Alumni

  • Joshua Jaramillo

    Caring for the Underserved
    Joshua Jaramillo has shown both ambition and compassion in his work since graduating from BYU in 2009. Jaramillo majored in Latin American studies with a minor in Spanish. While at BYU, he served as the president of the Student Association of Latin American Studies, which involved him in many cultural- and service-oriented projects.

    He also taught at Centro Hispano and completed a study abroad in Siena, Italy, while researching Italian immigration to Latin America.

    After graduating, Jaramillo worked as an elementary and middle school teacher before entering medical school at Stanford University. While there, he helped start the Hispanic Center of Pediatric Surgery at Stanford Children’s Hospital, participated in global surgery research, served as a cochair of both the Latino Medical Student Association and the Surgery Interest Group, and was as a member of the Diversity Advisory Panel for the School of Medicine Admission Committee. Currently, Jaramillo is a general surgery resident at Stanford and plans to participate next year in a pediatric surgery research fellowship at Stanford Children’s Hospital.

    Jaramillo has clearly found the work he loves thanks to his experience with Latin American studies. He said, “Latin American studies was the perfect major for me because it allowed me to enhance my passion for the Spanish language and Latin people while also allowing me to cultivate professional skills and pursue my interests in medicine and caring for the underserved.”

    2017-2
  • Camille Dockery

    Prepared to Contribute
    Thanks to her degree in Latin American studies and minor in history, 2017 grad Camille Dockery felt ready to enter the professional sphere and be a helpful colleague and contributor in the office. “The professors prepare students well for competitive internships and future careers,” said Dockery. She explained that the courses she took were intensive.

    Dockery eagerly welcomed opportunities offered at BYU, and she served as president of the Foreign Service Student Organization. She was also invited to interview for an internship with the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and for a position in Mexico City. Dockery chose to intern with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which turned out to be an important step in her career path. “The regional director told me he was impressed with the qualifications BYU students brought to the table,” she shared. “BYU’s stellar language instruction helped check another box on their list of requirements.”

    Dockery’s experiences at BYU have affected other aspects of her life. She said, “The broad liberal arts background provided to Latin American studies majors, as well as the area-specific coursework, have been invaluable to me. I see connections to things I learned in the program constantly—in work, at church, on the Foreign Service test, and in my daily life.”

    In summary, she said, “I sincerely believe this major offers opportunities to learn that will help throughout your life to be more well-rounded, empathetic, and knowledgeable.”

    2017-2
  • Brian Scroggins

    Advocating with Love
    Brian Scroggins said he entered BYU not knowing what he wanted to do after graduation. Regarding what changed, he explained, “Latin American studies pushed me to take a variety of courses that allowed me to see the impact of Latin America on the world.”

    Scroggins discovered an interest in Latin America during his mission in the Caribbean and decided to pursue that as a major, with a minor in nonprofit management. Those in the department encouraged him to expand his experiences and to take an internship with the Real Salt Lake Soccer Club. “This degree truly has no limits,” he affirmed.

    After graduating in 2016, Scroggins is now working on a joint JD/MBA at the University of Kentucky. “Not a day goes by that I don’t use some knowledge I gained at BYU,” he assured. “I have the chance to provide service opportunities for the Latin American community, offer new insights to laws that are in place, and help businesses market their products to Latin American communities.”

    Although his love for Latin America began with his mission, it was by pursuing his major that Scroggins found he could make a difference. “By majoring in Latin American studies, I can now act on that passion and stand out from the competition by advocating for the people I love,” he said. “My major was the best thing I could have done to prepare for a postgraduate education and the workforce.”

    2017-2
  • Maria Dincheva Price

    Maria Dincheva Price is head of EU policy and public affairs for the International Union of Wagon Keepers in Belgium, which deals with transport, freight, rail, infrastructure, rolling stock, and intermodality and logistics. Price has worked in this field for seven years. She received an MA in international law and world order from the University of Reading and a PhD in transport from the University of Oxford. BA: international studies; minor: European studies, 2000

    2017-2
  • Jasmine M. Turner

    Jasmine M. Turner, a teacher at Kimber Leadership Academy in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has been an educator for sixteen years. BAs: international relations, Spanish, 1998; MA: Spanish, 2001

    2017-2
  • Steven J. Stancliff

    Steven J. Stancliff is the principal at Pilot Butte Middle School in Bend, Oregon. Stancliff previously served as an assistant principal and a teacher in the Redmond School District. He received an MA in secondary education and teaching from Willamette University and an MA in international and comparative education from the University of Alberta. BA: international relations; minor: Latin American studies, 2002

    2017-2
  • Jamieson L. Greer

    Jamieson L. Greer is chief of staff in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, part of the Executive Office of the President in—Washington, DC. Previously, Greer worked in two law firms, as area defense counsel at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, and as a JAG officer. He received a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and a joint MA in international law from the Paris Institute of Political Sciences and the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. BA: international studies; minors: European studies, aerospace studies, 2004

