Graduate Profiles

Michelle Reed - The Social and Economic Effects of Capitalism

The title of Michelle’s thesis is “How the 2008 Great Recession Impacted U.S. Home Ownership”. Her many awards include Phi Beta Kappa, the International Golden Key Honors Society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is currently working towards obtaining her California Real Estate License while working with Eastdil Secured as a Real Estate Analyst.

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Betsy Rohney - Language, Culture, and Identity

While at Berkeley, Betsy conducted independent field research in New Zealand and won the Independent Field Research Grant from the Center of Race and Gender. The title of her thesis was “My Language is Awakening: Exploring Barriers and Pathways toward Mori Heritage Language Proficiency”. As a student, she worked concurrently with Asian-Pacific American Student Development (APASD) to bring Pacific Islander issues to the forefront of the UCB administration to help improve the experiences of Pacific Islanders on campus. After graduation, she co-founded Oceania Connects (, a nonprofit media organization spotlighting Pacific Islander perspectives in the U.S. and abroad.

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Michael Obuchi - Connecting Inequality Studies

After graduating as the Department Citation Winner in the Spring of 2018, Michael entered UC Berkeley Law School in the Fall 2018 where he hopes to further develop his knowledge of the intersections between law and economics. During his undergrad years, Michael Obuchi combined the fields of Sociology, History, and Economics to write a thesis concerning the relationship between economic inequality and international free trade agreements in Latin America. Michael also participated in numerous academic research endeavors as a research assistant for the Institute of Labor Research and Economics as well as for for various professors in the Political Science department.

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Jonathan Parker McDonald - Poverty and Education in the Dominican Republic

Jonathan Parker McDonald graduated in 2018. The title of his thesis was: “Are we really helping: The effects of child sponsorship on poverty mitigation in the Dominican Republic”. Jonathan made two research trips to the Dominican Republic where he got to live in the homes of missionaries and in an orphanage while heading out into barrios and schools for research every day. He currently works as a Personal Financial Advisor for Northwestern Mutual.

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Philine Endres - Science and Technology Studies

Philine graduated in Spring 2018, receiving the ISF departmental citation award. Her senior thesis, Primary Care Deserts: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Primary Care Physician Shortages in California, explores the relationship between primary care practitioner supply and health outcomes in the 58 California counties. While at Cal, Philine was a member of the club rowing team, worked as a resident assistant in the dorms and volunteered at a special needs aquatics program. Since graduating, she has been working as a behavioral therapist for children on the Autism spectrum. In the fall, she will be attending the UC Riverside School of Medicine, working towards its mission of improving the health of underserved communities in Californias Inland Empire.

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Kathy Correia Brasil - Identity and International Migration

The title of Kathy’s thesis was Translating Identity Across Borders: Interpretations of Asylum Seekers Queerness in the United States. She is currently working as a Refugee Rights Advocate / Paralegal at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in Berkeley.

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