Anna McNulty (she/her) is a senior majoring in IR, specializing Environment, Energy, & Natural Resources and International History & Culture. She is also minoring in Digital Humanities. In addition, Anna is serving as an IR peer advisor. She spoke with us about her interest in IR, favorite class, study abroad experience, and more!
What sparked your interest in IR?
When I first arrived at Stanford, I thought I would major in International Relations because of my interests in humanitarian policy and world politics. Then I took Introduction to Earth Systems and Introduction to Art History and considered majoring in Earth Systems or Art History instead. I know, both very different! After looking more into the IR major, I learned I could specialize in Environment, Energy, & Natural Resources and International History & Culture, allowing me to pursue my interests in environmental justice, art, and media studies while also receiving an incredible foundation in the international system and foreign affairs. That’s when I knew IR was the major for me! I love that you can design the IR major to match your unique academic interests and that the core provides a strong foundation to round out your undergraduate experience.
What are your primary academic/research interests?
I’m interested in community climate resilience, just energy transition plans, human rights, art history, and multimedia storytelling.
What is your favorite IR class so far and why?
My favorite IR class so far is INTNLREL 141A: Camera as a Witness: International Human Rights Documentaries. This class revealed to me just how big of a role storytelling plays in motivating change. We watched movies such as Barbara Trent’s Panama Deception, about human rights abuses from U.S. involvement in Panama, and Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s The Devil Came on Horseback about the genocide in Darfur. I learned a great deal throughout this course, and it made me interested in pursuing documentary filmmaking as a potential career.
Can you tell us a bit about a recent internship or study abroad (e.g., BOSP) experience you've had?
I decided to study abroad in Madrid because I wanted to work on my Spanish, and the Spanish-only language pledge was the motivation I needed to improve. I loved living and studying in Madrid – it is an energetic city with some of the best art and parks in the world. The highlight of my time in Madrid was interning at The Circular Project, a sustainable fashion store, where I learned more about the circular economy, made friends with other interns from around the world, and put my Spanish skills into practice.
Are there any extra- or co-curricular Stanford activities or student groups you would recommend for IR majors?
If you’re taking Spanish to fulfill your language requirement, I would recommend Habla – a program where you help teach English to native Spanish-speaking Stanford community members.
What are your future career goals?
In my career, I hope to use film, photography, and investigative reporting to reveal the unique climate challenges facing communities worldwide and to highlight local climate champions at the forefront of transition plans that are not only effective but also prioritize justice for marginalized people.