My major in International Studies with a focus on Political Economy and Development has led to countless hours in the Hatcher library basement, gliding between the stacks hunting down the perfect book. To some, this sounds like pulling teeth, but for me it was wonderful. The program helped me construct and solve my own puzzle that I found deeply interesting.

This past year I have learned and conducted deep academic research. My thesis went from an embryonic idea at the end of my junior year to 85 pages of a completed and published work. Another consequence of this deep research are the piles of academic books in my bedroom, all waiting patiently to return to their home on a library shelf. When I started, I imagined that there would be a eureka moment when I found what I was looking for deep in the pages of an ancient book, but in reality, it was more a sense of relief. The self-reassurement that my argument was going down the right path and I did not have to backtrack completely. This argument is then translated into my own words from nebulous thoughts, and the puzzle deepens as I construct as precise and robust a description of my argument. My command of language has become much more concise and efficient.

Again, to some this self-inflicted monstruous academic assignment may seem ugly, but that is inherently where the beauty lies. PICS has allowed me to embark on a difficult endeavor, taught me plentiful skills on how to accomplish this endeavor, and celebrated me when I did accomplish this endeavor. I cannot be thankful enough.

This thesis process has imprinted my love for writing and research, and I will be doing that in my job next year. It has also made me less cautious of graduate school, whether that be law school or a PhD.

Liam Walsh

Majors/Minors: BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Economics ‘22

Hometown: Grosse Pointe, MI

Affiliations: Central Student Government, Honors Program, and Delta Upsilon

Future Plans: “Junior Associate at Gasthalter & Co. in NYC”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “The Honors Seminar”