James Meason

Class Year

’19

Hometown

Kenosha, Wisconsin

Major(s)

International Political Economy, Political Science

Minor(s)

Economics, Asian Studies

From J-Term study tours abroad and classes like Nuclear Proliferation, to campaigning with politicians and participation in student organizations, James Meason has done it all and is still looking for more.

James originally came to Carthage for its location and welcoming community. After progressing though his majors, James has made lasting connections with his professors, which have greatly improved his academic career. Professors Arthur Cyr and Jeffrey Roberg have specifically aided his studies and personal development. “Every professor that I have had has immensely influenced my education and career.”

As a member of Model United Nations, the Asian Pacific Islander American Coalition of Carthage (APACC), and the Carthage College Republicans, James has traveled to international conferences, learned more about diversity and inclusion, and gained valuable networking skills. “My favorite Carthage moment would have to be the relationships that I have formed through the various clubs and organizations.”

James thanks his departments, professors, and the College in general for the opportunities he has experienced. “I can say that Carthage College has both literally and figuratively shown me the world.”

In the future, James plans to attend graduate school in hopes of working in the state department or with nonprofit groups. He encourages his fellow students to work hard, but not to become overloaded. “Don’t hide away and become distant, stay involved and keep up to date with friends and family. This will take the stress off from the time you spend grinding towards your goals.”

“In the department there are various opportunities to pursue internships in government and politics, and various chances to expand our network for future employment! It allows students to see both sides of important issues, while also teaching us how to defend our positions with well researched and explained ideas.”

James Meason, ’19

Career goal

“After graduation from Carthage, I intend to pursue a Master of Public Policy specifically focusing on East Asia and international policy. Following attainment of my master’s, my dream is to find a position in the state department working overseas and with non profits to advocate for policies that will benefit the Pan Pacific region. This will hopefully set me up for a future in public office, either elected or appointed.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“I would have to say that professors Arthur Cyr and Jeffrey Roberg have had an enormous effect on my education here, though every professor that I have had has immensely influenced my education and career. Prof. Cyr helped me to build my idea for my thesis in the political science and IPE departments. He has also given great insight into different books that enriched my education in East Asian politics and has encouraged me along the way to pursue my career in politics in East Asia.”

“Professor Roberg has also had a hand in this, by being in Model United Nations and having had various courses with him, Prof. Roberg has been of great help in figuring out graduate school and my writing style. His courses have challenged me and his criticism pushed me to be a better and stronger writer and political scientist. In Model UN, Prof. Roberg has encouraged me to exit my shell and grow as a public speaker, and I will always be thankful for all the help he has provided in making me a stronger student and leader.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage would have to be Nuclear Proliferation (POL 3610) with Prof. Roberg. This course pushed me to do my best research. I had various crises while trying to finish the term paper, however, I still succeeded. I saw one of my lowest exam scores but one of my highest term paper scores for Prof. Roberg’s classes. It was the most enriching experience I have had. It showed me how to utilize my crisis management skills, while also showing me that I am able to write not only a term paper with recent sources, but my thesis. The course gave me an immense confidence boost in my ability to complete my career at Carthage.”

Campus involvement

Model United Nations, Asian Pacific Islander American Coalition of Carthage (APACC), and the Carthage College Republicans have made me a stronger member of my department and society and has built me into a better leader.”

“Through Model UN I have participated in conferences around the globe, from Scotland to Tel Aviv and Chicago. I have had the privilege of building my network and expanding my speaking skills through this great organization. I never thought I would be able to participate in so many opportunities, and Model UN has both been fun and educational, creating a better leader and speaker out of me.”

“APACC has encouraged me to be more involved in the Asian American community and has made me more organized and proud of my heritage. It has also informed me of the importance of acceptance and social justice. I think it is immensely important for every student to be involved with a diversity, equity, and inclusion organization to understand the different struggles of different people.”

“Lastly, the Carthage College Republicans has allowed me to network with well known figures on the right, and has shown me different opinions from my own that have encouraged me to think critically about political issues.”

