We want to showcase and give credit to all those people who helped grow ProCon.org. If any of our alumni are reading this page, please call or email and let us know what you've been up to and thanks again for all your wonderful contributions over the years. Please note that this list does not include all of our alumni as some may have requested anonymity or been left off for other reasons.
July 1, 2003 - Jan. 25, 2006
No biography available. Athan worked primarily on the Israeli-Palestinian and US-Iraq projects.
James Bieber - Researcher
Aug. 2, 2010 - Oct. 29, 2010
James Bieber graduated summa cum laude from The State University of New York at Buffalo with a BS in Psychology. As an undergraduate, James maintained a 4.0 GPA in Psychology and became a member of Phi Eta Sigma and the Golden Key International Honor Society.
James earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, where he was Valedictorian of the 2010 graduating class. His coursework focused on Economics, International Relations Theory, State and Local Government Finance, and American Politics. He was a conference presenter at the 2009 Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies, and he worked as an economics teaching assistant and a research assistant for Dr. James Prieger.
James has worked extensively in public relations, and he has interned at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Western New York Office of Senator Charles Schumer.
James joined ProCon.org in August 2010. He was in charge of ACLU ProCon.org, Drinking Age ProCon.org, Insider Trading by Congress ProCon.org, Obesity ProCon.org, Under God in the Pledge ProCon.org, and WTC Muslim Center ProCon.org.
Katie Caparula - Researcher
May 12, 2008 - Dec. 31, 2008
Katie graduated from San Francisco State University in 2004 with a BA in International Relations and a concentration in International Security and Intelligence. During her studies she earned Sigma Iota Rho and Golden Key Honors for academic excellence. As an undergraduate Katie interned at the San Francisco Regional Office of then California Governor Grey Davis where she worked on the Partnership for Prosperity conference. After the Governor’s recall she began interning for the US Investigations Service where she worked on federal background investigations.
Katie earned her Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2008 from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies with a concentration on peace-building, post-conflict development and international relations. Her graduate thesis, "A Quantitative Analysis of North Korean Behavior 1990-2006,” was a time-series and vector auto-regression analysis of 36,000+ events that occurred between North Korea, the members of the Six Party Talks, and the United Nations.
She has traveled, worked and studied extensively through Japan, China, South Korea and the Philippines, and is proficient in English, Japanese and Spanish.
Katie joined ProCon.org in May 2008. She was in charge of research for the Born Gay ProCon.org website. She also contributed to Alternative Energy ProCon.org.
Brandon Cipes - Researcher/IT Manager/CIO
July 18, 2005 - Aug. 17, 2007
Brandon graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Philosophy and Religion in 2004. During school he also interned for Stratfor, a private intelligence analysis company, where he was published for his article "Turkey: Islamist Party’s Stance May Not Satisfy Military.” He has worked abroad in England as well as traveled through China and Japan.
Brandon has a strong computer background and maintained many of ProCon.org’s technical requirements in addition to his research work on the Born Gay ProCon.org site.
Todd Goodman - Researcher
Jan. 22, 2007 - Aug. 8, 2008
Todd graduated from the University of Vermont in 2000 with a BS in Environmental Studies, writing his senior thesis on the development of environmental ethics in the United States and its application in outdoor adventure tourism in Vermont. He went on to receive his MA in International Development from the University of Denver in 2005, with concentrations in socio-political analysis and the Middle East. While in graduate school, Todd interned with the university's Human Rights Advocacy Clinic where he developed a case study of terrorist attacks on civilian targets in Israel. This case study looked at the relationship between international human rights law, humanitarian law, and their application to non-state actors (such as terrorist organizations). Todd also interned with the Geneva Initiative in Tel Aviv, Israel in the winter of 2005.
After graduating, Todd moved to Boston to become a researcher and consultant for the Abraham Path Initiative at Harvard University Law School's Program on Negotiations. During his time at Harvard he took a short leave of absence and accepted an internship position with the Conflict Resolution Program at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He was an analyst for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and armed conflicts and socio-political developments in Uganda.
Todd has studied, worked and traveled extensively through Israel, Egypt, Kenya, Europe, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Todd joined ProCon.org in January 2007. He was in charge of research for the Israeli-Palestinian ProCon.org and Born Gay ProCon.org websites.
Christine Hickerson - Researcher
Sep. 12, 2005 - Nov. 18, 2005
No biography available. Christine was primarily responsible for research on Born Gay ProCon.org.
