My name is Katrin Wagener and I am in my final year pursuing a joint honours degree in Economics and International Relations. I am originally German, but half of my family comes from Brazil and I spent most of my life moving to different places. I have always had a general interest in politics, having been actively involved in student government and MUN since middle school. I have since then found my interests in IR to primarily relate to international security, specifically resource management, food security and political ecology.
I have been part of PIR since my first year and have had the opportunity to meet some truly incredible people, many of whom have become my closest friends. I am also currently the editor in chief for the PIR journal, the president of the Dirty Weekenders Volunteering group and have been a part of the MUN committee in the past. However, university life is not solely about academics and in my free time I love traveling the world, being active and spending time with my friends.
It is truly an honour to finish my time at Aberdeen as your president and I am very excited to see what next year has in store for the society.
I am a third year Politics and International Relations student from Copenhagen, Denmark.
I have always been aware of politics’ significance, and our times’ seemingly cynical attitude towards it has made it abundantly clear to me that being politically cognisant is of critical importance. Politics has the potential to transform lives, and I hope my work here plays a small part in facilitating constructive dialogue between people, the lifeblood of any well-functioning democracy.
Among my political interests are mainly security and foreign policy, particularly the relationship between NATO and Russia.
My personal hobbies are reading, running, and socialising.
My name is Pip Balshaw, and I am a third year Politics and International Relations student. This is my second year on the committee, having been elected as the PR and Media Officer whilst in my first year. Unfortunately last year I was unable to run for a position, due to my participation in the Study Exchange programme which took me to the University of Maine for a semester (a fair compromise to make, I would say).
I am excited to be back on the committee and thus, be a part of the next stage of growth and development for the society. I aim to continue to help build relations between us, the PIR department and organisations across the country.
Whilst at university, I am also actively involved with the Women’s Hockey Club as a goal-keeper (a sport that I have been passionate about since the age of 8) as well as the Dirty Weekenders Student Volunteers - a group on campus which creates a link between students and multiple organisations and charities for volunteering opportunities. Most importantly, the rest of my free time is spent travelling, whether it is to return to America to visit Maine or in order to explore an exciting new continent. For example, this summer I will be volunteering in Cambodia for 5 weeks.
I look forward to seeing what the next year brings for both myself and the society.
My name is Sam Ryder, and I’m originally from Pitlochry, Scotland. I grew up in an isolated, rural setting, and I believe it is due to this that I am so interested in international politics. I am in my third year of studying Politics & International Relations and am especially interested in the topics of Terrorism and Conflict Theory.
I have been involved with the PIR Society’s events since beginning University, from the Freshers pub crawl to the US trip to New York and Washington in April. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in society events, especially the US Election Night, despite the result. Due to my great experiences with the society I chose to join as Social Convener, in order to contribute to and continue the events which the society hosts.
Whilst at University I have also been actively involved in the University Officer Training Corps, or UOTC, working towards Commissioning as a Reserve Officer in the British Army alongside my coursework. University aside, I enjoy discovering new music, analysing film and travelling, when I can afford to.
PR & Media Officer
My name is James Cree-Hay and I am a final year Politics and International Relations student. I have taken on the role of the Public Relations and Media Officer this year for the third time (this is the last time, I promise). I'll be making sure that everyone on campus is kept well up to date with all our news and events over the coming year.
A keen interest in international relations has seen me visiting Canada as a 'Cultural Ambassador' and getting involved with the PIR society from my very first week in Aberdeen. My interests in politics and international relations include diplomacy, international trade, foreign affairs, and British constitutionalism. My interest in politics also extends to my job, working for a local Member of Parliament here in Aberdeen.
When away from university or work I split my time between Berwickshire, Shetland, Northern Ireland, and travelling further afield as much as my time and finances will allow. I spent part of my second year on exchange at Curtin University in Australia and have taken part in PIR society trips to Hong Kong, Vienna, and Canada. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, playing badminton and, of course, keeping up to date with current affairs.
Hi everyone! My name is Lisa Bruining. Currently, I am in my third year studying Business Management and International Relations.
I am originally from The Netherlands, but have had the privilege of living in different places throughout the past few years. This has broadened my horizons and encouraged be to apply for a degree in International Relations, which I have not regretted ever since.
