Faith Leslie ’21 awarded Rotary Global Grant Scholarship for graduate study abroad

Faith Leslie '21, a political science and international and global studies double major, has been awarded a $30,000 Rotary Global Grant Scholarship to support her graduate studies in the fall.

As Faith Leslie ’21 begins her pursuit of a master’s degree in Italy, the Elon senior will do so with the support of a substantial scholarship award.

Leslie, a political science and international and global studies double major from Columbia, Maryland, has been awarded a $30,000 Rotary Global Grant Scholarship. The award will support her studies in the fall as she begins coursework at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy. Leslie received sponsorship from the Piedmont District 7690 Rotary Club.

Rotary scholarships fund graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years. Successful applicants must have a long-term commitment to working within one of Rotary’s six areas of focus: Peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development. Faith’s area of focus is peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

“I am so incredibly grateful to be receiving this award,” Leslie said. “Ever since I visited Bosnia and Herzegovina during my semester abroad in the fall of 2019, I have been passionate about pursuing a career in diplomacy aimed at peacebuilding and conflict prevention. So, to be recognized with an award in this area is so meaningful and has only given me more motivation to achieve my career goals.”

Leslie earned the scholarship following a decorated journey as an undergraduate at Elon. The senior is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Signma Iota Rho Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society and Pi Delta Phi Honor Society. Leslie also received the Rudolf T. Zarzar Award for Best Student in Political Theory and was named a Turnage Family Fund for Political Communications recipient in 2019, and was awarded Presidential and Global Engagement Scholarships in 2017.

Leslie’s interest in political communications and transatlantic cooperation through the EU and NATO was the driving force behind her undergraduate research at Elon. Under the guidance of her academic advisor and research mentor Laura Roselle, Leslie conducted undergraduate research titled “Conflict in the international system in the time of Trump: Strategic narratives in White House daily newsletters.” Leslie presented that research at the North Carolina Political Science Association’s 2021 Conference and at the 2021 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Leslie also completed a senior seminar thesis titled “International influence and ethnic reconciliation: A battle for dominance in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” in which she studied how competition between international organizations – like the EU and NATO – and Russia impacts post-war ethnic reconciliation.

“Faith is intellectually curious, smart, and is deeply interested in political communication and European politics,” Roselle said. “Her research skills are outstanding, and she has served as the lead content editor of the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics this semester. It has been an honor to work with her.”

Prior to the start of her graduate studies in Italy, Leslie will spend the summer interning with the Center for European Policy Analysis as a Transatlantic Leadership intern. At Johns Hopkins, Leslie will pursue a master’s degree in international affairs and plans to pursue a career in diplomacy, working in the fields of conflict prevention and European policy. She is excited for the opportunity to continue her studies abroad and equip herself with new perspectives and experiences that will help advance her career.

“Choosing to pursue my master’s degree abroad, I knew that I was taking a risk,” Leslie said. “However, I also knew that being able to study European affairs in Europe would be indispensable and that it will allow me to grow not only as a growing professional but also as a person.”

As she prepares to graduate from Elon this month, Leslie is grateful for each opportunity and relationship that has helped her come closer to reaching her ultimate goal.

“The most impactful part of my Elon experience has been within the Department of Political Science and Policy Studies,” Leslie said. “The faculty there has been so incredibly supportive and has done everything they possibly could to help me succeed. I have to thank Dr. Laura Roselle for all of her mentorship and support. I would have never been able to accomplish as much as I have during my time at Elon without her.”