Meet an International Studies Major


Tegan Nelson ’14

Extracurricular activities: 

  • L.O.V.E. trips to New Orleans, Namibia and Kenya
  • L.O.V.E. Board
  • JustPeace
  • Gods Love We Deliver
  • Lasallian Collegians
  • Model UN
  • Catholic Relief Service Ambassador 

Why did you choose your major? 

I chose my major of International Studies because in high school I took a global issues class and once I learned about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the many social justice issues that were plaguing this world, I knew I had to be an active participant in combating them.

What has been your favorite class? 

My favorite class has been United States Foreign Policy with Dr. Antolik. In this class, we learned about how the United States interprets foreign affairs and why the United States acts the way they do. Within this class, we needed to write position papers about articles that we read in class. Being able to write position papers is now important since joining Model UN, because we need to write position papers depending on our committees. Without having taken United States Foreign Policy, I would not have known how to write the papers the proper way.

Have you done any internships?

This past summer, I had an internship at the Food Bank for New York City as their Hunger in America Intern. My position was to go to specific food pantries and soup kitchens where I surveyed people who used their services as a way for the Food Bank to learn where they could better allocate their funds and where they needed more money. Through my experience interning at the Food Bank, I was able learn more in depth about food security issues in our own backyard and how non-profit organizations are trying to alleviate this issue. 

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I hope to volunteer internationally through programs such as the PeaceCorps. But eventually, long term, I aspire to work for the government in some way.

What are the faculty like?

The International Studies and Government departments are fairly small which fosters a great way for the majors to get to know the faculty very well. The professor will know you by name, they know how your are doing in a class and are there through every step of your development. Furthermore, the professor are very knowledgeable of what they are teaching because they have committed their lives to studying the material they are teaching you and are experts in their area of study.

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

What I love most about my major is that it is interdisciplinary. I am required to take classes in economics, history, sociology, and government. With most majors, the student will only focus on their area of academics. But as an International Studies major, we are required to be up to date on all different topics, something I love a lot about being this major.

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

Something that has been a challenge to me, especially in regards to my major and the L.O.V.E. program, has to be learning and seeing so many social justice issues and sometimes feeling at a loss for what I can do. I have always known I wanted to be involved and learn about the system of the United Nations and what governments are doing to help their poorest people. But that being said, words are sometimes stronger than people's actions. But where these countries fall in their commitment is what pushes me to work harder.

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

I think it is really important for prospective students to know that it is not urgent to pick a major right away. I recommend exploring every option that the college has to offer and making an educated decision based off of that. I did not come into school declared as an International Studies major, but I soon learned after taking Dr. Chasek's class that is was what I needed to study.