Toughest class

“Again, it will have to be Nuclear Proliferation. It challenged me and gave me various stressful moments throughout. I was able to build myself up after tearing myself down. I saw doubt, crisis, and, in the end, pride. It challenged my thought process about Chinese politics and nuclear weapons, and encouraged me to create a stronger argument in my papers. It expanded my research skills and it increased my confidence in speaking and writing.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“The summer after my first year here at Carthage I was an intern with the Sheri Jesiel campaign in the 61st district of Illinois. This gave me the opportunity to see how campaigns and elections work, allowing me to have an intricate understanding of the process that candidates have to go through. Since the end of that internship I have worked at Amazon as a warehouse associate due to financial hardships.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Carthage has provided me with great opportunities, including three J-Term study tours, multiple presentations, and conferences. Through Carthage, I have been to Taiwan and Singapore, two countries that I absolutely loved and hope to return to soon. The culture and the feeling of belonging that I felt there was unprecedented for me. I have also been to Honduras which was one of the most enriching experiences I have had as far as environmental activism is concerned. In January of 2019, the Paris J-Term study tour will prove to be a sincere cap to my expansionary education. Presentations from various departments have shown me different stories and different issues, from Spain and Catalonia to the inspiration of thesis presentations. Carthage provides an in depth and comprehensive education that can produce a successful future graduate.”

Scholarships

“I have received the Political Science Department’s Olson-Thom Scholarship, which has helped me to achieve my goal of graduating from Carthage. Receiving this scholarship helps me to know that my department is dedicated to our future success, and it exemplifies that hard work can result in unexpected assistance.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite Carthage moment would have to be the relationships that I have formed through the various clubs and organizations. The most memorable moment for me would have to be my trip to Israel. I saw the gorgeous country and was able to spend quality time with Model UN, which is an adoptive family to myself and many others.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus would have to be the area in front of Clausen. Sitting there, listening to the waves from the lake on the other side of the building and watching the birds as they scour the trees is relaxing and peaceful. It allows me to take a breath of fresh air and collect my thoughts. It really helps to deal with the stress of classes.”

Biggest surprise so far

“My biggest surprise thus far has been the immense opportunities and connections I have made throughout my time here. I have met some of the best friends I will ever have through clubs, organizations and just socializing in classes. My network has expanded and I never thought that I would ever be able to afford the amount of travel that I did while here at Carthage. I can say that Carthage College has both literally and figuratively shown me the world.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self probably did not see myself going down this route. During that time in my life, I am not sure if my 8-year-old self saw very far into the future at all, due to a traumatic event that I had experienced. Out of personal preference, I would like to avoid that time in my life. However, my 14-year-old self did not see this coming, at 14 I had been dreaming of joining the United States Army after high school, and because of some calling that I felt in my senior year, I decided to change career paths. That decision is probably the best one I have made in my entire life.”

“Early in my life, I never knew where I was going and how I would get there, as my father and mother were both out of the picture. As an independent student, my experience may be unique, but it shows that anyone can achieve a college education. Careers change, opinions change, and goals change, the best thing to ever happen to me was when all three of those changed for me in high school. Embracing change has made me into the man that I am today.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Some advice for future students would be to study hard, I know it is a cliche but it is true. Spend time on the readings, become intimate with the Brainard Writing Center because it will be your best friend. Never turn down an opportunity to seek help or guidance from a professor, they are welcoming and can provide the best solutions to complex problems. But most of all, don’t hide away and become distant, stay involved and keep up to date with friends and family. This will take the stress off from the time you spend grinding towards your goals, it lets you breathe a sigh of relief.”

“Political science is extremely important to understanding how systems of government function. It also provides us the opportunity to expand our knowledge on various global and domestic issues, while explaining the history behind those issues in a comprehensive way. In the department there are various opportunities to pursue internships in government and politics, and various chances to expand our network for future employment! It allows students to see both sides of important issues, while also teaching us how to defend our positions with well researched and explained ideas. International political economy expands upon this by introducing economics and business into that mixture, allowing a deeper understanding of how the overarching system that we live in works. It explains the various cogs and influences of policies in politics, economics, and business cycles that can work to elaborate on why certain programs may or may not be feasible. Working in both of these majors will make a student more informed and prepared for their future, regardless of intended career path.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose to attend Carthage due to its proximity to home, cost, and emphasis on student life. Despite receiving a near full ride to Ripon College and UW Stevens Point, Carthage provided a stronger academic set in my chosen majors and more opportunities for me to enrich my education outside of the classroom. Carthage’s prime location, beautiful campus, and welcoming environment ultimately encouraged me to do better in school and become more involved on campus, despite being a commuter.”