Departmental Awards and Scholarships

The Department of Political Science and International Affairs offers two awards for graduating seniors. The Lewis Fickett award goes to a graduating senior in International Affairs. The award is named after the late Dr. Lewis Fickett, a beloved professor of International Affairs. The Ann Elizabeth Fitschen Memorial Award is named after a former student and goes to a graduating senior in Political Science. In deciding the candidates for the award, the faculty look not only at academic excellence but also at service to the department and the UMW community.

In 2019, the department set up two scholarships that are awarded to two outstanding students – one each in Political Science and International Affairs. Declared sophomores and juniors are eligible for these scholarships. The scholarships were established thanks to the generosity of our alumni and a matching grant from Professor John M. Kramer and Mrs. Mary Louise Kramer.

Here, we are the profiles of our most recent winners.

The 2021 Winners

Lewis Fickett award for outstanding graduating senior in International Affairs

Dillon Schweers

My name is Dillon Schweers, and I am a Political Science and International Affairs double major. I am graduating this spring (2021) and will continue my education at William & Mary Law School this fall. While there are many positive things to write about the UMW PS and IA Department, what I have enjoyed most is the rich diversity of course topics facilitated by professors with region-specific expertise. This has allowed me to deeply engage in issues concerning Latin America, the Middle East, and East Asia.

Ann Elizabeth Fitschen Memorial Award for outstanding graduating senior in Political Science

Eva Waszak 

My name is Eva Waszak (she/her) and I am double major in political science and psychological science. I will be graduating from UMW in just a few short weeks and will be continuing my academic career at Elon University School of Law with the intention of pursuing a career in public interest advocacy and law. My main goal and objective, above all else, is to help others. This is especially true when it comes to marginalized populations. I want to be a voice for those whose message may sometimes get lost. I want to make a difference. What I have enjoyed most about the Department of Political Science & International Affairs is the faculty; the support and kindness they have shown me has allowed me to excel in my undergraduate career. I could not have done it without them!

Alumni Award for outstanding rising junior/senior in International Affairs

Gabriel Paguada Matteson

I am a junior majoring in International Affairs with a concentration in National Security Studies and a minor in Security and Conflict Studies. My second major is Anthropology and I am planning on graduating in May 2022. I aspire to work in a future career as an international security analyst. I’m currently developing a unique interdisciplinary approach based on my research in anthropology and security studies. Wherever I ultimately land, my career goal is that my daily labors be in service to making the world a safer and more inclusive place for all people. I greatly appreciate being a part of the PS/IA department as it has allowed me to pursue my passion for positive change in the world through my courses and academic endeavors.

Alumni award for outstanding rising junior/senior in Political Science

 Samantha Barrett

My name is Samantha Barrett (she/her) and I am a political science major. I transferred to UMW after completing my associate’s degree at Germanna Community College. After I graduate next spring, I plan on pursuing a career in political communications. Even though I’ve only spent a short time at UMW (and completely virtually!), I can always count on having spirited discussions with my open-minded classmates. It’s a privilege to learn from such brilliant professors in the political science department and I’m grateful for their kindness, encouragement, and support.

2021 John M. Kramer Faculty Excellence Award

Professor Emile Lester


Past Departmental Honors