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JMU alumna awarded Department of State fellowship

JMU-Elizabeth-WilsonJMU alumna Elizabeth Wilson discovered a passion for making a difference when she was an undergraduate. That passion deepened as she implemented a grant project in partnership with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham Country and traveled to Nicaragua to volunteer with a community transformational development program.

Wilson, a Roanoke native, was named the 26th recipient of the Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellowship for Humanitarian Demining sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery at JMU.

“I am most excited about having the opportunity to travel to different countries and get to know about the organizations and individuals who are making the world a safer place,” said Wilson, who graduated from JMU in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish and followed that up in 2015 with a master’s degree in public administration.

Wilson became interested in helping others locally and internationally while interning with CISR, supporting the monitoring and evaluation of a disability rights campaign in Vietnam. She was also a student volunteer with the Harrisonburg Refugee Resettlement office. “I felt like I could really connect with these individuals who had suffered mental and physical trauma and unending conflict,” she said. “This experience gave me the feeling that I had found what I was truly meant to do, and I hope to continue fulfilling this passion as the FKD Fellow.”

Fellows serve as assistants to weapons removal and abatement staff and have a variety of support responsibilities, including writing official blog posts and assisting with publications; conducting issue research; preparing presentations and talking points; organizing WRA-hosted conferences; processing grant documents; and traveling on program assessment visits.

augusta free press
augusta free press