2018 Awardee: Julia Kellerbauer ’18
Each year, the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives bestows the Global Engagement Award upon a student who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to raising awareness of critical global issues across campus and beyond. The 2018 award recipient is Julia Kellerbauer ’18, a double major in economics and international relations and a native of Germany.
Kellerbauer has a passionate interest in international affairs, ranging from Russia’s foreign policy in Syria to post-conflict peace building in Mali. This passion has motivated her to open venues for engaged discussions, at Mount Holyoke and abroad, on important international issues of our time.
In the fall of 2016, in the aftermath of Brexit, a Trump victory and the large refugee flows into Europe, Kellerbauer organized a highly successful panel with faculty from the Five Colleges and elsewhere. It was entitled “Voices from Europe: The Rise of the Right and the Aftermath of U.S. Elections.”
While studying at the Moscow Institute of International Relations in the spring of 2017, Kellerbauer was selected to participate in a week-long conference in the Arctic sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development. Student teams were asked to generate proposals for expanding trade opportunities in the Arctic. While many teams focused on oil and gas extraction, Kellerbauer and her teammate’s award-winning proposal was to recycle old windmills from Vladivostok to generate clean energy.
Upon returning to Mount Holyoke her senior year, Kellerbauer made her most lasting contribution to global engagement on campus: She took the lead in establishing the International Affairs Association, an organization for politics and IR majors and students interested in the study and practice of global politics. Due to Kellerbauer’s hard work, perseverance and close collaboration with other students, the International Affairs Association has grown into a vibrant student organization that regularly coordinates discussions on current events with outside speakers, alumnae and faculty.
Kellerbauer’s ability and willingness to listen, engage and reach across cultural borders — along with her passion for global justice and her inspirational leadership — make her a most worthy recipient of the Global Engagement Award. Congratulations!