By Karen Kelly
Photos by Bryan Gagnon

There is something special about being one of the first students in an academic program. As you take classes, meet friends and embark on new experiences, a community is formed that will shape the program for years to come.

Student Max Lee has undoubtedly helped form the burgeoning Bachelor of  Global and International Studies (BGInS) community. He started in the program just two years after it began in 2015 and quickly became an advocate for the program on campus.

“It was very new and multidisciplinary. They had a greater vision and that’s what I wanted to be part of,” recalls Lee. “But it was small enough that I knew everyone’s names and faces.”

Max Lee

Lee joined the BGInS Student Society as the first-year representative and in the two subsequent years served as a vice president and president.

“We were a very small program and it took a very dedicated team of individuals at the start to establish ourselves,” says Lee. “I would say the largest accomplishments that I had was changing our electoral voting system, consistently providing inclusive professional and social events, as well as doubling our finances.

The society also organized embassy visits and a networking series that taught job skills. In 2019, the group was named Society of the Year by Carleton’s student association.

“I just wanted to elevate my entire class and my entire cohort because I wanted to see BGInS strongly represented as a prominent group on campus,” he explains.

Lee also embraced the academic side of university. He chose the Global Law and Social Justice specialization in BGInS, one of 18 options.

Despite the pandemic, Lee took advantage of an impressive number of opportunities, including serving as an intern to a Member of Parliament, completing a practicum with the United Nations, hosting the Ontario Public Interest Group’s radio show, delivering a Tedx Talk, creating a new curriculum for a BGInS course, and writing an Honours Research Essay. The essay explored the reasonable limits of freedom of assembly and protest in regards to protests against public health measures during COVID-19. This essay and many others can be found on his Research Gate account, which has recently surpassed 8,000 total reads.

Looking ahead, Lee will attend University College London for a Masters of Science in anthropology, specializing in politics, violence, and crime. He hopes to work in academia one day.

Monday, June 20, 2022 in ,
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