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Alumni Spotlight

Read about this month’s International Studies Alumni Spotlight. Alumni were asked to share how their International Studies major or minor has influenced their path after graduating from the University of Michigan.

November 2019

Skylar Gleason

BA International Studies (International Security, Cooperation, and Norms); BA Political Science; minor, Spanish; minor, Law, Justice, and Social Change ‘19 

Hometown: Empire, Michigan

University of Michigan Affiliations: Circle K; Roosevelt Institute; Sigma Iota Rho; WaterColors Acapella; Dean of Students Student Advisory Board; Center for Campus Involvement Student Advisory Board; Ginsberg Community Leadership Fellows

“As I am from a homogenous small town in northern Michigan, my U-M International Studies major opened my eyes to a wide range of world issues and inspired me to pursue a career in international human rights. Two opportunities offered by the Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) had a particularly strong impact on what I have done and plan to do post-graduation: DHRC/PICS/Perseus Strategies International Human Rights Fellowship and the Honors program. The summer before my senior year, I received the DHRC/PICS/Perseus Strategies International Human Rights Fellowship and spent eight weeks in Washington, D.C. working for the international human rights law firm Perseus Strategies, LLC. That experience cemented my plan to attend law school and specialize in international human rights in order to access the legal knowledge and avenues necessary to hold human rights violators accountable. Additionally, the fellowship helped me secure a job as the Liu Xiaobo Human Rights Fellow at Perseus Strategies after graduation, a position that I adore and plan to work in for a couple years before applying to law school. The Honors program helped me translate my experiences during my study abroad in Argentina into a critical analysis of the lingering effects of human rights abuses and the effectiveness of transitional justice efforts. In addition to improving my research and writing skills immensely, writing my honors thesis deepened my interest in the long-term policy and justice response to mass atrocities. As a result, I am planning to pursue a masters in public policy or conflict resolution in addition to my law degree, and would like to remain involved in human rights research throughout my career.”

Read about past International Studies Alumni Spotlights: