I graduated from Wake Forest in May 2010. After spending a few months working as a Resource Call Specialist with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center in Washington, DC, I left in December 2010 to be a US Fulbright Scholar in rural Malaysia. I have the opportunity to work as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) at a rural secondary school while simultaneously examining the unique way of life which exists in the highly conservative Muslim state of Terengganu. The past few months in Malaysia have proven to be profoundly challenging and yet incredibly rewarding experiences, and they are ones which the Political Science department prepared me for in a way I do not think any other university or department could.
I credit the stimulating course options as well as the close one-on-one contact and support of the Political Science faculty with opening the doors necessary for my post-graduate success so far. Every class I took within the department involved a highly personal and provocative exchange of ideas where students were continuously encouraged to ask questions and foster their own opinions. These skills gained within the classroom were only further reinforced by the eager willingness of the faculty to share their own passions and experience with their undergraduates, thereby allowing me to explore and develop my own research and career interests. All of the wonderful opportunities I have had the pleasure of experiencing, from a Richter grant to study female education in Nepal, to internships or jobs with such organizations as International Bridges to Justice in Geneva, Switzerland or Polaris Project in DC, to my current position as a Fulbright scholar in Malaysia are all direct products of the words or letters of support from professors in the Political Science department. I am forever grateful for the personal attention and stimulating education I received during my time at Wake Forest, and I know that the skills and connections I have gained there will continue to assist me in any future endeavors I undertake. [posted April 2011]
Despite being a local girl from Winston-Salem, I was thrilled to come to Wake Forest. While I began contemplating a career in medicine early in my college career, political science quickly piqued my intellectual interest and sparked my passion. Balancing pre-medicine courses and a non-science major was challenging at times, but I am truly glad I was able to pursue both. At Casa Artom in Venice I not only learned Italian, studied Venetian Renaissance Art in person, but I also was able to learn about Western European politics while living there! During my senior year, I was able to combine both of my passions (medicine and political science) by writing a thesis comparing the health care systems of the United States, Great Britain, and Germany.
I graduated in 2002 with a major in Political Science, and a minor in Biology. I moved on to study medicine at Emory University. In 2006 I traveled westward to complete my pediatrics residency at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I just concluded one year as Chief Resident, and I am continuing my training as a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow.
My education in political science, and my strong liberal arts education in general, has been invaluable in my career as a physician. Especially as a pediatric infectious disease specialist, public policy and domestic and global political forces profoundly influence health care for children and many public health issues, including funding for HIV research and treatment. Through medicine, you can affect one life at a time. Through changing health care and public health policy, you can affect the lives of many. More broadly, the political science faculty helped me hone my skills in academic writing, scholarly research, and critical thinking, all of which are crucial to my career as an academic physician. I will be forever grateful to my professors and the incredible learning experience I was so fortunate to receive at Wake Forest. [posted March 2011]
I graduated from Wake Forest in 2000 with a major in Political Science, a minor in International Studies, and certificate in Management. After graduation, I briefly worked at Morgan Stanley as a marketing coordinator and investment intern manager. Based on my studies at Wake Forest and my personal interests, I knew I wanted to combine my interests in politics and business. I found the perfect situation in late 2000 accepting a position with KPMG Consulting, a large federal government consultancy. I worked for KPMG Consulting (which ultimately became BearingPoint) from 2000 – 2009 supporting an array of federal government clients including the Department of State, the US Agency for International Development, and Department of Justice. In 2009, I joined Deloitte Consulting as part of an acquisition and I am currently serving as a Strategy and Operations (S&O) Senior Manager in the firm’s Emerging Markets segment with special focus on diplomacy and international development. Some of the hot button issues I work on include immigration reform, border security, and capacity building for “fragile states”. In addition, I support many strategic firm initiatives and community organizations including Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the National Capital Region and Leadership Fairfax. My coursework and experiences at Wake Forest provided me with a strong foundation of critical thinking, communication and writing skills that helped me to succeed professionally and inspired me to give back to my community. Many thanks to the Wake Forest faculty and administration, and particularly the Political Science Department. [posted February 2011]
I graduated from Wake Forest in 2007 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Economics. By the fall of my senior year, I recognized that I was not ready to leave behind the debate and discussion of the classroom, which is a testament to the faculty of the Wake Forest Political Science Department and the passion, energy, and intellect they bring to the halls of Tribble each day. With a view to advancing my analytical skills and my knowledge and understanding of US foreign policy, I enrolled at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, where I earned a Master’s Degree in International Affairs in May 2009. Upon completion of my degree, I accepted employment at the Department of the Treasury, where I serve as a License Examining Officer for the Office of Foreign Assets Control and focus on administering our government’s sanctions programs.
As I reflect back on my time at Wake Forest, much stands out with regard to my experiences as a student of political science. I am forever grateful for the support and encouragement of the department’s faculty, which is something that continues to this day. Each professor offered an open door and each classroom offered a forum for study where we were expected to challenge conventional norms and to leave no rock unturned in our quest for knowledge. Furthermore, I will never forget the constant reminders to hit the ground running, maintain a sense of humor, and to never cease asking questions. This is an approach to life and learning that is contagious and I am certain that it will continue to serve me well as I seek to advance my career and other interests in Washington, DC and beyond. [posted January 2011]
Dave Forsythe followed up his Wake Forest BA (‘64) with a Princeton PhD and then spent 42 years in the classroom teaching International Relations. He retired from regular teaching in May 2010. His main interests were human rights, the UN, international law, US foreign policy, and Red Cross diplomacy. In 2008 he held the Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair in Human Rights and International Studies in Copenhagen. The American Political Science Association named him a Distinguished Scholar in Human Rights, and the International Studies Association gave him the Quincy Wright Award for lifetime achievements. Among his recent and forthcoming publications are books on human rights, US treatment of prisoners after 9/11, and Red Cross humanitarian policy. At the University of Nebraska where he taught for 37 years one now finds the Forsythe Family Program in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. [posted January 2011]
My interest in Chinese environmental policy began the summer I traveled to China to conduct research for my senior Political Science Honors thesis. As a Biology and Political Science major, I was interested in the evolution of grassroots environmental civil-society organizations and their role in the political transition of the Chinese government. My professors and courses in the Political Science Department provided a solid foundation from which I realized the importance of institutions in policymaking. Since I graduated in 2005, I have dedicated my career to better understanding the complexities of governing and sustainably managing China’s environment in the face of development pressures.
After completing my Master’s degree in Environmental Policy at the University of Cambridge, England, I worked as Research Analyst in the Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC to get a better sense of policymaking in action.
I am currently three years into my doctoral studies at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where my research focuses on applying quantitative tools to assess the performance of China’s environmental policies. I have had the opportunity to attend both the Copenhagen and Cancun climate summits, where I analyzed U.S.-China relations and issues related to the measurement, reporting, and verification of climate emissions information. I provided expert testimony in front of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in the U.S. Senate in April 2010. I am spending the 2010-2011 academic year as a Senior Scholar at Tsinghua University (the MIT of China) supported by a Fulbright grant. [posted January 2011]