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Learning in a City Steeped in History

photo of Brian

Brian Steiner
MA '21
Recipient of the C. Grove Haines Prize

Q: What encouraged you to apply to Johns Hopkins SAIS? 
While I was interning for the US Department of State, one of my supervisors was a Johns Hopkins SAIS alumna. She shared with me her fondest memories from the program, warmly recalling road trips across Europe and the friends she had made while studying for microeconomics midterms. This led to Johns Hopkins SAIS becoming one of my top choices when looking for a graduate school, especially because of its Bologna campus and opportunity to learn alongside such a wealth of talented international students and professors.
Q: What was one of your favorite moments during your first year of graduate study? 
The opportunities to travel provided some of my favorite moments during my first year. From spending a weekend on a Tuscan farmhouse to watching the sunset on the Ligurian Sea, studying in Italy really did give us an amazing chance to see some of the most beautiful spots in Europe. I also felt incredibly lucky to have this international education in a city as steeped in history as Bologna – just walking by medieval castles and churches on the way to class definitely gave me more appreciation for the depth and gravity of the history of the political and economic forces we talked about in class. 
Q: Could you please tell us about the C. Grove Haines Prize, in which you are a recipient? 
The Grover Haines Award is given out every year to recognize the best SAIS Europe student papers in international economics, international policy areas, regions of the world, and Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) thesis. My paper, which looked at the global spread of U.S. military bases, received the international policy prize.
I feel really honored to have been chosen for this award, and I am especially grateful to my professor, who taught the class that inspired the paper and nominated me for the prize, and to my classmate who encouraged me to take the class in the first place.
Q: What do you hope to do with your degree after you graduate? 
I am hoping to leverage the skills and knowledge from my classes in a career in diplomacy and conflict resolution, whether at the State Department or in a conflict-focused NGO like International Crisis Group.

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