Austin Sappington is a senior studying International Relations and Global Studies with a focus on international security and the Middle East. Through his major, he is currently studying the Farsi language. His main interests in foreign affairs are the Middle East, particularly the situation in Iran, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and the modern politics of Eastern Europe. He grew up in a small town in central Texas to a family very proud of their Czech and German heritage, so this is where his interests in different cultures and international relations started.
Following his senior year of High School, he interned with 27th Congressional District of Texas and has interned with the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Here in Austin, his involvement in organizations such as Texans for Israel and the Iranian Students Association, has furthered his understanding and respect for the differing perspectives on international affairs. During the winter break of last year, he had the opportunity to go with a few other UT students, on a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories to examine the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. This furthered his interest and understanding of the complicated situation on the ground in this region. This summer he travelled to the Czech Republic to reconnect with his roots, and teach English to Czech and Polish teenagers in a summer immersion program.
He is really looking forward to being a Clements Center Undergraduate Fellow for the 2018/2019 academic year. This year he will also be the vice president for the International Affairs Society. He is very excited to use these positions to both further the interests of both himself and others in the field of foreign policy. Looking forward, he plans to attend graduate school, and get a master’s degree in foreign affairs and security studies.
Episode | March 18th, 2019 | Season 1 | 32 mins 24 secs
culture, czech, eastern europe, eastern ukraine, geopolitics, international relations
Czech-American Austin Sappington, a Clements Center Undergraduate Fellow for 2018-2019, talks about his identification with the local Austin Czech community, Russian influence in the EU, Ukrainian democracy, the Czech Republic, and threats to Ukraine's economic well-being.