Alumna Headed for Diplomacy

Alumna Headed for Diplomacy

Photo courtesy of Megan (Waters) Lynch '08.

by Sharyn Kopf—Cedarville, Ohio

April 6, 2009

Imagine you just graduated from Cedarville University in May 2008 with a bachelor’s in international studies, and you decided to follow it up by pursuing a master’s in politics with a concentration in international relations at New York University. Then imagine you’re offered a 2009 summer internship with the United States Mission to the United Nations (USUN). Not a bad start to your dream career, wouldn’t you say?

Well, that’s exactly what’s happening to Megan (Waters) Lynch ’08. This summer she will work directly with U.S. diplomats. According to the State Department’s website, Lynch will “have firsthand exposure to high-level diplomacy during the UN General Assembly summit and meetings of the UN Security Council …”

It all started last fall when she went through the department’s online application system. In December, the USUN executive office called her for a phone interview.

“I emphasized my involvement with the Cedarville University Model UN Team and my previous internship and study abroad experiences,” Lynch said. “A couple weeks later the USUN called to offer me an internship with the executive office, pending security clearance.”

As a Cedarville student, Lynch not only participated with the forensics (public speaking) team, but she also captained the Model UN team and was an award-winning member. On top of that, she took advantage of study abroad opportunities to Oxford, England, and Nizhnii Novgorod, Russia, and completed two political internships. But Lynch was, above all, a committed student who saw her classes as a chance to expand her knowledge, develop her critical thinking skills, and gain valuable practice in diplomacy.

“Cedarville provided me with plenty of opportunities to develop the skill set I needed for thoughtful involvement in U.S. foreign policy,” she said, “particularly Dr. Jenista’s classes, such as Great Power Diplomacy in the Modern World.”

For his part, Dr. Frank Jenista, professor of international studies, remembers Lynch as a stellar student. “She was not only highly intelligent,” he said, “but also responsible, focused, and always prepared. She proves that when you decide your life direction, focus on those goals, and give 110 percent effort, this is what you can achieve.”

The international studies program at Cedarville University is cross-disciplinary, offering students a broad, flexible, and well-prepared degree for a wide variety of career possibilities. Graduates in this major have gone on to join the Peace Corps, work as intelligence analysts for the U.S. government, or become involved with missions, humanitarian relief, economic development assistance programs, and the military.

Currently, Lynch’s future plans are not definite, but she knows she would like to continue working in international relations, whether with the U.S. government, at a think tank, or even with a non-governmental organization. She also eventually hopes to pursue further graduate studies in political science.

Lynch is married to philosophy graduate Greg Lynch ’06, who is working on his Ph.D. at Fordham University in New York.