Sonya Googins

Sonya Googins (she/her) is a senior majoring in International Relations and minoring in Human Biology.  She is specializing in International History & Culture and Social Development & Human Well-Being. She spoke with us about her favorite IR class, studying abroad, and more! 

What is your favorite IR class so far and why?

My favorite IR class so far has been Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and International Criminal Tribunals taught by Professor David Cohen. As someone interested in international cooperation, law, and human rights, this class was an incredible opportunity to take a deep dive into different case studies of transitional justice measures where all of my passions intersect. I really appreciated Professor Cohens extensive experience, his willingness to share it with us, and his dedication to stoking our imagination in how future versions of this incredibly important work could improve. 

Can you tell us a bit about your BOSP study abroad experience?

Last winter quarter, I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in the BOSP Florence program! It was truly the experience of a lifetime. The Florentine steaks, after-school walks through the Uffizi, picnics at the Boboli Gardens and never-ending opportunities to have new and exciting experiences was a welcome change of pace from the traditional Stanford routine. What's more, studying in Florence made me even more excited and determined to move and work abroad post-grad.

Are there co-curricular Stanford activities you would recommend for IR majors?

One of the greatest opportunities I took part in was working as a hotline volunteer at Freedom for Immigrants for their National Immigration Detention Hotline. As a hotline volunteer, I assisted immigrants in detention access resources and family members and report human rights abuses. I was able to become a volunteer through taking SPANLANG108SL, the Spanish service-learning course on migration, asylum, and human rights taught by Vivian Brates. I would highly recommend taking part in this course and volunteer opportunity if you are a Spanish speaker and have any interest in human rights and nonprofit work.