Dr. R.G. Cravens, III , Class of ’10


After graduating with a degree from Sewanee’s Politics Department, Dr. Cravens earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Cravens spent ten years in higher education teaching and researching American and LGBTQ Politics. For the past four years, Dr. Cravens was an Assistant Professor at California Polytechnic State University – one of the 23 CSU campuses that make up the largest university system in the United States. Now, Dr. Cravens is a research team leader for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project division where he coordinates research and publications focusing on intersectional social justice and monitoring extremism in the United States.

Dr. Cravens’ research specialty in religion and LGBTQ politics stems from his time in Professor Hatcher’s classes at Sewanee. He learned to draw on his own background and experiences to inspire research questions and has since published numerous scientific studies of LGBTQ political and religious behavior as well as inclusive pedagogy in higher education. His

public-facing scholarship has been featured in the Washington Post, Religion News Service, and the Tennessean. He also frequently provides comment and opinion for national news outlets.

 His first book, Yes Gawd! How Faith Shapes LGBT Identity and Politics will soon be available from Temple University Press. His co-edited volume Teaching LGBTQ Politics will soon be available from New York University Press.In his career, Dr. Cravens has been awarded prestigious fellowships with the Public Religion Research Institute, the Social Science Research Council, the CalSpeaks Survey Project, and the Wikipedia Education Foundation, among others. Dr. Cravens has also received numerous competitive grants and professional awards for his research at the intersection of LGBTQ and religious identities. Most importantly, Dr. Cravens has mentored dozens of students and researchers with interests in social science and LGBTQ politics. This is something he takes great pride in; and, he contributes his passion for mentoring to his own mentors at Sewanee, including Professor Hatcher and Professor Schneider.

Caroline Holman, Class of 2011


When I graduated from Sewanee ten years ago, I had a very narrow (and naive) understanding of how I might use my BA in Political Science in the workplace. After two internships, a few years on Capitol Hill, and a few jobs in the private sector I have arrived at a milestone job in my career serving as the president of a D.C.-based digital media firm. Looking back, it is wonderful to see how the dots connect across the years and to reflect upon the role my studies, experiences, and jobs played in my career journey. I hope that my realization in this reflection may serve as advice to others: As you depart through the gates and take a Sewanee Angel with you, do not bind yourself to the view of a "career path" but instead to that of a "career journey" because even if you know exactly where you want to be in the end, the means by which you arrive there will be anything but linear or planned. YSR!

Chris Farrar, Class of 2012


Chris Farrar currently serves as a Professional Staff Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Minority Staff, where he is the senior policy staffer for issues related to appropriations, non-proliferation, nuclear energy, global health, and the United Nations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has served as the HFAC Republican lead for the day-to-day global response and was the lead author of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Minority Staff Report on the Origins of COVID-19. Prior to joining the committee, he served six and a half years in the office of Senator John Boozman (R-AR). In addition to his B.A. from the University of the South (C’12), he holds a M.A. in Defense and Strategic Studies (Irregular Warfare) from the U.S. Naval War College.

Marcus Rochelle, Class of 2013

After graduating from Sewanee, Marcus got his start in politics working on Terry McAuliffe’s successful campaign for Governor organizing volunteers and registering voters in northern Virginia. From there he spent five years at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raising money from major donors in the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. as well as national Political Action Committee (PAC) donors. Marcus currently serves as the Deputy National Finance Director at the Democratic Governors Association where he looks forward ensuring the campaign coffers are full for all 38 Democratic Gubernatorial candidates this cycle.

Caitlin Buchanan, Class of 2017


Caitlin serves as the Federal Policy Associate at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, the only grassroots environmental justice organization with a permanent presence in Washington, D.C. Caitlin leads House and Senate engagement, working to advance an equitable and just federal climate agenda. Prior to her time at WE ACT, Caitlin was a research assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Caitlin is also a part-time student at The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs, where she is working towards an MA in International Science and Technology Policy.

Pierre DuBois, Class of 2017


I am currently a communications and public relations practitioner in the clean energy field as well as a political consultant for democratic candidates and liberal leaning advocacy organizations. My political science degree from Sewanee and my early career work on campaigns prepared me for my transition into the corporate communications/public relations world. A political science degree can and will allow you multiple avenues in your career after college.

Page Forrest, Class of 2017


Page is a Research Associate for State Budget Policy with the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. Previously, she served as a Budget Analyst with the State of Tennessee and received her Master of Policy and Public Administration from UT. Page is more than happy to chat with any current students about whether to pursue an MPA degree or about working in state and local government. 

