Master of Arts, Political Science (2010)
What led you to Political Science?
I first attended Western in 05/06 as an exchange student from Germany. Although I was a British and American Studies major at home, I soon took - and very much enjoyed - classes in International Relations and Comparative Politics. When I was encouraged to return for the Political Science Master's Program, I didn't have to think twice about applying.
What did you enjoy most about Western?
Among the things I appreciated most about the Political Science department at Western were the diversity of faculty research interests and the support provided to motivated students. During my master's program I engaged in depth with issues of German foreign policy, violent ethnic conflict and nationalism in Scotland and Quebec (the Canadian Studiesprogram and its related facilities are excellent!). It was a graduate seminar in civil conflict taught by Professor Biswas and working with my wonderful thesis committee (Amir Abedi, Bidisha Biswas and Vernon Johnson) that sparked my academic interest in the study of conflict.
What are your future plans?
In the Fall of 2013 I will be starting a PhD program in Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on civil and ethnic conflict. My work experience includes internships and short-term assignments in technical development cooperation (Zambia), financial development cooperation (Germany), the German Foreign Office and the NGO/UN environment (U.S.). One day I hope to bridge academia and produce policy-relevant research in the area of conflict resolution.