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 2020 Winners

Lewis Fickett award for outstanding graduating senior in International Affairs

Aeriana Mann 

During my four years at Mary Washington, I majored in International Affairs and minored in Middle Eastern Studies. This past semester I completed an independent study for the Middle East Studies minor on the Middle East opioid crisis. Unfortunately, I was unable to present my findings at Research and Creativity Day, but I gained a lot from the experience. This independent study along with all of the classes I took within the IA department made me excited about potentially having a career within the IA field. During my senior year, I was a security intern at Global Dimensions in Fredericksburg which allowed me to explore the private contracting world. However, after graduation this spring, I will be moving to Springfield, Virginia to begin my career working as an analyst with Amentum, a private contracting firm.

I was also involved in the UMW community outside of Monroe. My sophomore year, I volunteered with Stafford Junction and tutored at-risk elementary school students in math and reading. I was also President and Vice President of UMW Students for Life my junior and senior years respectively where I helped the club partner up with local pregnancy resource centers to provide resources to fellow students and others in the Fredericksburg community. I often spent my weekends in and around Fredericksburg either cranking out papers on the third floor of the library or eating pizza with friends at Benny’s. Although I will miss UMW and my professors immensely, I know that they have prepared me as I dive headfirst into my career.

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

Jeremy Engel

Jeremy Engel is a graduating Honors scholar with a degree in political science. During his time at UMW, he developed an affinity for American government, and wrote his senior thesis on the nuances of the presidency. Titled “Presidential Power Reconsidered: A Contemporary Look at Neustadtian Bargaining,” his work explores the presidential-Congressional relationship in the modern age, and attempts to explain the essence of presidential influence in government.

Beyond the classroom, Jeremy is an active member of Phi Beta Kappa, and has worked as a research associate with UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. Together with Dr. Stephen Farnsworth, he has co-authored numerous opinion pieces published in prominent newspapers, and is listed as a co-author for a chapter in Dr. Farnsworth’s recent book, “Late Night with Trump: Political Humor and the American Presidency.”

He is also a two-time Congressional intern, having served in the district and Capitol Hill offices of Representative Jamie Raskin, one of the more prominent sophomore members of Congress. Jeremy intends to work on the Hill in some capacity after graduation, before going to law school and pursuing a degree in Constitutional law. He hopes to eventually work either with the Department of Justice, or as a Judicial Clerk at the federal level.

Alumni Award for outstanding rising junior/senior in International Affairs

Noell Evans

My name is Noell Evans. I am an International Affairs major and currently in my third year at Mary Washington. My main interests are foreign language, diplomacy, and security. In 2017, I studied abroad in South Korea for nine months on a State Department-funded scholarship. There, I studied the Korean language, learned about Korean history and culture, and conducted two research projects on Korean culture and politics. In 2019, I then worked as an intern for ten weeks at the State Department in the East Asia and Pacific Bureau’s office of public diplomacy. There, I experienced first-hand how public diplomacy is executed by assisting in organizing and conducting diplomatic events, attending inter-agency presentations, and providing my supervisors and colleagues with relevant research and memos. In the future, I plan to intern at the FBI or the NCIS.

Alumni award for outstanding rising junior/senior in Political Science

Sally Burkley

Sally Burkley is a rising junior studying Political Science and Communications and Digital Studies with a minor in Computer Science. She is a member of UMW’s DIII Varsity Swim Team, was recently elected Vice President of the Student Conduct Review Board, is a member of the UMW Pre-Law club, and is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha. In summer of 2019, Sally studied abroad in Aix en Provence to immerse herself in the language and the culture. The Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Sciences selected Sally to present at their 2020 Conference within “The Personal is Political: Rhetoric and Themes of Identity”. Sally has been a congressional aide for Georgia Congressman Barry Loudermilk and enjoys volunteering in the Fredericksburg area through COAR. She also enjoys attending the Political Science Department’s guest speaker lectures. Finally, Sally was selected to intern this summer for Fredericksburg lobbying firm Crimson Consulting and hopes to work with them after COVID-19.

2020 John M. Kramer Faculty Excellence Award

Elizabeth Freund Larus

Past Departmental Honors

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