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Task Force on Arctic Sovereignty Alumna’s New Journey

Choe and group
Victoria and 2012 Thomas. R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellows, 16th cohort.

November 1, 2012

Five months ago when I walked across the commencement stage, I realized that it was a beginning of a new journey in life. I would not have been able to embark on this new journey without the academic and professional experiences that I gained at the Canadian Studies Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. I received a tremendous mentorship from Nadine Fabbi, the Associate Director of the Canadian Studies Center, who encouraged me to utilize my strengths and passion in search of a career. I was in the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada with my Transnational Arctic Task Force group, when I learned about the career in Foreign Service. A year and a half later, I was honored to find out that I would be one of the 2012 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellows.

Currently, I reside in Syracuse, New York and I am pursuing a Master degree in Public Administration and International Relations in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. I chose a practical degree that would assist me in acquiring administrative skills to be an effective and efficient Management Officer in Foreign Service. I aspire to be a Management Officer who makes the diplomacy work!

In summer of 2013, I will be moving to Washington, D.C. to begin my internship with the State Department. I am eager to contribute my Arctic knowledge and experiences that I gained from Canadian Studies Center in the Office Ocean and Polar Affairs at the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Furthermore, I envision continuing my education at the Free University of Berlin in Germany in spring of 2014. My research in Germany will focus on the EU’s energy security and implications of involvement in the Arctic region.

While it is daunting to begin a new journey, I am constantly reminded of unconditional support that I receive from the community at University of Washington. And I am forever thankful to those people.

The Task Force is the capstone course for the International Studies major. The first Task Force on Arctic Canada was offered in 2009. The Winter 2011 Canada Task Force was entitled, “Melting Boundaries: Rethinking Arctic Governance” co-instructed by Vincent Gallucci, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center. Victoria served as Coordinator. In Winter Quarter 2013, the Arctic Canada Task Force, “Arctic Securities,” will focus on Québec’s role in the Arctic.

by Victoria Choe, Public Administraion and International Relations, Syracuse University