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Communications and Marketing

International edge

Treston Chandler ’16 is gaining experience of a lifetime in his summer internship in Washington, DC.

The Lake Forest history and politics double-major is among 25 individuals chosen as 2015 Summer Fellows for the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Chandler was assigned to work with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which supports doctors and hospitals in Syria, works in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, and engages in advocacy.

“My main duties are to conduct background research for reports and statements we put out, closely follow what is happening in Syria to help inform the rest of the staff, and to write blog posts,” he said. For a recent SAMS hearing with the House Foreign Affairs Committee regarding barrel bomb attacks, Chandler wrote reports on chlorine attacks in Syria and helped prepare testimony for a SAMS doctor testifying before the Committee.  

Even though he grew up in Cairo, Egypt, this internship is helping Chandler gain a deeper understanding of the Middle East and what it would be like to work in a career dealing with Middle Eastern affairs. The program’s lectures and site visits are helping him hone his critical thinking and reasoning skills, “while also giving me exposure to some of the crucial institutions that determine U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East,” he said. 

All this experience together will help Chandler get a foothold on his career. “While I am unsure of exactly what path I want to take in life, I am definitely considering a career in international affairs focused on the Middle East,” he said.