Alumni Class Secretary Updates – WHA


Huberht Santos (09-10) learned from Program Assistant, Margarita Pearce, that no students from Chiriqu (the province he is from) were neither selected nor applied correctly last year. As a result he decided to go to his home university to meet with some members of the English faculty. During this meeting, he was able to encourage students to apply and showed the professors how to help them with their applications. He was able to share his own UGRAD experience and help others with common application questions. Maria Isabel Bustamante (11-12) is in her last semester of Marine Engineering at the Technological University of Panama and preparing her thesis with another UGRADer, Estefanía Guillén (11-12).  Estefanía is also working as an Assistant General Manager of a Multinational Company.

Maria Isabel Bustamante and Estefanía Guillén at Technological University of Panama

Read on for more updates from Panama and Uruguay (including a UGRAD wedding!)

Joel Aizprua (11-12) is working with a company that trains schools and other companies on how to use technological solutions.  His time in the US greatly increased his English skills, of which he continues to improve upon as his new job is almost entirely conducted in English.  Denisse Gonzalez (11-12) joined her local community organization Techo por mi país that assists the fight against poverty in her region. She also recently won “The U.S-Panama Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative Internship Program” for her country and was chosen to travel to Washington, DC on a full scholarship internship, offered by The Washington Center.  Reina Tercero (11-12) was pretty prepared when she got home, so cultural shock didn’t affect her much. Now, she is a senior in Criminal Justice and is performing her final internship, to obtain a diploma in Criminal Justice. She is currently working at a call center and it helps with her school expenses. She plans to take a well-deserved vacation, after graduation.  Alberto Jaen (11-12) keeps studying English as his major at the University of Panama and finds English easier after studying in the US. Also, he gave presentations about the Global UGRAD scholarship to encourage future students to apply. In addition, he is teaching an English course to high school students and loves sharing his knowledge to help others to learn.

After a short vacation, Carlos Osorio (11-12) started his last year of Industrial Engineering. He is working on his thesis about Corporate Social Responsibility.  In addition, he is supporting some local research groups, doing community service, playing tennis and he participated in a national contest named “Challenge to Excellence,” and was a finalist.  After her experience as UGRADer, Shantal Murillo (11-12) came back to her country with a lot of excitement and ideas to implement. She knew she was different from whom she was before; but needed to show that to her family, friends and people around her. She set herself a goal – to finish her law studies. She is also working on improving her writing skills by taking creative writing classes, her other passion. Even though, she cannot say she’s doing something completely different from what she was doing before she left, she’s changed so much and feels like a new person. She is aware of her dreams and very much willing to fight to have them come true.

Shantal Murillo in Panama

Edison Broce (10-11) has been very active in the academic life. Edison’s team won national rounds to participate in the international round of the “Philip C. Jessup Law Moot Court Competition” to be held in Washington DC, the most demanding competition in international law. He won a prize for the best writer of the first edition of the “IPSO FACTO” newspaper of USMA Law School in Panama. He was selected and later elected President of the U.S. Embassy Youth Advisory Council – Panama. He has just won the Presidency of USMA Law School, where he has demonstrated his leadership skills since he arrived to that university just one year ago after returning to Panama after the UGRAD program.


Felix Sanchez (08-09 from Nicaragua) and Magdalena Gutierrez (08-09) who met at Humboldt State University during their Global UGRAD program decided to get married next year.  Felix started working at an important private school in Uruguay.  In addition, he has been studying and sharing his experiences with other students and professors. Magdalena got a new job at a state project that provides spaces for teachers in order to analyze their educational practices.  They are very excited about their upcoming nuptials and thankful to World Learning and the Department of State because this experience made it possible for them to find each other.

Mariana Guggelmeier (09-10) obtained her degree in Communication focusing on Corporative Communication, Audiovisual Communication, & Journalism.   She is working as the Student Exchange Coordinator at the University of Montevideo and as the Communication Coordinator (inland-“interior”) in TECHO, a local NGO in Uruguay.

Mauricio González (09-10) has been working at Ericsson as Network Engineer for Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay since July 2011. In addition, he is finishing his thesis project about Augmented Reality on smart devices applied to museum navigation with the Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, (MNAV).

Pablo Pereira (09-10)received his Telematic Engineering degree. He is member of Alumni Uruguay Board of Directors and is working at IBM as System X Brand Sales Specialist Team Leader for Uruguay and Paraguay.

Valentina Quagliotti

Valentina Quagliotti (08-09)received her degree in communications. She is now the CEO at Ikusi ), a personal venture.  In addition, she is working as the Communications Officer at CADI, an NGO in Uruguay. She is also studying nonprofit management at Universidad Católica in Montevideo. This year, she was selected with 14 other entrepreneurs of the World to attend the “Global Engagement Summit” at Northwestern University and for participating in a challenge for Global Giving.

Micaela Melgar (09-10) is currently working as Vendor Sourcing Coordinator in Vendor Management at Altisource Portfolio Solutions. In addition, she is pursuing a degree in Development at Universidad de la República and writing her graduate thesis in Political Science.

Fabián Alvarez

Fabián Alvarez (09-10) was studying International Studies in Universidad ORT until last year. Then he switched majors and began a major in Sociology and Educational Science.  He is learning both French and Portuguese to become multilingual.  Currently he is working in Customer Service as an English Interpreter.   Also, he volunteers with Project Oshoa, teaching high school students about the Holocaust.  Last year, he worked in Brazil as part of EduAction Project, a social project that consisted in facilitating workshops for underprivileged kids about personal development and creativity using UNESCO guidelines on intercultural education.

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