BAIS Alumni Today
Sailesh Acharya (BAIS, '12)
I graduated with a BA in International Studies in May 2012 with a concentration in
the International Business Track and a minor in Spanish. Looking back at the four
years of my undergraduate life, I feel fortunate to have been a part of the BAIS program.
Under the guidance of the program director Dr. Hazlett, and other faculty members
and staff, I had the opportunity to take classes that interested me and helped me
move forward with my career goals.Besides academics, I was involved in the Model United
Nations Club on campus and went to the National Model UN Conference twice in New York
representing UNO. I remained actively involved on-campus in Student Government, the
International Student Organization, Honors Council, the National Society of Collegiate
Scholars, Phi Beta Delta, and the Golden Key Honors Society. In addition, I was able
to participate in UNO's exchange program with the Berlin School of Economics and Law
in Germany for an entire semester.
Currently, I'm pursuing a Masters of Science in Family, Youth and Community Science
with a focus in Personal and Family Financial Planning at the University of Florida.
With a good academic record, campus involvement, and the internship opportunities
available to me through the BAIS program, I was able to obtain a Research Assistantship
at the University of Florida and a wonderful chance to work with Financial Planners
and extension program managers.
Most importantly, through the BAIS program, I became part of the student body at UNO
that was driven, motivated, and focused. I got a chance to observe and closely work
with colleagues and friends who found fun in challenge, energy in getting involved,
and inspiration in experiencing new opportunities. No wonder most of those friends
were BAIS students. When you see the people around you striving for success and working
hard to achieve their goals, you want to join in and walk the path with them. That's
why I am so grateful to the BAIS program for creating this educational environment
where all these brilliant and motivated minds could gather and explore the world together.
Javier Jalice (BAIS, '09)
I received my BAIS from UNO in May of 2009, with a concentration in Diplomacy and
International Organizations and a minor in French. The BAIS program and its faculty
and staff provided me with the tools and experiences necessary to succeed. I began
my studies in the BAIS Program in the fall of 2005, a week before Hurricane Katrina
hit New Orleans. My goal was to study history, political science, international relations,
sociology, and French. The BAIS program allowed me to do just that. Furthermore, the
program encouraged me to study abroad and gave me the opportunity to experience what
was the best summer of my academic life. Because of that experience, I was able to
improve my foreign language skills and to graduate with a French minor. Throughout
my four years in the BAIS program I was able to work part-time and still enjoy the
benefits of a wide array of class choices at flexible times that always worked for
Upon completion of my undergraduate studies at UNO, I enrolled at Loyola University's
College of Law in New Orleans where I quickly learned that my BAIS education would
be crucial to my success in law school. At Loyola, I became a member of the Trial
Advocacy Program in 2011 and advanced with my team to the finals in intramural competition.
Afterwards, I was asked to join the Loyola Law National Trial Advocacy Team and to
compete in the 2012 American Association of Justice National Trial Advocacy Competition
in Los Angeles. I then competed in the 2012 and 2013 LSBA Trial Advocacy Competition,
and I served on the Trial Advocacy Executive Board as Vice-President. I was also a
Managing Editor and the Symposium Editor for Loyola's Journal of Public Interest Law.
In addition, I served as a student practitioner in Loyola's Criminal Defense Clinic.
During the summer of 2011, I clerked for the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's
Office. And during the summer of 2012, I clerked for the firms Gieger Laborde, The
Kullman Firm, and Duplass Zwain. I graduated from law school in the spring of 2013,
receiving Loyola University's Spirit of Ignatius award as an "Outstanding College
of Law Graduate." After taking the Louisiana bar, I plan to stay in New Orleans and
pursue a career in litigation.
I highly recommend UNO's BAIS program to any student looking to receive a solid education.
The rigorous nature of the BAIS program provided me with crucial analytical skills
that have allowed me succeed. UNO's program is rigorous, engaging, and is also flexible
and built around the needs of individual students. UNO's BAIS program will open up
great opportunities for all of its students, and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Jennifer Gill (BAIS, '08)
I graduated from UNO in December of 2008 with a BAIS degree with a concentration in
Business Administration. In spite of all my struggles (Hurricane Katrina and taking
care of two little ones), I managed to slowly expand my professional experience in
the banking industry.