    2017-2
  • Nicholas Perona

    Nicholas Perona works in corporate sales and opportunity development at Qualtrics, bridging the gap between companies and consumers through analytical research software. He has used his fluency in Spanish to translate code for the company. BA: Latin American studies, 2016

    2017-2
  • Blair Sorensen

    Blair Sorensen is a product specialist at Qualtrics, a software company that specializes in market research. BA: international relations; minor: Asian studies, 2016

    2017-2
  • Ryan Newell

    Ryan Newell is president and cofounder of Ambrosia Labs, a company that provides infant nutrition through screened breast-milk donations. In addition, Newell conducts research on Muslim immigrants in Britain through the University of Cambridge. BA: Latin American studies; minor: Middle Eastern studies, 2017

    2017-2
  • Daniel A. Dowler

    #KennedyTech
    Daniel Dowler is a software quality engineer with Dell EMC, based in Draper, Utah, where he works on the Mozy infrastructure team to develop and test features for storing and protecting customer data. Curious about his career pathway from international relations to tech, we asked him a few questions.

    How did you start exploring career paths?
    I’ve had some interesting and great experiences over the years, many of which the international relations program helped prepare me for. I did an internship in Washington, DC, in the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee under Senator Bob Bennett. While there, I met a University of Utah student who was thinking about a Fulbright opportunity. I thought it sounded interesting, so I applied after a year and was selected to study in South Korea. I had proposed to do research on inter-Korean economic relations. While in Korea I realized that I needed more quantitative skills.

    What was your next step?
    I applied to some master’s programs in economics but didn’t get in. The following year I applied to the math graduate program at BYU and somehow convinced them to let me have a go at it, even though I had only minored in math. It was a lot of work, but it gave me skills and confidence in the field. In particular, I had to learn how to program to do some of my thesis research. This gave me just enough computer skill to get into the tech industry as a tech support engineer for enterprise clients. I proved myself there and was able to move up to software engineer.

    “I kept at it until something else materialized.”

    —Daniel Dowler

    How did you decide that tech was where you wanted to be?
    My interest in the tech industry was sparked by a few things: a great work culture, challenging problems to work on, the opportunity to make an impact, and good compensation. The facility I work at has an on-site gym. I received one month of paternity leave when my youngest child was born. And they paid most of my tuition for a second master’s degree—in information and data science from UC Berkeley—which I finished in January. I hope to move into a data science role at some point, which uses programming, math, and statistics.

    What has your career strategy been and how has international relations played a role?
    If I were to sum it up, I’ve just looked for opportunities and applied to a lot of schools, jobs, and internships that I didn’t get. I’m pretty stubborn, so I kept at it until something good materialized. I saw opportunities and challenged myself to work hard toward them. Looking back, the international relations program gave me excellent writing preparation and a good quantitative introduction. It also helped me to appreciate diversity and work well with people of different cultures and backgrounds.

    2017-1
  • David C. Pollei

    David C. Pollei is CEO of Blair Cannon Financial, a company in Provo that provides funding for various organizations in the industries of technology, education, and communication. In addition, Pollei is the chairman of the board of directors for Ominto Inc. and a consultant for NewsCheckMedia LLC. He possesses an extensive background in business and works to provide companies with his industrial insight. BAs: international relations and French, 1968

    2017-1
  • Melanie Sanders-Smith

    Melanie Sanders-Smith works independently as a business consultant in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Sanders-Smith draws from years of experience directing and presiding over various institutions, such as the Institute of International Education and Chemonics International, a trade and development company. BA: international relations, 1982; MA: political science, 1984; MBA: 1997

    2017-1
  • David N. Campbell

    David N. Campbell is a professor at BYU–Idaho, where he teaches courses in foreign policy and international relations. Campbell spent decades as a Canadian civil servant in the capacities of linguist, analyst, and professor at the Royal Military College of Canada. He received an MBA in political science from the University of British Columbia and a PhD from the University of Toronto, with areas of study in China, international relations, and comparative politics. Campbell speaks Mandarin fluently. BA: political science; minor: Asian studies, 1986

    2017-1
  • Tyler B. Thompson

    Tyler B. Thompson is an account executive at Chronus, a software company in the Seattle, Washington, area that develops tools for professional mentorship. Thompson received an MBA in international business from the University of San Diego and an MA in marketing from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico. BA: Latin American studies; minor: Spanish, 2005

     

    2017-1
  • Carl H. Brinton

    Carl H. Brinton is a program director at Boston Children’s Hospital and a senior fellow at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In addition, Brinton is a researcher on the WomanStats project, compiling quantitative and qualitative data on women’s status worldwide. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a certification in Chinese public policy and analysis through the Chinese Flagship Program. BAs: Asian studies, economics, and Chinese, 2009

    2017-1