The NYU Grad Student: Meet Alejandro Garcia ’17
Alejandro Garcia ’17 is a government and international affairs/political science and German double major from Quito, Ecuad
Q. It sounds like you have an exciting future ahead of you! Can you share details about your grad school plans and why you’re passionate about your area of study?
A. I’m so humbled and thankful that I was admitted to Master’s programs in international affairs at both New York University and Penn State! I have officially committed to NYU where I’ll be pursuing a concentration in human rights/conflict resolution. I chose this area because I firmly believe in the inalienable rights of all members of society and I believe it’s our duty as global citizens to help one another.
Q. Dream job after graduation?
A. I want to — I will — work for the United Nations, either in the Human Rights Council or the Refugee Agency.
Q. How did you choose Augustana?
A. I definitely thought the recruitment process reflected how much Augustana cares about its students. My admission counselor was so attentive and willing to answer any questions. My scholarship package was a big factor, too!
Q. You played a big part in planning the Holi celebration this spring. Can you share what the experience was like and why the event is important for Augustana?
A. I currently serve as co-president of the Augustana International Club. Our purpose is to help build a bridge between American and international students. So we put on events that are not only fun, but teach students about other cultures around the world. Holi is probably one of our most exciting and most popular events. It is an Indian celebration which includes the throwing of colored powder. We had students from India teaching Bollywood dances, sharing delicious snacks from their country, and teaching us about Indian culture. Just seeing the Augie community come together and expose their minds to new cultures was fantastic! See photos from Holi 2017.
Q. Looking back on your time at AU, what was your favorite class?
A. Government Professor Dr. Joe Dondelinger’s “Identity Conflict and World Politics.” It was one of the most interesting classes I have taken here. It made me question and really think about my own beliefs and values.
Q. Most influential professor, and why?
A. This is a very tough question to answer. Augie’s biggest asset is its faculty. The professors care so much about you. They are supportive but challenge you at the same time. I would have to say Dr. Joel Johnson from the government department. His passion and care for students is reflected in his class. He has helped me grow not only academically, but as a person too. He has also been a great support through my grad school application process. He is not only a great professor, but a great human being, too.
Q. Best Augie memory so far, and why?
A. Gosh. So many! One of my favorite memories is going to the Black Hills during the International Orientation Week my senior year. I am an Augustana Cultural Exchange ambassador, so I help international students adapt to the U.S. and its culture. I met incredible people and was exposed to so many cultures and languages. Opportunities and events like this happen all the time. This is what I call the Augie Advantage.
Q. At Augustana, we often say we prepare students for more than just jobs. We prepare them for lives of meaning and service. How have you found this to be true?
A. The beauty of Augustana’s curriculum is that it forces you to take classes in areas you haven’t experienced before. From taking “Advocacy and Argumentation,” “Biology,” “Statistics,” and “Constitutional Law,” you become well aware of different topics and tools that you need in life. Moreover, Augie has many study abroad opportunities and organizations that form you as a person in your four years here. It is truly a well-rounded education.