It was not easy, but my goal was to use my bilingual skills (Spanish-English) in any
way I could. In 2007, after my relocation from New Orleans to Hattiesburg, MS due
to Katrina, I was given the opportunity to start working for Regions Bank as a Bilingual
Mortgage Customer Service Representative. I worked in this field for three years while
working on my BAIS degree. One of my duties was to help translate in my department
and in the other servicing areas such as collections, foreclosure, bankruptcy, and
the mortgage loan origination departments. I also helped Human Resources with the
screening of potential bilingual candidates. My exposure to these areas helped me
better understand the mortgage field and also gave me an insight into what I wanted
to do next. So I set my mind on becoming a Mortgage Loan Originator. It took a lot
of work and determination. Luckily, in January of 2011, I was able to transfer from
the servicing department to the mortgage processing department as a Mortgage Loan
Processor for a portfolio mortgage product. Then, in November of 2012, I was finally
given the opportunity to become a Bilingual Mortgage Loan Originator. It has been
a tough job but a very rewarding one, and I am enjoying every aspect of it! I know
that I would not have done it without the education I received from UNO. And I thank
you as well for your academic guidance. Your BAIS program is an excellent program
that I feel opens up the door for great job opportunities. The business core curriculum
helped me tremendously and I would recommend it to anybody.
Flavia Jordan (BAIS, '06)
I received my BAIS from UNO in 2006. During my last semester, I started an internship
with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, which eventually led to my work
in a community center focused on bringing support and resources to the growing Hispanic
community in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Upon graduation, I travelled to
France, then moved to New York, where I worked with community centers and at Parent
Earth, a food education start-up that produced videos about nutrition and healthy
eating habits. My role there as Outreach Coordinator was to engage the community by
going to soup kitchens, community centers and schools to get parents and children
involved and active in their health and eating habits. In addition, I worked to enact
local legislation regarding food initiatives. I also managed the company's social
network, reaching out to like-minded organizations and gathering support for events
In 2011, I began working at the United Nations, and I am currently a staff member
in the Staff Counselors' Office. Our office provides psychosocial support for all
staff members at headquarters, and many others on Mission, through trainings and workshops,
to prepare them before going into the field.
I will now be following up on the work I built towards in my internship by moving
to Brussels to pursue a Master's in International Migration at Kent University. I
hope to continue learning about issues related to integration and reinforce my French
in order to facilitate my work with local communities.
I recommend UNO's BAIS program for anyone wishing to work with others, in both domestic
and international affairs. The student community is truly diverse, and my peers gave
me great insight into other cultures and viewpoints. The university's teachers were
excellent mentors: smart, helpful, and approachable – they are the reason for my success
and engagement both during and after the program.
Aaron Forbes (BAIS, '05)
I received my BAIS from UNO in December of 2005, with a concentration in Latin American
Studies and Spanish. This program and its staff have given me many rich and exciting
professional experiences, both during and after my undergraduate studies.
In 2002 I was awarded a NSEP Scholarship for 10 months of study at UDEM (Universidad
de Monterrey, Mexico). During the summer of 2003 I worked with Mexican university
students and village members in the indigenous communities of the Sierra Tarahumara,
on a sustainable gardening project. With the encouragement of the UNO BAIS Director
and staff, I signed on for a second summer as an intern on the same project. This
internship and sojourn in the Sierra Tarahumara helped narrow my interests, and so
upon my return to UNO I began to focus my studies on Latin America, cultural anthropology
and community development.
Upon completion of my undergraduate studies I joined the Peace Corps (2007-2009) and
worked in Benin, West Africa as an Environmental Youth Educator. There I learned French
and Fongbe as I assisted in the development of the gardening and agricultural program
at a rural youth farm school and orphanage. During this time, I also worked with the
International non-profit Unseen Stories, on the filming of a documentary on child
trafficking. In 2010 I returned to New Orleans where I was hired as the Founding Spanish
Teacher and as an ESOL Founding Teacher at Morris Jeff Community School, which is
now a 3rd year public charter school and an International Baccalaureate Primary Years
Program Candidate School. In 2012 I joined the prestigious Americas Awards for Latino
Children's and Young Adult Literature as a Review Committee Member. That same year
I also joined WACNO (World Affairs Council of New Orleans) as a board member and as
the K-12 Outreach Program Coordinator.
I highly recommend the UNO BAIS program to any student looking for a career in international
relations. UNO's program is rigorous, engaging, and is also flexible and built around
the needs of the individual student.
