Senior Spotlight: Harrison Fuller 

May 28, 2021

Harrison FullerHarrison Fuller ’21 has a vision. His ultimate professional goal is to make “a positive, global impact and help reverse the negative effects of resource misappropriation and colonialism.”

At Whittier, he had laid the groundwork toward this aim. 

Among his many Whittier-based activities, he helped prepare immigrants at the local high school to take the U.S. citizenship exam, he participated in the Peace Corps Prep Program, studied abroad in England, and traveled to Tanzania as a Whittier College Brethren Community Foundation Fellow, to work with Global Partners, a non-profit that works with East African communities to find sustainable solutions to critical needs such as health care, education, and access to clean water. 

In the fall, he will be pursuing a master's degree in public affairs in international development at Princeton University.  

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada 

Major: Political Science and Applied Philosophy Major/Concentration in International Relations/French Minor

On-Campus Involvement/Activities: Member of Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society) and participated in the Peace Corps Prep Program

Experiential Activities: California Campus Compact Fellowship, Brethren Community Foundation Fellowship (Tanzania), Pitts Foundation Fellowship, Semester long study abroad in Liverpool, UK 

Most unusual thing you did at Whittier College: Taking a trip to the Hsi Lai temple as a part of Paul Kjellberg's Philosophy of Simplicity class took me completely out of my element, but in the best possible way. Getting to spend a week with the monastics during this retreat was something that I had never done before. I was able to learn not only about Buddhism and the Dharma, but more about myself as well. My only regret is that I did not get to do this again due to the pandemic.. 

Which accomplishment are you most proud of? I'm most proud of the community-driven development research that I was able to conduct in Tanzania on behalf of Global Partners for Development (as a part of the Brethren Community Foundation Fellowship). In this role, I was able to learn more about what my future career will entail which has been invaluable in deciding my next steps after college.

Favorite class taken: Political Violence with Dr. Deborah Norden. I was able to learn so much about the nature of conflict and the motives behind violence and war.

Most challenging class taken: My paired class during my junior year. It was difficult to wrap my mind around the Cuban Revolution overlapping with Human Economies in Nature, however, Dr. Switzer and Dr. Ortega helped me to get through my struggles. 

Best thing about your majors: “Because of Political Science, I understand that I'd like to go more into the international political economy for work because I personally feel that solutions for major world problems such as poverty or lack of infrastructure lie at the intersection of politics and economics. Because of philosophy, I was able to study what I love, I have always been passionate about learning different values and virtues and more importantly, what thoughts can shape our minds and the contexts that we live in.

What is the most interesting thing you learned in your research/internship experience? Because of my experience in Tanzania, I've learned a portion of what development looks like on the ground. In my opinion, it is impossible to perform international development work without meeting, working with, and understanding the community that is going to be impacted by the work.

Advice you would give your first-year self: “Don't stress so much! You're doing just fine and you don't have to sweat the small stuff because most things work themselves out.” 

Plans after graduation: I will be pursuing my Masters of Public Affairs in International Development at Princeton University. Following my matriculation at Princeton, I will be joining USAID (US Agency for International Development) as a foreign service officer, all as a part of the Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship. 

Ultimate career goals: I am incredibly grateful and happy with the current direction of my career (becoming a foreign service officer), and am excited to see where this career can take me because my ultimate goal is to make a positive, global impact which can help to reverse the negative effects of resource misappropriation and colonialism.