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. You are also welcome to contact our Graduate Staff Assistant, a current Cultural Studies student and staff member in the IAS Graduate Office. Read more about our Student Ambassadors below and feel free to reach out directly to them by emailing

Meet the Policy Studies Student Ambassadors

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. Contact me at

Eric Hopson, 2012 Cohort

Hi, I’m Eric and I am in my second year of the MAPS program focusing on Environmental Policy related issues. I found myself loving this university so much that I ended up double majoring (Environmental Studies + Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior) and double minoring (Human Rights + Policy Studies) here just so I could stay in school longer. Continuing on to graduate level classes seemed like a fairly natural progression from there! My current Capstone research looks at Environmental Justice concerns within online participatory system. My favorite thing about the program is the ability to interact so closely with such a brilliant/diverse collection of faculty. The interdisciplinary nature of the campus means that there is always someone somewhere with whom you can connect.

During my extensive college involvement I had the (privilege?) of being a stay-at-home father. Sadly I had to give this job up when my son went off to school, and have since gotten a lead researcher position at a local nonprofit environmental organization. In my “free time” I tend to be distracted by most anything new and interesting…. some may try to label this as having ADD, but I prefer the term “exceptionally curious”. If you need some help finding a local pickup-basketball game or the best place to do some thrift-store shopping, I’m happy to help. Contact me at

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. Contact me at

Graduate Staff Assistant

Sofia Piel, 2012 Cultural Studies cohort

As Graduate Staff Assistant, I assist the IAS Graduate Office with program promotion, student recruitment, and administrative support. I work with current and prospective students in all three of our graduate programs, with questions concerning applications, registration, relocation logistics, and any of the other details of life in graduate school.  I feel very fortunate to have this position, and I've never worked with a nicer group of people! I'm also a second-year student in the Cultural Studies program, and my Capstone research focuses on the integration of arts-based practices in global leadership programs for Seattle youth. I moved to Seattle from New Hampshire to be a part of the interdisciplinary community here at UW Bothell, and I’m so glad I did. My perspective on social inequality issues has grown in many directions, and my goal to work as a positive agent of social change is becoming clearer and more exciting with every class.

As a staff member and a student, I can answer questions about the student experience at UW Bothell as well as the logistical aspects of applying to graduate school. Feel free to contact me directly at