“During my time in the Program for International and Comparative Studies, I have had the opportunity to take a wide range of interconnected courses that have helped shape my worldview and method of change. From classes such as Human Rights in the United Nations to Political Violence in Africa to Gender and Immigration and Activism in Global Politics, I have been able to develop a greater understanding of international governing structures, race and culture, and movements for change. I have developed the skills to engage critically in the world both through the literature I read and as an active citizen. When covid hit, I thought that my international studies degree and classes wouldn’t be useful anymore. Borders had closed, I didn’t know if I would be able to study abroad, and I became more focused on local politics. But, my international studies classes gave me a global perspective on local issues. Now, I am writing a thesis in international studies on the human right to water and activism upholding that right in Detroit, which combines all that I have learned throughout my studies. PICS has equipped me to be a critical, global thinker and more engaged citizen who is able to bring a global perspective to any work that I do. I am undecided about what’s next, but whether I am continuing my work on the right to water in Detroit or pursuing dialogue about international post conflict resolution, I know that I will be well-equipped by my time in PICS.”

Name:  Mekulash Baron-Galbavi

Majors/Minors: BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Urban Studies; minor, Food and Environmental Studies ‘23

Hometown: Monroe, MI

Affiliations: Model UN at the University of Michigan (MUNUM), Semester in Detroit

Future Plans: “I'm not sure exactly, but I will be pursuing opportunities domestically and abroad with a focus on human rights, transformative justice, and social justice.”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “I really enjoyed my time running into other PICS students at events and classes such as classes for the major and events for the department and for the Donia Human Rights Center. I felt a strong sense of community in PICS”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you for all that you've taught me.”