Senior Rahaf Safi has been selected to serve as President Michael McRobbie’s fifth presidential intern, serving in the Office of the President for the rest of the academic year.
Safi’s responsibilities will be to work with the Vice President of International Affairs and in the expansion and formation of the new School of Global and International Studies.
She will also work to form connections with international and domestic visitors by sharing her experiences.
Safi said she is excited to work with the office to expand and further develop the SGIS, and looks forward to seeing more opportunities to learn about international affairs.
“You don’t usually think about the Midwest and relate international affairs to it,” Safi said. “For some people, it seems like an odd bridge to bring to the Midwest, but I think an important one.”
Safi is from Plainfield, Ind., and her parents are immigrants from Syria, where several of her family members remain.
She plans to graduate in May 2014 with a Bachelors of Arts in political science and philosophy and a certificate in Political and Civic Engagement.
She was awarded the Truman Scholarship and serves as president and founder of the IU chapter of Oxfam America, an organization which fights global hunger, poverty and injustice.
She also serves on the President’s Board of Aeons, a student research and advisory board which works closely with President McRobbie.
Kelly Kish, deputy chief of staff for the Office of the President, said Safi will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Office.
“I think what makes her stand out is the range of her experiences and her abilities, and she’s also incredibly charismatic and a great rep of Indiana University,” Kish said.
Kish said she believes Safi’s travels, which include spending several years of her childhood living in Malaysia and working and studying abroad in Dakar, Senegal, inspires her involvement in the formation of the SGIS.
“She sort of brought all of her life experiences and her academic experiences together, and in some ways they all surround this international affairs aspect,” she said.
Safi said she hopes students take advantage of the opportunities the new school will present.
“It’s I think an exciting part of this university that students get to be a part of and actually see in the making,” she said.
Follow reporter Holly Hays on Twitter @hv_hays.
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