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Graduate Student Stories Transcripts: Theodore A. Caruthers

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Transcript of Theodore A. Caruthers's video

In high school, before I went to undergrad, I had a professor, had a French teacher whose daughter was doing international studies in undergrad and she was getting recruited by the UN and I was like, wow, that sounds like such, that sounds like the coolest thing in the world. I wanna work for the UN. And so, I did international studies in undergrad.

My professor, who eventually became my mentor, said, "Hey, you should think about public policy instead of these big name security programs because, you know, public policy is broad, you know. You're interested in a lot of different things. You could make a big change in the world." So, the biggest deciding factor for me was that Maryland was in the NCAA basketball tournament at the time, and they had just won a game and I said, "If this school's good enough to be like, you know, nationally ranked academically and in sports, then this is the place to be."

I w- was the weird kid that will go the football games by themselves and sit as close to the 50-yard line as possible. I go to a couple concerts at MilkBoy. I frequent Cornerstone. They have the best wings right after, I guess, Backyard Sports Grill. Graduate students have this place in everybody's heart that says, "Hey, w- let's feed you."

I'm currently working on this project that investigates where artificial intelligence fits into the intelligence process used by members of the intelligence community. That by far probably is the coolest thing, and the coolest project that I've worked on. The Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, they have a really good partnership with Lockheed Martin that allows students to get the internship experience and set them up with jobs if, you know, they find it interesting, and they learn acquisitions from a policy standpoint.

We have practitioners from both sides of the aisle. There's some phenomenal professors like Ambassador Susan Schwab and David Mussington and Jonas S-Siegel, um, Phillip Swagel, who've, most of them have come from the White House from different administrations. You don't just hear, you know, the liberal perspective or the conservative perspective, and it's, "Oh, yeah. I worked in Bush's White House," or, "I worked in Obama's White House." And, you see these faculty getting to know each other and having a great time, like, "Oh, hey. You remember that secret insurance and that ... Uh, we can't talk about it publicly. It's classified."

And so, you know, just kind of that camaraderie that says, you know, politics is bigger than either you're this way or that way, and it's more so about solving problems for the bigger community. And we just started, a group called Black Students in Public Policy. We saw the admission of African-American students skyrocket over the last year and a half or so. I was fortunate enough to be the vice president, so my main duties were programming, and y- kinda supporting our president, [Kareem 00:02:24] Paul, who's actually getting ready to go off to Haiti for a year to do some really good nonprofit work.

I kinda just want to solve problems for a living, make a difference, make life easier for a lot more people, by way of policy whether that's at the local level, the state level, that national level, or hey, you know, send me to the UN at this rate, you know. Let's- let's fulfill the dream.