Coming to Bucknell and seeing the scientific side of climate change really opened my mind to other worldviews, so now I stop to question things a little more.

Mikaela Schaller '18
Photo by Emily Paine, Division of Communications

Updated May 22, 2018: Mikaela will teach sixth-grade English in Florence, S.C., through Teach For America. Congratulations, Mikaela!

"I am a recruited coxswain on the women's rowing team. While I was rowing in high school and looking at colleges, Bucknell reached out to me. It's a Division I school, and orange and blue are my two favorite colors, so it was perfect! I was impressed that Bucknell encourages its athletes to study abroad in the off-season — as an international relations (IR) major, I wanted to have that option open.

"In IR, there are a lot of opportunities to investigate the factors that shape our belief systems. Taking International Law with Professor Emek Uçarer my first year was one of the reasons I fell in love with the major. There was something so amazing about opening my mind to a global, interdisciplinary focus. This class taught me the importance of understanding different cultural contexts and international treaties, and how they affect each other. The issues we discussed in class inspired me to choose the foreign policy and diplomacy track for IR and to become more involved in social activism. I want to try to address some of these significant issues on global platform, and International Law taught me that was a possibility.

"I also credit the College Core Curriculum requirements for opening me up to so many other dynamics I hadn't thought to focus on. For example, I wouldn't have taken Human Impact on the Environment or Sex, Lies & Capitalism if it were not tied into fulfilling requirements. The courses I fell in love with were the ones I least expected and helped me expand my mind to other issues like racial inequality and environmental protection.

"Through my internship this past summer with L'Association Les Eco Maires, a collection of local leaders advocating for sustainable development and climate change mitigation in France, I had the opportunity to attend the National Convention on Biodiversity held in Corsica. Spending time with all the academics and advocates helped me see the global context of this issue. People don't recycle often where I'm from, and I grew up believing climate change didn't exist. Coming to Bucknell and seeing the scientific side of it really opened my mind to other worldviews, so now I stop to question things a little more."

Mikaela is from Woodbridge, Va.

Posted November 2017