Heading Off to Graduate School
Jonathan Coley just finished a Political Science degree at Samford, and is starting this summer in a doctoral program at the Vanderbilt University Department of Sociology.
Ellen Corman is traveling to London, where she will begin graduate work at the London School of Economics. Ellen majored in Political Science at Samford.
Alex Sconfienza will be pursuing a graduate degree in International Development at Tulane University. She just completed her BA in International Relations.
James Gibson is the staff counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in Washington DC. He provides legal analysis on church-state issues that arise before Congress, the courts and administrative agencies. He is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar and the Alabama State Bar.
Prior to joining the BJC, Gibson worked on the House Judiciary Committee staff of Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., and clerked for two district judges in Birmingham, Ala. In addition to his Political Science degree from Samford, he holds a degree in Law from the University of Alabama, where he was honored for outstanding study of Constitutional Law. Jamie won the prestigious Truman Scholarship in 2002, and currently sits on the Truman Scholars Association Board of Directors.
Gibson and his wife, Jennie, live in Alexandria, Va.
Eric Motley joined the Aspen Institute (Washington, DC) in 2007 as a Vice President and the Managing Director of the Henry Crown Fellows Program. He also currently serves as the Executive Director of the Aspen-Rockefeller Foundation’s Commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process. In 2003, he became Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for Presidential Personnel, where he managed the appointment process in the White House for over 1,200 presidentially-appointed advisory board and commission positions. He initially joined the White House staff as Deputy Associate Director, Office of Presidential Personnel in 2001 at the age of 27 immediately after receiving his Ph.D.
In October 2006 he published his first volume of poetry Luminaria and is a contributing writer to US Airways Magazine as an essayist. Eric earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Samford University in 1996. As a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, he earned a Master of Letters in International Relations and a Ph.D. in International Relations as the John Steven Watson Scholar.
Rebecca McLain Hodges
Rebecca McLain Hodges is a Ph.D. student in Cultural Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. After graduating from Samford in December 2004 with a BA in International Relations, she worked with World Vision, a Christian nongovernmental development organization, and taught Kindergarten immersion French at Sheridan Elementary School for International Language in Tacoma, Washington. She then received an MA in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. During the summer of 2009, she won a State Department Critical Language Scholarship for Advanced Arabic in Alexandria, Egypt. The photo is of Rebecca with a camel at Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt.
During Spring 2010, Rebecca studied at the graduate school of the Sorbonne in Paris, with the Politics, Pluralism, and Religion Institute. During this year, she also started in the PhD program in Sociocultural Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, with a dissertation topic of Religious Pluralism and Citizenship Education in the Middle East. Rebecca writes that "I owe my interest in this field to the 2004 Lilly Conference on Christianity and Human Rights at Samford University and my 2004 trip to Beirut, Lebanon with the Samford School of Education's Organize to Optimize Teacher Development Conference."
At the time of his accidental death in August, 2011 Mateusz Tuniewicz was Regional Director for the Asia-Pacific with Franciscans International, a faith-based organization in Bangkok, Thailand. FI supports the wide and disparate network of Franciscan grassroots organizations worldwide at the UN level, offering advocacy, political representation, and technical assistance. FI is active in three fields: environment protection (the impact of environmental degradation on the vulnerable); peace building and conflict resolution; and extreme poverty. Mateusz's position covered the area from the Salomon Islands to India to Australia and involved travel to extend the group’s network, offer technical assistance and provide support at the UN in Geneva and New York. He also worked for international justice and developmental organizations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Mateusz received a degree in International Relations from Samford in 1996, and a Masters in international affairs from American University in Washington DC. The native of Gdansk, Poland, is survived by wife Ana-Karin Jatfors, son Emil and daughter Mila.
