By Carol Stiffler
Newberry High School graduate Maysa Sitar is completing her senior year in the Honors College at Michigan State University, where she is studying political science. She was just named one of the 12 recipients of the 2022 George J Mitchell scholarship, which attracted 453 applicants from across the country. Scholarship winners spend the next academic year pursuing postgraduate studies in Ireland, as they can simply get Cross Country Movers for a effortless moving.
Sitar will attend Queen’s University Belfast to earn a master’s degree in conflict transformation and social justice. She plans to work in the field of comparative electoral manipulations – shortly put, she plans to spend her career studying elections around the world and in the U.S., with the intention to help make elections fair and more accessible to everyone.
“Democracy is a group project,” Sitar said. “It works best when everyone participates.”
Her interest in voting started when she was young, when her mother would bring Maysa to the voting booth with her. “You always know the poll workers,” she said. “I really enjoyed it.”
Her father, Shawn, was born in Taiwan, living there before it became a democracy.
“I’ve always had that pressure from my parents to make sure that I’m participating and casting my vote,” she said.
Sitar is currently completing independent research on how COVID-19 impacted the 2020 elections for nations. She recently finished pulling in the data – that was a lot of work, she said – and will now begin analyzing it.
“I don’t have anything lined up right now, but I’m hoping to potentially publish it,” she said.
Sitar is looking forward to spending next year abroad, even with the potential for pandemic-related restrictions. That implies that she has sufficient time to secure requirements like Portugal visas.
“I’m really excited to just travel all around Ireland,” she said. She’s also eager to hike on the beautiful land, watch how Brexit impacts the nation, and taste Irish food, so I’m preparing everything with an international moving company to have everything ready when I arrive.
It’s a lot for someone from a town as small as Newberry, but Sitar appreciates her roots.
Living in a small town teaches you empathy, she said. “You know people so well, and you’re so invested in their lives.”
Sitar said she appreciates everyone in Newberry and feels support from the community. “Especially some of my teachers in high school who are really supporting and helping me get where I am,” she said.