University of Maryland Individual Studies Program

Fall 2012 Graduates

R. AsongRichard Asong
B.A. International Relations and Diplomacy
Faculty Mentor: John McCauley, Department of Government and Politics

Richard Asong is proud to be graduating with a degree in International Relations and Diplomacy.  His major combines courses in history, geography, government, and diplomacy in order to study how states and non-states cooperate and compete on political issues, and the practice of conducting negotiations between those states. He used these courses to write his capstone “A Comparison of the United States’ and China’s Foreign Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa since the year 2000”.  He is also graduating with a certification in Multi-Track Diplomacy: Transforming Violent Conflict.

Richard is the recipient of the Undergraduate Admission Office’s 2011 Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship and the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education’s 2012 Academy of Academic Excellence Award. He is a member of the Baltimore Council of Foreign Relations and volunteers at the Greenbelt Fire Station.

Next year, Richard will be attending the University of Cambridge for an M.Phil. in International Relations and Politics, where his research will focus on the International Criminal Court and why Africans have disproportionately been indicted and prosecuted.


W. JohnstonWilliam Johnston
B.A., American Historical Preservation
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Donald Linebaugh, Department of Preservation and Planning

William will be graduating with a degree in Individual Studies (American Historic Preservation).  William’s IVSP major focuses on architecture (and its history), anthropology, history, and historic preservation.  The creation of this major was motivated by William’s dual passions for history and for historic buildings.  He has a long connection with the history surrounding the built environment of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, and is an avid sailor.  William’s Senior Capstone Project involved the research and documentation of an historic house in Southern Maryland through deeds, land records, and photographs as well as other evidence of its creation and existence. It also required architectural descriptions and descriptions of historical significance, as well as coordination with local archaeologists, historians, and amateur enthusiasts in order to find the original building and other historical sites.  The project is still ongoing and will continue to provide new insight into 18th and 19th century Maryland life as work is continued.  William has interned with the Anne Arundel County Lost Towns Project in Annapolis, MD, and the Maryland Historical Trust, and has, through school projects, provided information for the Maryland State Highway Administration with regards to their work in Bladensburg, MD. 

He has also interned with the local Deale Area Historical Society in Deale, MD, and has already done private consulting work in the area.  He will pursue a Master’s Degree in Preservation and is considering the possibility of attending law school at some future date.  William would like to thank Dr. Burton, Lori Jusiewicz, Dr. Linebaugh, and other mentors, as well as his parents, for their steadfast support over his college career.


Susan K. GraduationSusan Kelly
B.A., Peace-Building and Social Change
Minor: International Development & Conflict Management
University Honors Program
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Grayzel, Former Baha’i Chair for World Peace

Susan is proud to be graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Peace-building and Social Change.  As a student of peace, she spent a semester abroad in Haifa, Israel, and two weeks in South Africa to study Human Rights and HIV/AIDS.  Susan worked as a section leader in Honors100 for three semesters, and as a TA for Dr. Suheil Bushrui in the honors seminar, “The Spiritual Heritage of the Human Race” for one semester.  She spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 working at Seeds of Peace as a counselor for youth from conflict areas.  Since 2009, Susan has worked as a Challenge Course facilitator at the University of Maryland’s Outdoor Recreation Center.  

As a trip leader with Alternative Breaks, Susan went to the Bahamas for environmental conservation and she led the inaugural Maryland trip to Haiti to learn about the intersection of Haitian culture, international development and disaster relief.  One of her most meaningful experiences at Maryland was peer counseling and training volunteers at Help Center, UMD’s Peer Counseling, Crisis Intervention Hotline.  Susan is a Banneker/Key Scholar and a Philip Merrill Award Recipient.  In Susan’s capstone project she created a curriculum for teaching peace to high school students and she hopes to use this curriculum in her future career as a peace teacher.  After graduation, Susan will continue rock climbing, making travel plans, and interning at Ashoka’s Youth Venture, promoting youth engagement in social entrepreneurship.


