MSUToday
Published: Jan. 15, 2015

Two Honors College seniors nominated for nationally competitive research assistant fellowship

Contact(s): Stephanie Cepak Honors College office: (517) 355-2326 scepak@msu.edu, Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore Honors College office: (517) 35-2326 jacks174@msu.edu

Two Michigan State University Honors College seniors interested in international affairs have been nominated for a nationally competitive research assistant fellowship through the Carnegie Junior Fellows Program within the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The two nominees are Varsha Koduvayur and Brittany Zwierzchowski. Koduvayur is majoring in international relations and comparative cultures and politics in James Madison College and Arabic in the College of Arts and Letters. Zwierzchowski is majoring in political theory and constitutional democracy in James Madison College.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Each year, the endowment offers 10-12 fellowships from a pool of nominees from nearly 400 participating colleges. Carnegie junior fellows work as research assistants to the endowment's senior associates.

“Varsha and Brittany have pursued rigorous programs of study at MSU with an eye toward engaging in our global community and becoming game changers,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the Honors College. “We are proud to put forward their names for nomination to the Carnegie Jr. Fellows Program.”

Michigan State has previously produced one Carnegie Jr. Fellow.

Koduvayur is from Auburn Hills, Michigan, graduating from Avondale Senior High School.

She’s participating in MSU’s Arabic Flagship Program, which includes studying in Morocco during the current academic year. Koduvayur is the recipient of the Cole International Study Award through the Honors College.

She previously interned for The Prajnya Trust in India and the Center for Gender in Global Context at MSU, worked as a paralegal for McGinty Law Firm in East Lansing, Michigan and participated in the G20 Youth Summit in Germany.

After watching the terrorist attack on Mumbai unfold in 2008, Koduvayur knew what she wanted to do as a career.

“In the future, I hope to enter government service, and the depth of knowledge and policy analysis skills that Carnegie would equip me with will be invaluable,” Koduvayur said.

Zwierzchowski is from Waterford, Michigan, graduating from Waterford Kettering High School.

She is a communications intern for Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Office, as well as research assistant to James Madison College Dean Sherman Garnett. She is also a teaching assistant for a History of Art course in the College of Arts and Letters.

Zwierzchowski is the recipient of the Cole Excellence Scholarship from the Honors College.

“I am committed to pursuing a career that embodies this passion for global collaboration and intercommunication,” she said. “My major, political theory and constitutional democracy, provides me with the foundation to examine how political theory can guide contemporary public policy.”

The National and International Fellowship and Scholarship (NIFS) Office at MSU, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. The Honors College serves academically talented, committed students who wish to pursue and achieve academic excellence.

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