Jennifer Wilmore is attending Columbia University in New York, working toward her Masters Degree in International Development with an emphasis on human rights. In recent years, she has worked for Bread for the World, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Refuge and Hope International (a development group founded by Samford alumni). Her development work has taken her to Europe, Central Africa and Central America, where she led a variety of community projects. She has also engaged in political work in Washington, with a special emphasis on legislative advocacy for Christian evangelical support of the Millenium Development goals. She is currently working work on a photo book about a group of former child soldiers from Sudan attending schools in Kenya and Uganda.
Jennifer graduated from Samford with a degree in Political Science in 2007.
Myra Miller is a Senior Vice President at the Winston Group in Washington DC. There, she works with House and Senate Republicans on strategic planning, communications and policy issues. Her experience also includes work with associations and businesses on issues such as health care, economic policy, energy, intellectual property and security. She is a member of the European Ideas Network, and has advised center-right parties throughout Europe. She frequently provides political commentary for television and talk radio. Prior to joining the Winston Group, Miller served as Political Director for the Alabama Republican Party.
After graduating from Samford with a degree in Political Science in 1996, Miller received a Masters degree in International Studies from the University of Cambridge.
Andrew Brasher is an Associate at the Birmingham law firm Bradley, Arant, Boult and Cummings, and a member of the firm's Litigation and Appellate Litigation Practice Groups. Andrew graduated from Harvard Law School in 2006, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and was awarded the Victor Brudney Prize for the best student paper on corporate governance. After graduation, Andrew clerked for Judge William H. Pryor Jr. on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Since joining Bradley Arant, he has represented clients in briefing before numerous state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Alabama Supreme Court. He has also presented oral argument in federal district courts and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. A recent article he co-authored discussing Alabama appellate practice has been recommended to all members of the Alabama Bar by the Justices of the Alabama Supreme Court.
Andrew graduated from Samford with a degree in International Relations in 2002.
Sam Garrison is an Assistant State Attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, where he serves as a Senior Prosecutor in the Homicide and Major Crimes Division. He is a past Chair of Clay county’s Task Force on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Sam received his law degree from the University of Illinois in 2001. He graduate from Samford with a degree in International Relations in 1998. Sam lives with his wife, Gayle Simpson Garrison, who also graduated from Samford in 1998, in Orange Park, Florida. They have two children, Mary Beth (5) and Jane (2).
Kristen Straw is working on a Masters Degree in International Development at American University in Washington DC. During the summer of 2010, she worked in Washington for the International Rescue Committee, a human rights and development organization. She spent the years 2007 to 2009 in Ethiopia with the Peace Corps. She graduated from Samford in 2007 with a degree in International Relations.
Stanka Ilkova received her MBA at Columbia Business School in New York in May 2010, and starts work at the Boston Consulting Group's Washington DC office in August 2010. After graduating from Samford, she received a Masters degree in German and European Studies from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service in 2003, and then worked for Marsh & McLennan's Political Risk Insurance practice in Washington DC.
She graduated in 2001 from Samford with a degree in International Relations, where she played on Samford’s women’s tennis team. She is a native of Bulgaria.
From 2006 to 2010, Patrick Crandall served as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He did two tours in Iraq serving on a Military Transition Team where he trained, mentored, advised, and operated with the newly formed Iraqi Army and acted as a liaison between Coalition and Iraqi Forces. Upon the expiration of his four year commitment, Patrick left the USMC to take a position at his church, The Fields in Carlsbad, CA, and to pursue graduate studies at Westminster Seminary in California.
Patrick graduated from Samford in 2006 with a degree in Political Science.
Gilbert Dickey is studying law at the University of Chicago. He was recently selected membership coordinator for the University’s chapter of the Federalist Society. In the summer of 2010, he worked for the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham. Gilbert graduated with a Political Science degree from Samford in 2009.
Brickey LeQuire is finishing a Doctorate with the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. As he finishes, he is spending a year as a Bradley Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University in England. His fellowship is being funded by the Witherspoon Institute. His main project at Cambridge is to put his dissertation into book form. Brickey graduated from Samford in 2002 with a degree in Political Science.