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ASU global studies student takes research interests to Peru

Global Studies Junior at ASU, Shelby Lawson
March 08, 2016

Shelby Lawson says the ability to travel abroad while continuing her degree was a factor when she chose Arizona State University over other schools also recognized for their international affairs programs.

“I knew this would be the perfect way to do my internship with the State Department while working towards a degree. I am so thankful that I do not have to take time off of school to do an internship that will be beneficial to my future,” said Lawson, a junior.

Global studies majors within the School of Politics and Global Studies are required to complete an international experience that may be an internship or study abroad during their time at ASU. 

Lawson has recently accepted an internship in the Public Affairs section of the embassy in Lima, Peru. While there, she will be working closely with Peruvian students who plan to one day study in the United States. She will also be assisting in social media, press conferences and cultural events hosted by the embassy.

Lawson, who had interest in international relations when she started at ASU, says that her coursework has expanded her knowledge of the world and introduced her to the varying international career options. She was able to learn about the different sections of an embassy and what life as a foreign officer is like, firsthand, in a political science course taught by former U.S. Ambassador Douglas Hartwick.

The school’s Junior Fellows program provided Shelby a way to further pursue her research interests. Shelby assisted in research projects with School of Politics and Global Studies professor Magda Hinojosa over two semesters examining women in politics in Latin America.

“Working with professor Hinojosa sparked my interest in the region and is what led me to apply for the position in Peru,” Lawson said.

While in Peru, Lawson will also be working on her honors thesis on the global problem of sex trafficking, a topic covered in a global politics and human rights course taught by School of Politics and Global Studies professor Roxanne Doty.

“I plan to do research on NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and governmental initiatives working against trafficking while in Peru,” Lawson said.

The next thig that she looks to check off her list is to apply to either the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship or the Rangel International Affairs Program. With dual citizenship in Germany and the United States, she also is considering a master’s degree in Europe.

“Today there is no doubt in my mind about my choice to come to ASU," she said. "There are so many opportunities on this campus, and so many people willing to help you pursue your dreams.”

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