Atlas Week intern has passion for writing, social justice
Atlas Week is an annual, one-week program hosted by Saint Louis University to highlight the ways in which the University fosters perspectives and understanding of international issues and education. With over 100 events taking place on campus, Atlas Week takes effort and planning on the part of those involved. Once such individual is junior Mary Shannon.
“I knew about Atlas Week my freshman year, and I liked it a lot,” Shannon said. “After I returned from study abroad my sophomore year, I knew about this internship with the workings behind Atlas Week and I wanted to get involved in that.”
Shannon is a political science major, as well as an international studies and Spanish major, and picked up the internship after she learned she could get political science credit for it. Specifically, Shannon is the co-chair of external publicity for Atlas Week.
“For external publicity, we promote Atlas Week outside of SLU,” Shannon said. “We go to different businesses and other universities in the area and work closely with alumni relations to promote to local alums.”
Shannon hopes to boost attendance for most of the Atlas Week events, particularly those that will feature this year’s keynote speaker, John Prendergast. Prendergast, a human-rights activist who has worked with the National Security Council and the Department of State on peace processes in Africa, will be speaking both April 10 and 11 at SLU.
“The events with John Prendergast are going to be great,” Shannon said. “He’s actually here for two days, and usually the keynote speaker only stays for one. He’s doing some informal events, which will be nice to get to know him on a more personal level.”
Though she is looking forward to Prendergast, Shannon said all the events of Atlas Week serve an important role for students.
“It is easy for students to get caught in the SLU bubble and not really realize the issues going on just a couple of blocks north of us or internationally,” Shannon said. “It is important for students and organizations to bring awareness to global advocacy and the issues they are passionate about.”
Shannon’s focus on global issues doesn’t end with her involvement with Atlas Week, however. She is also the managing editor of One World magazine and is set to take on the role of editor-in-chief next year. Shannon got involved with the publication after the current editor-in-chief, Julia Brucks, invited her to participate as a copy and content editor.
“[One World] becomes like your child, so you have to stick with it,” Shannon said. “We really revamped the magazine this year, and we’re going to try to keep progressing that way into next year.”
In addition to her involvement with One World, Shannon is also the co-president of the Micro-Finance Brigade, of the SLU Global Brigades. The group will be traveling to Honduras next winter to do finical assessments and teach the local communities about sound financial principles.
After SLU, Shannon isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but she has some ideas.
“I know that I’ll eventually go to graduate school, maybe for public health,” Shannon said. “I would love to work in Latin America [on] some social justice issues, though.”