Alexandra Pemueller ‘22
Slowly But Surely: The Progress of the International Studies Student Association
I remember ISSA's first introductory event during my sophomore fall. As a new international studies major, I was more than excited to learn what this new student organization was about, given that its name -- International Studies Student Association -- fit perfectly with both my academic interests and the fact that I was new within the major and sought guidance in how to navigate it. At the event I met several IS majors who are now both close friends and classmates I can confide in. It wasn't until the end of my sophomore year that e-board applications opened and I was eager to apply to the marketing team, mainly because I did not believe ISSA was getting the attention it deserved.
My experience was not at all what I had imagined, mainly due to the roadblocks the newly established organization faced due to COVID. However, I got a clear understanding of the vision, mission, and goals that ISSA is currently working towards. The sense of community that I felt in ISSA's first event is what I interpret to be the main goal of the organization. In the next five years, I see ISSA expanding its channels of participation in order to enrich that community and make it more inclusive. I wanted to become President in order to push ISSA forward by building a more cohesive team that delivers and shares both internationally-minded curiosities and a desire to be a mentor and leader for others.
When working on building the ISSA website as part of the marketing team, I combed through ISSA’s constitution and other official documents. I consider myself to be very familiar with the mission of the organization as well as the general goals. Being an international student at Boston College, I share some of these aspirations as well. I am very passionate about expanding exposure to international affairs and other current situations that stretch beyond the United States. I know that ISSA has a strong platform to do so and genuinely believe in the potential of the organization. This student organization is an asset within the Boston College community and I want to be part of the process that will lead it toward a place where diverse conversations are held whilst being leaders.
Looking more into the future, I want to pave the path for an established student organization while prioritizing the culture within the e-board and the perception that other students have regarding ISSA. ISSA has growing projects, such as its alumni network, the mentorship program, and the Global Eagle, and I would love to be part of the process to propel them forward. The club is still navigating through ups and downs, especially because it was not designed knowing that virtuality would replace in-person meetings while it was still undergoing big periods of formation and constant transition. Given that last year’s E-board were mostly seniors and that our treasurer is graduating in December, the responsibility of the organization landed on Sam (our current VP) and I. We were intimidated by the task, but I cannot stress enough how proud I am of the work we have accomplished along with our new E-board members. Our group dynamic has been cohesive and engaging, creating a interactive space built to welcome all IS majors and minors.
Alexandra Pemueller ‘22