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UC Berkeley


Rebecca Olson - International Relations

After graduating in Spring 2015, Rebecca is planning to pursue a Masters Degree in Europe in International Relations. Originally from West Virginia, she managed an environmental film festival before moving to California, where she managed an inn full-time and took community college classes before transferring to Cal. While at Cal, she continued to work as an inn manager while pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a research focus of Feminist Perspectives in International Relations. This focus has allowed her to explore relations between nations and the effects of domestic and international policies on women and marginalized groups. Rebecca hopes to understand how people may cooperate and innovate across cultures to support social justice.
Rebecca has an interest in Italian language and culture, and in Spring 2014 she studied abroad in Rome, Italy where she also volunteered at a refugee center and spent the summer interning in the Communications and Publications branch of the Forestry Department at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In fall 2014, Rebecca interned with the non-profit Womens Earth Alliance in Berkeley where she created an in-depth report on the effects of tar sands oil extraction on Indigenous women in Canada. Also in 2014, Rebecca earned a certificate in Caring Economics Leadership from the Center for Partnership Studies, following a course of study on the socio-economic benefits of sustainable economic policies. In early 2015, Rebecca began interning with the Global Philanthropy Forum of the World Affairs Council of Northern California, helping the organization prepare for its annual African Philanthropy Forum in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference brings social investors and donors together to enhance their strategic giving.
Rebeccas thesis The Propaganda Model and Media Depictions of Childhood Poverty in the Digital Era examined representations of child poverty in online media popular with young people in the U.S. and the U.K. Using the lens of Herman and Chomskys Propaganda Model theory, Rebecca found a correlation between media outlet ownership and ideology and depictions of child poverty in the U.S. and the U.K. Her findings have important implications, since those who intake contemporary media may be swayed to view child poverty its causes and possible solutions from a perspective that has been shaped by societys elites.
Rebecca is a recipient of the Italian Cultural Foundation Academic Scholarship and the Greenlee Award for Excellence in Womens Studies. She is also Phi Beta Kappa scholar.

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