Discovery Initiative

In 2006, President John J. DeGioia launched the Discovery Initiative to build a two-way dialogue between the university and its alumni, giving them an opportunity to share their perspectives and ideas, and begin shaping the future of the institution. To date, the Discovery Initiative has conducted over 13,000 interviews in 50 states and 41 countries. During these interviews, student and full-time ambassadors learn about your experience at Georgetown, your path after Georgetown, your opinions and perspectives on the university today and how Georgetown can play a meaningful role in your life now.

Meet the Ambassadors

Jordan BlackwellIsabella GattiSilvana GutierrezAidan McLeod

Jordan Blackwell (C'15) Isabella Gatti (C'17) Silvana Gutierrez (F'16) Aidan McLeod (C'16)

Student Ambassadors

Alicia Barry (F'20)

Alicia Barry (F'20)

Major: Regional and Comparative Studies, Middle East and Latin America
Hometown: Revere, Massachusetts
Activities/hobbies: GSP, Blue & Gray, GAAP, NSO and Georgetown Figure Skating Club! I live in the Spirit of Georgetown Residential Academy and am a Lannan Poetry Fellow for the 2017-2018 school year. When I'm not busy with these on-campus activities, I love to run to the monuments, try new restaurants, and explore D.C. with my roommates!

Why you like being a student ambassador: I am very passionate about community, and Discovery is an essential part of strengthening the Georgetown community. I love to hear the stories that alumni have to tell, share my own, and do what I can to make Georgetown a valuable resource for those who have moved beyond its gates and a place to call home for those still here and those to come.

Best thing about Georgetown: That said, Georgetown's sense of community is easily my favorite thing about it. From the minute I stepped on campus, Georgetown felt like a welcoming place. Nonetheless, I admire that Georgetown (and especially Georgetown students) continues to work toward being a more inclusive place for everyone.

What you hope to do after graduation: I am very much still working this out, but I am considering pursuing a BSFS/MSFS Dual Degree from Georgetown. In terms of career, I hope to figure out what path would be best for me this year!


Emma Burns (C'20)

Emma Burns (C'20)

Major: Art History and American Studies
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Activities/hobbies: GU Eating Society, traveling, art, cooking, podcasts, and breaking the Georgetown bubble!

Why you like being a student ambassador: I love getting to know alumni from all walks of life. I can genuinely say that every person I've interviewed has told me something new about Georgetown. This job doesn't just expose me to new areas of D.C.—it allows me to get to know my school better!

Best thing about Georgetown: I love the atmosphere here—whether that be the students, the campus, or the city. D.C. is such a cool city to be a young person in, and Georgetown itself does a great job of cultivating students into the kind of people they want to be. The friends I've made here are some of the best people I know. Seeing Healy's silhouette when I cross the Key Bridge warms my heart every time.

What you hope to do after graduation: At this point, I'm hoping to go to law school to study intellectual property law. I'd love to specialize in copyright, so I can stay connected to the art world.


Serena Gleklen (C'18)

Serena Gleklen (C'18)

Major: Linguistics and German
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Activities/hobbies: Ultimate Frisbee, spoken word poetry, copy editing for the Voice, GUSigns, anything Bruce Springsteen

Why you like being a student ambassador: Being a student ambassador also allows me to explore D.C. while meeting new people. I love getting an exclusive look into alumni's personal and unique Georgetown experiences.

Best thing about Georgetown: Not only is the school beautiful, but the people I've met are all incredible in their own ways. Georgetown creates a supportive and positive community in every aspect of student life.

What you hope to do after graduation: I hope to do some sort of linguistic research and get to travel to different countries while learning various languages and dialects in the process.


Olga Golovneva (F'18)

Olga Golovneva (F'18)

Major: Global Business
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Activities/hobbies: SFS Academic Council, Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program (GAAP), GIVES, Rangila, traveling, embassy hopping, learning new languages

Why you like being a student ambassador: I enjoy having meaningful conversations with alumni and representing Georgetown in the best light possible. I especially enjoy meeting with alumni in my home state of Florida.

Best thing about Georgetown: Boundless opportunities for success! Georgetown has outstanding faculty that is at the forefront of academic and economic discourses in a city that has abundant opportunities in the fields of international relations and business.

What you hope to do after graduation: I hope to explore the world and become an entrepreneur!