Randi L. GraduationRandi Levitt
B.A., Sports and Recreation Management
Minor: Leadership Studies
Mentor: Dr. Terry Zacker, Department of English

Randi Levitt is excited to be graduating a semester early from the University of Maryland with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management and a minor in Leadership Studies. With her degree, Randi focused her coursework on the business of sport and recreation, and more specifically, the impact that sport and recreation can make on a college campus. Her goal was to establish an interdisciplinary understanding of sport business and focus on leading, planning, and managing athletic and recreational opportunities in public, private, and commercial settings. For her capstone project, Randi created a class, Leadership and Collegiate Recreation, which she will be teaching to Campus Recreation Services employees beginning next semester.

Throughout her three years at the University of Maryland, Randi worked as a Facilities Supervisor and Program Assistant for Campus Recreation Services, and will continue working as the Program Assistant for Special Projects until she goes to graduate school next fall. In addition to her work for Campus Recreation, Randi served as Chapter President of her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha; worked as a Community Advocate in the Office of Student Conduct; interned as a Game Operations Intern and Marketing Coordinator for Maryland Sports Marketing; and served as a Leadership Educator for the Peer Leadership Educator. Randi was also a recipient of the 2012 Student Affairs Scholarship Award; a member of Order of Omega, National Honorary Greek Leadership Society; and was Senior Marshal for the December 2012 Commencement.


Aisha M. GraduationAisha Mumtaz
B.A., Woman’s Health and Global Communication
University Honors Program
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Justicia Opoku-Eudsei, Department of Biological Sciences

Aisha is excited to be graduating from UMD with a degree in Women’s Health & Global Communication. With her degree, Aisha has explored current key global health challenges in maternal health and development. It has prepared her with the theoretical frameworks and practical skills necessary to address critical healthcare concerns, such as minority access to care and maternal health proficiency. The coursework examines major social, economic, and political issues affecting the delivery of health care. Aisha’s capstone project analyzed the infant mortality rate in the US, focusing on factors that contribute to the U.S.’s low international ranking when compared to other developed nations.

Aisha served on the International Youth Leadership Council at Advocates for Youth throughout her college career. She attended the U.N.’s 45th Commission on Population and Development in NYC to represent Advocates for Youth to speak on behalf of young people and their sexual and reproductive health rights.

Aisha is graduating with an Honors Citation from the University Honors College, received the William D. Dorland Scholarship, is part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, was on the dean’s list every semester, and received multiple academic awards from the Office of Multiethnic Student Education.

After graduating, Aisha will be attending Medical School at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Aisha would like to thank her parents and family for their love and support, and her academic mentor and advisors for their guidance and encouragement.


Cristian P. GraduationCristian Panaite
B.A., 3D Environment Modeling & Design
Faculty Mentor: Michael Ambrose, School of Architecture

Cristian is proud to be graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in 3D Environment Modeling & Design.  His major combined Architecture, Art, and Art History into the education necessary to grow as a 3D artist.  As a former Architecture student, Cristian sought ways to bridge his love for drafting and design in 3D programs with a more artistic endeavor.  He found the answer through the Individual Studies Program where his capstone project focused on the creation of three virtual environments with distinct visual styles. 

Cristian has held two internships in the past, one with the National Archives in College Park and the other with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.  He is grateful for the knowledge and experience gained by working at these institutions, and he is excited for the future that the prospect of design and 3D modeling has set before him.  Most importantly, he is grateful for the ways in which the Individual Studies Program has allowed him to pursue his dream.  Cristian would like to thank the IVSP office and his mentor, Michael Ambrose, for their generous support.

Images on this page by Lisa Helfert Photography

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Individual Studies Program  Campus Location: 2407 Marie Mount Hall
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IVSP is a degree granting academic program of the Office of Undergraduate Studies