Vir Das, 2018 Commencement speaker and 2002 Knox graduate, has a new Netflix special out today called "Losing...
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Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Major in International Relations, Minors in Psychology and History
Sam Cohen is putting his education toward a good cause, advocating for survivors of torture and for preventative legislation. He discusses his current internship and how his time at Knox inspired and prepared him for this work.
Would you tell us two things to help us get to know you?
My area of focus for international relations is Africa and I enjoy playing video games.
How is your internship going?
My internship experience has been amazing. I have been working with the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition (TASSC) as an intern of their advocacy and outreach department. I have lobbied on Capitol Hill to the aides of multiple congressmen to get them to either sign on to a Senate resolution calling for good governance in Ethiopia, or for congressional representatives to write a letter calling for the head of immigration services to hold off on denying asylum applications from Ethiopia just because of a slight betterment in country conditions. I've also attended policy meetings between multiple Africa-focused nonprofits and NGOs. Currently, I am writing an article about country conditions on torture within Uganda that should hopefully be up on the TASSC website in the next few days.
Why did you choose this internship?
I took the internship because I care about the subject. It was a place where I felt I could get enough experience to understand where my weak points are and where I have to learn more. Of course, my involvement [at Knox] in Student Senate and Model UN also pushed me towards this internship, as it involves meeting with government officials and talking international relations.
Why did you choose Knox?
I chose Knox because it had a good international relations program and because Knox shared many of the same values I have.
What about who you are now would surprise your high school friends?
I'm a lot more social. I wouldn't leave my house besides for school the majority of the year. Now that I've lived with my friends and had people force me out of my comfort zone at school, I've begun rebuilding old friendships that fell to the wayside and am being more social in general. My job has me primarily interacting with survivors and being social. I don't think I'd have these skills without going to college.