Bridging science and diplomacy

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – From Minot to Grand Forks to Bangkok, Christopher Scott's story is still unfolding, intertwining science, leadership, and a global perspective.

Born and raised in Minot, Scott initially viewed Minot State as a two-year stay before transferring, but the welcoming atmosphere made him reconsider his plans.

"My original plan going into Minot State was to go through my first couple of years there as a chemistry major and then transfer to UND (the University of North Dakota) to finish in the physics program," he said. "Ultimately, that changed as I really felt at home at Minot State and started to get involved in student leadership across the campus. Thus, I graduated with a degree in chemistry in the Spring of 2023."

As he transitioned from a chemistry major at Minot State to pursuing a master's in physics at the University of North Dakota, Scott's academic journey expanded beyond science. The pivotal moment came when an unexpected encounter with the UND Vice President of Student Affairs, Art Malloy, opened the door to an opportunity that would take Scott across borders.

"It is a bit of a funny story. Last fall, towards the beginning of my first semester at UND, I met (Malloy), he was wearing a suit, and he had a UND pin. I have had a mission of collecting all 11 North Dakota University System pins (I have five currently), and I had asked where I could find a UND pin to buy,” Scott explained. “He happened to have a few to give out to people and invited me to stop by his office sometime to pick one up. So, I did, and being in his office, we talked about the state of higher education in North Dakota and my experiences with student leadership in North Dakota.

“As we continued our conversation, he informed me the United Nations Global Peace Summit was happening in 2024 and asked if I was interested in going."  

The invitation to the United Nations Global Peace Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, sparked intrigue. Scott recalls, "It was truly an opportunity that I could not pass up."

The summit, revolving around peacebuilding, exposed Scott to a tapestry of narratives that transcended mere statistics. From the UN Ambassador for Palestine sharing the harsh realities of the Israel-Palestine conflict to genocide survivors narrating their harrowing stories, the experience was transformative. 

“Hearing these events from someone who has been through them rather than a news report with the number of casualties from a conflict really adds a lot of humanity to these events and was very heartbreaking," said Scott. 

On home soil, Scott left an indelible mark in North Dakota's student leadership scene, serving as the North Dakota Student Association President and a Student Government Association Senator. 

Scott's journey from a Residence Hall Association (RHA) Representative to the NDSA President and eventually a UN Global Peace Summit participant displays his commitment to seizing opportunities, regardless of size.  

"I started my student leadership journey in RHA representing 40 students. This eventually led me to the NDSA President representing approximately 45,000, which led to being selected as a member of the 2024 UN Global Peace Summit, where 350 student leaders from 47 different countries gathered," he said. "Small opportunities can lead to massive ones. If I had not jumped at the opportunity to be an RHA representative, I would not be where I am today."

Looking forward, whether navigating the complexities of diplomatic relations or advocating for space policy, Scott envisions a future where his contributions transcend personal aspirations with a keen focus on helping others.

"My future contributions as a leader are to make sure that I am helping others as much as possible," Scott said. "What will that look like? I have no clue, but in every role, I have been in, I have made it my mission to make sure that I am helping and representing the people I am representing over the best that I can to the best of my abilities."

Initially drawn to the scientific world with aspirations of becoming an astronaut, Scott's path took unexpected twists as the allure of student leadership echoed.

As Scott continues to navigate the intersection of science, leadership, and diplomacy, his story becomes an inspiring narrative for future leaders seeking to bridge the gap between diverse fields and make a lasting difference in the world.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 04/01/24   

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