Rachel Arthur ‘23 Earns Prestigious Fellowship

Rachel Arthur ‘23 is the first student at Ursinus College to be awarded the Frasure-Kruzel-Drew (FKD) Memorial Fellowship. Established in 1999, the FKD Fellowship is administered by the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) at James Madison University and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA). Incredibly competitive, the fellowship is only awarded to two individuals: one JMU student and one student at an institution of higher education other than JMU.

Currently an International Relations major – along with minors in economics, history, and German – Arthur plans on working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). These philanthropic groups are citizen-based and work independently from any government.

Arthur initially found out about the fellowship through the job board “Idealist,” which lists humanitarian jobs and internships as well as volunteer opportunities. Arthur’s long-term career goals focus on entering the nonprofit sector at the end of her fellowship. She said that the fellowship will support her professional aims as she will learn “about the grant process (which funds NGOs) of the State Department and how the Office of Weapons Removal works with NGOs as implementation partners.”

After accepting the fellowship, participants will move to Washington D.C. to work in the U.S. Department of State for two years. The fellows will be working full-time, 40-hour weeks, in a Federal Government Office. Luckily, the position is paid and health insurance along with other employee benefits are provided.

Arthur, who is originally from Fairfax, California, will be moving to Washington, D.C. directly after graduation to prepare for the program’s start this summer. She will be with the program from July 1st, 2023 to June 20th, 2025. She shared that for the first year of her fellowship she will be “working with the resource management team learning about and assisting with managing Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) programs around the world and negotiating grants, contracts, and other agreements for CWD implementation.”

Following this, during her second year, Arthur will be overseeing CWD projects in other countries under the Program Management Division. She clarified, “For context, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement manages the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction program, which includes an array of assistance activities that enhance U.S. security, protect civilian populations from the dangers posed by conventional arms, assist victims of conflict, and facil- itate economic development. CWD encompasses small arms and light weapons destruction and stockpile management programs, as well as humanitarian mine action assistance.”

Arthur concluded by expressing her gratitude for her advisor Dr. Johannes Karreth as well as Dr. Becky Evans and the rest of the International Relations department: “I can’t praise the IR department more for all their help and support not only in this process, but also over the course of the past four years – so, so grateful for all their support.”

Gianna McCarthy gimccarthy@ursinus.edu