Elon alum wins Rotary scholarship

Julie Anne Kenneally '08 has been named the recipient of a 2008 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, an award that will help fund graduate studies on human rights issues at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. It marks the third time since 2006 that an Elon University student has received the honor.

Julie Anne Kenneally

Kenneally double majored in political science and international studies before graduating in 2008. While at Elon, the Honors Fellow conducted undergraduate research on media coverage of female suicide terrorism. The $24,000 award will help fund her studies starting this fall.

“I am so honored to have been given this opportunity,” Kenneally said. “I can’t wait to go abroad and experience another culture firsthand. I think that living in another country is the only way to fully understand its beliefs, values and culture, and therefore to understand its way of life.”

Kenneally presented her research on suicide terrorism at a conference of the North Carolina Political Science Association and the International Studies Association – South Annual Conference. She volunteered at Elon with the Elonthon fundraiser for the Duke Children’s Hospital; Road Runners, a tutoring service for Spanish-speaking children; Loaves & Fishes Christian Food Ministry food pantry; and Safe Rides, a student-run university program that offers free rides to students in the late hours of weekend nights.

She was also a graduate of the Isabella Cannon Leadership Program.

Kenneally traveled to Costa Rica, Lithuania and Spain as part of her studies. The Massachusetts native today lives in Washington, D.C., where she works at the U.S. Census Bureau.

“She stands out as one of the best students I have ever had,” said Rudy Zarzar, a professor of political science and Kenneally’s thesis adviser. “Her thesis on suicide terrorism was very well written and well researched … and the result bears testimony to her ability as a younger researcher and her motivation to excel.”

Ambassadorial Scholarships were founded in 1947 and help fund one or two years of degree-oriented study in another country, according to the Rotary International web site. The foundation provides $24,000 for each scholarship.

Kenneally is the daughter of John and Joyce Kenneally of Marshfield, Mass.

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