We have fabulous alumni who go into all sorts of fields—from business to academia, from law to policy analysis. We want current students to benefit from the expertise and experience of these alums. To help current students connect with graduates of our department we started an Alumni Council. These graduates honed their skills in our program, they understand how useful the major is, and are eager to give back to the next generation of Political Science students. The Council consists of a dozen graduates who have a wide array of experiences and who are happy to offer advice, particularly about the job market and your place in it. Below are the profiles of the alum. Please feel free to click on their name and write to an alum, ask them questions and let them guide you if you need help.
Alumni Council President Rachel Nutini ’09 is a Financial Systems Analyst for VF, LLC. VF owns many companies including The North Face, Timberland, Vans, Jansport and more. She spends her time researching technical issues, testing reports and data, and creating new ways to look at old problems. While there might not seem that there is a direct connection between Political Science and Financial Systems, most of the research and analysis skills she uses every day at work has been shaped and informed by research she did and read while earning her degree. Originally from Minneapolis, MN her family moved to Menasha, WI. She is married to Kevin, the orchestra director for Menasha public schools and has three children: Emma, Paul and Adam. Rachel’s main political science interests were in political thought and American politics.
Outreach Coordinator Staush Gruszynski ‘08 is the Political Director for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. Staush is originally from Marinette and now resides in Green Bay where he currently serves on the Board of County Supervisors for Brown County. During his time at UW Oshkosh he was active in PSSA and College Democrats. Staush has been with Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters since early 2010, where he works to strengthen conservation policy in Wisconsin, develops and fosters relationships with partner organizations and state legislators, and serves as one of the top electoral operatives for the organization.
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Finance/Fundraising Chair Brandon Strand ’08 is the Executive Director for the Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association. He is originally from Fond du Lac and was the Vice President for the Oshkosh Student Association and Student Legal Services Director during his time at UW Oshkosh. He also earned the UW Oshkosh Political Science Isaac Kayando Award. His interest in Political Science led him to pursue an internship in the Office of the Attorney General at the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Brandon has been involved in state politics as Campaign Manager, Communications Director in the Wisconsin State Legislature, and Policy Analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Administration. He now represents the interests of the asphalt industry in Wisconsin.
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Professional Development Coordinator Kristine Grill ’09 is an elections specialist for Ramsey County, Minnesota and is originally from Farmington, Minnesota. An elections internship during her time at UW Oshkosh, with the Town of Grand Chute, convinced her to pursue a Masters of Public Administration at Minnesota State University, Mankato. During graduate school Kristine worked as an intern with the Ramsey County Elections office. She worked in a variety of areas, eventually becoming a permanent staff member. She now specializes in absentee voting and public communications.
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Amy Gearhart Bahrani
Amy Gearhart Bahrani ’11 is the Flight Operations Communications Manager for United Airlines. She is originally from Salem, WI and was a proud Political Science major, serving on the Political Science Student Association and Pi Sigma Alpha boards, as well as attending the Political Science study abroad trip to Berlin, Germany. Her interest in international relations led her to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, UK. After graduation, she began her career with UTC Aerospace Systems in International Trade Compliance and then in Contract Management, conducting aerospace contract negotiations in Russia and France. She now lives in Chicago with her husband.
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Brenna Ranzen ‘10 is currently a Masters of Science candidate at UW Madison working towards a degree in Environmental Conservation. She is originally from Madison, WI and graduated from UW-Oshkosh with a dual degree in Political Science and International Studies. Her interest in international development originally led her to intern and work at Weidemann Associates, a USAID contractor in Washington, DC, focusing mainly on international agriculture projects.
Paul Beach ’11 is a Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon and a research associate at the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) in Eugene, Oregon. He is originally from Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin and was a research assistant in the Political Science and Economics departments. He also played on the men’s soccer team (’06-’09) during his time at UW Oshkosh. Paul earned an MPA from the University of Oregon (MPA,’13) and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Methodology , Policy, and Leadership. Paul conducts local, state, and national educational policy research in the areas of college and career readiness, accountability, and assessment.
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Eric Slee ’06 is a Legislative Assistant in the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. He handles the energy, environment/climate change, telecommunications, Veterans Affairs and Rules Committee portfolio for his office. Prior to working in the Senate, Eric spent more than four years at a DC-based public affairs firm working on a variety of federal and state public policy campaigns, including telecom legislation/regulation. Prior to his work in public affairs, Eric worked for a political training organization in Arlington, VA educating grassroots activists and political candidates on communications skills. Raised in Wisconsin, Eric graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where he served as chairman of a campus political organization, a role that would lead to opportunities with two WI Congressional offices. Eric currently resides in Alexandria, VA with his wife Bernadette.
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Justin Skvarce ’07 is an Associate Attorney of Gallo Vitucci Klar, LLP, an insurance defense litigation firm located in New York City. Justin is originally from Sheboygan and while at UW Oshkosh he was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society and the National Scholars Honor Society. After graduation, Justin obtained his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Justin is licensed to practice law in the States of Michigan and New York and currently focuses his practice in the field of liability defense.
Dr. Kristi Winters ‘96 is a Project Manager for GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne, Germany. She was President of the Oshkosh Student Association and a Winnebago County Board Supervisor. After obtaining her degree in Political Science she went on to become a Chief of Staff in the Wisconsin State Senate, received her Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science the United Kingdom, was Senior Research Officer for the 2005 British Election Study and conducted the 2010 Qualitative Election Study of Britain. She has published articles on politics and gender, and electoral behavior.
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Bob Krasniewski, a Green Bay native, retired after forty years of sales and marketing management with national and international companies. After retirement he sought to round out his knowledge by auditing classes at UW-Oshkosh. He found the study of political science aided his understanding of life and business. In 2013 he was awarded an Outstanding Returning Adult Student Award by the university. Bob continues to study political science as an active auditing student.
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Daniel Hofherr ‘08 is an Associate Attorney with the law firm of Dunlap, Bennett and Ludwig at its Northern Virginia office. He is originally from Brown Deer, Wisconsin. While attending UW Oshkosh, Daniel was a student senator for the college of letters and science and was active in student groups. After graduation, Daniel’s involvement with a nationally recognized think-tank in Washington, DC led him to peruse and earn a degree from the Syracuse University College of Law. Now, Daniel’s practice focuses on corporate, transactional, and general business law.