  • Robin Meili (Director, International Programs, RAND)
  • Kristin McCowan (Master of Public Affairs Program, USC, Formerly Chief Legislative Clerk for the Committee on House Administration)
  • Yvonne Mariajimenez (Deputy Director, Neighborhood Legal Services)
  • Lori Weise (Director of Business Development, Cedars-Sinai Hospital)
  • Thomas O’Brien (Director of Research, Center for International Trade and Transportation)
  • Matthew Rosenbaum (Social Worker, Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy, Formerly Doctors Without Borders)
  • Brit Toven-Lindsey (Marketing & Recruitment Specialist, USC Language Academy)
  • Adan Gallardao (Language Technologyy Specialist & Foreign Language Resource Center, Manager, Pomona College)

Though our speakers come from distinct educational and career backgrounds, they all shared similar components for their success:

  1. Passion > $$$ – Your happiness with what you do will be more valuable than how much you make.
  2. Language – Learn a language or two. It is a great two for bridging connections worldwide and in inter-ethnic communities, such as California.
  3. Education – Your education is not over the moment you receive a diploma. Keep learning with a will to make a difference in the lives of others.
  4. Take risks – With every opportunity that comes your way, just take it. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you either. When you see a door in front of you, open it. If the door is locked, find a way to unlock it. There are many alternative ways in achieving your goals, so be open to take risks.

Also, special thanks to Dr. Marcus, Dr. Weise, and ISSA officers who helped organized this event.

Whew, that was a long one. Remember that there is no general meeting next week, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday! On behalf of ISSA, I’d like to wish you a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Please donate foods and goods to your local charities, and think of those who are in need. Share, love, and make peace. Happy Thanksgiving!

Next meeting will be our last meeting of the semester: Tues, Nov 30th, 5:30 SPA 111!


East Africa Through the Eyes of Megan


Megan Cutler, our beloved ISSA Africa Ambassador, gave us a alternative viewpoint on East Africa two meetings ago.

She took her first trip to Africa in June 2008 and experienced much of its beauty, culture, and history that is often concealed by news which usually only cover the poverty and war in Africa.  Megan shared with us some of Africa’s history under colonialism and how the effects of colonialism has led it to its war-torn states and poverty, the leaders who have revolutionized the restructuring of Africa through Pan-Africanism, and the beauty and happiness she had encountered in East Africa.

Interesting Facts about East Africa:

 Ethiopia and Liberia were never colonized! They remained independent states during the “scramble for Africa,” where European imperial powers colonized

Colonial “artificial boundaries” were created by the colonizers resulting in the countries we see today in Africa. The result split ethnic groups between different countries and forced separate ethnic groups together, often times causing social tensions between groups.

Jomo Kenyatta was Kenya’s first prime minister and President. He played a key role in reviving the Swahili language during the Pan African movement of unifying native Africans and of African heritage into a global African community.

Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s first President also played a key role in Pan Africanism. He led a socialist movement inspiring his people to return to their traditional roots and ways of life. He was fondly referred to as “Mwalimu” (“teacher”) or “Baba wa Taifa” (“Father of the nation”).

Uganda, formerly known as Buganda, was once a prosperous nation rich in resources and plaintains.

Megan is planning on re-visiting Africa this upcoming winter. We’re looking forward to hearing more stories about her African adventures! If you have any questions about Africa, feel free to e-mail Megan at