Where Are They Now? - GUSA Alumni Edition

The mission of the Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) is to serve as the "official voice of students to the university administration and the greater community." Hundreds of students have served as members of GUSA over the years, and it is always interesting to see what these stellar young students choose to do in their professional lives.

Get to know four former GUSA representatives and how their roles with student government influenced their lives today...

Twister Murchison (F'08)
Drew Rau (C'06)

Screenwriters, 20th Century Fox
Twister Murchison (F'08) and Drew Rau (C'06) are best friends who met at Georgetown while serving as GUSA representatives. More

Rau joined GUSA in the spring of 2003 as a freshman, and later went on to serve as chief of staff. "Chief of staff is not as glamorous or high profile as the president," said Rau. "You kind of have to duke it out with all the underlings."

However, in these negotiations, Rau says that he learned quite a bit about people and politics.

Similarly, Murchison points to his tenure as GUSA president, which began in the spring of 2006, as one of the formative moments of his career. Murchison and his fellow GUSA representatives worked to enact a constitutional amendment that established the student senate, "to make it more representative," said Murchison. They also advocated for a living wage for university workers.

"I learned the value of persistence when I was in GUSA," he says. "The most important lesson I learned was to be an advocate for the students and collective wishes of the student body."

Yet the most memorable accomplishment for the two alumni was a project they worked on together—a farcical comedy called Georgetown Forever. It was written by Rau and co-produced by the two when Rau and Murchison were a senior and sophomore, respectively. The movie was directed by fellow alumnus Jonathan Deutsch (C'07) and premiered on campus in the ICC auditorium in April 2006.

"We had so many come to see it that they had to use two overflow rooms. Everyone from Roy Hibbert to President DeGioia came to see it the first weekend. The reaction to the movie was then very positive, very validating," said Murchison.

"This movie project clarified for me what I felt happiest doing," he said. "I always loved movies and went to AMC Lowe's on Canal Street all the time as a student, but working on Georgetown Forever, with Drew in particular, helped me realize that I should go to film school."

Now, after more than 10 years of friendship, the two are still working together as partners—a relationship that was established through their service to Georgetown.

"It's so great that we met as GUSA assembly members (now referred to as the GUSA senate) and are now writing screenplays for 20th Century Fox," said Murchison.

Nazareth Haysbert (F'05)
Attorney, Haysbert I Moultrie LLP
Nazareth Haysbert was voted the most outspoken person in his high school, but never submitted his name for a high school student government position.  More

Deciding to become a GUSA representative during his freshman and sophomore years, he said, meant taking a step many people thought he should have taken earlier. "Overall the experience was very positive and meaningful," said Haysbert. "I gained interpersonal skills and an awareness of how to work with others strategically to accomplish an objective."

He was proud to have a hand in bringing the USA Today Collegiate Readership Program to campus, which distributed copies of USA Today, The Washington Post and The New York Times to students across campus free of charge. After being introduced to a USA Today executive and learning of the program, Haysbert obtained approval to implement the pilot program at Georgetown.

Haysbert was also involved in discussions to establish African American Studies as a program of study. African American Studies officially began as a minor program in the College in 2003 and now offers approximately twenty rigorous courses each semester.

During his junior year, he left to study abroad, spending six months in Egypt to study Arabic.

"Georgetown provided a platform to work overseas, to see problems happening around the world," said Haysbert. "This provided me with the confidence to become a systemic change agent."

Haysbert has served as an attorney for more than two years with the law firm Boucher, LLP, where he focused his practice in the areas of civil counter-terrorism litigation, class action litigation, mass tort litigation and civil rights.

"Right now, I am drafting complaints against a major oil company and several foreign nations for aiding and abetting terrorism," he said. "I look at it as my mission and purpose to protect the welfare of others."

In addition to serving as an attorney of counsel for the firm, he recently started his own practice, Haysbert I Moultrie LLP.

"Georgetown helped to instill in me the desire to be a 'man for others.' This motto of the university is very simple and effective, and it is something I try to live every day," he said.

Clara Gustafson (F'13)
Marketing Manager, ZeroFOX
Clara Gustafson (F'13) got involved with GUSA during the fall of her freshman year. As a first-year student she lived in Harbin Hall, and when no one ran during the first election of the year, floors 6-10 had a special election. More

Gustafson won when she became the only one who ran for her floor. She took the opportunity to dive in and really get involved with her classmates and their concerns.

"Nick Troiano (C'11, MA'14) and I submitted a proposal for SIPS (Social Innovation Public Service) Fund to the student committee in charge of determining the best use for the Safe Reform funds. So, it has been really cool to see the student center, the solar-paneled townhouses and other ideas come about through the work of so many of student leaders," said Gustafson, who was present at the Healey Family Student Center's dedication on Oct. 8, 2014.

During her junior year, she ran for student body president, along with Vail Kohnert-Yount (F'13) as her vice president. They were the first all-female ticket to win in GUSA's 63-year history.

When asked what she learned from serving with GUSA, Gustafson replied, "I learned how to work with a lot of different kinds of people...but one of the other big things was being exposed to all of the entrepreneurship that goes on at Georgetown. This influenced my decision to work with a startup."

The startup she chose is ZeroFOX, a cybersecurity company that focuses on social risk management. Currently, Gustafson is the marketing manager for the company. She started in August 2013 when the company had only 10 employees. They are now up to about 70 people.

"We are working to find scalable solutions for large enterprises that come into contact with social media," said Gustafson. Major areas of focus for her company include malware and phishing, social engineering and fraud.

"GUSA was a really good way to get exposed to a lot of forward thinkers with a lot of different opinions. It really broadened my horizons," she said.