Albion College student selected for leadership conference in Northern Ireland

August 10, 2023

Adrian Sanchez sits at a wood table looking at the camera and has his hands clasped together. He is wearing a black North Face jacket and a white t-shirt. Sophomore Adrian Sanchez has been selected as the Albion College student delegate for the upcoming Leaders Across Borders Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland Oct. 10-15.

Leaders Across Borders is a Great Lakes Colleges Association program supported by the Mellon Global Crossroads Initiative. The conference is designed to help participants acquire cross-cultural communication skills and apply their intellectual curiosity to understand other cultures and people.

“I am looking forward to meeting new people and making connections,” Sanchez said. “It is important to be able to network with other people who are the same age and see how different people are dealing with different issues.”

Dr. Midori Yoshii, professor of international studies, recommended Sanchez for the program and said the focus is on resolving conflicts.

“The ultimate goal of this program is for participants to develop peer leadership and conflict mediation skills,” Yoshii said. “Adrian is a bright student who’s interested in international relations, particularly in the origins of wars and conflict resolution. I look forward to hearing what he’ll learn in the program in Northern Ireland.”

Sanchez, of Dallas, Texas, is a double major in environmental studies and international studies. He is a part of the Albion College Center for Sustainability and the Environment, which helps empower students to be environmental and social change makers. Sanchez also is a member of the Union Board, Rotaract Club and AmeriCorps.

Sanchez said his twin interests in the environment and international studies were sparked early in high school.

“I did a three-week youth conservation trip in West Virginia and then I studied urban sustainability in Beijing, China,” Sanchez said. “It brought me down to Earth and helped open my eyes to a whole new field.

“Most people think conservation is just about planting a tree and that’s it. Environmental work is tied to some very sensitive topics. It can be about anything and everything.”

While Sanchez is looking forward to visiting a new country and its geography, he is most excited about meeting new people and learning new things – and the impact both can have.

“I am only one person and can only do so much,” he said. “By being able to work with others, it gives us the ability to tackle anything and everything that needs attention – across the country or around the world.”