Shaping Role Models

Elle, '18 Economics

A trip to Myanmar during high school and studying with Dr. Daria Sevastianova, USI associate professor of economics, opened Elle Floyd’s ’18 eyes to and allowed her to pursue her dream of making a difference in the world.  

Arriving at USI as a transfer student with the intention of becoming a nurse, Floyd navigated her way through four majors before she found her mission and purpose in an introductory macroeconomics class taught by Sevastianova.

“Economics solves real world problems,” said Floyd. “It offers solutions to problems in monetary funds, trade issues, the labor market and poverty. I loved putting all the pieces together and seeing how they were related.”

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Elle's passport

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Bags from Myanmar

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2017 marked the sixth year that USI students attended the International Summer University in Osnabruk Germany.

In addition to her Myanmar trip, she traveled with Sevastianova to study abroad in Osnabrück, Germany. At the Hochschule Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, she took a class on the economics of globalization, which included topics that were directly related to her time in Myanmar, including poverty traps and the effects of globalization. “I was completely surprised that a trip to Europe could change my life in such a huge way after I had already experienced such an immense life change in Myanmar,” said Floyd. 

I’m incredibly grateful for the experiences I’ve had while at USI, especially for Dr. Daria’s role in encouraging me to seize the opportunities before me!

Between her classes and her global experiences, and with advice from USI mentors such as Sevastianova, Floyd learned that there is an infinite amount of opportunities out in the world for an economics major with a desire to serve.  

Inspired to keep broadening her horizons, she earned her USI certificate to teach English overseas. She plans to work with the English Language Institute of China, where she’ll help educate refugees and students in five countries around Asia, the Middle East and northern Africa.

Whether the road less traveled will lead Floyd back to Myanmar is unknown, but in this next phase of her life she sees opportunities all over the world, thanks to the global mindset she developed through her economics classes with Sevastianova.  

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to impact students’ and refugees’ lives around the world. I’m interested in pursuing work that promotes education and human development,” said Floyd. “My time at USI and the liberal arts education I received has challenged me to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

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USI business students at the International Summer University in Paris

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Lap top stickers show all of Elle's travels

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Elle at one of the many temples in south eastern Asia

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