"UVM — and the Integrated Humanities Program there — instilled in me a sense of responsibility for 'the other,' " says Rose McGovern, "and helped me identify how I wanted to fulfill that responsibility. For me, I really care about people on the fringes of society, those that don't really have a strong voice."
She says her program at UVM was intense and gave her the writing and research skills she needed. Now, to strengthen her impact on society, McGovern is diving into economics and international diplomacy as a graduate student at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins. She spent her first year of study on their Bologna, Italy campus.
With this degree, McGovern hopes to start her career at an organization like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, or the United Nations where she's attracted to the bureau that cares for refugees. These positions alternate fieldwork with stints at headquarters learning policy and program development and implementation. Long term, she has her sights on the State Department or Foreign Service.
"It seems like an interesting lifestyle," she says. "Every two years you go somewhere new."
McGovern got her first taste of traveling into rough places when she joined the Peace Corps, heading to Bangladesh to teach English shortly after graduating from UVM. The kindness she was shown amidst the poverty and crowding taught her a lot.
"It was a restructuring of how to look at the world, about how people can live," says McGovern. "It's really more about the human relationships than what you have around you."