Victoria Watson

Victoria Watson

Project title:  International Security and Strategic Peacebuilding

Project description:  My project is concentrated around addressing the place where human rights and security are most in danger – war – and articulating what people and communities need to recover and thrive after an armed conflict. In post conflict situations, state-, nation-, and peacebuilding are necessary in preventing the resumption of fighting and loss of life, building trustworthy and secure institutions, enforcing rule of law, facilitating state-citizen cooperation, and empowering factions to reconcile. To address the multifaceted and complex obstacles to recovery in post conflict situations, I will be studying the strategies and conditions necessary for communities to rebuild after a major conflict while considering social, ethnocultural, geographical, and historical contexts as well as institutional involvement. 

Most important accomplishment:  Thus far, my most important accomplishment was attending the 2016 high-level United Nations meeting “Solutions to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for Children” to see work I had contributed to presented in front of various Missions to the UN, news anchors, actors, corporate and civil leaders, and champions of children’s rights. I had spent that summer working at the World Childhood Foundation USA, where I assisted in the development of a child abuse-prevention application alongside various NGOs and H.R.H. Princess Madeleine of Sweden. My experiences both during the summer and at the meeting have continued to inspire me to affect positive change in the world, to advocate for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to learn all I can strategies to empower others. 

Reflections on the College Scholar Program:  The College Scholar Program has fundamentally changed my experience as a Cornell student. With my own, self-designed program, I feel empowered to forge an academic pathway that speaks to my interests with unwavering support not only from the faculty involved in the program, but also from my peers, whose diverse aspirations, determined search for answers to complex problems, and willingness to provide new perspectives for my own project continues to inspire me. While I am able to incorporate different histories, narratives, questions, and challenges into dialogue with one another in ways I never thought possible, I am most grateful for the remarkable network the College Scholar Program has allowed me to be a part of.