Travel and gavel tapped McDermott’s interest in international relations

Mariah McDermott addressed the spring 2020 graduating class during the Adams State University Virtual Commencement on Saturday, June 6. (Photo courtesy of ASU).

ALAMOSA – Taking advantage of several opportunities at Adams State University, Mariah McDermott traveled internationally and gained experience in government.

“I would not recognize myself as an incoming freshman.” From Lakewood, Colo., McDermott received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and history. As the first in her immediate family to complete a college degree, McDermott hopes to set an example for younger sisters and cousins. “Education is something that can never be taken away from you and I am very grateful for the opportunities that have allowed me to finish my B.A. at Adams.”

Recruited to play softball, McDermott soon began taking advantage of other opportunities, including participating in Model United Nations and becoming a Residence Assistant. She also held positions as executive secretary and then president of Associated Students and Faculty (AS&F), the student government. She took her involvement to the next level as a member of the Adams State Model United Nations Team, serving as treasurer, president, and vice president, during her academic career.

Traveling to Scotland and London to compete at the International MUN Conferences inspired McDermott to organize a similar event for regional high school students back on campus. Mari Centeno, Ph.D., professor of political science, was her academic advisor and the Model UN advisor. “Not only was Dr. C available to discuss MUN and class, but she looked over countless resumes and personal statements, stayed late and came to campus early to make sure that her students were being successful.”

With the assistance of several scholarships and her work-study positions on campus, McDermott graduated in four years with minimal student loan debt. “I am so thankful for the relationships with people on campus because it was so personal in each position or classroom I was in. I felt supported on every level.”

McDermott started a new job within a month of graduating. She is working with a Front Range-based grassroots organization on election campaigns and eventually wants to earn her master’s degree for international relations.