Alumni Spotlight: Joining the Global Conversation
December 20, 2021
Jen Proch ’21 M.A.I.R. took advantage of an internship with the Council of Europe and the Atlantis Program, which enables students to earn master’s degrees from both Maxwell and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Before enrolling in the Maxwell School, Jen Proch ’21 M.A.I.R., taught high school social studies and coached the school debate team. Her daily immersion in discussions about international affairs propelled her to become more proactively involved in the policy spaces she covered in class, she says.
She decided to pursue a master’s degree and was drawn to the top-ranked Maxwell School for its internships, which are integral to the international relations curriculum. And, as a proficient speaker of German, she was thrilled to discover the Atlantis Program in which students can earn master’s degrees from both Maxwell and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Proch relished her year on the Syracuse campus, especially the professional experience she gained as a research assistant with the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) and the connections she made with peers from around the world.
She arrived in Germany just before the borders closed, and she completed her internship with the Strasbourg, France-based Council of Europe while living in Berlin. The council was founded in the wake of World War II to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
Proch’s research and projects centered on the human rights implications of drug enforcement and policing at international borders and online. In particular, she studied surveillance tactics such as biometric tracking, online monitoring and personal data sharing which are used to catch drug traffickers and other criminal elements but are problematic in terms of data regulation, privacy, and freedoms of movement and expression.
The internship allowed Proch to jump “right into the meat of things—the important work,” she explains, and it also provided a clarifying lens on her future. “My internship at the Council of Europe confirmed how much I enjoy research and writing. And it provided insight into how I can use those skills in a job setting.”
Proch, who also received an Advanced Certificate in Conflict and Collaboration, says she gained insight through courses on topics like geopolitics and energy policy, which complemented her interests in cybersecurity. “My academic experience helped me identify that I want to work in the space addressing technology policy and help make the governance of technology more responsible and accountable to people.”
Read the full story on SU News.
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