Careers & Alumni

Careers pursued by our alumni

Our students enter a wide variety of career fields, including business, banking, foreign service, federal, state, and local government positions, teaching, journalism, and film. Many alumni enter graduate and professional study in a variety of fields, including law and political science.

Recent alumni profiles

Liam Kerr ’18

Political Science major and Economics minor

Kerr recently had his capstone paper published in the Inquiries Journal, on “Women & Globalization: The Impact of Increased Women's Economic Rights on Globalization.” “Prof. Hartzell’s globalization capstone tied all of my major areas of study together in one captivating class. As a student of both political science and economics, I was able to apply themes of International Relations and economic theory together with my capstone project,” said Kerr. “Seeking to uncover the impacts of increased women’s economic rights on the levels of globalization, this paper employed both quantitative and qualitative methodology.”

Katerina Krohn ’17

Environmental Studies and Political Science double major

Read about Kat’s study abroad experience in Athens

Ashley McNeill ’17

Political Science major and Sociology minor

Read about Ashley’s study abroad experience in London

Audrey Bowler ’16

Political Science major and Peace & Justice Studies minor

Read about Audrey’s study abroad experience in Cuba

Mira Bragg ’15

Political Science and International Affairs - double major

Read about Mira’s study abroad experiences in Aix-en-Provence and India

Conor Brooks ’15

Political Science and Public Policy - double major

During Spring Break 2015, Conor organized and led an Immersion Project to Haiti sponsored by the Center for Public Service. Read more.

Christina Jones ’15

Political Science and Globalization Studies - double major

Read about Christina’s study abroad experience in India

Maria Lombardi ’15

Political Science major

Maria graduated magna cum laude from Gettysburg College and attended the University of Minnesota Law School. During the Spring 2014 semester, Maria studied at American University as part of their Washington Semester Program in the Law and Justice program. Read More.

More alumni profiles

Army General

Army General--MG William M. Matz, Jr., USA (Ret), Class of 1961. Bill is a combat veteran of the United States Army with a distinguished military career spanning four decades. As an infantryman, he served in Korea, Panama and as a company commander in Vietnam (where he was wounded in action in the 1968 TET offensive). He served in the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions and was Executive Secretary to two Secretaries of Defense, Caspar Weinberger and Frank Carlucci. He also served with the Navy/Marine Corps amphibious forces during the Vietnam War. He deployed with the 7th Infantry Division to Panama during Operation JUST CAUSE in 1989. His combat awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart. Upon retirement from the Army, he worked eight years in the defense industry. First, as a VP with Raytheon Company and later, as General Manager for Northrop Grumman’s SANG Program in Saudi Arabia. In 2005, President Bush appointed him to the Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission. He is past President of the National Association for Uniformed Services, a veterans’ organization. He is a graduate of the Army War College and Harvard’s Program For Senior Executives. Bill is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award (1997) and the Meritorious Service Award (2011) and currently serves on the Eisenhower Institute National Advisory Council.

Federal Judge

Federal Judge — Paul J. Barbadoro graduated in 1977, cum laude. While at Gettysburg, Paul was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the men’s track team. He attended Boston College Law School where he graduated magna cum laude in 1980. From 1980 to 1984, he served as assistant attorney general and attorney general in New Hampshire. From 1984 to 1986, he worked on Senator Rudman’s personal staff. At the request of Senator Rudman, Paul served as deputy chief counsel to the Senate committee investigating the Iran-Contra Affair in 1987. Paul was recently appointed judge in the U.S. District Court and is one of the youngest federal judges. Paul was the recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award in 1991 and now resides in Concord, New Hampshire.

