Transnational Studies Major Spotlight with Amelia Ayers ’16

Want to know more about majoring in Transnational Studies? We asked Amelia Ayers ’16 (Parkway West High School/Ballwin, MO) some questions about her experience with Transnational Studies. Above, Amelia in London last year, where she studied at the London School of Economics and completed an internship at the U.S. Embassy.

Why did you pick this major?

I picked the Transnational Studies major because I have always been interested in international issues and current affairs. As the world becomes more complicated and seemingly smaller, understanding a wide variety of issues is vital. Furthermore, the Transnational Studies program at Westminster is one of the first of its kind and integrates current affairs and background really well. Also, I found the opportunity to earn credit while studying abroad extremely attractive, so much so that I’ve taken two faculty-led study abroad courses and studied abroad my entire junior year at the London School of Economics as the Cranshaw Scholar.

 What do you plan to do after graduating?

In general, I aspire to serve the United States, hopefully abroad. I am interested in attending graduate school to earn a Master’s degree in Security Studies. Ultimately, my dream career is to serve as a Foreign Service Officer representing the United States abroad with the U.S. Department of State. I hope to work on critical issues such as: human trafficking, transnational organized crime, refugee solutions, arms control, terrorism, nonproliferation, international cooperation, and diplomacy.

How has Westminster’s professors and courses prepared you to succeed in this career?

At its heart the Transnational curriculum is interdisciplinary; students take courses in International Relations and Diplomacy, Global Justice and Human Rights, Global Economic Development, Global Cultures, and the Environment and Health. Because the Transnational curriculum is so flexible, I was able to customize my experience to focus on Global Cultures and International Relations and Diplomacy. This course structure has prepared me for a career in the International Relations realm because I have wide, integrated background knowledge needed to understand and make decisions that are naturally interdisciplinary. My Westminster professors have prepared me to succeed by constantly challenging me, encouraging me, and supporting me in all of my endeavors.

Who are your favorite professors and why?

In Transnational Studies, Dr. Kurt Jefferson and Dr. Jeremy Straughn have both been instrumental to my success. I also must mention Dr. Gibson, my primary advisor in National Security Studies.  All have written numerous letters of reference for me, always been available to talk about current issues, academic questions, and my future. I cannot imagine being where I am today without them.

 How have your internships helped you?

My internships have combined my academic preparation and knowledge with practice. The experience I gained at the U.S. Embassy in London interning for the U.S. Department of State was invaluable. I worked in the Political Section from January until May, then in the Management Section from May until August. The projects I was able to work on varied from supporting the First Lady of the United States’ visit as well as many Secretary of State visits, drafting and publishing the Political and Economic Sections’ combined daily reporting as a diplomatic cable, and performing independent research. My time at the Embassy was priceless and would have not been possible without the support of the Cranshaw Scholarship.  I am positive that this experience, coupled with my Westminster and London School of Economics education, will prove to be most invaluable to my future career and academic prospects.

Learn more about majoring in Transnational Studies at Westminster.

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