Diana Goswami (C'18)

Diana Goswami (C'18)

Major: Economics and Government
Hometown: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Activities/hobbies: Photography, community service, running

Why you like being a student ambassador: What I enjoy most about being a Discovery Ambassador is the opportunity I have to meet Georgetown alumni whom I would not have otherwise met. Hearing about their various perspectives, experiences post-graduation, and views on the University today is fascinating. I also enjoy bridging a connection between the university and its alumni.

Best thing about Georgetown: The sense of community on the Hilltop

What you hope to do after graduation: After graduation, I hope to have a rewarding career in which I can utilize my skills in economics.


Isabelle Groenewegen (C'20)

Isabelle Groenewegen (C'20)

Major: Comparative Literature
Hometown: London, England
Activities/hobbies: Film photography, drawing, and investigative journalism documentaries

Why you like being a student ambassador: It is very enlightening to discover how each alumnus has taken advantage of their experience at Georgetown in different ways depending on their circumstance, background, and passions for the future. Through the Discovery Initiative I have built a closer connection to Georgetown through hearing the experiences of various alumni who, through their stories, teach me something new about the university with each interview.

Best thing about Georgetown: The small size of the campus and its location in a sleepier but beautiful part of town makes for a perfect balance of getting involved in school life and exploring the resources of a city and the nature of the suburbs.

What you hope to do after graduation: I hope to be an investigative journalist, making documentaries on important topics side-lined by more prevalent current events.


Madeline Klineman (N'19)

Madeline Klineman (N'19)

Major: Health Care Management and Policy
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Activities/hobbies: Playing basketball for the Women's Club Basketball Team, spending time with family and friends, and trying new and exciting foods!

Why you like being a student ambassador: Being a Discovery Ambassador has allowed me to travel around D.C. and the country and meet new people with extraodinary experiences! I have learned so much about the university that I would not have known otherwise!

Best thing about Georgetown: I love the walkability of Georgetown University and the Georgetown area! I love all of the opportunities we have being in D.C.!

What you hope to do after graduation: I hope to travel the world learning about healthcare systems and go on to get my MBA and work in healthcare finance!


Brandon Padgett (C'20)

Brandon Padgett (C'20)

Major: Psychology and French
Hometown: Apex, North Carolina
Activities/hobbies: I enjoy playing guitar, playing pick-up soccer with my friends, reading, listening to music, and going to concerts.

Why you like being a student ambassador: I love meeting alumni and hearing about what Georgetown was like in the years past. I also really enjoy hearing the stories that alumni share about their experiences at Georgetown; it's always fun comparing their stories to the experiences I've had with my friends.

Best thing about Georgetown: I love the fact that so many people from so many diverse backgrounds all live on the same campus. On my freshman floor alone, 12 different languages were spoken and I have met and made friends with people from around the world.

What you hope to do after graduation: I hope to attend law school and after that live and work somewhere internationally.


Alliemarie Schapp (F'19)

Alliemarie Schapp (F'19)

Major: International Politics, International Security Concentration
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Activities/hobbies: Going to concerts with friends, spending time outdoors, and exploring parts of D.C. that I have never been to before.

Why you like being a student ambassador: I enjoy being a Discovery Ambassador because I love getting to talk with alumni about their experiences after graduating from Georgetown. It's easy to buy into the assumption that everyone at Georgetown pursues one or two rigid career paths after graduation, and there can be a pressure on campus to have certain aspirations or to go into certain fields. It's extremely refreshing to talk to alumni who have worked in a variety of different fields in a variety of capacities. No two alumni I have interviewed have ever had the same post-graduation story, and it's exciting to hear about the near-limitless possibilities available to Hoyas.

Best thing about Georgetown: My favorite thing about Georgetown is the incredible diversity of experience present on campus. From professors, to administrators, to fellow students, everyone present in the Georgetown community has a unique past, present, and future. No two individuals at Georgetown are exactly the same, and it's this diversity that makes Georgetown such a unique, vibrant, and evolving environment.

What you hope to do after graduation: After graduation, I hope to work for a couple of years before attending law school. I am interested in working in law, politics, and/or international relations, although I am not yet sure in what capacity or in what position.


Discovery Participants in the News

Allison Gilbert (C'92)

Allison Gilbert (C'92)

Author, Speaker, Journalist, CNN

Nina Martinez (C'05)

Nina Martinez (C'05)

Public Health Analyst

Snapshots and Findings

Contact Information

Murphy Kate Delaney (C'13, MBA'19)
Director, Discovery Initiative
mkd43@georgetown.edu
202-687-0437