Student Spotlight: Maria Nunes Dias

Photo Credit: Student Spotlight: Maria Nunes Dias
Mon, 09/11/2023 - 11:52

Major: Global Studies and Political Science
Minor: Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
Hometown: Ilhéus, Brazil

Year: Senior

Favorite book and why?
My favorite book is called O Garoto Quase Atropelado (The boy who was almost run over). This book is from a Brazilian author called Vinicius Grossos and unfortunately has yet to be translated to English. Though for my Portuguese and Spanish speaking friends I super recommend it. I love this book because it talks about the journey of a boy getting out of his comfort zone, finding out the world was tougher than he thought, and learning how to survive it and appreciate it.

Favorite movie and why?
My favorite movie is The Breakfast Club, a classic that deserves to be watched by everyone. I love this movie because it shows that we all have something in common, no matter how different we are we can still find something we share.

Why Global Studies?
I chose to study global studies because I am fascinated by cultures, languages, and the study of humanity from the global all the way to the local. I decided to declare my second major in political science my sophomore year because I realized I really enjoyed the political side of all the things I just listed above. Some people have asked me “why not study international relations?,” and I say that it’s because international relations does not give the scope, the perspective, and the vast interdisciplinary education that global studies provides me. I added my minor in human rights my junior year because I liked to understand the whole scope of the problems I have been studying throughout college. I have studied conflict, conflict resolution, causes of war and peace, a lot of theories, criminal organizations, etc. until I wanted to understand what all of that caused to the “small man.”

Favorite Classes:
To be honest, I loved all my classes so far. Though if I have to list my all-time favorites it would be Women’s Totalitarian Experience (CZEC 388), State Terror (POLS 472), Intercultural and Intergroup Communication (COMM 311), and Transnational Criminal Networks (POLS 377). P.S.: I could choose a lot more, but I’ll go with these for now. I recommend these classes for everyone, not only global studies majors. Most of these classes count as ACE credits and they are very interesting, captivating, and informative (plus the professors are awesome). Although everybody should study global studies, even if just as a minor. I say this because global studies has given me the ability to think critically, work in groups, solve problems, and so much more. It teaches you how to look at things from a different perspective. I’m forever grateful for everything I have learned so far.

Extracurricular Experience:
I chose to do an internship instead of going abroad. Since I’m an international student, my whole college career is a going abroad experience. I did my internship at an immigration law firm here in Lincoln and it was one of the best experiences I have had. I was able to understand and work with immigrations cases of all types. From companies bringing in foreign employees to humanitarian paroles, and everything in between. Besides my internship, I am an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences, I am a peer mentor for the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS), a member of the Rotex (an alumni association of Rotary International), and a part of the Brazilian Student Association. I have also been previously involved with the Rotaract Club as member, the Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLICE) as a Volunteer Ambassador, and with the Explore Center as a Pre-Law Ambassador.

Post-Graduation Plans:
I am close to graduating yet I am still figuring out what it is I really want to do. I have thought about law school, graduate school, applying for jobs. I know I would love to work with the United Nations or the International Criminal Court, but I am not sure that’s what I want to do. Going to graduate school is probably what I am going to do after college. My mom always said getting an education is never too much, and I love studying what I am passionate about. Though, another thing college and an education in liberal arts has taught me is that not knowing what you want to do is okay. I’m young and still have a lot of life ahead of me to figure it out.