Camille Curtis Martinez '89
1986 seems like such a long time ago to me, but I know everyday how much the decision to start the International Affairs (IA) Dual Major has impacted my life.
In those days, French was my intended second language and I completed a semester abroad in Paris to improve my language and intercultural skills. While that was an amazing experience, the North-South relations class that I took at UNH to fill a requirement for my IA major may have influenced me more profoundly. After graduating from UNH, I decided to travel to Guatemala to learn Spanish and ended up volunteering at several community non-governmental organizations in Guatemala and El Salvador. When I returned, I decided to earn a Master’s degree in Anthropology at Northeastern University in Boston. That is also where I met my husband who is from Puerto Rico.
Today, I live in Puerto Rico and Spanish is my second language (which was very easy to learn because of my previous French training.) I am the communications coordinator for Sea Grant which is a university-based program throughout the US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands that teaches about the importance of understanding and protecting the ocean. IA helped me to realize that we must understand the historical, economic, political and environmental relations that the US has with other nations and how those impact people’s daily lives; it also taught me about cultural sensitivity. These disciplines are also needed when thinking about how to protect the oceans, because it is a complex undertaking. That is the beauty of IA—it encourages interdisciplinary thinking.