Class of 2022 Student Spotlight: Veronica Maska | News | Department of Political Science


Veronica Maska graduated in May with a major in business analysis and minors in constitutional studies and philosophy. Through constitutional studies, Maska had the opportunity to pursue his academic interests and explore the intersection of business philosophy and politics.

“I got to really dive into things like international law, diplomacy from the Holy See to the United Nations, and applying machine learning models to evaluate different policy agendas to help women and children,” a- she declared.

Maska planned to conduct research while studying abroad in Rome during her freshman year, but when plans changed due to COVID-19 university protocols, she took advantage of her on-campus resources, participating in the place for directed readings with Professor Daniel Philpott, professor at the CCCG faculty.

“I was able to study the diplomacy of the Holy See at the international level – in particular at the United Nations – with a particular emphasis on the history of bioethical issues and the human rights project, as well as on the way in which these topics intersect with Catholic thought,” she explained. .

During a Tocqueville Fellows event, Maska discovered Helen Alvaré’s work with non-UN institutions on bioethical issues. She was then able to interview Alvaré, who is a leading academic and law professor, and who has worked extensively with the Holy See. “During the directed reading, I got to talk to him about all of his work, and I also got to interview some other really amazing professors and scholars, and people who have been involved in political diplomacy in the past,” Maska said.

In addition to exploring his interest in international diplomacy and bioethics, Maska was able to supplement his business major with courses in constitutional studies. “There is a philosophical underpinning that constitutional studies puts on politics. As a student with a philosophy minor, constitutional studies was a great way to apply this more to real politics.

During the summer before his senior year, Maska completed an internship at a consulting firm in Washington DC, which allowed him to tap into his three academic fields: business, philosophy, and constitutional studies.

A project during the internship focused on using artificial intelligence to determine if a person is eligible for government programs and social assistance. Maska said she was able to engage with the ethical side of using AI by understanding not only the algorithm being used, but also the assumptions behind the algorithm as it relates to applications. government programs.

“There are a lot of intersections to explore between constitutional studies, machine learning, and other business analytics,” she said. In a machine learning class at Notre Dame, Maska was able to use artificial intelligence to assess the USDA’s special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. “We were able to bring in census economic data and then create machine learning models to see if we could predict the level of enrollment in these programs based on state poverty levels and where they match the qualification. for programs,” she explained. She said this type of machine learning can be applied to assess the effectiveness and equitable delivery of government programs.

In addition to her minor in constitutional studies, Maska was a Tocqueville scholar for six semesters. “There are so many different activities and events that are part of the program, but I’m really saying it’s become a community. These are people I’ve known since year one through the program, and it’s a really good community to bounce ideas off of and build friendships with people who see things differently than you do,” she said. .

Maska particularly appreciated the conferences organized for the Tocqueville Fellows. “I love conferences because I didn’t have a lot of seminars in my classes at business school. As someone who did a lot of seminars and big book talks in high school, I knew that was something I wanted as part of my college education,” she said.

She fondly remembers her first colloquium, which was on immigration: “I met some good friends at that colloquium, and we come back to those talks from time to time because they were very, very good. There were a lot of people who disagreed with each other in interesting ways, and we were all learning from each other.

In the fall, Maska will begin a government consulting job providing legal analysis to federal agencies.

Originally posted by Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government at on August 09, 2022.

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