Larsen, Sarah profile pic MA Graduate – Class of 2017

I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, living off of oranges and Mickey Mouse until I moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to purse my Bachelor of Arts at Eckerd College. During my time as an undergrad, I studied Economics and French as well as international relations. I traded in summer sunshine for the Swiss Alps during my junior year when I went to study abroad at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Once I had completed my bachelor’s degree, my zest for language and culture turned towards China. So, I packed my bags and took the 20-hour journey to Shaoxing, Zhejiang. After two fulfilling years teaching English to students of all ages and language abilities, I was ready to become a student once again. When searching for a master’s program, I sought something that would help guide me through the questions I had brewing in the back of my brain. I chose the MA in Global Thought because I felt it would give me the freedom to explore and expand all of the curiosities I had developed in my travels while still training me for my professional career. I currently work as a research assistant at Columbia University, where I can put my love of graphs and tables to good use. In the future, I hope to accomplish social change in the public sector. In my spare time, I love taking up new hobbies after watching an extensive amount of YouTube tutorials. I also love cooking, watching movies, and exploring New York City.

Research Interests

As an undergraduate, I wrote two theses: one on women’s economic empowerment on fertility across the world and the other was written in French on women’s rights in Tunisia since 1956. While my research interests still include women’s rights, economic empowerment, and the francophone world, I chose to take a new direction with my master’s thesis. While I was living in China, I became very aware of which American films made it to Chinese cinemas and those which did not. I also became curious as to why some films performed better than others, not only from an economic standpoint, but a cultural one as well. I wanted to explore the interplay of economics and culture from country to country. What I did not realize until I was deeper in my research journey was the role of soft power and the interest I have in media literacy. In the future, I hope to have the opportunity to delve deeper into topics of globalization, inequality, economic development, soft power, media literacy, women’s empowerment, and infrastructure, among others.

MA Thesis

“Globalizing Hollywood: Rising China and the Quest for a Billion Consumers”


  • B.A., Economics and French, Eckerd College, 2010-2014