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IU Southeast student wants to use political science degree to 'help shape my country for the better'

Oct. 12, 2016

IU Southeast junior Mark Jallayu, who moved to the United States from Liberia, West Africa, in 2006, knows he wants to hold a position in government after he graduates.

Mark Jallayu

IU Southeast junior Mark Jallayu | PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK JALLAYU

After completing his political science degree, Jallayu plans to attend law school. Then he wants to return to Liberia and use the education and experiences he has gained in the United States to make a difference in his home country.

“I hope to bring a new way of thinking to my country and help shape my country for the better,” Jallayu said. “Corruption is deeply embedded in my country, and it is only when we minimize corruption that we will give our citizens a better shot at life. It is only when we minimize corruption that we will be able to invest in education so that no child in my country has to pay to get a basic education; invest in health care so that no one has to die of malaria and other preventable and curable diseases; invest in job growth so that people in my country don’t have to live on less than $1 a day and invest in infrastructure to improve the standard of living for my people that has been deplorable for years.”

Ultimately, Jallayu hopes to run for president in his home country. However, he wants to start his career in politics in the legislative branch or as the minister of justice, which he equates to the attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jallayu knows he has set lofty goals for himself; however, he feels the education he has received at IU Southeast is preparing him for success.  

“I can say with confidence that I am a better reader, a better writer, a better researcher and a better human being as a result of my classes, campus activities and campus resources,” Jallayu said. “In essence, I feel like I am a scholar and a change maker.”

When Jallayu arrived on campus two years ago, he didn’t waste any time when it came to getting involved. He served as president of the Political Science Club and volunteer coordinator for the Honors Program Student Advisory Board.

He has also been heavily involved with the Student Government Association, previously serving as one of their senators. This year, Jallayu was elected president of the organization. He gladly welcomes the level of responsibility that comes with such a high position, because he sees how it will help prepare him for success in his future goals. 

As an extremely involved student and one who is passionate about fairness in law, Jallayu also enjoys holding a position on the Faculty-Senate Committee. This is the position he holds dearest, because it gives him an opportunity to speak to IU Southeast Chancellor Ray Wallace and other campus executives on behalf of the student body. Because he is representing his fellow students and their needs, he said he feels like he is making a difference on campus. 

Soon, he hopes to use his IU degree to make a difference in his home country.

“I am here because I want to get an education so I can help my family back home and be a part of the new generation of change makers in my country,” Jallayu said. “Education has not been an option for me but a necessity and a weapon I could use to shape my family's life and my country for the better.”

Mark Jallayu's experience at IU Southeast aligns with several priorities in the university's Bicentennial Strategic Plan, including a commitment to student success.

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