International Studies

International Affairs. National Security.

Alumni Spotlight

Photo of Elise Wallis of Baldwin Wallace public health, political science, national security

Elise Wallis '13
Cleveland Foundation Summer Intern

Political Science and Public Health Major
First Graduate with National Security Minor
BW Honors Program Participant

Hometown: Euclid, Ohio

You are BW’s first national security graduate. How was this program invaluable to your career path?
I learned an array of security issues–ranging from traditional security threats such as nuclear proliferation to evolving security issues such as pandemics, natural disasters, and terrorist organizations. I also gained insight on growing global health security issues such as infectious diseases and epidemics. Many public health majors have biology backgrounds and I felt I was able to bring a unique perspective to our class discussions. My knowledge of global health security issues will be in asset to a career in public health.

In what ways did BW professors contribute to your success?
  • In international studies, Dr. Javier Morales encouraged me to join Model United Nations and wrote several recommendation letters for me to secure internships and scholarships. Dr. Judy Krutky was my faculty advisor for my Honors thesis and helped me identify conferences where I could present my project.
  • For public health, Dr. Swagata Banik helped me to identify internship and fellowship opportunities. I also gained firsthand public health experience through working with Medworks, Hospice of the Western Reserve, and traveling with BW to Maine to conduct research.  
  • Within political science, Dr. Thomas Sutton taught me about the nonprofit sector and always made sure I was taking the appropriate classes.  
How did your Arabic studies help you land a highly competitive scholarship? 
My BW Arabic professor at the time encouraged me to apply for a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State. I spent Summer 2012 studying Arabic in Tunisia.   

How does the Honors program provide opportunities for students to excel?

I was encouraged to take challenging and diverse coursework. Many of the Honors classes I took, such as Human Greatness, Problem-Solving, and Health & Social Justice, were some of my favorite BW classes and are the ones that really prepared me for life post graduation. Serving on the Honors Leadership Board, attending the freshman retreat and other Honors programs were invaluable as well. 

Posted July 2013

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