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I’m Katie, a Sophomore in SIS at American University. I am from San Mateo, California, a suburb of San Francisco. I graduated in 2014 from Hillsdale High School with honors.

I became interested in studying international relations after spending a summer in Panama where I lived with a host family and worked with the locals on a development project. When I came back home I knew I wanted to continue doing this kind of work and learning more about international development.

As a freshman at AU, I heard about the alternative breaks program that allows students to travel domestically and internationally during school breaks in order to study and stand in solidarity with a variety of social justice issues. I was a participant on the Indigenous Land Rights: Past, Present, Future program which analyzed the institutionalized racism against the indigenous population in Guatemala as well as the effects of large and small scale development. This year, as a sophomore, I have been selected to lead the program which involves planning the entire program, and training selected participants.

This year I will be researching U.S. relations with Guatemala and how it has contributed to the current, unstable state of Guatemala. Throughout the year I will be updating this site with posts about the status of my research.