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London trip helps student find her calling

A visit to London has put Zara Watson on a career path toward international law.

The 22-year-old senior from Queens spent more than two weeks in London over the 2009 winter break as part of a criminal justice program. Watson and other students attended a murder trial, met with Scotland Yard detectives and learned about international law from lawyers at the U.S. Embassy.

“I feel you can do so much with international law,” Watson said. “I’m interested in human rights and would like to focus on that.”

The London visit also had personal significance for Watson, who was born in London but left at age 2 and had never been able to return. The trip gave Watson the opportunity to see the hospital where she was born.

“It was an amazing and wonderful trip,” she said. “London is very classy.”

Watson continued her international work last month, when she and others taught English and did community recycling in Costa Rica.

On campus, Watson is stressing the law by serving as a member of the Student Conduct Board. She is one of a dozen students who go door to door on “info blitzes,” educating Binghamton students on campus rules.

“It’s nice to bring awareness to students,” the sociology major said. “It also helps your public speaking skills and lets you get to know people.”

Watson’s campus work does not end there: She also serves as a High Hopes counselor and as a resident assistant in the new Bingham Hall.

Susan Briggs, assistant director of the Office of Student Conduct, has noticed the impact that Watson has made on campus.

“What impresses me the most, however, is not the number of things that she does, but the quality of her character and the sensitivity and compassion with which she conducts herself,” Briggs said. “Zara has been a true asset to the Binghamton University community and I am confident that as she goes out from Binghamton she will continue to be a woman who makes a true difference in the lives of those around her.”

Watson, who speaks French, plays piano and enjoys tap dancing, plans to attend law school but is considering taking a year off to do volunteer work.

“I look back to my freshman year and it’s crazy to see how much of a different and more mature person I am today,” she said. “The activities I’ve been involved with have helped me develop a sense of who I am. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet so many different types of people and form so many friendships.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08