Javier Inda - Researcher
Apr. 24, 2006 - Aug. 21, 2009
Javier migrated from Argentina in 1989 where he served as a Second Lieutenant of the Argentinian Army. He obtained a Masters degree with an emphasis in American History and Latin American Economic History from California State University Los Angeles in 2005.
His fields of historical expertise are American slavery, gender, and immigration. He was on the Deans’ Honor List and inducted into Phi Alpha Theta and the History Society. He presented a graduate seminar titled "The Faulkland-Malvinas, a War with No Heroes" at the California State University History Club Symposium.
Javier is an adjunct faculty at Pasadena City College where he lectures on American history, US government, economics, and contemporary American problems. He was nominated for Faculty of the Year in 2005 and 2006. He was Vice-Principal at the Escuela Argentina de Los Angeles from 2004 - 2006. He has done freelance research for Discovery Channel International and Nickelodeon.
He joined ProCon.org in April 2006 and was in charge of Voting Machines ProCon.org, Immigration ProCon.org, Israeli-Palestinian ProCon.org, and Death Penalty ProCon.org.
Steven Jacobson - Researcher
Aug. 2, 2010 – Aug. 28, 2015
Steven Jacobson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts with a BA in Film and Video Production. While there, he served as a Student Researcher on Creative Filmmaking from the Inside Out: Five Keys to the Art of Making Inspired Movies and Television, a faculty-authored textbook published in 2003. Before transferring to USC, he began his undergraduate studies as a First Class Honors student at the University of Melbourne, Australia, with a focus on Film History and Critical Theory, Philosophy, and English Literature.
Steven has worked in the Los Angeles feature film industry for several years, contributing to a number of major motion pictures. On Fox Searchlight's biopic Kinsey (2004), he was a Researcher and Editorial Consultant on the film's accompanying book, Kinsey: Public and Private, and the official website. As Second Unit Director on the DreamWorks/Paramount musical Dreamgirls (2006), Steven completed the film's many montage sequences. He also undertook period dialect research, edited the film's novelization, and contributed to the hardcover tribute volume.
Steven's first feature film as director, the ballet-themed Center Stage: Turn It Up, was released worldwide in 2009 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Prior to its DVD release, the film premiered on the Oxygen Network in the United States and received a theatrical release in Australia, Steven's home country.
Steven also produced and narrated four videos in our "Critical Thinking Video Series" as well as our "Intro to ProCon.org" video.
Steven joined ProCon.org in Aug. 2010. He was in charge of Abortion, Animal Testing, Born Gay, Churches & Taxes, Gay Marriage, Prostitution, Standardized Tests, and Under God.
Vahagn Karapetyan - Associate Researcher
Mar. 13, 2012 – Oct. 12, 2012 Vahagn graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2009 with a BA in History and minor in Public Affairs. He has interned for Sustained Works, LA Councilman Bernard Parks, and the LA City Council’s Office of Public Accountability. In 2011, he received a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree from UCLA with a concentration in environmental and transportation policy.
Vahagn joined ProCon.org as a volunteer on Mar. 13, 2012 where he contributed enough hours to earn Intern then Senior Intern status. He was hired on July 26 as an Associate Researcher. Vahagn worked primarily on the alternative energy, Obamacare, and 2012 election websites for ProCon.org.
Monica Kline - Researcher
Oct. 27, 2008 - July 28, 2010
Monica graduated from San Diego State University in 2004 with a BA in Sociology, a concentration in Contemporary Social Problems, and a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, she interned with the Western Service Workers Association and Stand Up For Kids, two San Diego based non-profit organizations serving underprivileged immigrant and homeless youth populations. She also took Spanish Civilization and Advanced Grammar courses in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain.
In December, 2006, Monica earned her Master's Degree in International Policy Studies and graduated with cum laude distinction from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), with a specialization in Human Rights, Justice and Norms. Focusing on International Migration with Latin America as her region of interest, Monica interned at the International Organization for Migration in Mexico City on a counter human trafficking project. While conducting workshops for Mexico's State Department employees on the issue of human trafficking, Monica compiled Spanish language research on immigration patterns between Central America, Mexico, and the United States.
At MIIS, Monica was the co-founder and president of the student-led group Stop the Trafficking of Persons, and she was an active board member of the Latin American Studies Association. She has traveled, worked, and studied extensively through Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, France, and Switzerland, and is proficient in English, Spanish, and French.
Upon graduating from MIIS, Monica worked as an Immigration Paralegal in San Francisco, CA, managing asylum and deportation defense cases. She joined ProCon.org in October 2008 and was in charge of Abortion ProCon.org, ACLU ProCon.org, Born Gay ProCon.org, Illegal Immigration ProCon.org, and Under God in the Pledge ProCon.org.
