MA in Global Affairs

Gabriela Larkin

Gabriela Larkin

Where are you from?

I was born in Ecuador.

What was your undergraduate major, and from which university did you graduate?

I received my undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies from George Mason University back in 2020.

What are some causes/issues you care about? Why?

One of the issues I care about is the migration of women to other countries to provide a better life for their families and how this experience is changing societal perceptions and family dynamics. I care about this because there are still misperceptions about women and their place in society in certain places.

What work/intern/volunteer experience do you have and how has it prepared you for your studies?

In the past, I interned for the non-profit Global Citizen Year in Ecuador coordinating the in-country logistics for American youth who were taking a gap year there. Later at Winrock International here in the US, I had the opportunity to assist with projects and work with international personnel who make international development happen. Most recently in DevTech Systems, Inc, I have been able to support projects in Bangladesh, Kenya, Peru, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.

These experiences have given me an awareness of different issues around the world and what the international community is doing to address them.  

What aspects of Mason made you choose to study here?

From my experience doing my undergrad, I think professors are the biggest reason why I chose to pursue my master’s at Mason. They are fantastic, care about students, and truly want them to succeed.

What do you hope to accomplish while at Mason? What have you already accomplished?

I hope to broaden my knowledge in international topics and apply the skills learned in my future professional endeavors.   

In 2017 under the guidance of GMU’s Art History program Director Dr. Michele Greet, I conducted research on Ecuadorian painter Camilo Egas and the disjunctive reception of his art in Ecuador and New York City. The research was published in the academic journal The George Mason Review.

In 2018 I was part of the GMU cohort who traveled to Oklahoma to present at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR). My presentation touched on the migration of Ecuadorian women during Ecuador’s 1999 financial crisis. The conference was a great experience to meet other students and to step out of my comfort zone.  

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are reading about female aviation during the early years, taking photos, cooking, and driving around the NOVA to try new food spots.

What is your favorite thing about being a student?

Learning about new topics and engaging in conversations with professors and students.

Which languages do you speak?

I speak English, Spanish, and some Portuguese.

What was the last book you read? Do you recommend it? Why/why not?

“Sky Girls” by Gene Nora Jessen. I would recommend this book if you would like to learn more about the difficulties and triumphs of the women who flew the first-cross country air race back in 1929.