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A onetime Olympic ice dancer and a graduate of the College, Siobhan Heekin-Canedy (’18) spoke to students on the New England campus last week about her work in the international pro-life arena and the World Youth Alliance.

Siobhan Heekin-Canedy (’18)
Siobhan Heekin-Canedy (’18) 

The talk, “Career Paths for a Global Culture of Life: From TAC to World Youth Alliance and Beyond,” began with Ms. Heekin-Canedy giving a short account of her own path to the field of international affairs. Through her ice-dancing travels, the Connecticut native developed a wide-ranging experience with several different cultures. “Seeing the common human nature and human dignity among all these various cultures, and seeing the different facets of God’s goodness, attracted me to this type of diversity that we see in our world,” she remarked.

After graduating from the College in 2018, Ms. Heekin-Canedy earned a master’s degree in international relations — with concentrations in Russia, Eastern Europe, and international public law — at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. During that time she interned with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations and wed fellow alumnus Michael O’Hara (’15). The couple were blessed last fall with daughter Maris Stella, who joined her parents for last week’s trip to the College’s Northfield, Massachusetts, campus.

Throughout her talk, Ms. Heekin-Canedy drew on her experience, encouraging students to spend their summers wisely. “Going into TAC, I knew I wanted to go into the field of international affairs, and to do that I would need a more specialized graduate degree,” she recalled. So, while a student at the College, she prepared for graduate school by completing two summers of intensive Russian studies with Columbia University, spent time with a host family in Vladimir, Russia, and interned at the U.S. State Department. “There are some paths where you will need to get some additional experience and credentials,” she explained. “What I would like to recommend is that you use your opportunities, and particularly your summers, wisely now.”

Ms. Heekin-Canedy also detailed several programs and opportunities offered by the World Youth Alliance, in particular its online summer internships. “You will have opportunities to write blog posts, attend online events or maybe even help plan them, design social media campaigns, help with online fundraising ... there are so many options,” she said. She also encouraged students to consider international work. “Maybe, just maybe, you are being called to use your gifts in a more global context.”