Emma Atkinson was handed a portfolio with some of the most relevant foreign policy topics “and allowed to jump right into them.”
Kurt Chesko met contacts who hired him to open a new office of the HALO Trust, the world’s largest humanitarian landmine clearance agency.
Katie Smith will never forget traveling to Mozambique and South Sudan to see demining work in action and Elise Becker had similar experiences in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.
The four JMU alumni had those experiences while working as Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellows in Humanitarian Demining for the U.S. Department of State. The fellowship, a partnership between the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery at JMU, was established in 1999 to honor three U.S. government officials who died in an August 1995 automobile accident in Bosnia and Herzegovina while on a mission to negotiate an end to the conflict there. In its early years, the fellowship lasted about a semester, but it has been a 12-month position for the past several years. Since its start, 20 JMU graduates interested in international relations have benefited from the unique experience to intern with the State Department.