Marc Masson '17
High Road Fellowship Program
The summer after my freshman year, ILR offered me a paid fellowship doing policy research with a non-profit. The organization, Open Buffalo, was based out of the ILR Extension Office in Buffalo, NY. I was able to write short policy briefs and a research paper on the New York Power Authority's economic development programs. The program organized tours to different sites around Buffalo and meetings with important stakeholders in the city. The dean of the ILR School even came to visit, and performed in a fundraiser for my organization called ‘Shakespearian Idol’.
I spent the summer with a great group of ILR students who worked in a variety of organizations, from arts foundations to community-focused businesses. The coordinators and people working at the ILR Extension Office were an immensely supportive group of people who guided me through my first real work experience.
Cornell International Affairs Society (Model United Nations Team)
I participated in Model United Nations in high school and wanted to continue this at Cornell. I went to McGill and to Yale for competitions, and then sophomore year, I joined the executive board of the Cornell International Affairs Society. Each year, it hosts the Cornell Model United Nations Conference (CMUNC) for high school students, as well as the collegiate-level Cornell International Affairs Conference (CIAC).
My freshman year, I ran for freshmen representative on Cornell's Student Assembly (SA), but I didn’t win. The next semester, I ran for the ILR representative position and won! I’ve been able to work with so many people committed to making positive changes to campus.
Student government is a center for students like me who aren’t afraid to be vocal and want to make a difference. We do an important job advocating for students; I think that the SA really does improve students’ lives at Cornell. For example, during my freshman year, the SA advocated for an inclusive book policy, which puts all course-required textbooks on reserve at a library to help students who can’t, or prefer not to, buy textbooks. I use it all the time now, and seeing changes like this inspired me to run for a student government position.
Global Service Learning
My orientation leader did Global Service Learning (GSL) programs in both India and Zambia, and he encouraged me to apply. It seemed like a great opportunity, and one that was fully funded by ILR.
Over my junior summer, I worked in Lusaka, Zambia, researching the legal information needs of civil society organizations, unions, and legal practitioners in the country. Through this research program, I’ve been able interview people from the Zambian Ministry of Justice, the Law Association of Zambia, and the German development agency GIZ. The resulting research paper will be published in the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research’s paper series, and it will even be considered for further publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.