Globetrotter’s next stop: UC Berkeley

Korinn Ruiz and Korinn Ruiz

Living in Mexico for 18 years and studying abroad in China are not standard experiences for most students. But John Travis, 21, has already been exposed to many different cultures and ways of life.

“It really opened my eyes,” said Travis, this year’s political science department Outstanding Student of the Year. “It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Originally a journalism major, Travis felt he could do better with a degree relating to politics.

“I’m a news junkie, he said. “I felt I could learn more and explain the world through political science.”

Dr. John Kay, political science professor and one of Travis’s role models, believes that Travis will go far in the field.

“He’s generally a nice young man. He’s self disciplined and has a good future,” Kay said. “He knows there’s ups and downs in life and he’s able to adjust.”

Besides school, Travis has also been involved with several activities on campus, including being a teaching assistant for Kay, working in the LRC, holding an office in Phi Theta Kappa, and participating in the Model United Nations.

“He’s put in a full year as a tutor. Usually about four days a week for about two hours a day,” Kay said. “He’s helped a lot of students.”

Travis said his favorite memory from Santa Barbara City College was going on the study abroad trip to China and Vietnam in Fall 2004.

“It’s one of the best ways to learn,” he said.

Next on Travis’s travel agenda is the Bay Area – he’ll continue his political science major at UC Berkeley.

“I would eventually like to be a professor or get into a [non-governmental organization]. I’m also interested in international relations,” Travis said.

Travis recently received the Jason Davidson Scholarship, earning him $750 towards his education.

“He’s the kind of kid with a zest for living,” said Kay. “He’s accomplishing his goals.”

What advice does this self-proclaimed news junkie have for his fellow students?

“Definitely study abroad.”