Building a Career Shaped by Geography

Kiana Lussier '13 standing in a city office in Sydney, Australia

Kiana Lussier '13, Coordinator

Major: international relations, with a geography minor

Internship: Sendero Pacifico in San Luis, Costa Rica

Study Abroad: Global-Local Challenges to Sustainability, Monteverde Institute

Advanced Degrees: in progress Masters in Law and International Development, University of Sydney

Employer: New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties

Geography instructs my life beyond the gates of Mount Holyoke. I am grateful for the firm intellectual foundation that the Geography Department offered and the many practical ways I use the discipline to map my own future. I live, work and study in Sydney, Australia, pursuing a career representing the needs of displaced persons. I became enthralled by human migration in Professor Houston’s class, ‘Global Movements: Migrations, Refugees, Diasporas’.

The concepts and considerations of studying migration led to a position with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in New York City. I performed general office administration, documented client intake and translated work experience into written résumés. Our office was the first point of contact in the United States for individuals and families resettling in New York. The IRC presented practical experience in aiding others to reestablish their lives in a new place.

Geography informs my worldview, encouraging travel and reestablishment of my own life in a new place. I am currently studying the legal aspects of migration through a Masters in Law and International Development at the University of Sydney. By learning the details of refugee law and environmental law, I am gaining exposure to the growing evidence where these policies interact and intersect.

Complimentary to my studies, I work as the Coordinator for the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (NSW CCL). At the NSW CCL, I work with experienced lawyers who maintain the critical relevance of law in defending human rights. It is exhilarating to feel passionate about your field of work and study! I have MHC Geography to thank for putting my career path in motion.

Read about Kiana's internship and study abroad experiences