Student Star: Renée McAlpin

Name: Renée McAlpin
Major: Political Science and International Affairs

“I believe to make a truly permanent and valuable impact on a community, one must have the ability to change a person's ideas, or open their minds, to new perspectives.”

“My goal, since I can remember, has been to travel abroad and gain as much as possible from other cultures. I was allured by the extent to which I could participate in a cultural exchange at Florida State University.” Renée McAlpin, a senior, is a Political Science and International Affairs double major. She spent the summer of 2007 completing a minor in Italian while studying abroad in Florence. “I have always wanted to study abroad and FSU has some of the most extensive International Programs, which sealed the deal for me. FSU has had programs established in other parts of the world for decades.”

Last summer, Renée attended a conference on security and cooperation in Dubrovnik, Croatia where she prepared and delivered an academic presentation on American foreign policy and cooperation regarding the current state of Kosovo. She was fortunate to have been able to exchange ideas with students and faculty at the Inter-University of Croatia.

Renée is enthusiastic about travel and cultural exchange and similarly passionate about humanitarian work. “I fell in love with community service when I participated in Alternative Break Corps through the Center for Leadership and Civic Education.” Last spring break, Renée traveled to Washington D.C. to volunteer with Food & Friends, Inc., an organization that prepares and delivers nutritious meals to people living with HIV/AIDS or other life-threatening diseases. When the group was not preparing or delivering meals, they helped out at a drop-in homeless shelter for men.

Every chance she gets, Renée encourages her peers to get more involved in something they are passionate about. “I believe to make a truly permanent and valuable impact on a community, one must have the ability to change a person’s ideas, or open their minds, to new perspectives. I have the knack to get people involved in activities they may never have considered before.”

Renée graduated last fall and has joined the Peace Corps where she has been nominated to become a secondary English instructor in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa. “My experiences at FSU, doing service and traveling abroad, have strengthened my advocacy for education. My purpose in life will be public service through education.” After returning to school to pursue her doctorate in Political Science, Renée would like to either serve as a college professor or work for an international human rights organization.