Initial Introductions: Alaina Cline

Published June 09, 2024

Introducing Alaina Cline who joined the Woolf Institute in June as a Summer Intern.

Can you tell us something about yourself and your background? Where you grew up, and where you live and study in the US?

I am from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, a small town in westernmost part of the state. I am about to begin my fourth and final year at the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio, where I am a dual major in political science and religious studies. I originally entered university with a strong interest in U.S. politics. As I have learned more about my field, I realized that peace and conflict studies is what I am passionate about, so I added a second major in religious studies to help me to understand the role of religion in political behavior, peace and reconciliation, and the exacerbation of violent conflict.

What are you doing in Cambridge while you’re here? What are your impressions of the place and the people you’ve met?

So far, I have been in Cambridge for a week. I have had the opportunity to explore some of the neighborhoods and restaurants in the city. Cambridge is magical; the architecture, colleges, and religious sites look as though they have been pulled straight from a fairytale. I hope that during my stay I can experience Cambridge’s culture for all it has to offer. I am looking forward to exploring the university further and attending cultural events, lectures from scholars and authors, museums, and places of worship.

What would you like to gain from this time in Cambridge? How do you think it might change your perspective or ambitions?

I am hoping to gain clarity and knowledge while at the Woolf Institute. As I approach my final year at the College of Wooster, I am seeking insights about what a future career or academic path could hold for me. I am interested in pursuing interfaith peacebuilding work, and I love working and learning in an academic environment. While I am not sure exactly what my next steps are, my ambition is to obtain my PhD. I desire further education to learn more about the subject that I am passionate about, ask complex questions about human behavior, and research complicated and evolving phenomena. I hope that my time at the Woolf Institute clarifies my next steps, introduces me to new ideas and research paths, and broadens my perspective ad worldview.

If you could sum up your impression of Cambridge and the Woolf Institute, what would you say?

The Woolf Institute is a welcoming environment. Everyone has been kind and eager to help me become acclimated to the Institute. I was impressed that, even on my first day, I was given the opportunity to fully participate and learn. From the get-go, I was invited to join meetings related to outreach, education, and development. I had the opportunity to speak with several team members about my role and projects that I could take on. I believe that the Woolf Institute will be a remarkable opportunity for me as an intern to learn and grow professionally, academically, and personally.

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