I am the Treasurer for the Politics & International Relations Society. Hence, I will be responsible for this year’s finances. Besides studying, I enjoy both, the outdoors and the indoors, very much.
Whenever the Scottish weather allows it, I will spend my time outside appreciating Scotland’s beauty. Travelling and sports is something I enjoy very much. Hockey and floorball are my favourite sports. On a rainy day, I’ll be inside appreciating delicious food and drinks accompanied by my friends. Also, a good bibliography or non-fiction book is never a bad idea in my opinion. Any book related to any topic in the field of IR is highly appreciated (please message me if you have any recommendations)!
I have enjoyed events organised by the PIR society since year one. I am excited to be involved in the planning of the academic and social events, and surely hope that guys are as excited about the events as I am. Hope to see many of you at our events this year!
Hi! My name is Jaeden Reppert, a third year student studying History and Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies. Though I don’t study Politics or International Relations, it is a subject I am very interested in. I will the Travel Coordinator for the 2018-2019 year, and I cannot wait to plan amazing trips for the society!
Outside of studying and PIR, some of my interests include reading, writing, hiking (I am an Eagle Scout), travelling (obviously), drinking an excessive amount of coffee, and most importantly, acting. I am a very active member of Centre Stage Theatre Company here at Aberdeen, and have in countless productions both in the ‘deen and at home.
Speaking of home, I am from the US of A (no, I did not vote for Trump). I call the state of Pennsylvania home, near Allentown, which is close to Philadelphia. While I do miss it sometimes, moving to Scotland was probably the best decision I ever made.
PIR is a very special society to me and I am delighted to be on the committee for the upcoming year. I joined PIR last year simply because a lot of my close friends were on the committee, but I stayed because of all of the wonderful people I met and the fantastic events, including the trips, the lectures, the ball, and everything else in between. It is a great society and I hope to stay involved in it until I graduate, and I hope the same for everyone else in the society.
Hi guys! My name is Matilda Augustsson and I am from Stockholm, Sweden. I'm currently in my third year, studying Politics and International Relations.
Coming from an international city like Stockholm, I have always been surrounded by people with different backgrounds, especially since going to an International English high school from age 12. Having grown up with a family living all over the world and moving to Ireland as a child for a few years and later going on high school exchange to Canada I knew that I wanted to live and study abroad in the future. I have been very lucky to grow up in a family which has travelled a lot and let me explore different parts of the world.
Growing up I have always been interested in how other cultures and countries work together, which is what got me interested in IR. When I was 13 years old i joined the international peace organisation CISV which sparked my interests for politics and international relations, and made me realize what I wanted to work with in the future. I am specifically interested in terrorism, security, peace resolution and international diplomacy when it comes to IR.
In my free time am I not only active in the PIR society but also in CISV sweden as well as the Nordic society. I am really looking forward to this year with the PIR society and I hope that it will be an amazing year!
My name is Andreas Lainer and I am currently in my third year of studying Economics and International Relations. I am originally from Vienna, Austria, but I spent part of my childhood growing up in Bucharest where I attended an international school, making friends from all around the globe. This experience certainly plays a part in my passion for international politics. Diplomacy, conflict resolution and European politics interest me especially.
I have been a member of the PIR society since first arriving in Aberdeen and have made incredible friendships through attending the numerous academic talks, balls, pub crawls and other events that the society holds. I am also an active member of both the Economics and Business Society as well as the Trading and Investment Club.
My personal hobbies include skiing, hiking, scuba diving and learning more about world history. I love travelling and exploring new cultures. The PIR society trip to New York and Washington D.C. gave me some of my best memories from my first year at university.
First Year Representative
Martin Le Brech
My name is Martin Le Brech and I am a first year Politics and International Relations student. I have always had an interest in politics and social sciences as a whole.
Passionate about history and sociology, I have been politically involved in France for nearly 5 years.
It has been fascinating to witness the recent developments in politics both nationally and internationally. As the world seems shaken by multiple issues such as nationalism, poverty and terrorism, I believe that being able to have a better understanding of world politics and international relations is key.
I am particularly interested in how historical events and ideologies shaped our current world along with how crucial issues can be resolved collectively.
I also enjoy watching and analysing films as well as listening to music and going out with friends.
I am delighted to be First-Year Representative for the Politics & International Relations and look forward to seeing you at our many events this year!