Current senior Victoria Landa was born and raised in Macon, Georgia where she attended Covenant Academy and graduated in 2020. Before joining the #PSIAFamily and starting her degree in International Affairs (IA) with a European Concentration, she fell in love with the subject matter. Favoring the subject of history during high school but having an interest in current events, she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in IA. Victoria decided to come to UNG for multiple reasons. The first reason was that she had heard about the University’s strong Political Science department. She also chose UNG for its atmosphere — having grown up near a military base and having family members in the military, the idea of being surrounded by the “culture, discipline, and patriotism” was something Victoria liked the idea of.   

Since coming to UNG and joining the PSIA department Victoria has pursued not only a degree in International Affairs but also two minors, one in Public Administration and Public Service, and another in Spanish.   

While Victoria admitted her schedule has been super busy, she makes it clear that “It’s not something that anybody couldn’t handle. If you really put your mind to it, I know a lot of my professors have challenged me over the years and my classes, which is something I was looking forward to school anyways.”  

Since Victoria pursued several academic paths through her major and minors, Victoria has had a well-rounded experience at UNG and more specifically within the PSIA department. “I would say [my] major, [while] heavy on reading on research and everything, [it] is super, super helpful and applicable to real-world skills writing. Especially, I would say I’ve written a lot of essays in my time here, but I think that the support that my professors have given me along the way has made [the work and] my crazy academic schedule doable.”  

“My most recent addition to my academic career has been the Public Administration and Public Service minor. It was recently introduced to me by Dr. Armstrong Williams, Dr. Kelly and Dr. Viman-Miller. Pursuing a second minor wasn’t really on my mind. I mean [the minor] didn’t exist before this year, but I would have never thought to do something like that until taking Dr. Kelly’s Public Administration class and then Dr. Gershtenson’s Public Policy class and I just felt like the relevance of these classes to our everyday lives of Americans and the knowledge that I gained from this classes is really important.”  

[Regarding my Spanish minor] I’m excited to see where that will take me in my future career. I will say the Spanish department has been super impactful in my career so far. My professors have enabled me to enjoy learning rather than make it feel like busy work or something that I don’t necessarily look forward to doing.”  

Victoria’s latest achievement is being the first-ever recipient of the Department’s Dr. Barry D. Friedman Scholarship. When asked about receiving this scholarship Victoria said “It was a tremendous honor to receive this. I was excited, especially after having met Dr. Barry and the faculty. It was just amazing to get to know them. So, needless to say, it was a huge honor.”  

With Victoria finishing her undergraduate degree in the Spring of 2024, questions about her future and desired career are primarily about. “[…tracking towards a job with the] US Agency for International Development, which [at the] moment is because the idea of international development is super interesting to me.” 

Victoria has some advice for prospective students seeking a degree with PSIA. “Keep going! I know it’s hard, but it’s worth reaching out to all your professors and advisors. I found that it might be a little intimidating at first to go up to the professor and ask some questions, but I’ve learned over the years not to be intimidated because they’re so willing to help you. So, I would say just be bold and determined.” 

[Author: Orla Fennell, IA’23]  

[Editor’s Note: This article is drawn from an interview with Victoria by our department. To see the entire interview visit our YouTube page at:].