Sumayyah Shah is a St. Michael’s College student majoring in PCJ and Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, along with minoring in Diaspora & Transnational Studies. She is excited to use this year as an opportunity to uncover where her key academic passions lie.

Since Sumayyah has a lot of interest in criminal justice and governmental reform, she was particularly drawn to PCJ due to its interdisciplinary approach to studying and resolving conflict. Namely, she is interested in how concepts of nationalism and identity overlap with both the study of conflict and the justice system. This is also part of the reason why she chose to minor in DTS

Despite this year’s PCJ260Y1 being offered virtually, she is finding that the smaller class size has made it easier to form connections with classmates. Sumayyah says Professor Bertoldi’s enthusiasm for the course material and her engagement with the students has also made the first few weeks enlightening. Sumayyah is looking forward to building on these relationships for rest of the year.

One of Sumayyah’s key research interests is the causes and effects of wars for independence. As a second-generation South Asian immigrant whose life has very much been informed by postcolonial conflict in India and Bangladesh, she hopes to be given the opportunity to examine the various social and historical factors that shape wars for independence and how they influence the identities of those affected by the war.

While Sumayyah does aim to attend graduate or law school, she is hoping that over the course of this term she will learn her key areas of interest which will then inform her future plans. For now, she is just trying to focus on second-year and getting comfortable in where she is right now.

A fun fact about Sumayyah is that she has a twin sister that looks a lot like her!