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Global Studies Runs in the Family

January 5, 2017

Last summer Aimee, Matthew, and Katey Lace piled into the car with their parents for a cross-country trip from Minnesota to New York City. It was a tight fit, but they all wanted to be there to move 2014 global studies alumna Aimee into her new apartment. After two years working as an individual contractor at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Geneva, Aimee was starting her PhD at Columbia University in social-organizational psychology.  

Aimee was the first Lace to pursue a global studies major, and both her siblings are following in her footsteps. As children, Aimee, Matthew, and Katey had the opportunity to travel around Europe and Latin America with parents who encouraged learning through discovery, so global studies was a natural fit for all three siblings.  

But as much as the Laces have in common, there is even more that sets them apart, and each of the siblings has found their own unique connection to their interdisciplinary major. Aimee complemented her global studies major with psychology and Spanish; Matthew with applied economics, international agriculture, and management; and Katey with math, finance, and Spanish.          

Now a senior about to graduate, Matthew Lace believes that "global studies allows you to take a step back from what you know and learn from what you don’t know."  He first became interested in the major because it was "a flexible major that you can shape to your interests. The most important value that I have learned is the appreciation of different lifestyles....This appreciation is essential for the world as we move forward in an ever increasingly connected global community."  

In spring 2016, Matthew spent a semester abroad in Quito, Ecuador, where he participated in an internship as an economic development specialist. October 2016, the department worked with Matthew so that he could attend the United Nations Habitat III conference on sustainable housing and urban development while still taking classes. This conference took place in Ecuador and his attendance, which spanned a few weeks, was a component of his summer internship.

While just a sophomore, Katey has already been able to experience a range of classes in the College of Liberal Arts and in global studies, and she is sure that this is the right major and college for her. "I knew I wanted to study global studies, but I was also interested in math," Katey says. In the College of Liberal Arts, she can do both. She is also planning on studying abroad this summer in a Spanish speaking country, and is ready for the next lesson that she can learn from another culture.

Aimee’s success means big shoes for Matthew and Katey to fill, but they are up to the task. In fact, Matthew and Katey look up to her for motivation and inspiration. After graduation, both siblings are interested in pursuing employment abroad like their older sister. Katey is interested in working as a financial advisor in another country. Matthew is looking to continue working in international urban development. Though they may each end up on different continents and gathering for family holidays may be trickier in the future, their global experiences will make the jet lag worthwhile.

This story was written by an undergraduate student account executive in CLAgency. Meet the team.