CIVICUS Alumni Profiles 

Bill Braun's HeadshotBill Braun

Senior Marketing Associate, SmithBucklin Corporation
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2010
UMD Class of 2012, Journalism

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? The bonds you form and the fun you have in CIVICUS make the program completely worth it. In addition, the drive for success that exists in CIVICUS is second to none. The experience, both from an "on paper" perspective and a "being a better person" perspective, will go a long way in helping you succeed.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? Having an internship during my sophomore year gave me a leg up when competing for subsequent internships - it was that extra, early bit of experience that helped make me stand out. Additionall, I discovered that a former CIVICUS associate worked at my company before I went in for my interview. She was a great resource for pre-interview advice, and I wouldn't have had that immediate connection without CIVICUS.

Val Kologrivov's HeadshotVal Kologrivov

Community Outreach Liaison, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05)
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2017
UMD Class of 2019, Double Degree in Economics and Government & Politics

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? Do it! CIVICUS is an incredible opportunity to meet new people, diversify your interests, and be a part of a tight-knit community. Some of my best friends are people I met in Somerset Hall. Joining CIVICUS is a gateway to involvement on campus, professional connections, and so much more. You will always have someone looking out for you.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? When I was a freshman, I looked up to the CIVICUS sophomores who were interning in the White House, at major publications, at incredible non-profits, and all over DC and campus. I was motivated to work harder and to learn from them. Starting early on internships made me learn what I did and didn't like in my field - and four internships later, I knew that accepting a job in the House of Representatives was right for me. Even today, I keep the lessons I learned in CIVICUS about networking, professionalism, and maintaining connections close to heart. Especially in politics, having meaningful connections with people around you is often what gets your foot in the door. I can thank my role models in CIVICUS for helping open doors, and I hope to do the same for those who complete the program after me. 

Jamie Lee's HeadshotJamie Lee

Consultant, Deloitte
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2011
UMD Class of 2013, Journalism and English Language and Literature

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? Absolutely do it. I made the decision because the residence hall has air conditioning. Beyond AC, you'll gain many experiences that you would not have otherwise.The people in CIVICUS are awesome, and the small community makes UMD more manageable.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? CIVICUS helped me develop professional writing skills, from creating a quality resume and cover letter to writing appropriate emails. CIVICUS also encouraged me to take an interest across disciplines, thus expanding my knowledge and skills. Finally, CIVICUS helped me learn how to create a close-knit and diverse community.

JaMar Mancano HeadshotJaMar Mancano

Associate Attorney, Venable LLP
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2007
UMD Class of 2009, Government and Politics
J.D., UMD School of Law, 2012

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? As a first-generation college student, it was important to me that CIVICUS created a small community of people that I could call a family during my time at Maryland. I owe a large amount of my success at UMD and in my professional career to what I learned as part of the CIVICUS program, not only in the classroom but also in the halls of Somerset and on our many service trips.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? During my time in CIVICUS, I learned the importance of being civically engaged and providing service to others. Those principles directly tie into my responsibilities as an attorney. I better understand the importance of providing pro bono services to the community and helping those who may not be able to afford legal representation. I have incorporated these principles into my professional life by participating in bar organizations that allow me to connect, network, and be involved in communities in which I work.

Carrie Matthew's HeadshotCarrie Matthews

Director of People Operations, Hamilton Place Strategies
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2006
UMD Class of 2008, Government and Politics

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? CIVICUS is a unique opportunity to learn important soft skills that are hard to gain anywhere else. You'll understand the value of diversity and service for communities and will gain tools that will set you apart from your peers in the professional world.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? CIVICUS uniquely prepared me for my current role in a number of ways. At a high level, I learned how to understand, empathize, and interact with people who were different than me. CIVICUS strengthened my ability to resolve interpersonal conflicts and maintain poise and perspective in emotional or tense situations. From a tactical standpoint, the work we did on professional development (resume and cover letter writing, mock interviews) directly correlates to my role and put me ahead of my peers.

