Exemplifying Global Citizenship
Andrew Chappelle (MA International Relations '10) is currently a producer and writer at Al Jazeera English, an international 24-hour English-language news and current affairs TV channel and the sister channel of the Arabic-language Al Jazeera. Chappelle lives in the Persian Gulf coastal city of Doha, Qatar, where the network headquarters are based.
Following completion of his undergraduate degree, Chappelle spent a year teaching English in China before beginning his journey with Webster University in the fall of 2008. After studying one year in the International Relations master's program at the Webster Groves home campus, Chappelle seized upon an opportunity to work a five-month stint as an emergency station manager with the American Red Cross in Baghdad, Iraq. While there, he continued his studies with Webster's online classes.
“I could still work toward my master's degree without having to change my life or miss out on opportunities,” Chappelle recalls. “The ‘normalcy' of online classes was a great escape from the job and the stressful environment surrounding me.”
After Baghdad, he completed the final portion of his International Relations courses at Webster University's London campus, where he said he again appreciated the one-on-one relationships he developed with Webster faculty. Chappelle also became familiar with the Webster campus in Geneva while visiting friends who were studying there.
Chappelle's internship opportunity with Al Jazeera English led to a permanent role. As a producer and writer, he pitches stories to the network executives as well as covering breaking news. “The newsroom is full of interesting people from all over the world. It's an independent place,” said Chappelle. “You learn that there isn't just one way to do things, or just one way to live. Broadening my horizons helped me realize people are coming from many perspectives.”
After witnessing firsthand how social media is “making people lazier” and to combat his dislike of the current climate of “slacktivism,” Chappelle founded a nonprofit organization, Social Fund, which brings people together from all over the world for charitable giving. The site, socialfund.org, was launched in December 2012.
Reflecting on how his decision to attend Webster helped shape his global outlook, Chappelle shared that “it was immediately apparent that the instructors at Webster ‘think globally.' The international exposure Webster provided—not just in London or Geneva, but also on the home campus—prepared me for an international career.“