The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Ben Weiss

Ben Weiss
Major: 
Humanities, History, Government
BDP Certificate: 
Human Rights & Social Justice
Graduation: 
Spring 2013

I am a doctoral student in the Department of History at UT. My work focuses on African history.

Location: Austin, TX

“…I am integrating methods from public health, history, political science, social work, African studies, and numerous other disciplines. The BDPs helped me to fluidly integrate these perspectives.”

Discuss your general career path since graduating from UT.

Following graduation, I began graduate school at UT to further prepare myself for a career in foreign policy consulting.

How did your BDP experience influence your career path and interests?

Because current training for my career path revolves around expanded intellectual and research capacities, the benefits of my participation in the Human Rights & Social Justice BDP are primarily academic in nature. For me, the classes and internships helped me bridge the gap between the human rights ideas popular among youth in my generation, and the staunch criticisms of liberalism that come out of segments of the academy. Because of my BDP experience, I am better able to understand this dialogue and its influence on my own research.

In what ways did an interdisciplinary education prepare you for what you are currently doing?

My current project aims to understand HIV/AIDS through a historical lens of previous colonial and post-colonial relief operations in sub-Saharan Africa. In building a well-rounded approach to this endeavor, I am integrating methods from public health, history, political science, social work, African studies, and numerous other disciplines. The BDPs helped me to fluidly integrate these perspectives.