Robyne McCullough's HeadshotRobyne McCullough

News Producer, WBAL-TV (Baltimore)
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2009
UMD Class of 2011, Broadcast Journalism

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? I had the chance to live in the same building as a hundred or so of the most creative, passionate people I know. They come from a variety of backgrounds and were drawn to a wide range of disciplines. The people you meet in CIVICUS are engaged in their communities, and they care about the future of the country and the world that we live in. CIVICUS alums I know are now spread across the world, the country and across the great state of Maryland. Four years after graduation, I keep in contact with close friends and former classmates.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? CIVICUS gave me a very important skill for my line of work. It gave me an awareness of perspectives outside of my own. The program challenged me to think outside of myself, and what I knew in order to consider the circumstances and vantage points of others. As a journalist, I strive to give voice not only to the people with the bullhorns, but also those drowned out by the shouting.

Dave Nelson's HeadshotDavid W. Nelson

Protocol Officer and Social Secretary to the Swiss Ambassador, Washington, D.C.
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2009
UMD Class of 2011, Government and Politics

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? CIVICUS changed the way that I view my role as a citizen...for the better. Because of my involvement in CIVICUS, I'd like to think that I place greater emphasis on the power of diversity and, moreover, on what can be accomplished through a diverse, engaged community.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? It was at 30,000 feet over the New Mexico desert where I realized how complimentary CIVICUS was to my field. I was on a flight home from interning at a protocol officers' conference when I learned that both CIVICUS and the protocol field are grounded in the principles of civility and respect. Having a foundational training in these disciplines through CIVICUS prepared me for a career in protocol.

Mew Rattanawatkul's HeadshotKanokphan (Mew) Rattanawatkul

Management Analyst, Health Resources and Service Administration
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2009
UMD Class of 2011, Community Health
UMD Class of 2014, M.P.H in Epidemiology

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? I felt lucky to be in CIVICUS. Not only did we have air conditioning, but it kept me from getting overwhelmed by a big school. From my first day in CIVICUS, it was easy to find people with similar interests, and I was connected with upperclassman involved in almost every organization on campus. CIVICUS made going to a big university more manageable.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? I was undecided in my major as a first-year student. Involvement in community service helped me narrow down what I wanted to do by exposing me to new experiences and a variety of careers. In addition, CIVICUS taught me how to effectively work in a team, particularly a diverse team. This skill is vital to my work in the federal government.

Ray Regimbal's HeadshotRay Regimbal

Project Manager, Fire Engine RED
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2007
UMD Class of 2009, Marketing and Government and Politics
M.P.A from University of Baltimore

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? I can't imagine my years at UMD without CIVICUS. In addition to making so many great friends, I learned more about myself and the world around me through CIVICUS than in any other class. There is nobody more dedicated to the success of the program and every single one of its students - and alumni! - than former and founding director Sue Briggs.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? The CIVICUS internship program created the professional path I'm on today. Until my marketing internship in Undergraduate Admissions through CIVICUS, I never considered a career in higher education. I'm still working in higher education and loving every minute of it.

Tori Tanner Bowling at the White House
White House Eisenhower Bowling Alley

Tori Tanner

Campus Recruitment Lead, IPG Mediabrands 
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2015
UMD Class of 2017, Multiplatform Journalism

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? I loved it! I made some of my closest friends in Somerset and, without it, I would definitely be on a different path

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? CIVICUS led me to an internship that I had for eight months where I supported pre-C-Suite level executives on their development. I was at a foundation focused on career development for not just executives but also young people, and it led me to a career in which I focus on human capital.

Tessa Trach's HeadshotTessa Trach

Associate Dean of Student Life for Leadership and Service-Learning, St. Timothy's School 
Earned CIVICUS Citation: 2015
UMD Class of 2017, Broadcast Journalism

What would you tell students considering joining CIVICUS? Most of my best friends from college were people I met my first year in Somerset Hall. CIVICUS is a place where you truly live and learn together. You get to know some of the greatest people, and you get to learn and explore many relevant and important topics. CIVICUS basically teaches you how to be a decent human being and reminds you why you should care.

How did CIVICUS impact your professional path? CIVICUS brought out my love for leadership and service, and encouraged me to be involved on campus. Through my campus involvements and connections, I developed a passion for service and people. My first job after UMD was not where I expected to be, but I knew that I was prepared because of my experiences at Maryland, especially through CIVICUS. I work with student leaders every day, and I build relationships with outside community partners. I understand the importance of showing up to your commitments and being there for those in need. 

Last modified
03/06/2020 - 1:28 pm