Potter College News
- Mollie Hoagland
- Wednesday, September 20th, 2023
Growing up with a unique connection to international affairs through his mother's stories as a child of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, Shane Stryker’s intrigue for all things global was sparked at an early age. His first day of first grade, marked by the diverse display of flags from around the world at his school's main hall, left a mark on his young mind. This curiosity, coupled with his desire to understand the intricacies of different countries and their relationships with the United States, eventually led him to the International Affairs major in the Department of Political Science.
"I have always had a deep interest in anything international... A deep curiosity was formed in my young mind to understand what these flags represented and how these countries may be similar to or different from the United States," Shane reminisces. It was this deep-rooted passion that guided him to the International Affairs major.
Shane's commitment to excellence is evident through his active involvement across campus. He serves as a Political Science Ambassador, a Mahurin Honors College member, and dedicates his time to working with refugee students through the Navigator program. These roles have allowed him to not only enhance his academic journey but also contribute positively to the WKU community.
Shane spent his summer as a project assistant intern with the Competition and Antitrust research team at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. In this role, he delved into literature reviews on U.S. antitrust law, meticulously documented congressional hearings, and actively participated in team strategy meetings. This opportunity, made possible through the Stand Together Fellowships, showcased Shane's diverse skill set - from analytical thinking and self-motivation to effective communication and strategic planning.
Reflecting on his journey, Shane acknowledges the role the Department of Political Science played in his preparation. "Although the internship focuses mainly on microeconomics and competition law, I felt very prepared from my coursework in the Political Science department at WKU. This internship required me to be a deep thinker, a self-starter and hard worker, as well as a concise and efficient writer," Shane notes.
Shane's appreciation extends to the department's faculty, whom he regards as some of the best at WKU. He describes their genuine concern for his academic and professional growth, highlighting their unique teaching styles that make each course engaging.
As he approaches graduation, Shane's sights are set on pursuing a Master of Science in International Relations or Diplomacy, with aspirations of joining the U.S. Foreign Service to contribute to diplomatic efforts globally. He attributes his readiness to the Department of Political Science's support system, which goes beyond coursework to include collaborative research, internship opportunities, and engaging events organized by the department's ambassadors.
In Shane's own words, "There are many opportunities within the Political Science department that prepare you for success... The department sets up the alley-oop for you, all you have to do is grab the ball and dunk it."
Shane encourages his fellow students to explore the intricacies of the systems shaping our world through the department’s diverse courses. "There are few things more important than understanding the systems that guide our country and the world around it... the courses are genuinely fun to attend, and the work is engaging and fulfilling."
Through his academic pursuits and hands-on experiences, Shane stands as an example for students aspiring to make a meaningful impact on the global stage.