Reflections on my year as the Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellow
Eds: Katherine Smith was the 20th JMU graduate selected for the Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellowship for Humanitarian Demining. Katie offered the following reflection on her year as HD Fellow as well as photos from her time at the U.S. Department of State. On 20 August, Lindsay Aldrich will become the 21st HD Fellow to serve in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA). CISR is honored to host this prestigious opportunity and will share updates on the Fellowship here on our blog. For more information on the Fellowship, visit: http://cisr.jmu.edu/Other/students/fellowship/fellowship.html
Serving as the 2011-2012 Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellow in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) was an incredible honor. During my time in PM/WRA, I served as the Assistant Program Manager for Conventional Weapons Destruction in Africa, where I learned the about managing humanitarian mine action grants and traveled to South Sudan and Mozambique on program-assessment visits. Observing the implementation of the grants in the field allowed me to see firsthand the huge impact of clearance work on some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. In addition, I assisted with public affairs by speaking to local groups about landmine contamination and writing blogs and press releases for the office.
Overall, the year was a rewarding whirlwind experience that challenged me professionally and intellectually. I strongly encourage graduating JMU students to consider applying for this hands-on fellowship!
Katie Smith is pursuing her graduate degree in International Development at the University of Edinburgh.