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Current Students

Some of our current students are profiled below. The range of backgrounds and perspectives they bring to the program offers a sense of the diverse interests and goals that can be served with a Master's in Global and International Studies.

Christie Appelhanz

Christie Appelhanz appreciates the flexibility of Master's in Global and International Studies program as she balances her graduate work with family demands and a full-time job as assistant to the dean for outreach, advancement and public relations for KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. After graduating from KU with a degree in business communications in 1997, she worked as a business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal, managed a voter education campaign for the Sierra Club and handled media relations for Kansas Action for Children. She came to the university in 2006 from the office of U.S. Congressman Dennis Moore, where she served as his director of communications. Christie's most pivotal international experience came as a Peace Corps volunteer in Poltava, Ukraine, teaching economics and business English to high school students and training non-governmental organizations to deal with the media. Recognizing that our future as a society is highly dependent on our understanding of the world and the roles that our country, state and institutions play in international and global matters, Christie looks forward to using the knowledge she gains in the program to help the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences reach its goal of enhancing international and global studies.

David Garrett heard about KU's Global and International Studies Program from his son, Ben Garrett, who is also enrolled in the program. David retired from the US Army after 20 years' service; he spent 9 of those years in West Germany during the Cold War, where he met his wife Ilona. After his retirement, he attended Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Missouri and graduated with a double major in geology & geography. David is currently employed as an environmental scientist with the US Environmental Protection Agency. As a non-traditional student, he finds the program's flexibility exciting as his academic interests are varied, having been shaped by his 9 years in Europe. He plans to focus his studies on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, possibly emphasizing the former Soviet Republics that now make up Central Asia. David hopes to eventually apply his environmental experience to assist the nations of Central Asia in reducing the massive environmental hazards there.

Zakaria Mohti joined the GIST program in spring 2008 because of his persistent interest in International affairs in the areas of politics, economics, and human rights. The program's flexibility and the facility to individually tailor his course selection helps him balance his current work demands with his future aims. Zak works full time as an internal consultant in a financial institution where he focuses on process improvement. He is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and ISO 9001:2000 coordinator and lead auditor. He comes to the program with an MBA from the University of Oregon and a BBA from the American University of Beirut and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national honor society in Business and Management. Previously, he worked as an accountant for Dery Shipping Lines in Beirut. Zak has lived in Africa, the Middle East and Europe and has called Kansas City home for over eight years. He enjoys traveling, world music, discussing world affairs, and appreciates a good home-cooked meal.

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