Alan Williams

Alan Williams

Alan Williams

What is your involvement outside of classes?
I’m a member of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in the Fairfax community.  I’ve been involved with plays and their choir.  I also serve as Director of Congressional Affairs with the Shia Rights Watch human rights organization.  The focus of the organization is on protecting the rights of Shia Muslims throughout the world.  I am able to connect with members of Congress to inform them of religious violence around the world.  I work to develop collective action with the United States Government.   

What has been your favorite class at Mason?
I took Government 444: International Law and Organization through the Global Politics Fellowship Program in the fall of 2013.  The class provided a fresh look at international relations.  Many of the theories and problem-solving methods were fascinating.  It was one of the most challenging and rewarding classes during my time at Mason.   

What is the most exciting aspect of this current year?
I am excited to be working for a human rights organization in DC.  I am fortunate that I can learn about the world around me and also be involved in some real-world experiences as a practitioner. 

Tell me about your experience studying abroad.
I spent a month in summer of 2014 in Yemen studying Arabic.  During that time I took a class on the political history of the country.   I also traveled to Egypt and Tunisia that summer.  It was the most amazing experience and now I hope to continue my travels.  I learned an incredible amount of information and developed my Arabic language skills in such a short period of time.  It was important to learn about a country in the Middle East that is not as heavily covered in both the media and academia.  I was able to learn a great deal about the government and current political issues in Yemen.  

What made you decide to learn Arabic?
My high school teachers encouraged me to consider Arabic as a language to study in college.  I originally intended to continue my studies in French.  During my summer orientation experience I decided to try something new and selected Arabic. 

Can you tell me about your internship experience?
During the fall of my junior year I interned in the office of Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro on Capitol Hill.  In the spring semester I interned in Senator Chris Murphy’s office.  I visited DeLauro’s office and expressed my sincere interest in working on Capitol Hill.  My fall semester internship opened the door to the experience with the Senate.  The ability to network with key individuals was crucial to my success in securing internships.   

What would you do with an hour of free time away from classes?
I would take the time to connect with friends.  I would grab a bite to eat and catch up on life. 

What is your favorite movie? 
I really enjoyed the movie Rent.  The musical aspect of the film drew me in as a viewer.  There was a great story focused on enduring friendships.