The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs has selected Yale College junior Canaan Harris for the 2019 Douglas A. Beck Prize.

The $1,000 award is given to Global Affairs undergraduates who have demonstrated a deep interest in and commitment to global affairs. Winners are selected based on high academic achievement, leadership potential, personal integrity and commitment to public service.

Harris, a native of Belmont, Mississippi, says he chose to major in global affairs because he wanted to learn about different cultures, expand his perspective on the world, and have opportunities to travel. He is particularly interested in military history, U.S. foreign policy, and international relations theory. One of his favorite courses at Yale was GLBL 275, “Approaches to International Security,” with Jackson political science professor Nuno Monteiro, for whom he also serves as a research assistant. Harris has also enjoyed Jackson senior lecturer Isaiah Wilson’s classes on grand strategy and warfare, which have an emphasis on independent research.

While many of his classes have an international focus, Harris feels strong ties to rural, small-town America and wants to explore what can be done to help these areas. That’s why he’s headed to Tupelo, Miss., this summer to work in its mayor’s office and immerse himself in the world of city government. “I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.   

This fall, Harris will work with classmates on a research project for the Joint Center for International Security Forces Assistance, as part of the Senior Capstone Project. Harris says he’s excited about the chance to “hone my skills and use stats in a real-world application” and work closely with global affairs classmates who share his desire to make an impact by “hitting the ground running” right after graduation.

After Yale, Harris would like to work in a public service role, whether it’s in city government or the U.S. Foreign Service.