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Jack Shangraw

Stamps 1693 Scholar


Jack S

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Potomac Falls, VA (Potomac Falls High School)


International Relations with Data Science minor

Why W&M

As I made my way through the somewhat soul-crushing college search process, I realized that most of the schools I was looking at were either huge universities or tiny liberal arts colleges. Both types of schools appealed to me for different reasons, but they also had drawbacks. I didn’t want to end up getting lost in the crowd at a big place or feeling limited at a small place. William & Mary struck the ideal balance by providing the best of both worlds. I could have the small classes and close-knit community of a small college alongside the research opportunities, resources, and vibrancy of a larger university.

William & Mary was the one school I visited where everyone I talked to, students and professors alike, seemed legitimately interested to get to know me as an individual, rather than as just another prospective student. Instead of repeating the same generic, brochure-style material that I had heard on every other college visit, the people I met were eager to discuss not only what William & Mary offered me, but how I could contribute to the college community through opportunities that would allow me to further explore and expand my academic interests. I left the 1693 Finalist Weekend convinced William & Mary had everything I was looking for in my college experience and then some, and upon receiving my offer from the program I immediately cancelled my remaining college visit plans, realizing that, for me, no place else could top William & Mary.

W&M Activities
  • SOMOS - a student-driven group that partners with a marginalized community in the Dominican Republic on sustainable development and health issues. I’ve had the chance to go to the DR three times on research trips, and working with SOMOS has deepened my understanding of participatory research and community development.
  • The Monitor Journal of International Studies - Senior Copy Editor. A student-led publication that publishes student-submitted papers about international politics, economics, culture, and other topics.
  • 2019-2020 Sharp Journalism Seminar - traveled to Roatan, Honduras to report and write a story about the social, economic, and environmental impacts of mass cruise tourism on island communities.
Summer 2019

Conducted a research project with a fellow scholar on the effects of commercialization and state policy on religious practice at four different Buddhist mountains in China.

Spring 2019Jack

I studied abroad in Kathmandu, Nepal in a program focused on development and social change.

Summer 2018

I spent two months in Mongolia, interning with a foundation working on the Gallup World Poll. My role consisted of conducting quality control on completed interviews as well as accompanying interviewers in the countryside on fieldwork. I also went trekking for 10 days in the Altai mountains of Western Mongolia and experienced the midsummer Naadam festival while in the country.