Jesse Sanchez

Class of 2018

Hometown: Pico Rivera, Calif.

What is your College Scholar project?
The project I have proposed focuses on the complex interactions between human rights, superpower geopolitics, transnational social movements, historical memory and political violence in the context of Cold War Latin America  and the Soviet Union. Utilizing theoretical frameworks and practical application methods from the Programs and Departments of Peace and Conflict Studies, Government, History, and Comparative Literature, I hope to examine the Latin American Cold War experience through a Soviet lens while defining the nature of interactions between political and social leaders in Latin America with their Soviet counterparts. While I initially came into Cornell unsure of what particular field of history I wanted to pursue, I gradually became aware of my true passions. I took several history courses to refine my interests, HIST 4522 (The Geopolitics of Europe's East), HIST 1960 (Modern Latin America), HIST 2711 (The Politics of Violence), which ultimately allowed me to craft my proposal.     

I have attended the 2016 Latin American Studies Program Annual Conference at Cornell, and the 2016 McNair Scholars National Conference in College Park, Maryland. I also received the Marvin Jack Award for OADI Emerging Scholar-Leader.

What are your most important extra-curricular activities?
During my time at Cornell I have had the pleasure of serving as an editor for the Cornell International Affairs Review and the Cornell Historical Society. These undergraduate journals feature a collection of works concerning international relations and history from students across the globe. As an editor, I read and critique submissions while gaining a deeper understanding of international relations cases both historical and contemporary. This understanding allows me to improve both my writing skills and my critical thinking skills, both of which will be critical to developing my College Scholar project.

Talk about any summer internships or programs you’ve attended?
I have completed internships in Vermont and California relating to environmental conservation and archival Cold War research. Working with UCLA's Professor Marc Trachtenberg, I gained experience working with declassified documents at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda. In addition, I have completed a Russian language emersion program with Cornell University's Department of Russian Language and Literature in Moscow. I will be working with Professor Evangelista on a project involving international human rights law in Ithaca and later doing field work in Mexico City. 

What do you dream of doing after graduation?
As a McNair Scholar I fully intend to pursue a doctorate degree in the field of history upon graduation. I hope to contribute to inspire a growing appreciation for and understanding of history.