Student Success

Green School hosts graduation dinner for MAGA class of 2018

Written by Maria Gil

The Green School’s Master of Arts in Global Affairs (MAGA) program made history this spring. The program celebrated its largest graduating class – including the graduation of the first cohort of the Global Risk and Corporate Responsibility track.

The MAGA graduates came from diverse backgrounds from all over the country and the world. Many of them will go off to pursue careers in the fields of law, politics, security analysis, financial risk analysis and more.

At the MAGA dinner held recently at the FIU Graham Center ballrooms, students, administrators, professors and guests came together to celebrate the success of the 2018 graduating class.

“Every year I am amazed at the remarkable achievements of our MAGA students,” said John F. Stack, Jr., founding dean of Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.

“I see all of you are ready to make a difference,” he added.

Graduates have obtained jobs in various public and private sectors such as Royal Caribbean, U.S. Southern Command, Rockwell Collins, the Department of Justice and local municipalities.

Laura Ortiz, a recent graduate from the first cohort of the Global Risk and Corporate Responsibility track, landed a position as a specialist in senior trade compliance at Rockwell Collins – a major company that specializes in building the interiors of aircrafts.

“MAGA offers a very tailored track,” she said. “The track’s focus on corporate responsibility gave [Rockwell Collins] an interest in hiring me. ”

Ortiz said the track allowed her to explore the perfect balance between how modern corporations and government can influence society and how to work with those entities to create a positive impact.

David J. Kramer, a senior fellow in the Václav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, offered encouragement to the MAGA students, many of whom he taught.

“Education is incredibly important and the opportunity you received through the MAGA program was preparing you for the way forward, but you have to take the future in your own hand,” he said.

Unlike other professional programs, MAGA – which was recently ranked as one of the top 40 programs in the world for policy careers in international relations by Foreign Policy – prepares students in issues like cybersecurity, international human rights violations, domestic and international crime and justice issues, international economic developments and corporate responsibilities.

Graduates learn how to utilize essential critical thinking and negotiation skills in a multifaceted and interdependent world.

Michael Medina, a MAGA graduate from the Globalization and Security track, said the skills he acquired from the program definitely played a role in securing his new position as one of only four fleet security managers for Royal Caribbean International.

In this role, he oversees the security team of the thirteen cruise ships that go into the ports of North, Central and South America.

“MAGA placed emphasis in the new [technological] environment, so it allows us to compete better in this global world market,” he said. “The program focuses exactly on what [I‘m] doing in Royal Caribbean.”

Launched in 2011, the 36-credit degree program has given students the appropriate learning environment to interact closely with faculty and offers the personal attention and assistance required when searching for career prospects.

Classes are scheduled twice a week – one weeknight and one Saturday – giving students the flexibility to continue working full-time while they pursue their degrees.

The cohort for the MAGA degree starts in the fall of each year. Applications are now open. For more information, email