From September 6 to 8, 2018, we celebrated the Center for European Studies’ 25th and TAM’s 20th anniversaries here at UNC-CH. On Thursday, September 6th, Ambassador Caroline Vicini, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the U.S,. gave a keynote address to a large crowd in the auditorium of the FedEx Global Education Center. A dinner followed the talk. You can read more about this event here. The next day, on Friday, September 7th, we held an alumni panel in the GEC. Three TAM graduates returned to campus to discuss their experiences in the program and current professional pursuits involving federal service, outreach, and private industry. Our panelists were:
Aberdeen Sabo | TAM Class of 2003
Abby is a Special Assistant with the Defeat ISIS Task Force, OSD Policy at the Pentagon. She is a 2003 graduate of the TAM Program. After completing the core module in Chapel Hill, NC, she studied at Sciences Po, while also interning at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, then finishing the program in Bath, England. Abby deployed to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003-04 as a Defense Contractor. After her deployment, she worked at the National Archives, declassifying documents for public release and reviewing book manuscripts written by prominent American figures who had once had security clearances. Ms. Sabo joined DIA as a government civilian in July 2007 as a Foreign Disclosure Officer. She was able to use her French skills, honed during the TAM program, and she assisted the U.S. Embassy in Paris by translating critical information. At the time, there were no analyst vacancies on the Europe Team, so Abby was encouraged to begin covering West Africa as a Political-Military All Source Intelligence Analyst for DIA from 2008-2011. She was then selected to work as a Defense Liaison Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger from 2011-2013. Ms. Sabo received the Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal (equivalent to a Bronze Star) from the DIA Director at Agency HQ’s in Dec. 2013 for superior efforts during two years in Niger, successfully responding to unprecedented challenges in one of the most austere environments in the world, without missing a beat. Ms. Sabo was selected for a second tour as a Defense Liaison Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon from 2013-2015. Ms. Sabo received a Franklin Award from the U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon at an Embassy-wide award ceremony in July 2015 for superior efforts assisting a Foreign Service Officer in a crisis situation. Ms. Sabo is a Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of Miami University, OH (2000) with a double major in French and Political Science. Her first “real job” after college was working as a Police Dispatcher at the Westlake, OH Police Department for 15 months.
Zack Dunnam | TAM Class of 2013
Zack studied in Amsterdam as a TAM student and focused on International Political Economy. He is now a Project Manager in the Strategic Partnerships division of WorldAware, Inc. Zack was born and raised in Austin, TX and attended the University of Texas–Austin (Class of 2008). With a BA in European Studies and several summers spent across the Atlantic, he began his career at the Austin-based geopolitical publishing and research firm STRATFOR. Once ready to begin the next phase of his education, UNC’s Trans-Atlantic Masters Program was the perfect fit. His time in TAM occurred at the height of the euro crisis, so much of his research focused on the political effects of bailouts and sovereign debt ratings. He began interning and then working remotely part-time in Amsterdam for WorldAware (formerly iJET International) before moving to the DC area for a full-time position upon graduation in 2013. He has now been at WorldAware for five years in various positions and works alongside several other TAM alums. He currently manages several projects but much of his focus centers around our partnerships with major global insurance and travel management companies, helping them integrate global threat intelligence and risk management solutions into their products and platforms.
Michelle Offik | TAM Class of 2016
Michelle completed her BA in International Relations, German, and Mandarin Chinese at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida in 2010. She then went on to become a journalism intern with a translations and localization company in Greenville, South Carolina, writing articles on international business trends. Following this, she worked as a Communications and Marketing Director with Wetzel Services, a family-owned international relocation, realty, and language company based in Greenville. In 2012 she moved to Washington, D.C., assisting a financial litigation consulting team with casework relating to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme fraud. As a TAM student, Michelle studied in Berlin and received a Fulbright Scholarship for her second year to complete her thesis research on immigrant integration policy in Germany. She currently works at the Goethe Institute in Washington, DC as the Digital Communications Manager for the public diplomacy campaign “Year of German-American Friendship 2018/19” (Deutschlandjahr USA 2018/19).
Finally, on Saturday, September 8th, we hosted a informal breakfast in the GEC for TAM students, graduates and site representatives in from Europe.
The festivities will continue with a TAM alumni and current student party in DC on Oct. 19th and a gathering in mid June in London at UNC-CH’s Winston House. Please contact Sarah for more information about these events – email@example.com