Gehrig is currently enrolled in a two year International Relations Master’s program that focuses on Eurasian geopolitics. During the summer interim of his program, he is working at the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. His final project will be a report that will outline the current political and sociological transformations occurring throughout the European continent. His specific area of focus for this report is authoritarianism and democratic legitimacy in the European Union and Central/Eastern Europe. “Our goal is to develop possible policy recommendations that can address the various concerns that the region currently faces. It’s a great avenue for career development in politics and international Relations, and it’s proving to be a rich opportunity for research that I plan to also incorporate into my dissertation.”
One of Gehrig’s fondest memories was during his final year as an undergrad at the University of Maryland College Park, when he joined the Language House Program and lived in a language immersion apartment with dozens of other language clusters. “We had to speak our target language for up to 80% of the time and get really engaged with extracurricular projects and excursions that made my last year very memorable.” After that, he studied abroad in St. Petersburg for the summer of 2015, which was an affirming experience. “From then on, I knew I wanted to continue furthering my studies and career development abroad. This past year I completed the first half of my master’s program in the United Kingdom at Kent University and will be moving on for the second year at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.”
One of the defining experiences at Curley which Gehrig attributes to directly influencing his interest in language and politics was the 2010 and 2011 summer “Eurotrips.” “I am incredibly fortunate to have had the support system I did which made the trips possible, because they really did open the world up to me in a way I never thought possible.” The experiences not only cemented his passion for understanding other parts of the world, but also reinforced a group of friends that he is still close with today. “I had already befriended everyone who went in 2010 before the actual trip. The same people I had eaten lunch and laughed with for years all signed up for the same trip independently by sheer coincidence. We came to the realization one day at lunch--it was kind of funny.” Gehrig also mentioned that he will never forget the lessons he learned in Freshman Literature, and how Pearl Jam performed for a Target™ commercial in 2009.
When asked what advice he would give to a young man considering Curley for his high school education, Gehrig had this to say: “I would tell them that there are places in your life where you will be taught lessons and places where you will live lessons. Curley is a place where you have the opportunity to experience both. You have the opportunity to develop academic discipline at a college preparatory level from the curriculum if you apply yourself. There are also unspoken lessons which you will experience; the lessons you can only learn from growing with the same group of peers are gateways to fundamental character qualities such as respect, accountability, responsibility and adaptability. You likely won’t find that in many other experiences throughout your life, let alone any other high school. That’s why we call it a 'brotherhood.' It’s not just a slogan; it has a deliberate connotation."