Justin LaMort - Researcher
June 19, 2006 - July 9, 2007
Justin joined ProCon.org in June, 2006. He graduated with distinction and honors from the University of Kansas in 2006 with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science with Global Awareness Certification. He was inducted as a member of Mt. Oread Scholars, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa.
He was a featured columnist for the University Daily Kansan, co-host of "Talking Points" on 90.7 KJHK, and designed the City of Lawrence's public access channel. He has been published in Comma, Splice and The Missouri Law Review.
Justin was in charge of research for Under God ProCon.org, ACLU ProCon.org, and Prostitution ProCon.org.
Marco Larsen - Researcher
Mar. 15, 2003 - May 23, 2005
No biography available. Marco was primarily responsible for research on US-Iraq ProCon.org.
Verica Mitchem - Researcher
Apr. 12, 2004 - Oct. 4, 2006
Verica was born in former Yugoslavia and grew up in France. She graduated from the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris, with a BA in Arts and Communication.
She moved to New York in 1993 and worked at the United Nations from 1993 to 1996, first as an administrative assistant in the Department of Public Information, then as production assistant at the UN radio broadcasting department.
From 1994 to 1996 she worked in the Executive Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, as an assistant to the Secretary General’s French speech-writer. In that function, she researched material for and participated in the drafting of speeches for the Secretary General to be delivered to heads of states and at international conferences on global issues such as the AIDS pandemic and other UN related matters.
In 1999, Verica obtained her JD from Franklin Pierce Law Center, and passed the California bar in 2000, at her first attempt. She practiced intellectual property law for two years in Beverly Hills, where she was in charge of the enforcement of a major studio’s copyrights and trademark rights on the Internet. Verica is also a mediator certified by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She is a member in good standing of the California State Bar and a member of the Southern California Mediation Association.
She joined ProCon.org in April 2004 and was in charge of research for the ACLU ProCon.org site.
Julia Romano - Researcher
Feb. 26, 2007 - June 8, 2007 Julia graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in Fall 2004, earning a BA in History with summa cum laude honors. Her studies focused on the Middle East and the making of the modern nation state.
Julia spent her last year as an undergraduate working at the National Public Radio studios in Culver City, California where she first interned for Day to Day then worked as an Editorial Assistant for National Geographic’s Radio Expeditions. In the winter of 2005, Julia moved to Rome, Italy, where she utilized her Italian language fluency to cover the historical death of Pope John Paul II for NPR’s All Things Considered.
Upon her return to the United States, Julia found work with Yahoo Media Group’s (YMG) Santa Monica offices where she worked as Researcher, Logistics Coordinator, Audio Editor, and general content producer of the popular travel website Richard Bangs Adventures.
Julia joined ProCon.org in February, 2007 and was primarily responsible for research on Under God ProCon.org.
Lindsey Rooney - Associate Researcher
Sep. 12, 2011 - Apr. 12, 2013
Lindsey Rooney graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in History and English. As an undergraduate, Lindsey interned at the educational publishing company Gale. She also collaborated on a documentary about the 1967 Detroit riots for Michigan Radio that won a merit award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.
Lindsey earned a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. While there she served as a Teaching Assistant for former CNN anchor Aaron Brown. She was a producer for the school’s broadcast program NewsWatch, a columnist for the student newspaper the State Press, and interned for the weekly magazine College Times. While pursuing her degree, Lindsey collaborated on a documentary that followed Libertarian Barry Hess’s run for governor and wrote a master’s thesis that analyzed the relationship between political bloggers and the mainstream media.
After graduating, Lindsey worked as a News Producer for the CBS-affiliate KGPE in Fresno, California. She later worked as an Editorial Assistant for Canon Communications in Los Angeles and has volunteered for School on Wheels, a nonprofit that provides tutoring services for homeless children.
Lindsey joined ProCon.org on September 12, 2011. She contributed to many projects, especially research on the Born Gay and Corporate Taxes & Jobs site.
Ariella Rosenberg - Researcher
Oct. 24, 2005 - Feb. 26, 2007
Ariella studied Political Science at Columbia University in New York, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Magna Cum Laude in May, 2005.
At Columbia, her coursework included a wide variety of subjects, from Human Rights with prominent academic Andrew Nathan, the co-editor of The Tiananmen Papers, to Freedom of Speech and Press with Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University and famed First Amendment scholar.
