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News and Events

Student Spotlight: Paula Godoy Barbosa, Political Science Major

Posted in: Student News

a grahphic image - on the right is a photo of student Paula Godoy Barbosa. on the left with red background is her name and major, Political Science. The bottom of the image says Student Spotlight in a script font

Paula Godoy Barbosa is a senior political science major and an Italian, global security and diplomacy, international studies, and public administration minor from Bogota, Colombia.

Why did you choose Montclair State University?

I chose Montclair State University because the program in Political Science is very complete and has all the courses I have ever wanted to take. The location also played a key role when deciding whether to apply or not, being just 12 miles away from the city is quite helpful when applying for internships there. Lastly, the campus is beautiful!

How did you choose your major? What do you love most about it?

I have always been attracted to social work and helping people, and I think majoring in Political Science is a great way to do it. Also, since it is such a broad field, you can make a change for instance by concentrating on public administration and making domestic policies, or through international relations when working for an international organization. And I think that is what I love most about it! How interdisciplinary it is and how one can work in different areas.

What activities are you involved in outside of class that are related to your program of study?

With my program of study, I have had many great experiences. For instance, last year I had the opportunity to be an intern with the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations. I also had the chance to present one of my academic essays at the Northeastern Political Association Conference in Boston. In addition, I have also done great things with my Italian minor. I am the program assistant at the Coccia Institute for the Italian American Experience on Campus. I started as an intern, and I have been working with them for the last year. It has been a great experience getting to know more about this culture that is so important in Montclair.

What has been your favorite course within your major and why? 

I think all of my classes have been unique and have left me with so much to reflect on. However, if I were to choose just one class I would have to say Government and Politics of Latin America. As a Latina, it was nice to learn more about our political, social, and economic history, but I also loved how interested my American peers were in learning more about this region.

What faculty member has made the most impact on you so far and why? 

I have to say the Political Science department is full of excellent professors, all of which have left a mark on me. However, I would say Dr. Alfredo Toro Carnevali has had the biggest impact on me. I really admire his experience in the international relations field, and everything he has done at Montclair creating the Global Security and Diplomacy Minor. Thanks to him, we have had great learning experiences with the Pollack Speaker Series, and personally, I had an internship with the United Nations last year through the minor.

What are your goals after graduation? How do you plan to use your degree?

After graduating my goal is to get a job with an international organization. I have always wanted to work with the United Nations, most specifically with UNICEF as I want to advocate my career for child protection and fight for their rights. Overall, I would like to use my degree to work toward minorities’ rights and inclusion all around the world.