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Student spotlight: Thomas Churchill

Thomas Churchill

Thomas Churchill

Jun 8 2018

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One of Thomas Churchill's favorite memories from his time at Stanford was taking a course on contemporary German theater while studying abroad in Berlin: “In this course, I went to a play in German every week! My language skills and appreciation for theater increased dramatically. My favorite play, a reinterpretation of Goethe's Faust, was a one-man show in which I got pelted with lettuce repeatedly throughout. It was absurd, hilarious, and fun, and is an experience I never thought I'd have.”

In addition to the theater class, he learned how to cook German delicacies in his language class, visited a closed Nazi airport for an architecture class, and met Polish diplomats on a class trip to Warsaw. “I culminated the experience producing a rap music video with my best friend as we traveled around different cities in Eastern Europe.”

Thomas, who graduates next weekend with a B.A. in International Relations (IR) as well as a minor in Spanish and a minor in German, says that he is most proud of the breadth of his academic and co-curricular experience at Stanford: “I have pushed myself to try many new things, take a variety of classes, and meet people with as many perspectives as possible.”

His favorite class was History 102: History of the International System. “Norman Naimark, the professor, is a brilliant lecturer and did an excellent job of framing International Relations as an evolving process with a set of rules and constraints defined by multiple stakeholders. The readings were exciting, the discussions dynamic, and the essay questions thought-provoking.”

On campus, Thomas participated in the U.S.-Mexico Forum for Cooperation, Understanding, and Solidarity, a collaborative initiative between students at Stanford and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) dedicated to improving bilateral relations between the two countries. As a member of the logistics team and then co-president for the past year, he was in charge of planning the annual conference, bringing in high profile speakers, organizing networking events, and fundraising. He has also done a great deal of public service at Stanfordworking with Servant Breakfast, Barrio Assistance, and Flying Treehouseand has also been heavily involved in Stanford's Outdoor Community as a SPOT & Adventure Program Trip Leader and the Community Manager of Stanford's Outdoor Themed House.

After graduation, he will be a hiking leader for Stanford Sierra Camp in the summer, before he starts working at wikiHow in Palo Alto in the fall.

"After studying International Relations, I understand our world's geopolitical context much more thoroughly and feel prepared to tackle and solve complex, multi-national issues," he says. "My IR experience was incredibly diverse — in the courses I took, the people I met, and the activities I became involved in — and I have a profound value for all types of diversity after finishing the degree. I know that I want to be engaged in work where I feel like I am thinking about the global context of my actions, putting opposing ideas in conversation, and appreciating interpersonal diversity, just as I did in my studies."

Congratulations Thomas and best of luck!

Please join us in congratulating the class of 2018! As the academic year draws to a close, we are highlighting students graduating from across our 14 programs. Click here to view more student spotlights.