While a student, Ariella interned for the Council on Foreign Relations in the fall of 2004 and at Foreign Affairs magazine in the spring of 2005. She also served as a Senior Editor of the Columbia Journal of Politics and Society from 2003-2005. In the spring of 2004, she studied abroad at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, the premier French school of political science. That summer she attended a month-long symposium on international conflict resolution in The Hague, visiting such institutions as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice.
Ariella has written academic papers on diverse matters, including the extraordinary rendition of United States terrorist suspects, truth commissions in Latin America, and the compliance of Chinese labor law with international human rights norms. In the fall of 2004, distraught over the United Nations inaction on the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Ariella published an opinion piece in the Columbia Spectator , entitled "It’s Time for the World to Face the Facts."
Ariella was in charge of research for Under God ProCon.org and Euthanasia ProCon.org.
Emily Scheines - Researcher
June 23, 2014 - Oct. 10, 2014
Emily Scheines graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a BA in History and completed an honors thesis entitled "Seminole Trailblazing; The Cultural Effects of the First Native American Casino." While at Cornell, Emily also served as Editor-in-Chief of The Quad, a campus-wide literary magazine.
Upon graduation, she joined Teach for America and taught high school social studies for two years in Hartford, Connecticut. She was then recruited by Achievement First Amistad Academy High School, a prestigious charter urban college preparatory school in New Haven, Connecticut. There she served for two years as chair of the 10th grade and AP US History teacher.
Her firsthand experience with educational inequity led her to pursue a Master's Degree in Public Policy at UCLA as a Meyer and Renee Luskin Fellow. Her concentrations included education policy, program evaluation, and social welfare. Upon graduation, she earned awards for outstanding academic achievement, best teaching assistant, and thesis project most in service of social justice.
Emily has also completed the Education Pioneers fellowship, conducted political research for the California Charter Schools Association, and performed policy analysis for the Santa Ynez band of Chumash Indians.
Emily joined ProCon.org on June 23rd, 2014. She was in charge of ACLU, Corporate Tax, Gold Standard, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Milk, Social Security and Teacher Tenure.
Aaron Slosberg - Researcher
Jan. 16, 2006 - Mar. 24, 2006
No biography available. Aaron was primarily responsible for research on Israeli-Palestinian ProCon.org.
Seth Strongin - Researcher/Senior Researcher
Dec. 20, 2005 – Aug. 17, 2007
Seth joined ProCon.org in December, 2005. He is a 2001 graduate of American University with a BA in Environmental Science, concentrating in Biology.
Prior to joining ProCon.org, he worked as a biodefense and biotechnology researcher for the Board on Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC from 2002-2005. In the fall of 1999, Seth worked for the Contact Trust as a monitor of the parliament of South Africa on environmental legislation.
Seth has contributed to several scientific reports including Animal Biotechnology: Science-Based Concerns (2002), Countering Agricultural Bioterrorism (2003), Seeking Security: Pathogens, Open Access, and Genome Databases (2004), Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens (2004), Biological Confinement of Genetically Engineered Organisms (2004), Bridges to Independence: Fostering the Independence of New Investigators in Biomedical Research (2005), and Reopening Public Facilities after a Biological Attack (2005).
Seth was in charge of research for Voting Machines ProCon.org, Born Gay ProCon.org, and Milk ProCon.org.
Relic Sun - Researcher
Aug. 20, 2007 - Aug. 6, 2010
Relic Sun graduated summa cum laude in 2006 from UCLA with a BA in Political Science, a concentration in International Relations, and a minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures. She had expanded her studies to the Trans-Atlantic Alliance and the European Union in Sweden and Germany and conducted a series of field study visits to political institutions in ten European capitals.
During her undergraduate studies, she interned at the US State Department International Information Programs Bureau, where she published stories describing US foreign policy initiatives. She co-founded and led the student grassroots organization Americans for Informed Democracy UCLA Chapter which was dedicated to creating an open dialogue on pressing international affairs. She initiated and edited the group's newsletter "What You Don't Know About Human Trafficking" that she presented to the President of the LA Task Force on Human Trafficking & Child Prostitution as the Keynote Speaker of the "Youth Conference on Slavery Past and Present" in February 2005.
Upon graduating she served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania in 2006 and as a political science research assistant at the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) in 2007. She is proficient in English, Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, and Romanian.
Relic joined ProCon.org in August 2007. She was in charge of Prostitution ProCon.org, Insider Trading by Congress ProCon.org, Drinking Age ProCon.org, Right to Health Care ProCon.org, and Obesity ProCon.org. She was also a contributor to Under God ProCon.org and ACLU ProCon.org.
