Bradley Alumna Prepares to Change the World

Becky Suhr ’11

February 7, 2013

By Emily Laidley ’12

After graduating from Bradley’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Becky Suhr ’11 took a year to travel the world. And in Southeast Asia, she found her calling.

“While abroad in Myanmar, I met the undersecretary of the British Ambassador who was giving a presentation about his experiences as a civil servant,” the Palatine, Ill., native said.

Listening to and speaking with the undersecretary convinced Suhr to focus her career goals on the international stage.

“I am now trying to get involved in working for the government, specifically the U.S. State Department, the United Nations or for non-governmental organizations,” she said.

And she is well on her way. In September 2012, Suhr competed in a nationwide contest sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations Association of the USA. The contest selected the first-ever U.S. Youth Observer to the U.N., a position that requires attending events and meetings at the U.N. General Assembly and traveling the country speaking to UNA-USA chapters.

For the competition, Suhr submitted an essay about the worldwide epidemic of human trafficking based on a film that Dr. John Williams, chair of Department of History, screened for her on campus. Suhr was selected as one of the top three finalists from a pool of more than 700 young people who submitted their essays and applications.

In the meantime, Suhr is completing her master’s degree at the University of Chicago’s Master of the Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS). The one-year, interdisciplinary program has her taking courses in both history and at the university’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Despite the fast-paced environment and heavy course load, Suhr said she enjoys the experience and is reminded of the scholastic work she accomplished at Bradley. “It is nice to be back in an academic environment with people who want to learn. In that way, the University of Chicago is very similar to my experience at Bradley,” she said.

While on the Hilltop, Suhr was an accomplished student, completing a double major in history and religious studies, as well as a vital member of Bradley’s legendary speech team. Serving as president of speech team, she said her Bradley experience helped form her strong work ethic.

“Being on Bradley’s speech team taught me to always work and never quit. Even when we were exhausted and frustrated, and felt like giving up, we would pull ourselves together and work harder than before. It is this mentality and discipline that I have taken with me to graduate school, and will carry with me the rest of my life,” she said. “Bradley is a tradition that stays with you.”