Maddy Landa ’24 Majors: International Studies and Political Science Minor: Women’s and Gender Studies Concentration: International Global Studies
Maddy Landa is from Richmond, VA. She had this to say about why she chose CofC, “I never saw myself going to the College of Charleston as a high school senior. My parents are both graduates, so I applied because I loved the city. However, as I did more research about the school, I quickly found myself falling in love. The programs offered here are exceptional, especially within my fields of interest. I was promised one on one mentorship and an inclusive environment filled with professionals who would do their best to make my experience meaningful. CofC has most certainly delivered on that promise!”
When asked why she chose the International Scholars program she explained, “International Scholars was one of my biggest pull factors to CofC. I could find no other program that was as intensive and offered as many amazing experiences as this program! To begin with, we are given mentorship that rivals that of Ivy League schools. My mentor, Karen Mroz, is an invaluable connection to have and I have loved my experience working with her! Also, an all expenses paid trip to Greece is certainly an experience that not many other schools can boast. We are given the unique opportunity to use the vast CofC network to broaden our horizons as students and learn about cultures, world politics, etc. in hands-on ways that really build the foundation for our future careers.”
After graduation she wants to go into the Peace Corps and then enter into nonprofit work supporting womens’ education in Latin America.
Grace Kern ’23
Majors: International Studies and Political Science
Grace Kern is from Fort Mill, SC. She chose CofC because loves the city of Charleston, and was excited by the opportunity to join the Honors College here at CofC and to engage in exciting courses with small class sizes. She had this to say when asked why she chose the International Scholars program, “I already knew that I was interested in studying International Studies, and the International Scholars Program provided me with the opportunity to combine these studies with other interests of mine, all while gaining access to an amazing mentorship program. I was also excited to meet other internationally-minded students at the College; I have met some of my closest friends through the International Scholars Program!” And since being accepted into the program she has learned, “that there are many skills and traits that are important for a career in international affairs that extend beyond the things that you can learn in a classroom. Open-mindedness, flexibility, compassion, and strong communication skills can serve you just as well, if not better, than class content.” After graduation she plans to work for an international nonprofit that focuses on education and women/girls rights followed by joining the U.S. Foreign Service.
LCWA’s very own Dr. Amy Malek, assistant professor in International Studies, won the Alixa Naff 2021 Paper Prize by the Khayrallah Center. The annual prize recognizes outstanding scholarly studies from any discipline focusing on Middle East migrations, refugees and diasporas. This year the Khayrallah Center selection committee awarded the best paper prize to Dr. Amy Malek for her paper Clickbait orientalism and vintage Iranian snapshots (International Journal of Cultural Studies).
To find out more about the Alixa Naff Awards and Dr. Malek’s paper Clickbait orientalism and vintage Iranian snapshots click the link below.
Dyllon Gunsolus an International Studies major, minoring in Russian Studies and a concentration in Europe, here at CofC, enjoyed a little bit of fame recently when The College Today published a story about his having won a national championship event in bicycling. Evidently, that story led to an invitation from a teacher at Sangaree Elementary School for Dyllon to read “Bonapart Falls Apart” to the primary school grades pre-2nd. He also got to participate in a meet and greet with the parents that afternoon when they arrived to pick up their children and share his biking and activity initiatives with the Vice Principle and assist in coordinating a ride to school event in the spring.
We’re looking forward to watching Dyllon as he continues to excell in his academics and extracurricular activities!
Congratulations to nine students from the College of Charleston who successfully completed the annual Southern Regional Model UN (SRMUN) conference held on October 23-25. Participation in this conference was part of the experiential learning course POLI 261-Model United Nations, taught by Professor Kovalov. In the past, Professor Kovalov took students for SRMUN to Atlanta for a 3-day event but the pandemic pushed organizers to look for safer ways to engage students in diplomacy. This was the first virtual SRMUN conference via zoom and students enjoyed this experience. In fact, several students commented that the virtual conference exceeded their expectations. Our students represented the delegation of the Russian Federation and they spent the first part of the fall 2020 semester learning about the UN, global issues, international diplomacy, the rules of the debate, and Russia’s foreign policy. The College of Charleston delegation included Gabrielle Carter, Macie Hardin, Hunter Harvey-Montano, Jordan Mercer, Gracie Pace, Savannah Petrelli, Sophia Stoios, Kara Swider, and Caroline Walker. Gabrielle Carter was recognized with the Best Delegate Award in the Economic and Social Council.
