Pelin Gul IR Alumni

Pelin Gul

University of Toronto Ph.D. student - Teaching / Research Assistant

Pelin Gül is a second-year Ph.D. student in Sociology at the University of Toronto. She received her master’s degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University, the US in 2020 and a B.A. in International Relations from Sakarya University, Turkey in 2015. Her research areas are at the intersection of migration studies and political sociology. Her research focuses on the politics of immigration, political behavior, and state-civil society relationship in the Global South under the conditions of global and domestic inequalities. She has presented her works at various international academic conferences.

Why did you choose to study International Relations at SF State?

I viewed my M.A. studies as a step in the direction toward a Ph.D. program. The wide range of research areas the faculty members have in the IR department compelled me to choose the M.A. program in IR at SF State as I anticipated it allowing me to find my research interests for future studies.

What is your current position and how did the IR program prepare you for your career?

I am a Ph.D. student in the sociology department at the University of Toronto (U of T). I also work as a Teaching and Research Assistant at the U of T. I certainly believe the IR program at SF State, and specifically, the supervision I received from Prof. Burcu A. Ellis, helped me get accepted to the Ph.D. program with a full scholarship. I gained teaching and research assistantship experiences at SF State, where I started building my instructor and researcher abilities. Moreover, I have received full support and direction from the faculty members in my studies, leading me to present my research at academic conferences and write an M.A. thesis, which laid the foundation for my future studies. These experiences certainly prepared me well for my current position.

What advice can you offer to incoming and current IR students?

I suggest incoming and current IR students find their own path rather than competing with others and be strategic when following their paths. If you hope to have a research-oriented path, make sure to work on your research and teaching abilities. If you wish to have a professional path, make sure to do internships and work on your job skills. But always remember, you can find support within the department whichever path you want to follow.