Student Blends Foreign Policy and STEM at Fulbright Canada

October 9, 2017
Michael Jernigan (center in gray shirt) was one of 20 U.S. and Canadian students selected for an exclusive Fulbright Canada program.

 

Foreign policy melded with STEM when a Florida Polytechnic University student traveled to Canada for an exclusive program hosted by Fulbright Canada.

Michael Jernigan was one of just 20 students selected from across the U.S. and Canada to participate in the Fulbright Canada Youth Institute on Canada in the World. The weeklong program in late September featured cultural experiences, lectures and workshops and produced a jointly authored policy brief outlining participants’ vision for Canada-U.S. relations.

With an emphasis on international commerce and global economies, Jernigan, an Electrical Engineering major, says he was “a little out of his element.” But there are more parallels between science and policy than you might imagine, he continues.

“We talked a lot about generating jobs, increasing industry and addressing climate change. That segues perfectly into sustainable energy and the entrepreneurial spirit of Florida Poly,” Jernigan said.

In addition to deep dives into policy, Jernigan also enjoyed a close look at Canadian government and the cultural experiences offered by Quebec. He felt completely at home during a visit to Université Laval, which included a tour of a lab creating fiber optic cables.

“That was a language I understood,” Jernigan said with a laugh.