Shadia Murad (BAIS, '13)
I received my BAIS with a concentration in Peace and Justice Studies and a minor in
French in the summer of 2013. When I began my undergraduate degree in the fall of
2009, I was a General Studies major with no particular focus. Later, I decided to
become a Psychology major. However, I soon realized that I was not interested in the
Sciences and wanted to do something that was going to excite me. I happened to hear
about the BAIS program from a friend and switched over. That decision and the program
changed my life. The BAIS Program exposed me to a variety of disciplines that challenged
me academically and helped me to develop critical thinking and analytical skills.
With the help of the Program Director, John Hazlett, I was able to customize my program
to suit my interests and career goals.
During my time as a BAIS student, I was a member of the Phi Beta Delta International
Honor Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and The Worlds Affairs
Council of New Orleans. I also held the position of Secretary in the General Union
of Palestinian Students (GUPS). I interned for a non-profit organization called Oportunidades
NOLA, which provided education and social services to Latin American immigrants in
New Orleans. I was also the recipient of the Gilman International Scholarship Award
and UNO's Ambassador Award that gave me the opportunity to participate in the Glories
of France Study Abroad Program in Montpellier, France.
After graduating, I applied for and was accepted into the Arab Studies Master's Program
at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Without the encouragement and advice
that I received from Dr. Hazlett, I would never have dreamed of continuing my education
at such a prestigious school. The BAIS program is truly unique in its curriculum,
internship, and study abroad requirements, and its emphasis on foreign languages.
It was a program that I stumbled upon when I was looking for direction and meaning,
and it provided both. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Nicholas Marx (BAIS, '12)
I received my BAIS in May, 2012, with a concentration in Asian Studies. I had started
off my university studies in engineering at another university, but I decided to switch
schools and to pursue a degree in a field that fit my interests more. UNO was the
right choice for me. I came to UNO in the fall of 2009 and immediately began to make
great new friends and to develop relationships with the staff. Later in my studies,
I participated in the UNO-Doshisha study abroad program in Kyoto, Japan where I met
even more people who shared my interests. This led to many friendships and an internship
with a professor at another university. The study abroad opportunity was the first
step in my growing interest in the world. I enjoyed reading and learning about different
places in classes, but studying abroad gave me my first experience outside the U.S.
and in a different culture. The best part about the BAIS program at UNO is the faculty
you get to meet and learn from. They are very respectful, caring, and intelligent
people who allowed me to focus on my areas of interest. My time at UNO and participating
in study abroad influenced me greatly.
After I graduated, I decided to come back to Japan, not as a student but as a teacher.
I work as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in a public junior high school in Japan.
This job is giving me yet another amazing experience. What makes it even richer is
the solid foundation that UNO gave me in Asian Studies and the Japanese language.
Because of classes at UNO, I was able to assimilate much more easily to a new culture.
UNO gave me a basic mastery of Japanese that has made communication much easier. It
gave me the ability to observe and learn. And it has given me an open mind, something
that is absolutely essential for anyone who moves to a new place or culture. I plan
to continue my education in the future, and I hope eventually to teach at a higher
level. Thanks to UNO, I have the ability and the thirst to travel the world and gain
new experiences and knowledge.
Brett Netto (BAIS '13)
I pursued a ten-year career in law enforcement before coming to UNO. I worked for
several agencies, including the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office, Tulane University
Campus Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, and the State of Louisiana Office
of Juvenile Justice.
I came to UNO in the fall semester of 2011 and began my degree in International Studies
with a concentration in Diplomacy and International Organizations and a minor in History.
I also became involved in student organizations on campus. During my time at UNO,
I was a Student Government Senator for the College of Liberal Arts, Vice-President
of UNO Model UN, President of UNO Model UN, and a delegate at the National Model United
Nations Conference in New York City in 2012 (representing the Republic of Austria)
and in 2013 (representing the People's Republic of Viet Nam). I am also a member of
Kappa Alpha Order fraternity and Phi Beta Delta Honor Society. In April 2012, I was
a presenter at the 7th Annual American Graduate School (AGS) in Paris, France Graduate
Student Conference where I presented, as an undergraduate, an original paper titled
"International System Polarities and United States Involvement in Asia and the Middle
East." I also studied on UNO's program in Innsbruck, Austria during the summer semester
During my time as an undergraduate, I worked as an admissions associate at the National
World War II Museum. I am currently the program officer at the New Orleans Citizen
Diplomacy Council, where I had previously interned during the fall semester of 2012
and served as a volunteer programmer in the spring and summer semesters of 2013. I
am excited about what the future holds for me and my wife Libbie. I am exceptionally
grateful for the opportunities presented to me during my time in the program and especially
grateful for the professors I had the opportunity to learn from along the way.