Political Science (International Relations)
Mia Baxley, from Pembroke, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2018 with a degree in political science with a concentration in international relations. Since the first semester of her freshman year Mia has maintained a high grade point average that earned her a spot on the Chancellor's List every semester. This makes her extremely proud and shows that all of her hard work payed off. The summer after her sophomore year Mia lived in China working as an English teacher at a pre-K and elementary training school. One of her biggest accomplishments was traveling to conference with the Model United Nations team and winning several academic awards over the past few years. Mia had the opportunity to represent the Model UN team as the head delegate three times and all three times her delegation won awards at conference. As a member of the honors college Mia had the opportunity to take honors classes that she wouldn’t otherwise have been able to take: “I enjoyed being able to take classes with other honors students and having the experience to participate in student-led lectures during these classes. I was excited because I had the opportunity to take classes that I was interested in, one of my favorites being The Humanistic Tradition I with Dr. Robert Brown.”
For Mia’s senior project she researched how the international policies of the Cold War influenced contemporary relations between the United States and China. She explained that for the first 20 years of the Cold War China was the enemy because it was a communist state. When the 1970s rolled around the United States played a major role in separating China from the Soviet Union, and since then China has moved closer to the U.S., which has resulted in strengthened relations between U.S. and China. Mia also writes about how the new presence in the White House is causing strain on this relationship due to the strict policies that the presidential office has been implementing.
Mia was one of five students who were nominated for the 2017-2018 Outstanding Senior Award. After graduation Mia moved to High Point, North Carolina and applied for the prestigious Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University. If all goes well, she will spend one year in Beijing, China pursuing a Master’s degree in Global Affairs. Her advice to honors students is to find a balance between studying and taking personal time: “It can be challenging sometimes being an honors student and being involved on campus, but it is important to find a break so that it can still be enjoyable.” Mia’s greatest memory during her time here was participating in the 2017 Miss UNCP pageant: "Walking onto the stage in the spotlight and hearing everyone cheering for me was so fun and made me feel like a star. I loved getting dressed up and stepping out of my comfort zone for the evening.” She enjoyed having the experience of learning a dance routine and performing in front of the large crowd in Givens Preforming Arts Center.
Thesis: The Influence of Cold War-Era Politics on Modern-Day US-China Foreign Policymaking
Faculty Mentor: Kirill Bumin