Nick Wilson - Researcher
Sep. 8, 2009 – June 26, 2012
Nick Wilson graduated summa cum laude in 2009 from UCLA with a BA in Political Science, a concentration in American Politics, and a minor in Public Policy. He is a lifetime member of Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honour Society, and the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. He was awarded Departmental Honors for his thesis "The Timing of Presidential Primaries: Competing Interests and the Failure of Reform."
During his undergraduate studies, Nick was involved in student government and served on the Academic Senate Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools. He also served as the Crisis Director for Model United Nations at UCLA, directing a staff to simulate international emergencies for conference delegates to attempt to resolve. He was awarded the Chancellor's Service Award for his leadership in the UCLA community.
Nick was the instructor for a class he developed at UCLA on current struggles facing the music industry and possible business models that may be adopted. He also worked as a Learning Center Consultant at UCLA Information Technology Services.
Nick was in charge of: Concealed Guns, Death Penalty, Gay Marriage, Social Security, Teacher Tenure, Video Game Violence, Voting Machines, and contributed to 2012 Election.
Jeff Yablan - Researcher/Senior Researcher
Feb. 24, 2002 – Feb. 1, 2008
Jeff obtained his BA in journalism from California State University, Northridge, and his Masters in marriage, family, and child counseling from California Family Study Center in 1992.
His research article, "The Effects of Psychotherapy on Adult Males Who Were Sexually Molested as Children: A Qualitative Study" was published in the peer-reviewed journal PROGRESS: Family Systems Research and Therapy (Vol. 2, Summer 1993, pp. 13-23).
He served from 1996 to 2002 as the Program Director and CFO of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, a nonprofit medical marijuana cooperative. His short documentary "Final Days," a view of the last days of a medical cannabis center in Los Angeles, has appeared online and at several independent film festivals.
Jeff worked primarily on research for Medical Marijuana ProCon.org, Felon Voting ProCon.org, Under God ProCon.org, and Born Gay ProCon.org.
Jodi Young, Researcher/Senior Researcher
Nov. 6, 2006 - Aug. 31, 2011
Jodi received an MA in International Relations from New York University and a BS in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She was involved with the UCLA Political Science Honor Society, the NYU International Relations Club, and she volunteered for Doctors Without Borders. She has been a member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
Jodi has written research papers covering diverse issues such as democracy in Russia, Haitian dictatorships, job outsourcing, and ethical issues in global affairs.
Jodi has worked in Switzerland, New Zealand, Israel, and dozens of other countries. She joined ProCon.org in November 2006, and was in charge of 2008 Election ProCon.org, ACLU ProCon.org, Big Three Auto ProCon.org, D.A.R.E. ProCon.org, Euthanasia ProCon.org, Privatizing Social Security ProCon.org, Reagan ProCon.org, and US-Iraq War ProCon.org.
Jeremy Ziskind, Researcher
Sep. 6, 2011 - Apr. 10, 2014
Jeremy Ziskind graduated from UCLA with a BA in History (Middle East concentration) and a minor in Public Policy. As an undergraduate, Jeremy interned for the California Office of Homeland Security where he analyzed maritime, transportation, and bio-terrorism policy issues for the State of California. Jeremy also interned at the Henry L. Stimson Center where he wrote content for the Lessons Learned Information Sharing Network of the Department of Homeland Security.
Jeremy earned a Master's Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from the UCLA School of Public Affairs, with a Crime and Drug Control Policy concentration. He was a teaching assistant for courses in crime control policy, drug control policy, and behavioral economics, and was named Teaching Assistant of the Year 2010-11. His Masters Thesis, "Navigating Uncertainty: An Analysis of Cost Accounting Options for the Venice Family Clinic," analyzed the impact of health care reform on federal funding for the largest community health center in the United States. He was also a contributor for the book Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know.
Jeremy worked for the Office of National Drug Control Policy where he wrote several memos to Cabinet-level directors and members of Congress, prepared speeches for the American Probation and Parole Association Annual Training Institute, and prepped the Director for a Congressional hearing on international drug-control efforts.
He joined ProCon.org in Sep. 2011, and was in charge of ACLU ProCon.org, Concealed Guns ProCon.org, Corporate Taxes & Jobs ProCon.org, Death Penalty ProCon.org, DARE ProCon.org, Drinking Age ProCon.org, Drones ProCon.org, Insider Trading by Congress ProCon.org, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict ProCon.org, Social Security ProCon.org, Tablets vs. Textbooks ProCon.org, US-Iraq ProCon.org. In addition to his research duties, Jeremy was also primarily responsible for writing the ProCon.org headlines.