After a community service trip to New Orleans his freshman year, Kyle Shong’s view of the world changed dramatically. “I knew then that my life would be devoted to improving the lives of others, no matter their race, economic status, or region of the world,” he said. The remainder of Kyle’s Defiance College experience was filled with international travel and research, including two years as a McMaster Scholar to Belize and multiple Honors Program trips overseas. Kyle said that these experiences instilled community and team building, communication skills, scholarly research and writing, and being able to adapt projects that don’t always go as planned.
McMaster learning communities taught Kyle the value of training, research, and bonding as a group of individuals working toward a common purpose. “It was critical to the success of our projects to professionally prepare before we left and while working on the ground,” he said. “Without our dynamic McMaster Fellows (faculty), our impact would have been drastically different. In the end, we all became united in our passion and mission to improve the lives of the individuals and communities where we served.”
Kyle’s experiences as a McMaster Scholar and Honors Program member helped him find his passion in life. He recently graduated with a master’s degree from the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. By focusing his academic studies on international economics and development, he aspires to become a development specialist in Washington, D.C.