The winner of this year's International Relations Convocation Award has a perfect GPA and was a member of the UMass Boston faculty-student team that traveled to Nairobi, Kenya last year to participate in the Governing Council meetings of the United Nations Environment Programme. Daniel Zaleznik will receive the award at the university's graduate convocation ceremony on May 29.
“Daniel Zaleznik excelled in the International Relations Program at UMass Boston," said Professor J. Samuel Barkin, director of the Graduate Program in International Relations at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School, "He distinguished himself as an outstanding thinker and analyst across issues and geographies, as evidenced by his perfect GPA. His commitment to understanding and contributing to global environmental governance, though, has pushed his analytical work well beyond the classroom.”
Barkin explains that this stellar student’s engagement in policy analysis and outreach at the Center for Governance and Sustainability has been impactful and inspiring. In Nairobi, Zaleznik witnessed first-hand the interactions among knowledge communities and the intricacies of policymaking at the global level.
“A philosopher at heart, Daniel took on the intractable concept of the science-policy interface and sought to understand it, explain it, and improve it,” notes Barkin. “His deep interest in the construction and application of knowledge took him on an intellectual journey exploring the workings of the core global environmental institutions. It culminated in an outstanding thesis that tested existing theories and charted new empirical pathways for deepening knowledge about the challenges of integrating scientific knowledge and policy processes.”
The graduate convocation includes the Book Awards in which every graduate program gives a special book in the discipline to one of its most outstanding students. As his prize, Zaleznik will receive two books on global governance and environmental policy to protect our waters. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in environmental politics.