College of Arts and Sciences

Meet HAPS Students

Michael Costigan '20

History major, Secondary Education minor

Michael’s focus in the field of history is 20th century political history. While working as a research assistant, Michael helped conduct research for Dr. Peter Siskind and his history course entitled “FDR to Obama.” He was also able to assist Dr. Siskind with planning the 9th biennial Urban History Association conference. His education minor has provided him with opportunities and hands-on experience in local schools, including Cheltenham High School and Elkins Park high school, as well as in the National Constitution Center in the Museum Programs department. As part of the Arcadia Preview Program, Michael traveled with Dr. Siskind to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In the future, Michael aspires to teach high school history.

Riley Crouthamel ‘21

International Studies major, Linguistics and Spanish minors

Her main academic interests include migration politics and human rights, how these interact, and how these phenomena are affected by linguistics. The independent research opportunities afforded by the International Studies curriculum has allowed Riley to pursue her passions both inside and outside the classroom: Riley has studied the effects of presidential rhetoric as it relates to immigration policy, and, she serves as a research assistant to Dr. Hillary Parsons Dick. Her goal is to continue pursuing research opportunities related to migration politics in the Americas. While at Arcadia, Riley has also taken full advantage of all the ways students can study away. She has studied abroad for a semester in London in London, participated in the First-Year Preview Program going to China, and will be studying abroad in Cape Town South Africa in Spring 2020. Riley is also an active member of Arcadia’s Model United Nations club, sitting on the board, and recently traveling to the UN’s headquarters New York headquarters for a conference.

Clare Donovan ‘20

History and International Studies major, French minor

Clare has a passion for international politics and human rights, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. She traveled to Oman as part of the First-Year Preview Program and studied abroad for a semester in Cape Town, South Africa. Her study abroad experience allowed her to pursue research on inclusivity and sustainability in economic development, and issues affecting vulnerable populations. While in South Africa, Clare participated in a fieldwork project with the Community Chest. In Fall 2018, Clare had an internship with Nationality Service Center, an organization that resettles refugees in Philadelphia. After graduation, Clare plans to attend law school and work in international advocacy.

LaTae Johnson B.A. ’20, M.A. ‘21

International Studies major (B.A.), International Peace & Conflict Resolution (M.A.)

LaTaè Johnson came to Arcadia University as a transfer student from the Community College of Philadelphia with the goal of graduating with a B.A. in International Studies and a Masters in International Peace & Conflict Resolution. Prior to attending Arcadia she studied abroad in Cuba, which sparked her interest in American narratives about other countries, particularly communist nations. LaTaè then studied for a semester at the Arcadia London Center, which piqued her interest in broader global issues and spurred her to transfer to Arcadia. While at Arcadia she has developed a research interest in rhetoric and politics, specifically the relationship between language and immigration, nationalism, xenophobia, and white supremacy. These interests blossomed during pivotal recent experiences in her life:  an internship at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia; conceptualizing and leading the creation of the documentary series The Local-Global History of Philadelphia, which focuses on representation of immigrant groups in Philadelphia and aims to connect local and global community; and, working for the Democratic Party during the summer of 2019.

Tessa Kilcourse ‘20

International Studies Major, Politics, Government, & Law and Pan-African Studies minors

Immigration, poverty, and women’s studies rank among Tessa’s top academic interests. Before arriving at Arcadia, Tessa spent her final year of high school in Viterbo, Italy learning about refugees to Italy from Africa and the Middle East, tutoring English, and preparing for the Global Issues Network Conference in Luxembourg (2016). As a Research Assistant, Tessa has assisted Professor Roland Adjovi with a report to the United Nations regarding forced marriages in India. Like many International Studies majors, Tessa has had several notable study away experiences: as part of the First-Year Preview Program she traveled to London, England; she participated in a Global Field Study course to Paris, France; and she spent the semester of Spring 2019 in Galway, Ireland, studying the relationship between Ireland’s economy and the rest of the world. After graduation, Tessa hopes to work for an international organization doing work to assist impoverished nations across the globe.

Timothy Spangler, III ‘20

Politics, Government & Law major, with a concentration in Law & Public Policy

Tim began cultivating his interest in politics and law as part of the First Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE) program, studying British history and politics at Arcadia London Center. His areas of interest are American law and politics. In particular, Tim is passionate about constitutional law and the extent to which federal courts affect policy and shape American federalism. In the spring of 2020, he traveled to Central Europe as part of a Global Field Study course, studying national identity in the region and the ways in which national identity in Poland, Austria, and Hungary compare to national identity in the United States. Tim is honored to be working as an intern in Magisterial Judge Christopher Cerski’s court, beginning in Fall 2019. Timothy is also an active member of the Honors program at Arcadia, serving as one of its presidents. Post-graduation, he plans to attend law school and pursue a career in law.

Nicole Silfa '21

Politics, Government, & Law major

Nicole Bassa came to Arcadia with her mind set on going to Law School after receiving her B.A. Prior to attending Arcadia, she shadowed Interpreters at the Lehigh Valley Courthouse in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which sparked a passion for a future in law. Opportunities offered through Arcadia have allowed Nicole to participate in two leadership conferences: the 10th annual McDonough Leadership Conference at Marietta College and NEW Leadership™ Pennsylvania, during which she discovered her desire to pursue a career in immigration law. Her ultimate goal is to give others like herself, an immigrant, an opportunity at a better life. She seeks to empower women, especially minority women, to take action and effect change in society, particularly around inclusivity within civil society. Nicole intends to continue engaging in leadership and other conferences, and pursuing her dream of going to law school. 

Facia Sirleaf, ‘19

International Peace & Conflict Resolution (M.A.)

Facia Nyego Sirleaf focuses her studies on sub-Saharan migration in Northern Africa as it relates to gender and ethnicity. As an Undergraduate at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, she double majored in Anthropology and Communication Studies, minoring in Gender Studies to receive her BA in 2018. She migrated with her family to the United States of America in 2001 from Ghana, where they sought asylum during the second Liberian Civil War. She is a proud Liberian who enjoys exhuming the stories and experiences of Black people while exploring the Black identity through her writing and travel with Black Girl Nomads. Recently, she spent a third summer in Morocco, this time interning at the Fondation Orient-Occident working with sub-Saharan migrants and refugees. She is the current Grants Administration and Proposal Research Intern for the Tomberg Family Philanthropies and plans to work in the nonprofit industry aiding fellow African immigrants and refugees upon graduation.