Elon senior receives selective national fellowship

Elon University senior Kelly Erin McCarty has been named the recipient of a DACOR Bacon House Foundation fellowship for graduate study in international affairs, an award of up to $10,000 that will assist her this fall as she begins work toward a graduate degree related to human rights and social justice.

Kelly McCarty

McCarty is one of 10 students to receive the award from the Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR). The organization solicits nominees from up to 10 invited institutions each year, of which Elon University is one for the 2009-2010 academic year. Faculty members expressed their gratitude to DACOR for selecting Elon to submit nominees for consideration.

The international studies and Spanish double major from Raleigh, N.C., plans to attend Arizona State University in the fall. Her Honors thesis at Elon examines the methods Argentina used to recover from its latest round of political violence, notably the role of art in the healing process. Her research interests are in the use of art as a form of political communication.

McCarty’s long-term goal is to create a nonprofit organization to fund artists and art projects in countries that have experienced genocide or other political violence.

“Receiving this scholarship has been a huge affirmation for me. Some people do not believe that art can help people understand deeply political issues,” McCarty said. “However, when I went to meet with the DACOR committee, they were all very interested in my work.

“It tells me that they believe that this work is valuable and that it has a place in politics and foreign affairs, which is something I have been trying to prove with my thesis and what I hope to continue to prove as a go on to graduate school.”

McCarty is an Honors Fellow who has presented her thesis at conferences in the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico. She is a Presidential Scholar, a member of Phi Kappa Phi and has made the President’s List or Dean’s List every semester since enrolling as a freshman. She was also selected as a member of the Project Pericles Class of 2009.

She is a team captain for Flight of the Phoenix, Elon’s competitive ballroom dance team, and she serves as vice president of Elon’s Ballroom Dance Club. During her time at Elon, McCarty has studied abroad in Argentina and Costa Rica.

“In both her academic work and her extracurricular involvements, Kelly has demonstrated a passion for international affairs,” said Janet Myers, coordinator of national and international fellowships at Elon. “From serving as President of Model United Nations, to leading fundraising efforts for her Periclean Scholars class, to presenting her Honors thesis research at international conferences, Kelly has consistently sought to address global inequalities and promote international understanding. Her exceptional talents as a leader have made the impact of her efforts all the more significant.”

McCarty is the daughter of Dave and Patty McCarty of Raleigh, N.C.

According to its web site, the DACOR Bacon House Foundation was established “to develop mutual international understanding and strengthen ties between the people of the United States and other nations.” It provides up to $250,000 annually to encourage students to pursue careers related to foreign affairs.

DACOR had also named Elon senior Victoria Davis as a fellowship recipient. That award was superseded when Davis learned days later of her selection as a 2009 Fulbright U.S. Student Grant.

Additional Media