Former Head of UNICEF and Peace Corps

Former Head of UNICEF and Peace Corps — Carol Bellamy, Class of 1963. At Gettysburg, Carol participated in college choir, Owl and Nightingale, and the Delta Gamma sorority. She claims she decided to join the Peace Corps when she was temporarily trapped in the Gettysburg College Library. Late one night, she was locked in and picked up some Peace Corps literature as reading material. In 1963, she joined the Peace Corps and worked in Guatemala. Upon her return she attended law school at New York University. Starting in 1971, she served as assistant commissioner of mental health for New York City, a New York State senator, and as President of New York City Council. President Clinton nominated Carol as the director of the Peace Corps. After serving as the director of the Peace Corps, Carol assumed office as the fourth Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), with the rank of Under Secretary General, on May 1, 1995. In September 1999, the Secretary-General of the United Nations announced her reappointment to a second term effective May 2000-April 2005. Carol was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1985. More on Carol can be found on the UNICEF web page.

9/11 Commission Member

9/11 Commission Member — Fred F. Fielding, Class of 1961. After graduating from Gettysburg College, Fred attended the University of Virginia where he earned his LL.B., J.D. in 1964. From 1965 to 1967, he served in the United States Army and rose to the rank of captain. From 1964 to 1965 and then from 1967 to 1970, he was an associate with Morgan, Lewis and Bockius. From 1970 to 1972, he was Assistant Counsel to President Richard Nixon, and from 1972 - 1974 he served as Deputy Counsel to President Nixon. In 1974 he became a partner in the firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius. From 1981 to 1986, he was Counsel to President Ronald Reagan. In 1986, he became partner at the firm of Wiley, Rein, and Fielding and now resides in Arlington, Virginia. Fred was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1982 and currently serves on the College's Board of Fellows.

Secretary of Public Safety, State of Virginia

Secretary of Public Safety, State of Virginia — Marla Graff Decker, Class of 1980. Marla was very active as a Gettysburg College student, participating in Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. She was an orientation leader, Parliamentarian of Student Senate for two years, chair of the Student Conduct Review Board, Quad Council coordinator, and a member of the Academic Policy and Program Committee of the College. Marla was also a member of Pi Lambda Sigma, the honor society for management, economics, and political science majors. Marla is a volunteer in the K.A.R.E. program.

Advocate for Abused Children

Advocate for Abused Children — Martha Hentz graduated summa cum laude in 1992. She currently lives in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. She works for an educational software company and is involved with Guardian ad Litem, a volunteer program in which she represents abused and neglected children in court. At Gettysburg, Martha was a member of Alpha Delta Pi, German Club, Phi Beta Kappa, and Pi Sigma Alpha (president).

Health Administrator

Health Administrator — Lynne Davignon Smith, Class of 1987. As a student at Gettysburg, Lynn was in Chi Omega sorority and was an orientation leader. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is the administrator of the Center for American Indian/Alaskan Health at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. The Center focuses mostly on children's health and vaccines.


Professor — Joan Hulse Thompson, Class of 1971. Joan was involved in the Owl and Nightingale theater group at Gettysburg, and she later went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. She was an associate professor at Luther College in Iowa and is now an associate professor of political science at Arcadia University in Philadelphia. She resides in Glenside, Pennsylvania. In 1992, Joan and her husband, Robert, were panelists on a Homecoming panel, “Elections ’92: Commentary, Criticism and Common Sense.”


Professor — Robert R. Thompson, Jr., Class of 1970. Robert participated in men’s cross country, men’s track, and Owl and Nightingale as a Gettysburg student. Robert attended the University of Maryland where he received his M.A. He earned his Ph.D. in 1979 at American University. Like his wife, Joan, he was an associate professor of political science at Luther College. He is now an associate professor at Beaver College and resides in Glenside, Pennsylvania.


Attorney — Debra K. Wallet, Class of 1973, cum laude. Debra held a double major in political science and mathematics. She earned her J.D. from Dickinson School of Law in 1976. At Dickinson she served as the president of the Women’s Law Society. Two years after graduating from Dickinson, Debra was appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth’s Bureau of Labor Relations. In 1982, she became the Deputy Attorney General in charge of civil litigation. Currently, Debra is in private practice in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and takes a special interest in sexual discrimination cases. Since her graduation from Gettysburg College, Debra has been active in College alumni activities. In 1988 she was awarded the Young Alumni Achievement Award and in 1994 received the Woman of Distinction award. She currently serves on the College's Board of Trustees.

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