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The Career Discovery Tour is a program committed to further expanding student-alumni career networking opportunities. In 2014, the program was recognized with the “Best Student Alumni Programming” award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Offered twice annually, during fall and spring breaks, the Career Discovery Tour provides 12-15 students the opportunity to travel for a week to vibrant cities across the United States to gain first-hand knowledge of a variety of careers directly from successful Ripon alumni and friends. Click here if you are interested in serving as a host for an upcoming tour. Constituent Engagement staff accompany students on the tour and help to design meeting schedules and flex time that meets the needs of most students. Previous trips have included Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and Texas. This critical engagement opportunity is made possible with support from the Alumni Association Board of Directors and others.

Tour Details

Ripon College will visit alumni and sights in Washington, D.C.

Dates: Saturday, March 14 to Friday, March 20, 2020.
Cost per Student: $425* (includes airfare, lodging, most meals and ground transportation)

*Financial assistance will be available to qualified students upon request.

Alumni Visits:

Garrison M. Anderson ‘16
  • Major: Communication
  • Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • MA Communication and Rhetoric, Colorado State University
Sarah M. Anderson ‘10
  • Major: Biology; Minors: French, Chemistry
  • Ecologist, USDA, Forest Service
  • PhD Biology, Washington State University
LTC Eric Atkisson ’94 (Ret.)
  • Major: History; Minor: Philosophy of Humanities
  • Communications & Marketing Supervisor, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
  • MA Political Science, Southwest Texas State University
Drew Davis ’07
  • Majors: Religion, Politics & Government; Minor: National Security Studies
  • Chief of Staff, National Security and Military Affairs, US Government
  • MA National Security, Texas A&M International University
Pamela Roe Durham ’82
  • Majors: French, History, Spanish
  • Director for Missile, Biological, Chemical Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Security & Nonproliferation
  • MA International Affairs, Tufts University
Rick Estberg ’75
  • Major: Combined Foreign Languages
  • Senior Intelligence Advisor
  • MA International Relations, Boston University
Ben Valdez-Hempel ’17
  • Major: Politics & Government; Minor: National Security Studies
  • Executive Coordinator/Analyst, Grassroots Business Fund
Sophia Kaounas ‘14
  • Major: Politics & Government; Minors: Communication, National Security Studies
  • Senior Paralegal, Air Line Pilots Association
COL Jim Laufenburg ’79 (Ret.)
  • Majors: Anthropology, History
  • Director, Ceremonies, Special Events, and Outreach; Military District of Washington
  • MPA Public Administration, University of Missouri St. Louis
Heather L. Menne, ’92
  • Majors: Psychology, French
  • Senior Health Policy Researcher, RTI International
  • MS Gerontology, Miami University Oxford
  • PhD Sociology, Case Western University
Mherete Mherete ’17
  • Majors: Business Management, Economics
  • Insurance Representative, Transamerica
Josh Plummer ’17
  • Major: Psychology; Minor: Criminal Justice
  • Graduate student studying forensic and legal psychology with a concentration in intelligence at Marymount University
Dr. David Schwarz ’65
  • Majors: Philosophy, Mathematics
  • Senior Program Analyst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (retired)
  • PhD Philosophy, Univeristy of California Berkeley
Kathryn Schultz ’89
  • Major: Politics & Government; Minor: Music
  • Senior Adviser on South Asia, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Security &
    Nonproliferation, Office of Regional Affairs
Bryant Vande Kolk ’12
  • Major: Physics; Minors: Spanish, Mathematics
  • PhD Physics, University of Notre Dame
Jennifer White ’03
  • Majors: Mathematics, Physics
  • Landsat 8/Landsat 9 Flight Dynamics Engineer and Collision Avoidance Operations Engineer for a.i. solutions at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • PhD Astrophysics, Ohio State University
Gary G. Yerkey ’66
  • Major: Philosophy
  • Journalist/author, and after spending about 15 years as a foreign correspondent in Europe and the Middle East, moved to Washington, D.C., and has covered Congress and the Executive Branch. He is the author of six books — all non-fiction.

Plus much more! Additional alumni site visits and sightseeing opportunities are still being finalized and will depend on student interests.


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