Sarah Pratt's story is certainly one of uniqueness and accom- plishment. How many American college students can say they spent a semester in Jordan learning Arabic and plan to spend a year in Egypt after graduation? Perhaps this is not so daunting to Sarah, who spent five years of her life living in Germany before landing back in the U.S. to enroll at UNH.
Sarah is a Senior majoring in International Affairs and Anthropology with a minor in Political Science; her long term goal is to work in the Foreign Service. "Having lived abroad, I love living overseas. Living overseas and representing the U.S. as a diplomat would be the ideal career," she says when talking about her dream. Sarah's father has certainly been an influence on her career interests and her work ethic. He is a retired Marine who is now a professor in a U.S. Government institute in Germany. He has served as a role model for Sarah, someone who "has served his country, worked hard, and given my three sisters and me the best lifestyle possible."
Sarah's love for travel, and specifically to the Middle East, led her to apply for a Fulbright scholarship. Her goal is to spend a year in Egypt after graduating from UNH so that she can continue working on her Arabic. Sarah's passion for the people and culture of the Middle East is clearly evident. "Studying in Jordan was amazing - I loved it! It was such a great learning experience, everyday was different; there's no such thing as routine in the Middle East." Living in the Middle East for a semester also gave Sarah a different impression than what most other Americans have witnessed on T.V. during all the war and turmoil. "The people there are wonderful and, unfortunately, badly misrepresented because of the very small percentage involved in terrorism. It's very important that the people of the Middle East stand up and represent themselves."
It's inevitable that a wonderful, talented student leader like Sarah would have influential mentors in her college experience; Sarah mentions a few who have helped her at UNH. "Sheila McCurdy, Assistant Director for the Center of International Education, has helped me tremendously. Dr. Thomas Trout in Political Science has been a great teacher and really goes above and beyond to help, too. And, Dr. Alynna Lyon in Political Science is a phenomenal teacher; she is my thesis advisor. She's creative, she makes you work, and she really encourages class discussion."
Sarah has certainly been a pathfinder here at UNH. As someone who has reaped the benefits of exploring academic and extracurricular opportunities, she encourages other students to do the same. "Don't settle. Try one of the many options you have here. Take advantage; you'll have no other chance like this. And if the school doesn't offer something you're interested in, keep pushing and you'll find a way to do it." While a student at UNH, Sarah has applied this philosophy inside and outside the classroom. In addition to her academic pursuits and her travels abroad, Sarah has been involved with the women's Crew team, the College Republicans, and she has served as a Fellow for the College of Liberal Arts .
When one considers Sarah's experiences, her academic accomplishments, her ambition, and her attitude, it's exciting to think of the possibilities she has ahead of her. She's been a leader and ambassador for the University of New Hampshire and will most likely serve in the same role for our country in the future.