M.A. Student – Class of 2021

At the beginning of my university studies, I had little exposure to the world outside the United States. Situated in rural Montana, my high school education lacked a global component. As I moved to California for undergraduate education, my worldview expanded rapidly through pursuing international studies & economics, fields constantly changing and presenting new challenges. This opened my eyes to systemic realities in our interconnected world and their underlying influences. One obvious force in global studies was the historical patterns of exploitation and the lasting effects of the colonial legacy today, which motivated me to look further into what can be done to best promote wellbeing. Participation in Model United Nations and a semester abroad allowed me to travel through Europe and Central & Latin America, showing me the uneven capacity and differing stakes of various countries on the international stage, and allowing me to recognize deep inequalities, both intra- and internationally.

An internship at Nathan Associates, an economic consulting firm, exposed me to the trade and logistics department of their international development sector. Here I discovered more about the complexities of executing international work with projects such as improving trade routes in Moldova and reducing legal barriers to trade in Mozambique. Volunteering at the Integrated Development Group, a non-profit consulting organization, taught me about grassroots work and the importance of community relations. Inspired by activism in Native communities in my state facing wanton environmental destruction, I began research into economic issues challenging Native people, especially women, in the U.S. I plan to continue this focus on Native communities in the Americas and their economic wellbeing & sovereignty, both in my academic and professional career. In the Global Thought program, I hope to increase my understandings of the intersections of society & expand my ability to address issues from a global perspective. Other research interests include economic development, gender & sexuality, welfare economics, and disability rights.