Feature Alumni Archive
Kawika Riley ('05)
"UNC's Political Science program was the intellectual and academic springboard that launched my early career in public service. I arrived in Greeley as a kid from a small town thousands of miles away, and left four years later with the academic and pragmatic knowledge I needed to dive right into professional life in Washington DC. In the time in between my first and last day as a poly sci major, I made friends with classmates and built relationships with faculty that continue to this day."
Kawika is the Chief Advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, an independent agency established by Hawaii's State Constitution to improve the lives of Hawaii's indigenous people, Native Hawaiians. In this role he leads a team of nearly 30 staff, which work towards achieving OHA's mission by advocating at the local, state, federal, and sometimes international level.
Born and raised on Hawai'i Island, Kawika chose to leave his home state to attend UNC after speaking with a recruiter who visited Kealakehe High School. While on campus, he immersed himself in learning politics through student government and studying political science, while staying in touch with his Hawaii roots by working at the Asian and Pacific American Student Services, UNC's cultural center that serves all students from Hawaii. He finished his senior year as student body president, winner of the 2005 Robert and Ludie Dickeson Presidential Prize for Leadership, a graduate of the Honor's Program, a McNair Scholar, and one of UNC's representatives to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
Following graduation, Kawika moved to Washington, DC, where he would spend the next eight years studying, teaching and practicing politics. His jobs included a brief stint at a Congressional Caucus foundation; four years as an aide to U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs; two years as an international and national spokesman for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration; and two separate one-year tours at the Washington DC Bureau of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (first as a graduate student and policy fellow, then six years later as the Bureau's director).
During his time working in Washington, Kawika also attended and graduated from George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management, and he went on to teach political management at GWU for nearly five years. He also met, fell in love with, and married his wife Lorinda, who was also a Hawaii local temporarily in DC. Together Kawika and Lorinda started a family, and also founded a nonprofit corporation (the Pacific Islander Access project) that has opened up over $1 million in annual financial aid for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Kawika and Lorinda continue to direct their nonprofit in their spare time.
After over 12 years, Kawika and Lorinda moved their family home to Hawaii, where they now reside full time. When he's not advocating for the state's first people, Kawika spends as much time as possible playing with his son, talking with his wife, and enjoying the beauty of his home state.
Tracy A. Meyer ('92)
"UNC was an indispensable building block that helped me construct my life and my career as an attorney. The Political Science program and the faculty in the department made my undergraduate experience truly exceptional -- inspiring me to think analytically and independently -- to take information and think about it in the abstract, to formulate and evaluate theories and arguments, and to link those theories and arguments back to the world of empirical data. The critical thinking skills that were fostered in my Political Science courses at UNC easily carried over into later experiences in my life, the least of which include law school and the transfer of those skills into my chosen career as a trial lawyer."
Tracy is a partner with the law firm of Bean, Kinney & Korman in Arlington, Virginia.
With more than 17 years of experience as a trial lawyer in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, she is a specialist in all aspects of divorce and family law with a concentration in litigation.
A Colorado native, Tracy grew up on a small farm in rural Bennett, Colorado. She earned a volleyball scholarship to UNC, but when a knee injury ended her career early in her Freshman year, she focused her areas of study on Political Science and Journalism, graduating magna cum laude from the University Honors Program in 1992.
After graduation, Tracy attended law school at American University, Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. Out of law school, she began her career as a trial attorney, first joining a solo practitioner in Arlington where she gained valuable courtroom experience early in her career. Gaining a reputation for reliability and competence, Tracy later joined a downtown DC firm where she further developed her poise and fundamental courtroom skills before joining the 39-lawyer firm of Bean, Kinney & Korman. Tracy was named a partner with Bean, Kinney
& Korman in 2005.
Tracy is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Family Law and as one of Virginia’s Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” for 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. She was also recognized as one of the “Top Divorce Lawyers” in Metropolitan Washington, D.C. in February 2009 by Washingtonian magazine.
Tracy currently serves as a Neutral Case Evaluator for the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia.
She is admitted to practice law in Virginia and the District of Columbia. She is the former chair of the Family Law Section of the Arlington County Bar Association and former chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the Arlington County Bar Association. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar Family Law Section, the Fairfax County Bar Association Family Law Section, and the District of Columbia Bar.
In 2008, Tracy wed orthopedic surgeon John T. Biddulph. They live in Fredericksburg, Virginia with their 18 month old twins, Matthew and Sarah, and their newborn daughter, Emily. Tracy and her husband enjoy boating and the outdoors.
Andy Boian ('94)
"The experience I had at UNC was nothing short of amazing. Not only did I learn the fundamentals, but the faculty in the department encouraged me to think critically and to use what I learned in the classroom for practical use in the policy arena. I feel so fortunate to have had those experiences to help shape and guide my professional career so far."
A Denver native, Andy is passionate about the integration of business and community. In 2005 he founded Dovetail Solutions, a company that maximizes its clients’ branding, public relations and marketing efforts by bringing together the public, private, political and community sectors. Andy is a natural “connector,” a term coined in The Tipping Point by author Malcolm Gladwell. Andy has effectively parlayed this skill into his professional life.
Early on, Andy learned the fundamentals of success — hard work, determination and fortitude — and he has maintained these values throughout his career. When he was 25, he was named the senior vice president of business development for a large telecommunications firm based in Denver and was responsible for marketing and community investment in 11 nationwide locations. His team grew revenue significantly for four consecutive years. Later, he was instrumental in several companies exceeding their community involvement goals, and he assisted numerous senior-level executives to become well integrated into the communities in which they lived, worked and served.
Andy is actively involved in politics at both the local and national level, working on both sides of the aisle as a senior campaign advisor and speechwriter. In these capacities he has worked on numerous mayoral, gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, Congressional and presidential campaigns for more than 20 years. He served on the transition teams for a United States interior secretary, as well as the nation’s forty-second president. Andy is a part-time professor of political science at Metropolitan State College and was honored to receive Metro State’s “Favorite Professor” award in 2003 and 2006. He is also an adjunct professor of international studies at the University of Denver and has taught at the University of Colorado. In 2011, Andy was recognized by his alma mater as an alumnus of distinction in 2011, the first in political science in the history of the university.
In 2007, Andy was the recipient of the Denver Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” award and the Colorado Statesman’s “Fifty For The Future.”
Making a Difference
Andy is remarkably active in the Denver community. He is the founder of ExecConnect, chairman of the Kempe Center Foundation, vice chairman of the Denver Botanic Gardens board, chairman of the Downtown Denver Partnership membership committee, a member of Colorado Succeeds board of advisors, a corporate committee member of The Children’s Hospital, a member of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation Board of Governors, member of CXO, a part of the 2011 DMCLF National Philanthropy Day selection committee, a member of numerous committees at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and a part of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He speaks regularly to various groups on corporate, community and political topics, and how specifically they can better integrate with each other.
In addition, Andy has contributed Dovetail Solutions’ resources to the community. The company sponsors several nonprofits with professional services gratis and actively participates in the Denver Public Schools Foundation’s School Partners Program at Columbian Elementary School in northwest Denver.