• Political Science major: As a political science major at Stony Brook University, I’ve had the opportunity to take a number of courses related to my career aspirations in public policy and international relations. I have learned core principles of political science, theoretical issues in politics and political topics of local and global significance, and much more from half a dozen courses; taking these courses has also helped me develop a range of academic skills, such as critical thinking, research, writing, and presenting my ideas that will hopefully serve as a strong foundation for my graduate and future professional careers. The courses I took for this Major include Political Philosophy, World Politics, American Government, Comparative Politics, History of US-Latin American Relations, Introductory Research in Political Science, Politics in the European Union, and Immigrant and Refugee Politics.
• Writing Minor: I completed a minor in Writing, which is offered by the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. The course in which I did this professional portfolio/blogfolio project was a part of the minor in writing. The courses I have taken for this Minor include: Professional Writing, Writing with New Media, Research Writing, and Writing Across Cultures and Contexts. The Writing Minor has given me a versatile and powerful toolset that I am sure will come handy when I enter graduate school. I have learned how to analyze texts not only for understanding what rhetorical decisions their authors must have made but also for assessing their relevance in research-based writing. I have also learned to read and written about writing studies as a discipline–including as a body of scholarship and rich pedagogy and practice in the profession, as well as academic disciplines. I can envision further drawing on this discipline (as well as the practical skills I have learned) in order to explore how public policy is influenced by effective writing, what genres and conventions of writing a successful international relations professional needs to know, and how professional writing is shaped by new modes of writing (such as my own writing on this blogfolio).
• Independent Study Project: At the end of my undergraduate degree, I opted to do an Independent Study project with Dr. ABC in the Political Science Department. For this project, I decided to conduct research on the intersection of public policy in the US and its effect on the country’s international relationship with countries that have adversarial versus friendly relationship. For this project, I studied the news coverage in five selected national newspapers and their online outlets in order to draw inferences about how popular views as reflected in mainstream press coverage of US-UK relations were reflected in federal government’s friendly relation with the other nation. I compared and contrasted my observations about similar diplomatic deals with Mexico. I have written a blog entry for the Writing For Your Profession class (taught by Dr. Shyam Sharma) by drawing on the 50-page long research paper that I wrote for the Independent Study project.
• Dean’s List: I’ve so far made it on the Dean’s list every Fall and Spring semester since I joined Stony Brook University. According to the Undergraduate Bulletin, “After each fall and spring semester the dean of each college compiles a Dean’s List of undergraduate students who constitute approximately the top 20 percent of their class. Each full-time student must have completed in that semester at least 12 credits for a letter grade (including S) and have no I’s, U’s, NR’s, NC’s, F’s, R’s or Q’s. P grades are not considered to be letter grades. Part-time students must have earned at least six credits in a semester of letter-graded work (not including S or P grades). The grade point average cutoffs are as follows: seniors, 3.40; juniors, 3.30; sophomores, 3.20; and freshmen, 3.10.”
• Poster Presentation: One of the noteworthy professional events and experiences that I took advantages of during my undergraduate studies at Stony Brook University was a presentation at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, an annual research symposium. At the URECA Fair of Spring 2014, I presented a research poster based on the independent study mentioned above. This was an inspiring experience because I got the opportunity to share my research/findings and ideas with a large community of students and faculty.