Soon to dive into obtaining his master’s degree, Harrison Fuller is currently finishing up a double major in Applied Philosophy and Political Science, with a concentration in International Relations, and a minor in French.
Like many students, who share Fuller’s sentiments in choosing Whittier College, he ended up here because the small class sizes and close-knit community were highly appealing. “Without this aspect, I wouldn’t have been able to become close with my professors in the same way, nor would I have the same opportunities presented to me,” said Fuller.
He also admires the location of the College. Being from Las Vegas, he was very used to looking at desert-like landscapes, as opposed to the lush beauty of WC’s campus and surrounding area. “The change of scenery was essential for my happiness while at school,” Fuller said.
During his time at Whittier College, Fuller has had the opportunity to pursue his career in international development in a variety of ways. He worked with the Center for Engagement with Communities and researched in Tanzania through the Brethren Community Foundation Fellowship — and these are just a couple of the opportunities he has had over the years. “I’ve been able to work hand-in-hand with different communities on projects [that] help them to better attain their personal goals,” said Fuller.
Through all of his hard work, his family — mother, father, and grandmother — were all there to support him. His partner of eight years, fourth-year Gabrielle Rodriguez, has also been a wonderful source of support. Fuller also named some professors that have guided him through the trials and tribulations of a college career: Professor Emerita of Political Science Joyce Kaufman, Professor of Philosophy Paul Kjellberg, Professor of Political Science Mike McBride, and Professor of French Andrew Wallis. “Each of them have given me invaluable guidance and resources that have helped me to navigate through my undergrad to where I am today,” said Fuller.
Unfortunately, Fuller’s interactions with professors were not always smooth and comfortable. In his first year at the college, he had a professor that he disagreed with, who would grade his assignments with a very clear element of bias. He recognizes that there was not much he could have done about this, given his position as a student, and theirs as a professor. This taught him to choose his professional battles very carefully.
Unfortunate negatives aside, Fuller has a great wealth of opportunity ahead of him. He was recently selected as a Payne International Development Fellow. This means that, following graduation, he will pursue a Master’s Degree related to international development and public administration. Shortly after this, he will begin his career with the U.S. Agency for International Development. At USAID, he will be a Foreign Service Officer in the area of economic growth, fingers crossed.
As for where he will obtain his master’s degree, he received his acceptance package from Princeton just over a week ago, and he is extremely likely to go there because the scholarship package is incredible. His secondary choices are between John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. He has also been accepted into Yale, New York University, American University, and Tufts.
To current Whittier College students, Fuller advises taking advantage of every opportunity possible at WC. “Each and every professor is rooting for every student’s success, and will make sure they get the opportunities that best fit them. There are not many institutions that offer perks like the Global Poets Scholarship, or the opportunity to design your own major through the Whittier Scholars Program,” said Fuller. He feels very fortunate to have attended Whittier College, and he wants fellow students to have the same chances as him — experiencing a high-quality education and nurturing learning environment in its full capacity.