As a double major in international studies and Middle East studies, Marcus Robinson ’18 is committed to learning all he can to help him build a career fostering greater understanding and cooperation among peoples, nations and cultures. In addition to pursuing a minor in Arabic language, he’s also proficient in Spanish and has a solid background in Greek; he also hopes to learn French and Russian. Below, he discusses why language and cultural study is so important to him, the class that inspired him to change his major and more.
Clubs and organizations:
Track and field (sprints) and Black Student Union.
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.
Forrest Gump and Beasts of No Nation.
I am a huge fan of the Houston Texans (NFL).
On choosing a major:
I initially intended to be a classical studies major, but I have always been very interested in global events, and that interest grew even more at Dickinson, where there’s a focus on the international community. The area of the world that is the most interesting to me has always been the Middle East. By choosing international studies and Middle East studies, I could learn about the dynamics among different cultures and states in the Middle East and how they interact with each other and the rest of the international community.
On choosing Dickinson:
During my senior year of high school, I decided that I wanted to attend a college or university where I could continue to run track as well as pursue a degree in classical studies. Dickinson was a place where I could do both. Even though I first visited Dickinson in January (right after a snow storm), I still fell in love with the campus and the school’s focus and ideals.
Favorite place on campus:
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Chicken ranch wraps.
Proudest accomplishment so far:
Making the Washington, D.C., All-Met team for track during my junior year of high school.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
… Barack Obama.
Intro to International Relations with [Visiting Assistant] Professor [Paul] Musgrave. I took it during the second semester of freshman year. That class really awakened my interest in world events and how different policies and actions can effect change across the globe. Learning about everything from economics to nuclear proliferation really opened my eyes to how complex international studies can be and really drove me to be passionate about the subject.
On being multilingual:
In addition to learning Arabic, I am proficient in Spanish and I took ancient Greek for my freshman and sophomore years of college. I hope to learn French as well as Russian after I graduate. I want to be able to communicate well with as many different groups of people as possible throughout my life!
[Senior Lecturer in Middle East Studies Magda] Siekert. She was my Arabic professor for my first two semesters of the language, and she’s also my advisor for my Arabic minor. She makes class extremely engrossing and is always willing to go out of her way to make sure her students are grasping Arabic. As a former employee of the State Department, she has such a wealth of knowledge regarding the world, and she is always willing to lend an ear.
As a kid, I wanted to be …
… a pilot in the military, a career that a part of me still wants to pursue!
I am really interested in working for the intelligence community after graduation, specifically in the field of counterterrorism. I want to analyze what causes extremism as well as how different terror groups operate. I hope to be able to combat terrorism through understanding and communication. I am also really interested in entrepreneurship. I want to be able to help change the world, and I think embracing different cultures and languages is a crucial step to ending a lot of problems, both domestic and international.
In a perfect world …
… there would be no discrimination and no bias for or against any culture or group of people.
Biggest influence and what they taught me:
My mother and father have taught me to accept everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from, and they have really helped me learn to try and understand others.
Published December 8, 2016