With a double major in political science and international studies, it’s clear that Victor Parker ’11 (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) is determined to become a world citizen. But add in his French minor, study of Afrikaans, and two internships in South Africa and his global curiosity becomes even more apparent.
Parker credits his first-year seminar course, “Introduction to International Human Rights,” with broadening his perspective beyond Europe. After 13 years of bilingual French education, “French will always be part of my life,” says Parker, “but my international political framing used to be strictly Eurocentric. That class—especially a unit on the Rwandan genocide—and Macalester’s global nature were influential in pushing me toward African studies.”
Parker wove his experiences into both of his capstone projects, which focused on ethno-cultural genocide.
Because Parker wanted travel experiences to reinforce his coursework, he took on a summer internship in South Africa with the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities, where he helped lead an autobiographical filmmaking workshop. The following summer he interned at the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s key opposition political party, where he studied legislation on political party fundraising, presented a fundraising plan, and spent time with donors at a congressional conference.
As his time abroad accumulated, Parker became more independent, eventually living on his own in South Africa. He also became more comfortable working in French and Afrikaans in both internships. His summers weren’t all work, however: Parker counts being in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup as a major highlight of his stay.
Parker also spent a semester attending the University of Capetown. There, he collected so many books that he had to buy an additional suitcase to haul them all home. Back on the Macalester campus, he wove his experiences into both of his capstone projects, which focused on ethno-cultural genocide.
After he graduates in May, Parker plans to attend law school—true to form—abroad.