Roza in South Africa

Roza is a junior Hunt Scholar and Mustang Scholar majoring in communication studies in Meadows School of the Arts and political science in Dedman College. During summer 2011, she is participating in SMU-in-South Africa, a four-week study program that introduces students to South African history and culture. She plans to take two courses: “The African Diaspora: Literature and Culture of Black Liberation” as well as “Music Theater Workshop, West Side Story.”

Roza then travels to Washington, D.C., as the 2011 Jack C. and Annette K. Vaughn Foreign Service and International Affairs intern, through SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. She is working at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars with the center’s Global Health Initiative.

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Exciting work in D.C.

At the Capitol with an SMU alum

As the summer gets closer to wrapping up, the more I realize how amazing my whole summer has been. Honestly, this has been the best summer of my life. South Africa is definitely hard to top, but adding DC on top of it, unbeatable … I guess I’ll have to see what next summer has in store.

My internship has been keeping me busy, but it’s the good kind of busy. I’m grateful that unlike most DC internships, I get to do actual work; not the typical internship jobs where you copy papers and answer phone calls all day.

I spend my time researching international issues I care about – population, health and the environment. I have gotten a couple of my writings published on the Center’s website, and it’s really exciting to work alongside the staff.

When I am not busy researching and writing, I am attending discussions hosted by the Wilson Center. Last week I heard former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf speak about U.S.-Pakistan relations. He touched on controversial topics including Osama Bin Laden and relationships with India, and confirmed that U.S.-Pakistan relations remain inharmonious.

I also got to hear a lecture on AFRICOM at the Rayburn House building. I also visited an SMU alum who works there. She was busy at work because of all the debates about the debt, but took time off her busy schedule to give me a quick tour of Capitol Hill.

At the U.N. with my sister and cousin

When I am not at the Center or in a public discussion soaking in all of the latest foreign affairs developments, I am making the most out of my stay in D.C. I was lucky enough to get an East Wing tour of the White House! Of course, the White House is absolutely beautiful, but the feeling I felt as I was walking in the most important building in the world is indescribable. I know seeing doesn’t translate to anything more, but I got so excited because the more I am exposed to opportunities like this, the more I feel like my political career dreams will come true.

Last weekend my sister and brother took a vacation to come see me, so we all decided to be a bit adventurous and go to New York. We had an enjoyable time in New York. I insisted on visiting the United Nations, so we made sure to see the headquarters.

We also went on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and spent time in Manhattan before finishing the night off in Times Square.

I have two more weeks left in DC, and I am trying to make the most out of my stay by continuing to explore the city, meeting up with alums and attending as many lectures and discussions as possible.

Sightseeing in New York

To check out my published work from the Wilson Center, visit the following sites:

Maternal health challenges in Kenya.
Population, health and environment advocacy with the Sierra Club.
Family planning in the developing world.

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