Student Stories

Thomas Alvarez ’16

  • International Studies and Spanish double major
  • Regional Focus: Latin America

“The International Studies major is what drove me to choose Allegheny. Prior to Allegheny, I knew I was interested in studying something pertaining to the international realm, but that was about it. I was drawn to the interdisciplinary aspect of the International Studies major, a combination of four core departments: Political Science, History, Economics, and Foreign Language. I also found that other departments could fit into the INTST degree, such as Global Health, Religious Studies, and even some Art and Dance courses. Once you choose your region of focus, there are so many tracks and focuses you can take, and this is why I love the major.”

Thomas’s activities & achievements include:

  • Unión Latinx
  • International Club
  • Resident Advisor – Max Kade International Houses
  • President, Phi Sigma Iota foreign language honor society
  • Published field notes in American Anthropological Association online journal from research  with Allegheny faculty in Jalisco, Mexico
  • Study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Angie Sporrer ’18

  • International Studies and French double major
  • Minor in Computer Science
“The International Studies Department at Allegheny is unique because students are able to pursue their passions and interests with their peers as well as their professors who provide a great amount of guidance, support, and inspiration along the way.  When you walk into a classroom at Allegheny, you are inherently challenged to discuss, to open your mind, to see from another’s perspective, and to engage with your classmates actively.  I have never attended a class at Allegheny and sat through a lecture.  Instead, I was expected by my professors and peers alike to come ready as the subject matter expert of what we were going to discuss during that day and engage my critical thinking skills to speak in detail and eloquently and to be able to defend my position or utilize outside sources to further engage the material.


My most memorable experience at Allegheny was writing my Senior Composition (the comp)!  Being able to explore in great detail a topic that interests you spurred by your time abroad, a classroom discussion, or a longtime passion is one of the most unique experiences to Allegheny.  Not only does it create camaraderie within the Senior Class, but it also allows you to see the progress you’ve made as a scholar, writer, thinker, and speaker over the past 3 years.  I enjoyed the research, engaging with my professors for long hours and bouncing ideas off of them, and hearing about my friends’ passions through their own comps.  It was an experience I will never forget and I will always be extremely proud of writing that paper.”

Angie’s activities & achievements include:

  • Magna cum laude
  • Phi Sigma Iota foreign language honor society
  • Lambda Sigma sophomore honor society
  • International Studies Faculty Prize
  • The Harald Robert Sauer Prize in Modern and Classical Languages
  • Member of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity