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Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Josef Korbel School Building

Student Profiles

Alex Auman | First Year MA Candidate

Alex Auman, MA Candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Education: BA Political Science and History, University of Vermont

Program at the Josef Korbel School: International Security, certificate in Homeland Security, with a concentration in transnational security threats

What work experience do you have? Before coming to  Korbel, I spent four years in DC managing and supporting USAID and State Department programs, mainly focusing on post-conflict stabilization in Iraq and counterterrorism activities, among others. My Iraq programs dealt with legislative reform for the Iraqi parliament, financial regulatory reform and banking-industry capacity building, and providing oversight of US funding distributed to local NGOs. Working in a conflict area with significant security risks and constraints was an added learning experience and professional challenge. I am fortunate enough to have overseas work experience in Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Kazakhstan, and look forward to traveling again once I complete my degree.

Why did you choose the Josef Korbel School? In addition to the academics reputation, I chose the Korbel School because of its culture.  I wanted a program that did not have a significant commuter culture, but also a program where the importance of good teaching would be the first priority of the instructors. Getting a break from DC and gaining some "outside the beltway" perspective and objectivity was also an added benefit.

So far, how has the Josef Korbel School prepared you for your career? My skills and methods classes have been invaluable, and will provide the best academic foundation  for when I return to the workforce and take on new, yet unknown, professional challenges. The theory and issue classes help to reinforce the breadth and depth of my understanding of the subject matter. My classes are intellectually stimulating, and I enjoy the passionate discussions we have and the opportunity that exists to learn from many of my impressive classmates.

Favorite place to study: Stella's Cafe

Favorite place to unwind: At a local brewery

Favorite Denver restaurant: Linger

Favorite Denver/Colorado activity: Exploring the mountains!

Favorite spot abroad: Zermatt, Switzerland