Student Ambassadors

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Policy Studies at the University of Washington Bothell. The Student Ambassadors are current graduate students in the Policy Studies program who have volunteered to connect with prospective and newly admitted students and answer any questions you may have about the student experience. Read more about our Student Ambassadors below and feel free to reach out directly to them by emailing

Meet the Policy Studies Student Ambassadors

Mojan Ahmadi, 2013 Cohort

Going in the MAPS program, I planned to pursue public education or city planning. As I began working with Career Services however, it became apparent that my passion lies in labor relations. Continuing in this office as a Graduate Student Advisor, I coordinate graduate student professional development through tailored events and resources. Aside from school and work, I like to spend my time watching sitcoms, hanging out with my little pomeranian, and listening to music.

What I love most about the MAPS program is the freedom we have as students and learners to explore areas of interest, fail while doing so, and be given the space to try again. With help from the stellar faculty and advisors, we as a cohort are being shaped to think analytically, practically, and as visionaries in our particular field of interest. Going into my second year, I am excited to deepen my understanding of labor relations and further integrate my academic and professional development.

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Kelly Berg, 2013 Cohort

After graduating from the University of Washington Bothell with a degree in Global Studies, I decided to carry on learning about global issues in the policy arena. I am particularly passionate in policy as it pertains to religion and refugees in the Middle East, but am enjoying learning about all types of policies from my classes and cohort! I currently work in sales, do freelance photography and am an assistant to Professor Karam Dana, in addition to being a Student Ambassador. In my free time I enjoy your typical Washingtonian hobbies: hiking, working out, camping and hanging out with my husband and our dogs.

What I enjoy most about the MAPS program is the flexibility for each student to focus on their own type of policy, making it a deeply personal and individualized experience. The assignments in each mandatory class, in addition to the available elective classes, allow one to gain knowledge on all topics - from business to the environment and beyond. In addition, the multidimensional aspect of our cohort (with individuals interested in everything from the prison system to farming in Africa) allows us to gain knowledge from each other inside and outside of the classroom.

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Ismaila Maidadi, 2013 Cohort

I currently work as Program Manager for the Center for University Studies and Programs (CUSP) at the University of Washington Bothell. I grew up in Cameroon and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997. After completing the first two years of college, I worked in sales for 9 years before moving to Seattle in 2008. I live with my wife, baby daughter, and two crazy cats and my interests include hiking, camping, debating, music, movies, reading, and staying informed on current events.

I enjoy the MAPS program because of the opportunity to investigate and address pressing global challenges of access and opportunity. I'm specifically interested in: higher education retention; human capital migration (“brain drain”) and its effects on all nations involved; impacts of resource scarcity on communities at risk of conflict; and parallels between the "Arab Spring" and South America's “Dirty Wars." What I like best about this program is the cohort model of learning. It is enriching, intellectually stimulating, inclusive and promotes a sense of belonging.

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Melissa Watkinson, 2013 Cohort

I’ve lived most of my life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I moved to Seattle from Puyallup to attend community college and went on to attend UWB where I received my undergraduate degree that focused on international affairs and human rights. After graduating in 2011, I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at UWB where I supported community partners and students in community-based learning and research projects. I’ve been volunteering with the Seattle Oxfam Action Corps to work towards climate and food justice for over three years, and am currently working at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute within the UW School of Social Work as a Graduate Research Assistant.

The UW Bothell MAPS program has become a better fit for my research interests and studies than I expected, particularly because it allows for students to direct their own path, and encourages exploration of the multiple opportunities within the policy field. The core classes provide an opportunity to sharpen or learn new tangible skills, and the elective courses offer flexibility to engage in a student’s individual research interests. Each course I have taken, and other program aspects that I have engaged in thus far, have helped me to shape my personal and professional skills, knowledge, and future goals.

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