meet Andrew Pick-Roth
new mexico state university

Passing the Torch

Andrew Pick-Roth developed his worldview at an early age. The child of an attorney-turned-civics and public policy teacher, he had friends from every continent and developed a passion for justice and cultural awareness. Today, double majoring in Government and Communication Studies, he hopes to contribute to global solutions leading to nuclear disarmament and world peace.

A Major Influence

Growing up in Albuquerque, Andrew was immersed in the cultures of Russia, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan and the Navajo Nation by spending time in the homes of his culturally diverse classmates and observing their traditions.

But classes in world history influenced his career aspirations. Seeing photos of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, learning about Green Revolution agronomist Norman Borlaug, and reading about the Korean conflict, Andrew was transformed by the idea of alternative solutions that could bring peaceful reconciliations.

He chose New Mexico State University to explore his options. Meetings with several professors, including Government department head Neil Harvey, confirmed his decision. “It was a good fit for me,” Andrew says. The department’s intercultural awareness was obvious, and Andrew set his sights on a double major.

Broadening his Horizons

As a junior, Andrew sought real-world experiences and studied abroad for three semesters at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea. The school turns out a high percentage of the country’s foreign services diplomats, and Andrew felt right at home.

Classes including Chinese Security to East Asian Trade, Global Etiquette and immersive Korean fueled his passion. “Although it was difficult, it was really rewarding, and I could feel myself improving every day,” Andrew recalls.

However, in fall 2022 his host university raised the price of housing for foreign students. Andrew applied for the new Thomas Allyn Donnelly Endowed Scholarship supporting students in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the funds came just in time—enabling him to stay overseas for one more semester.

Honoring a Legacy

Even though Andrew never met Thomas Donnelly, a renowned New Mexico judge, he met his widow, Paula Sass Donnelly, this spring. “It felt very natural to talk to her, and I appreciate everything she went through to do this,” he says.

“Judge Donnelly was reform-minded and caring, and that was admirable,” Andrew adds. “I would like to do something just as impactful, working in the field of international public service either for the State Department or a non-governmental organization. The world needs so many things, and I want to do my part to help.”