School of International Affairs celebrates Class of 2011

School of International Affairs May graduates celebrate in the Lewis Katz building.The School of International Affairs celebrated commencement of a diverse group of more than twenty students on Sunday, May 15, 2011. The Class of 2011 hails from a variety of scholarly, geographic, and cultural backgrounds.

Jay Sumners '11 was pleased to accept a full-time position as a special events manager with Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state's official international business development organization. He completed an internship with Enterprise Florida this spring and credits that experience with opening the door to a full-time opportunity. “I oversaw all aspects of a major international conference including booking flights, hotel reservations, and being responsible for handling all speaking arrangements,” he explained. This fall, he will be oversee his first international trade and investment event in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

A Florida native, Sumners was pleased with his decision to attend Penn State. “I really liked the School of International Affairs program because I learned professional skills rather than simply memorizing facts…it's important to get these skills down and get them right,” he said.
Classmate Sam Wiest '11 envisions a future in international law. In addition to earning a master of Sam Wiest earned his MIA in 2011 from Penn State. international affairs degree, he also earned a J.D. at Penn State Law. Wiest authored a master's paper on mutual legal assistance treaties, which are bilateral international agreements to facilitate the exchange of evidence for use in criminal prosecutions. “As globalization increases, the way we think of crime needs to adjust. We need to look beyond national borders to solve problems,” he said. Wiest will begin a judicial clerkship this summer.
In April, Rachel Sayre '11 learned that she was chosen as a Presidential Management Fellow finalist from an applicant pool that exceeded 9,000 individuals. The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program was established by Presidential Executive Order in 1977. It is designed to attract to the Federal service outstanding individuals from a wide variety of academic disciplines who have an interest in, and a commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. Prior to enrolling in the School of International Affairs, Sayre taught in Ecuador, was instrumental in starting an orphanage, and transported medical supplies to remote areas in the jungle. The winner of a 2011 Spirit of Internationalization Award from Penn State's University Office of Global Programs (UOGP), Sayre spent her spring semester in Bhutan completing her SIA capstone project at the the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, the country's first and foremost environmental nongovernmental organization.
The School of International Affairs is an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs and is home to more than sixty students. The curriculum allows students to focus their studies on global innovation and international technology transfer; international economics and competitiveness; global governance and leadership; or international science, technology, and environmental affairs; and to pursue joint or concurrent degrees with other Penn State graduate schools.