Eagles in the Spotlight

Josie W. '14

Since graduating from ISZL, Josie W. '14 has been studying at Tufts University in Boston to double major in Environmental Studies and Political Science with a minor in Economics. The many brilliant and passionate people she has connected with at Tufts has fostered a passion she first started developing in Switzerland - a passion for environmental systems and an ideal vision of how the natural environment can be organized and cared for by a society that is conscious of it. The high quality, locally based food system in Switzerland, which is managed well within ecological boundaries, also inspired her. But studying at Tufts isn’t the only thing Josie has been up to…

In Summer 2016, Josie took an in depth dive into international relations for her Political Science major by studying abroad with Boston University in Geneva. She took a course called Global Governance, Economic Development and Human Rights that examined contemporary global governance structures and efforts with a particular focus on methods of achieving economic development that is environmentally sound and socially inclusive. Part of the course was to take multiple trips the United Nations and the WTO in order to analyze the activities there. At the end of the course, Josie wrote a paper to suggest how the Global Governance system could improve its effectiveness at fostering sustainable development, and also completed a group project by proposing revisions to the current sustainable development goals to make them easier to implement. 

After returning to Tufts in Fall 2016, Josie became interested in the United States center of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), a research organization that performs various studies into how governance processes can become more inclusive and accountable, and how governance outcomes can become more effective and equitable, and is based at Tufts. After meeting a head researcher for the institute at a networking brunch, Josie successfully applied to be a research assistant on his team. The group is studing the role that moral incentives and conceptions of fairness and justice across varying governments have on the implementation of the Sustainable Development goals thus far.

When her studies are complete, it would be Josie’s dream to work for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. A life-long dream she has is to “realize my full potential. I have lots of passions, I love to study philosophy, read my favorite authors, explore different religions, engage with music, and I hope to find a way of life that allows me to continue engaging with all those things.” In a way this is very much related to one of Josie’s favorite quotes: “My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery - always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?” - Virginia Wolf


Memories of ISZL

Josie attended ISZL for three years and was part of the Varsity Volleyball team, Poetry Club, Jazz Band and performed in the Legally Blonde musical. Teachers like Mr Peel for English, Ms Miguens for Spanish, Mr Kandelaars for US History and Mr Lordet for Calculus truly made learning impactful, fascinating and meaningful. Through these experiences and her education, Josie feels she gained “a cross-cultural awareness and love of differing perspectives.” One of the most memorable “cross-cultural” moments was when the Grade 10 went to Greece for a PDW and they all danced at the Greek dinner they had on their last night.

When thinking about life in Switzerland and at ISZL, Josie really misses “how beautiful our surrounding town was and how lovely the way of life was that we enjoyed in Switzerland. I definitely miss times when we had the chance to go to Wengen, or travel anywhere, and enjoy life together.”

We wish Josie well as she continues her interest in environmental studies and encourage her (and other alums) to come visit beautiful Switzerland anytime!

We want to hear from you

Share your story, accomplishments or news by completing the Alumnus/a Interview form or by emailing alumni(at)iszl.ch.

More Spotlights