International Relations and History Double Major
by Anna Novikova ‘13
For Martin Yeager, Knox was an easy choice. He knew when he began his college search that he wanted a small liberal arts environment after attending a rigorous, liberal arts-based high school.
"At the time I was choosing colleges, I still didn't know exactly what I wanted my major to be, but ... Knox seemed like the best place to pursue anything social science-related," he says.
Yeager remembers the day he was accepted to Knox. It was the last day of midterms at his high school and his friends were coming over to his house after taking their exams at school.
"It was the last possible day that the acceptance could have come ... My mom had the manila folder, and when I saw that ‘You Are Knox' I was just so happy. Knox was my first choice."
To Yeager, liberal arts means learning how to communicate with the world about any topic, current issue, or academic subject. He values being comfortable in communicating in many academic "languages," a skill he is using in an Honors project in his two majors: History and International Relations.
Yeager's year-long Honors studies include U.S. diplomatic relations with dictators in the Middle East, from the beginning of U.S. involvement after World War II and continuing through the present day. He sees his project as a prologue to the Arab Spring. The revolts and revolutions in the Middle East and Northern Africa peaked his interest in the subject. He's also examining the prelude to the revolutions to view the events as a historian.
"All of this is still unfolding in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, even Iraq, which came through a clearly different process but is also struggling with democratization, civil unrest, and a contest for representation among minorities."
Yeager felt well prepared to embark on an Honors project based on coursework in both his majors. History courses taught him how to research and write papers, while International Relations gave him a firm foundation in the dynamics and institutions of diplomatic relationships.
Yeager also took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in Denmark, where he focused on European society and politics. His program included field trips to northern Germany, the Hague, and Brussels and visits to the International Criminal Court, European Union parliament, and a room of the European Council.
Outside of the classroom, Yeager has been involved with Model UN and will be representing Nepal alongside other Knox students at the Harvard National Model United Nations conference. He also plays right back/right defender for the men's soccer team and works as a writing tutor for the Center for Teaching and Learning.
After graduation, he hopes to take at least a year off before seeking a graduate degree, ideally in an internship with the U.S. Department of State or a non-governmental or inter-governmental organization, such as the United Nations.
"We live in a global world so there are millions of people who deal with relations between countries -- economically, diplomatically, militarily," Yeager says. "I want to get a handle on what exactly that world looks like, and how do I enter it and find a place in it?"
Read more about Yeager's Honors project in The Knox Student.