Check out more about the Southern Regional Model United Nations (SRMUN) at their website www.srmun.org
Dr. Kristen McLean is undertaking a new study of Community-based Experiences of Covid-19 in Sierra Leone. While many countries around the world are witnessing a decline in coronavirus cases, rates of infection continue to climb across the African continent, prompting one scientist to refer to the situation as a “ticking time bomb.” This is concerning for a number of reasons. First, system challenges—such as limited testing and diagnostic capacity and poor monitoring and data collection systems—will make it difficult for many African countries to effectively respond to the pandemic. A rise in treatment needs and mitigation efforts targeting COVID-19 will also divert already limited resources needed to tackle existing health issues in the region, such as HIV, TB, malaria, malnutrition, and maternal health.
In Sierra Leone, where McLean has worked since 2013, a rise in Covid-19 cases will likely lead to substantial disruption. As exemplified during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone’s healthcare system has been severely weakened due to its history of civil war, followed by years of underinvestment in public health services. This created obvious problems during the epidemic, when hospitals and clinics quickly became overwhelmed and local populations avoided public facilities. At the same time, given their history and experience with Ebola virus disease, Sierra Leoneans may be uniquely positioned to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
It is with an appreciation for the need to engage with local communities that this study seeks to understand what has been referred to as “the view from below” in the midst of a global humanitarian response. This project will rely upon phone-based qualitative interviews to assess individuals’ greatest concerns regarding the pandemic, what they are doing to protect themselves and their families from infection, and how people are coping with the indirect economic ramifications that social distancing and other containment measures pose.
If you are interested in learning more about the study, or would like to pursue this topic for your bachelor’s essay, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
International studies majorAaron Aldstadt ’20 received the highly competitive award from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program this spring, allowing him to study, research and teach overseas.
“My career goals include engaging as a responsible global citizen, as well as to become a U.S. foreign service officer or to serve in a cultural diplomatic role,” says Aldstadt, adding that he first became interested in international studies in an introductory course with faculty member Sarah Wuigk. “It really sparked my interest in the major and fostered an appreciation for a global perspective.”
Aldstadt will be broadening that perspective through his Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in South Korea, where he’ll be teaching secondary school students.
“My focus as a Fulbright ETA will be to strengthen English language abilities and knowledge of American culture,” he says. “By focusing on the importance of communication, I hope to make a positive impression with the Korean people and to serve as a positive bridge builder between our cultures.”
INTL 390-02 ST: Africa and China MW 2:00-3:15 Instructor: Dr. Julius Mutwol
(counts towards: INTL major – Africa and Asia concentrations, INTL Minor, the African Studies minor, and the POLI major)
This course examines China’s role in African economic development. Topics include historical and contemporary relationship and expanded commercial ties, trade, assistance and investment, as well as China’s policy of non-interference in Africa’s domestic affairs. We will also examine China’s investment and aid by sub-regions of Africa, and in specific sectors of African economies, especially in infrastructure development, oil extraction, mining, and agriculture. The course will also highlight controversial areas of China’s engagement with Africa, especially concerns about human rights, labor issues, and the environment.
Dr. Mutwol is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Charleston Southern University. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University (SAIS), as well as a B.A. in Political Science from Cleveland State University. He is the author of Peace Agreements and Civil Wars in Africa (2010) and previously taught at Johns Hopkins and Wilberforce University before joining CSU. Originally from Kenya, Dr. Mutwol has also worked as a commentator for KASS FM International, a Kenyan radio station, and as a consultant for a variety of international organizations. He was honored by the Black History Intercollegiate Consortium with the Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 2015.