Courtney Maduike, SFS’17, Culture and Politics

Courtney Maduike Headshot

Courtney Maduike
Santa Clarita, CA
SFS Class of 2017
Major: CULP – Culture and Politics


Why did you choose to apply to the SFS at Georgetown?

The SFS is actually the reason I became interested in Georgetown. As a student from California, a state with an ample amount of amazing universities to choose from, I wasn’t really looking to go out of state for college. It wasn’t until the fall of my senior year when I heard an admissions officer speak about the history and regard of the SFS and its place on the Hilltop that Georgetown was put on my radar. I found that I identified deeply with the Jesuit approach to international relations and development, which is what ultimately sold me on the school.

Why did you choose your major? What is your focus within CULP?

Coming into Georgetown, I knew exactly what I wanted as my major. CULP is a program so unique, but also so Georgetown. The regard with which it approaches international relations and allows students to examine the intersections of the human experience is something I find both necessary and interesting. My CULP concentration is the political psychology of ethnicity and conflict. Through my major, I am able to understand the origins of both ethnicity and conflict individually, then examining how they interact with one another.

Which Proseminar did you take freshman year? What has been your favorite class within your major so far?

As a freshman, I took the Proseminar “The Devil in History.” The class was about fascism, socialism, and communism and deconstructing these stigmatized and often poorly understood political ideologies. That was just one of the many classes I’ve been lucky enough to take here at Georgetown. As a CULP major, I get to dip my hand into various departments and topics, all in the name of my major! Courtney Maduike ServiceMy two favorite classes I’ve taken thus far for my major are a sociology class entitled “Race and Ethnicity,” and a CULP class called “Psychology of the Postcolonial World.” The first class helped formulate a lot of my theories about the world and ultimately solidify my CULP concentration. On the other hand, the latter class challenged me to perform and think in ways I’ve never been asked to as I tried to wrap my sophomore mind around the writings of Freud.

What language are you pursuing during your time here and how does that language study enhance your major?

While I have elected to not study abroad during my time at Georgetown, I am working towards my proficiency in Spanish. The SFS modern language requirement allows me to expand my worldview simply by teaching me how to communicate with people from a background different than my own. I take my education in a foreign language as an opportunity to better understand individuals’ worldviews in their native tongue in hopes of better addressing the challenges they may face.

What organizations or activities are you involved in on campus? What makes these activities meaningful to you?
On campus I am a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority, a member of the Blue & Gray Tour Guide Society, a member of the Georgetown University Women of Color board, and a founding member of the Georgetown Africa Business Conference. Each of these activities fulfills personal passions of mine, while also teaching me valuable skills and allowing me to grow as an individual.

What are your future career goals and aspirations, and how does your major fit into your plans for the future?

I aspire to enter the field of international development in the world of NGOs or transnational organizations like the United Nations. I’m interested in doing human rights work, particularly working in the realm of post-conflict reconstruction and gender equality. I hope to return to school to study international/human rights law or public policy, perhaps some combination of the two. If there is one principle the CULP major has taught me, it is how to occupy the space where various realms intersect and understanding the importance of this role in the world.

Courtney Maduike DRCWhat advice do you have for current or future BSFS students trying to determine their major?

I advise current and future BSFS students to explore what excites them and choose a major based on their interests, not because they think it will help them get ahead or because that’s the path you’ve laid out for yourself. There’s no single path to success. I think it’s important to challenge yourself both personally and intellectually, while allowing you the opportunity to be surprised by the twists and turns along the way.