This is our first Alumni Spotlight, where we showcase what past members of the Journal are up to now! We are excited to hear about what each member has achieved since leaving the Journal and learn about their contributions to their new environments.
Today we are spotlighting Sophie House, former Editor in Chief of the Journal. Sophie was an editor from her freshman year at NYU in 2009, until her graduation in 2012. As Bryan Zubay, one of our current Editors in Chief, so eloquently put it, “Sophie is a brilliant scholar and a great editor. But even more than that, she is a true friend, and her love for her staff and the Journal shaped our commitment to producing a publication that we could be proud of.”
Check out where Sophie’s relocated to and the headway she’s made in tackling issues of ethical importance:
1) Where are you now? (are you studying, working, traveling etc)
Right now I’m a grad student at the University of Oxford, working on a degree in Comparative Social Policy. My thesis research looks at homelessness and different approaches to the provision of services for “basic needs,” such as public restrooms. Very glamorous! I also have a terrific job as a research assistant on a housing project in the law department here.
2) How has being a part of the Journal of Politics and International Affairs contributed to what you’re doing now?
Being a part of the Journal has definitely made me a better writer and researcher. I’m more sympathetic to the reader! I pay more attention to the clarity of my reasoning and I’m more willing to submit my writing to merciless editing. The ongoing discussions we had at the Journal made me think more expansively. Ultimately that played a big role in my wanting to study in another country and to look at issues across international systems. And, of course, I still do a lot of editing for fun.
3) What’s your fondest memory from your time with the Journal?
Nothing beats a Saturday morning bagels-and-coffee editing session (is probably something that only nerds say!). My fondest memories are of working hard with friends. The friends I made at the Journal had talent and humility in equal measures, because they were interested in editing and it was very behind-the-scenes work. I have really happy memories of spending time with them. Singing “Born to Run” at karaoke with Bryan Zubay was, as far as I’m concerned, my finest hour. (As far as silly stories go, you should know that Devika Balaram always, always requests to sing “Colors of the Wind.”)
4) What are your plans for the future and what do you hope to accomplish?
I plan to go to law school and ultimately want to work as a lawyer on rights-based issues related to homelessness. My goal is to build a good public restroom! I say that jokingly, but it’s true. I think my goal is to make some headway in the provision of services that don’t get much attention but are important for dignity and quality of life, especially for people experiencing homelessness.
Thanks for all your work with us, Sophie, and we are excited for all that lies ahead of you!