In Their Words: Shannon Nichols

shannon-nichols-deans.jpgName: Shannon Nichols

College: Nine

Department: Politics

What Award/Scholarship did you receive? Chancellor's Award and the Deans’ Undergraduate Award in the Division of Social Sciences.

What year do you expect to graduate? Spring 2019

Where do you call home? Southern California

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out? I came during the spring of my senior year to visit before I made my choice and coincidentally, I came during spring break at UCSC. I was walking around science hill on a beautiful sunny day and there was a light breeze through the redwoods. It gave me such a serene feeling that made me fall in love with UCSC. Afterwards, I just had a great feeling about coming here. Additionally, at the time I was interested in pursuing biology and UCSC’s involvement with the Human Genome Project caught my eye.

What is your field of focus? I tend to focus on conflict and peace in the Middle East with a special emphasis on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz? After graduation, I have accepted a spot in a master’s degree program studying Peace, Mediation, and Conflict Research at Tampere University in Tampere, Finland.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here? My most memorable time would more accurately be a collection of times. I met my group of friends the first week of my freshman year and have spent the rest of my time here with them – living together, going to the movies, birthdays, nights out, long nights of studying. Every moment with them has made my time at UCSC as enjoyable as possible, so I would have to say all those little moments wrapped into one.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz? My one piece of advice to incoming students would be to remember to give yourself breaks and to enjoy your time here. Four years seems like such a long time until you’re staring down graduation. Remember to take breaks amongst all that studying, to enjoy the beautiful campus you get to call home, and to cherish the small moments with your friends.

How will this scholarship impact your academic life/research? This scholarship feels very validating for all the hard work and time I have put into strengthening my research and writing abilities as well as the specific work I put into this paper. As someone who started my undergraduate career in the physical sciences and decided to pursue politics later in my university career, it is incredibly validating to my sense that I have ideas worthy of contributing to the social science literature. It also boosts my sense that I can successfully complete my future master’s studies. Further, the monetary reward will be set aside to help me fund my stay in Finland which is incredibly helpful to me.

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