UHP Student Peer Advisors Introduction Part 1

11 Oct

Welcome to Part 1 of the meet the SPA blog series in which each individual Student Peer Advisor is introduced with a picture and short bio. This series will come each Tuesday and Thursday of the week. Without further ado, here are three of your SPA members:

Ali Tran


ESIA ’14 – International Affairs

South Windsor, CT

Hey guys! I’m Ali Tran, a sophomore in the Elliott School and currently majoring in International Affairs while I decide on what I want to do with my life. Other academic interests include criminal justice, French, Chinese, ancient Greek and Shakespeare plays, and international politics. I’m from the small town of South Windsor, Connecticut, and after a year of “What exactly is there in Connecticut?”, I finally concluded that the only thing Connecticut has is the biggest casinos. When I’m not doing stuff as Internal Affairs Co-Chair for Student Peer Advisors (or doing homework and studying of course), I’m managing public relations for the GW Fencing Club, going on tumblr, cooking, singing, writing fiction, or geeking out about Harry Potter, the TV show Fringe, heist and/or superhero movies, musicals, or Disney movies. What I love about Honors is the small/personal classes, enthusiastic professors and advisors, free food and coffee, and all around great community feel.

Advising areas: anything to do with UHP, honors housing, ESIA courses and 4 year plans, managing PR for organizations, time management, and course registration.

Austin Donahue


SMPA ’14- Political Communication

Orlando, Fl.

Hey UHP! My name is Austin Donohue and I am a sophomore studying political communication in the School of Media and Public Affairs here at GW. I’m from Orlando Fl., but I have lived in Maryland, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma. And no, I haven’t been to the Harry Potter land yet; thanks for rubbing it in. L I love D.C. because of the amazing opportunities we get here, and more or less being able to rub it in to all the Gators I know from home that I live four blocks from the Lincoln memorial. Currently I am an intern with the Washington Film Institute, which is pretty fitting since I am a movie FREAK. On the weekends you can no doubt find me at the movies (George Clooney flicks preferred above all), chilling with my friends or at one of the many SMPA events that are offered (like the Kalb Report). What I love most about the Honors program is that awesome sense of community we develop with each other, our professors, and our amazing advisors. The class size is also a big perk- fostering the best discussions at GW with the best and the brightest.

Advising Areas: Financial aid/scholarships; THE SOUTH; SMPA majors; politics; balancing extracurriculars with classes;  International Baccalaureate alums; Internships

Ben Laman-Maharg



CCAS ’14 – Political Science and History

State College, PA

Hi guys! My name is Ben and I’m a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring/majoring in history in the Columbian College. I’m from a place called State College, Pennsylvania, which is a medium-sized town centered entirely around Penn State University. When I’m not living in Gelman (you can come find me there as late as 2:00 a.m. on weekdays), I spend my time wandering around D.C. looking for good food and entertainment. I’ve also just begun work in an undergraduate research group which focuses on creating biofuels from algae. I’m in to video games, fantasy football, racquetball, basketball, politics (duh), and viewers like you. One time at biology camp I fainted from performing the duties of a large-animal veterinarian simulating live birth of a calf. My favorite part of the honors program is Professor Vann.


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