When some students come to college for the first time, their passions are yet-to-be-determined. But for other students, their desires and interests are formed before they set foot on campus. For freshman public policy major Alon Sherman, a love of public policy started with the Model United Nations in high school.
“My sophomore year of high school, one of my best friends introduced me to Model United Nations, and the rest was history,” Sherman says. “Model United Nations allowed me to combine my passion for making the world a better, safer, happier place, with the preliminary tools to research, analyze and create effective policies. The high school Model United Nations circuit broke ground for me to combine my passions with a career, and I can only hope to further that passion as a college student and beyond.”
While at SPP, Sherman plans to focus on international economic and social policy, in the fields of sustainability, labor relations and protecting indigenous populations. “As a descendent of both Jewish Partisans and Holocaust victims, part of my understanding my heritage means fighting injustice wherever I see it,” he says.
Sherman adds that deciding to major in public policy at UMD will allow him to learn and grow in a substantial way. “Public policy offered me the opportunity to analyze, create and enact policy at a local, national and international level,” he says. “SPP offered a strong culture of both learning and action, which appealed to my passion for both learning and action. SPP offered everything in policy I was looking for, all in one convenient major, and it’s why I chose Maryland above all my other options.”
In addition to the variety of policy topics available to study at SPP, Sherman says he’s also enjoying being at school close to Washington, DC. “Politics is never more than a quick trip away,” he says. “At UMD, I have to find reasons not to go to the myriad of political events, policy discussions, rallies, marches and advocacy opportunities. And there’s always people interested in experiencing the nation’s capital, for politics, fun and good eats.”
When he’s not studying or going to class, Sherman says he enjoys taking part in some of the clubs available on campus. “Usually I work out, engage in politics, listen to guest speakers, work on pieces for the Mitzpeh, UMD’s Jewish newspaper, and go to Hillel. I’m looking into doing Model UN and Mock Trial. I also plan to play for a UMD club rugby team and join a social fraternity, along with KOA, the public policy fraternity, this spring.”
“I hope to make a career in public policy in foreign service, working to solve the crises of labor leader assassinations and the murders of indigenous logging protesters, many or which go unpunished, and more simply uninvestigated,” Sherman says. “I’m also considering a career in international human rights law and international social-economic policy. I plan on spending my summers and breaks abroad, working on public policy work on the ground, and in policy workshops and conferences, learning from policy leaders and higher education leaders in public policy.”
Sherman adds, “Public policy is at the center for determining the future we find ourselves in, and as young people, we can set the stage for the world we want to inherit and, more importantly, want to leave for our future generations.”