Thuy Tran, Class of 2017

Thuy is grateful for the wonderful faculty at Sewanee who fueled her curiosity for learning. Thus she graduated with a double major in Political Science and Spanish, and minored in Asian Studies. After graduating from Sewanee in 2017, Thuy pursued a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in Mexico. Afterward, she obtained her Master's in Education Policy at Columbia University. As a first generation American and student, Thuy works to amplify opportunities for immigrants and low- income communities. As an ardent advocate for equal opportunities and rights, she mobilized voters for progressive changes including our recent historical presidential and senate election. Besides community organizing in Atlanta, Georgia, she is building a peace education center in her home in Vietnam, a former warzone. This project is inspired from her Biehl fellowship at Sewanee which enabled her to travel home to interview former war survivors. You can follow her via her writings here.

Virag "Flower” Turcsan, Class of 2017


Virag graduated from Sewanee in 2017, after which she worked at the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations in New York focusing in security and counter-terrorism related issues. In December 2020, she graduated with distinction from an Erasmus Mundus Joint International Master's degree in Security, Intelligence, and Strategic Studies awarded by the University of Glasgow, Dublin City University, and Charles University in Prague. She was awarded the Mo Dabo Prize for best dissertation for her research focusing on norms convergence between the EU and UN related to counterterrorism sanctions listings. She has been named an EFA Scholar at the European Forum Alpbach in 2019 and 2020. In 2021 she was selected as a Youth Consultant at the UN's Consultation on Preventing Violent Extremism through Sport. She is also involved in the Budapest European Agora's EUth for Democracy project. In the summer of 2021 she plans to begin her Szell Kalman Fellowship in Washington DC focusing on counterterrorism intelligence sharing between the US and the EU.

Kelsey M. Arbuckle, Class of 2019


While at Sewanee, I took every public policy course we offered and then some (3 independent studies I think?). After leaving Sewanee, I knew public policy was the absolute bee's knees; to me, there is literally nothing more exciting in the world than studying public policy. I mean just think about how many public policies you come into contact with before noon every day!  My love for public policy led me to American University where I will be receiving my Masters of Public Policy in May 2021. While at American, I moved from studying diapers to studying child and family policy more holistically. As a research assistant, my favorite ongoing project at AU is helping with the development of a compensation scale for the early care and education workforce. I also recently started as a Management Analyst with the DC Office of the State Superintendent's Division of Early Learning where I am focused on improving data collection methods and using data to make recommendations to improve early childhood education. I will be attending Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy in the fall to pursue my Ph.D. in Public Policy with a focus in child developmental psychology. If you would've told me my first year of Sewanee this is where I would be, I would have laughed. However, I think studying public policy is the ultimate testament to the liberal arts education because without taking one economics course and one research methods course, or taking one psychology class and doing one internship, I definitely would not have found the thing I am so passionate about without the liberal arts education at Sewanee!

David Alan Johnson, Class of 2019


After graduating, Johnson was awarded the NAACP’s Chairman Award for his leadership as President of the Tennessee Youth & College Division, the highest honor given to a member of the association under the age of 25. He went on to explore transitional justice in Northern Ireland, Germany, Rwanda, and South Africa as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow. As a fellow, he worked with survivors, ex-prisoners, museum directors, state officials, activists, and professors around truth and reconciliation, whether it be from conflict, slavery, genocide, apartheid, or dictator regimes. He conducted 40+ interviews and visited 60+ sites (memorials, museums, monuments) around each country’s past. He is currently a first year MPP student and Pearson Fellow at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as a Research Assistant in the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab.

Bridget McConville, Class of 2019


Bridget is currently in her second year at Notre Dame Law School, where she is a member of the Women’s Legal Forum, Vice President of the Education Law Forum, and serves as a staff editor on the Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy. After her first year at NDLS, Bridget interned at the St. Joseph County of Indiana’s Prosecutor’s Office, where she helped launch a criminal record expungement initiative that is the first of its kind in the country. The initiative has helped hundreds of eligible people expunge their criminal records and earn back suspended licenses. Bridget will spend her next summer at a law firm in Grand Rapids, MI, where she hopes to gain more experience in the field of employment and labor law.

Livia Eva Karoui, Class of 2020


After graduation, Livia started a Princeton in Africa fellowship working remotely with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, Botswana as a Programme Coordinator. In her role, she has been able to work with colleagues to provide psychosocial support to adolescents living with HIV through Whatsapp. She has also had the exciting opportunity to design and implement a new low-tech tutoring programme that uses text messages and calls to provide quality and free-of-charge academic tutoring to Botswana-Baylor pediatric patients who are facing academic difficulties, while taking account of Covid-19 related precautions such as restriction on movement and social distancing. So far, the intervention has proven successful in connecting university students and Baylor patients and in supporting learning and building confidence among participants. After PiAf, she hopes to go to graduate school and continue researching the role of mobile technology in development interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa.