Featured Alumni | HPIR Department | Webster University

HPIR Department: Student Perspectives & Featured Alumni

The View from Graduation: Alumni 

Ricardo FallaRicardo Falla
Class of 2009, BA in International Relations
Class of 2011, MA in International Relations

Current Position: Ricardo N. Falla has been designated as the new Trade Commissioner of Ecuador to Sweden in January 2017. He served as Investment Promotion Officer at the Trade Office of Ecuador in Chicago since August of 2014, with oversight to the 12 states of the Midwest. In this role, Ricardo was in charge promoting the investment opportunities in Ecuador, advised investors on how to invest in Ecuador, and assisted companies in the Mid West region for their current and future development projects in Ecuador. He also assists the office in the export promotion activities, including helping Ecuadorian exporters who want to open new markets in the region, and help buyers/importers of the region find potential new suppliers of Ecuadorian products and services.

"It is no secret that the professional and personal experiences during my time at Webster University - both at the undergraduate and graduate levels - helped me shape who I am today as a diplomat and public servant.

Coming to the USA as an International Student at age 17 was a big change in my life, and I don’t believe I would have been successful at school if it wasn’t for the openness I found at Webster. This school provided me with unique tools that allowed me not only to enter my current career, but to be successful at it as well. The opportunity to learn other languages at the school and study abroad gave me that initial international experience that helped me land my first job for the Ecuadorian government. It was my multi-language skills and the experience of studying in the USA, China and Switzerland that helped me stand out from the other recent graduate professionals in my field in Ecuador. My degree in International relations gave me the necessary background and knowledge to serve the government, without which I could not have started to work at the Ecuadorian Ministry of Production, Employment and Competitiveness in 2012. Being part of the Webster Speech and Debate Team and being involved in different student organizations gave me speaking skill to address large crowds and communicate effectively, particularly in government where on a daily basis you need to transmit complex ideas to different stake holders and be sure they understand the message you are trying to convey. Overall, the ability to closely interact with my professors, the opportunity to study abroad, and to join enriching organizations in campus, propelled me into my current career today."

Message to Current Students: "Be sure to take advantage of the study abroad program, learn new languages, travel and meet other people with different backgrounds. It is often these life-learning experiences that pulls you apart from the crowd, and help you mature into a successful professional."

Emily RitterEmily Ritter

Class of 2004, BA in International Relations

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Merced.  Emily’s research and teaching interests include international human rights institutions, law, and practice; domestic conflict between the state and citizen groups; international governance and legal institutions; and institutional solutions to bargaining and cooperation problems.

"At Webster, I learned to think differently about human rights. They're not just a nice idea or something that we all want--they're a legal and political activity, motivated by different groups in society. Webster changed my perspective, which made it possible to fight more efficiently for people's human rights." 

Message to Current Students: "Study abroad! The opportunities available through Webster are really unique and make it so easy to do. Living in Geneva crucially changed my perspective on human rights, as well as motivating me to live abroad as much as I can in my life." 

Amanda StaggenborgAmanda Staggenborg
Class of 2003, BA in History/Political Science

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Public Relations and Communications - Missouri Baptist University

"The classes I took at Webster taught me to research and analyze academic content. I saw myself as a more serious student due the the expectations of excellence from my professors."

Message to Current Students: "Remember that every moment with your professor is a valuable learning opportunity. Network and hold yourself to a professional standard at all times."