The Department of Government & Politics is proud to present the Government & Politics Ambassadors for the 2018-2019 school year. The Ambassador program is comprised of ten talented and motivated students who serve as student liasons and representatives of the Department as a whole. They are tasked with continually meeting with departmental leaders, presenting open house programs, planning new events, and facilitating the implementation of meaningful, productive changes. 

                                      Rida Zahid

Rida is a senior Government & Politics major with a concentration in International Relations and a double minor in Global Terrorism and Italian Language & Culture. Rida enjoys being an Ambassador because it allows her the opportunity to get highly involved within the GVPT department and gives her the opportunity to share her experiences with new and current students, something she loves doing! She previously served as a research assistant with Dr. Calvert Jones and interned at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington D.C. Outside of GVPT, Rida is involved with various programs in OES, BSOS Ambassadors, and BSOS Orientation. Additionally, shestudied abroad in Manchester last fall. As for her future plans, Rida hopes to pursue either a Master's degree in International Relations or serve for the Peace Corps.

                                        Pablo Roa

Pablo Roa is a senior pursuing a dual-degree in Government & Politics and Broadcast Journalism. Along with his work as a GVPT student ambassador, Pablo is the editor-in-chief of Stories Beneath the Shell and a production crew chief for Capital News Service's award-winning news show, Maryland Newsline. Pablo is currently interning at C-SPAN and previously interned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic National Committee, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, and the U.S. Department of Labor. You can find his work and resume at or follow him on twitter @_PabloRoa.

                                      Kristen Ju

Kristen is a Junior Government & Politics and Economics double major with a minor in Geographic Information Science. She currently works as a Student Office Assistant at the Leadership & Community-Service Learning Office, a Teaching Assistant for Economics Statistics, and a Campus Tour Guide with Maryland Images. In the past, she has interned at the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Kristen is an alumnus of the iGive Program and the Federal Fellows Program, as well as a current a member of the Government & Politics Honors Program. Additionally, during the Summer of 2018, she studied the French language in Montpellier, France. Outside of academics, Kristen loves eating green grapes, visiting D.C., and petting her cat Darwin. After graduation, Kristen would like to obtain a graduate degree in security studies or international relations.

                                     Gracie Riley

Gracie is a Senior Government & Politics-International Relations major pursuing dual minors in Business and Rhetoric. She has held various internships and jobs throughout her college career, but her favorite is being a Peer Advisor in the academic advising office for GVPT students. In addition to being a proud GVPT Ambassador, Gracie is an alum of CIVICUS, a two-year living and learning community at the University of Maryland centered on community service and leadership. She is also a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha and the Panhellenic Community’s Vice President of Accountability overseeing the judicial procedures of all 16 Greek sororities on campus. Lastly, Gracie is a BSOS Peer Advisor for incoming freshman as well as the Greek Relations Liaison for Preventing Sexual Assault at the University of Maryland. Although she is not certain about what her future after graduation will entail, she is confident she will use her education to make a difference in her community. 

                                Luisa Beltran Rey

Luisa is a Junior Government & Politics major with an International Relations concentration. She is enrolled in the GVPT honors program and is currently pursuing two minors: French Studies and International Development & Conflict Management (IDCM). Luisa is assisting Dr. Alcañiz as a Research Assistant for the academic year of 2018-2019. Though her focus is not solely on the environment, Luisa is interested in environmental politics as seen through her various positions and leadership roles. Aside from being a GVPT Ambassador, Luisa serves as the Diversity and Inclusion chair for the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and the Alumni Association Ambassador for the University of Maryland. Outside of school, Luisa works as a part-time leasing consultant at Terrapin Row, an off-campus housing complex located near the University. Luisa hopes to further her education after her time at Maryland and focus on international development in developing nations located in Latin America and Africa.

                               Ianthe Humphries

Ianthe is a junior Government and Politics and Communications double major from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. When she’s not attending class, Ianthe enjoys dancing, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and community service. During this past summer, Ianthe held an internship in New York City with Sheinkopf Communications, one of the leading public relations firms in the city, and learned more about the ins and outs of the industry. Throughout the summer she worked with politicians and corporations to draft press releases, pitch to reporters, and shape campaign messages. Her on-campus involvement includes being a Peer Consultant at the Oral Communication Center and the Public Relations Chair of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). In the future, Ianthe plans to use her double major to explore the connection between communication/media and politics. 

                                   Ryan Garfinkel

Ryan is a senior Government & Politics major with minors in Global Terrorism and International Development and Conflict Management. Ryan is a member of Students Ending Slavery, a campus-based anti-human trafficking organization, is an alum of the Public Leadership College Park Scholars program, for which he still TA’s and co-facilitates the Real Talks dialogue program, and previously held a Fellowship with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Ryan currently holds a Fellowship with D.C. based Search for Common Ground, an international peacebuilding NGO, where he manages a program to build the capacity of and increase funding opportunities for youth-led peace and security NGOs. Outside of class and work, Ryan is a proud member of the Chi Phi Fraternity where he has been privileged to serve on a number of chair and executive board positions, enjoys cooking for friends and family and spending too much time watching shows on Netflix.

                                    Florence Ning

Flo is a sophomore pursuing a dual-degree in Government & Politics and Philosophy along with a Korean Studies minor. She is also an Honors student in the Design, Cultures & Creativity Program. As a GVPT Ambassador, Flo hopes to ignite greater outreach and program initiatives for all minorities in order to create a more culturally diverse presence within Government & Politics. In addition to being an Ambassador, Flo has been a captain for the University of Maryland’s Mock Trial team, helping the program advance towards the Opening Round Championships. This past summer, Flo interned as a researcher for Maryland State Senator Susan Lee in hopes of changing Maryland’s contributory negligence law. Outside of academics, Flo loves quesadillas, bubble tea, and Hot Cheetos. In the future, Flo hopes to continue her education by attending law school or pursuing a graduate degree in Philosophy. 

                                   Patrick Hutson

Patrick Hutson, a junior in the class of 2020, is from Towson, Maryland. He has always had an interest in government and politics, particularly international relations and national security. He is also minoring in Global Terrorism Studies in the University of Maryland’s START program and wishes to pursue a career in the United States intelligence community. He is a member of the University of Maryland’s Model Congress Organization and has served twice as a committee chair. Patrick’s interests include comics and trivia competitions. In 2015, he competed on television for Towson High School’s It’s Academic team, coming in second out of eighty-one teams.

                                      Pauline Sow

Pauline is a sophomore Government & Politics and Economics (BA) double major from Bethesda, Maryland. She joined GVPT Ambassadors because she wanted to help to implement programs and projects in the department about social justice and diversity to create respect for all identities. She is also in the honors college in the Gemstone Program, where her team is launching a project investigating ways to conduct biodesalination. On campus, Pauline is involved in the Black Engineers Society, Public Health without Borders, and PADE (Promoting Academic and Diversity in Economics). She hopes to go to law school so that she may pursue a career in international law and policy. During her free time she loves to sing, dance, cook and be involved in nature!


Lezah Calvin ('17)

Sofia Alsamadi ('18)

Elifnaz Caliskan ('18)

Sarah Cover ('18)

Ashwin Suryavanshi ('18)

Katelyn Turner ('18)