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 2022 Winners

Lewis Fickett award for outstanding graduating senior in International Affairs

Noell Evans



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

Sally Burkley

Sally Burkley is a graduating Honors Scholar with a degree in Political Science and Communications and Digital Studies and a minor in Computer Science. During her time at UMW, she developed a deep interest in media, politics, and elections which led her to work with Professor Farnsworth as a research associate in the Center for Leadership and Media Studies. Through this opportunity, Sally was a co-author of several conference papers, book chapters, and news articles including one published in The Washington Post. In this vein, she wrote her senior honors thesis on “The Relationship Between Late Night, Twitter, and Political Literacy in 2020”. She was selected to present her thesis at the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Research Conference as well.

Beyond the classroom, Sally was co-President of UMW’s Pi Sigma Alpha Chapter, Captain of UMW’s DIII Swim Team, President of the Student Conduct Review Board, and Secretary of UMW’s Mortar Board Chapter. She had two internships over the course of her college career, both in legislative affairs. The first was with defense contractor Ultra Electronics and the second with the Federal Communications Commission. Sally was also recently awarded an eagle award – the Outstanding Senior Alumni Association Award – for her commitment to the UMW community. She also worked as a department aide and department representative.

Sally will be attending William and Mary Law School in the fall and hopes to continue her passions and study technology and media law. She will dearly miss the department and greatly appreciates all they have done for her!!

Alumni Award for outstanding rising junior/senior in International Affairs

Sasha Poletes

Alumni award for outstanding rising junior/senior in Political Science

Maya Jenkins


2021 John M. Kramer Faculty Excellence Award

Professor Jason Davidson


Past Departmental Honors

2021 departmentalHonors