“If you aren’t sure what to study, don’t be worried — your passions will lead you.”
– Cody Bock ’17
Hometown: Ankeny, Iowa
Majors: Economics, French
Minor: Environmental Studies
Study Abroad: Paris, France
Campus Activities: Students Concerned About the Environment (SCATE), InterVarsity, Intercultural Educators, French Club, Theatre (Acting and Stage Crew), Writing Tutor and Economics Supplemental Instructor
Research: Emerging Scholars Program; Summer Undergraduate Research Grant
Now Studying: Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Oxford University, United Kingdom
Career Goal: Research, Policy Work or Academia
Cody Bock ’17 completed two majors, one minor and three internships. And those are just part of her Central experience.
She also minored in environmental studies and took political science classes on the side. Between semesters, she did an urban farm internship in Wisconsin, volunteered for Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, taught organic gardening to Des Moines middle school students and completed an honors thesis on the impact of international aid in Mozambique.
Bock’s passion for French also took her to Paris for a semester. ”I didn’t know what I would study when I went to college,” she says, “but I sat in a few different classes my freshmen year and quickly figured it out. If you aren’t sure what to study, don’t be worried — your passions will lead you.”
Brian Peterson, then professor of economics and now associate dean for curriculum and faculty development, said Bock “has an abiding interest in helping other people. She embraces economics as a way to ask, ‘How can she make people’s lives better?’ I have no doubt she’s going to work on significant projects in her future, centered on helping others.”
Her next adventure while at Central was completing a Department of State internship in Burkina Faso. In the internship, she passed the Foreign Service Officer Test, led a sustainability team at the embassy and reported on political and economic trends to support American diplomacy in the French-speaking African country.
Outside the embassy, few people in Burkina Faso speak English. “I could not have survived here without my French,” Bock said of the internship. “I’ve learned some of the local slang and colloquial habits, which helps. Also, I’ve gotten much better at talking on the phone in French, which is the bane of most people who are learning a second language.”
After Central, she went on to teach middle school math in Guinea, another West African country, for two years with the Peace Corps. After her two-year stint in the Peace Corps, she then enrolled at Oxford University, where her current thesis research is focusing on the role of media in discouraging irregular migration from West Africa to Europe. Meanwhile, she’s on the editorial board for a student-run academic journal called St Antony’s International Review and is on her college’s rowing team. After graduating Oxford, she hopes to pursue more research opportunities, be it in a research fellowship, policy think-tank or in continuing in academia to get her Ph.D.