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CAS Student receives Scoville Fellowship

TAMPA, Fla. -- A University of South Florida alumna, Lianet Vazquez, has been awarded the prestigious Herbert Scoville Peace Fellowship. She will be the first USF student to join the fellowship that will allow her to work with organizations in Washington, D.C., that specialize in international security, relations and politics this spring.

As part of her fellowship, Vazquez has already met with six non-governmental organizations and will choose between two organizations to join for the six to nine month period. The choices consist of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), where she will be planning conferences on various international issues in Washington, D.C., and the United Kingdom, or the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a non-partisan think tank on foreign policy.

In addition to the unfathomable amount of networking opportunities at the nation’s capitol, she also will be mentored by the president of the Fellowship, Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., who will help guide the process of her international political research. As a fellow, Vazquez will receive a $2,700 monthly stipend and nearly $1,000 allocated for traveling expenses to the many conferences she will attend.

Vazquez first got her interest in politics after taking a required geopolitics class for her biology honors program.

Her passion to help resolve the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict and non-proliferation in the Middle East helped her to decide to double major in political science.

In choosing either of the two organizations, Vazquez hopes to focus on significantly improving communication with the two sides in order to resolve all matters in the region peacefully.

This is a concept that she believes to be the most important, stating that all communication is a “two-way street.”

With the knowledge that she will gain from this experience in the coming months, she not only wants to be apart of bringing an era of peace to the region but also attempt to negate the common misconceptions Americans have about the area.

Continuing her theme of communication, she believes that “when you don’t communicate, you become lost to stereotype.” She said that the Middle East is indeed welcome to the idea of democracy in opposition to the average American’s opinion.

With this, she said she also hopes to negate the stereotypes that foreigners might have against Americans as well. This is a goal that is already in progress from her extensive time in the region with her 2012 trip to learn Arabic in Jordan, along with visits to Egypt, Israel and Pakistan.

After completing the fellowship, Vazquez is planning on enrolling in a dual master’s program to study international affairs and international policy at the Paris School of International Affairs and the London School of Economics.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Arts and Sciences Alumni    
Author: Jose Rodriguez-Rivera