An Interview with Nicky Bell

Name: Nicky BellNicky Bell
Hometown: Erie, PA
William & Mary activivities: Elected to Phi Beta Kappa 2012, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Presented paper at the 2010 Western Political Science Association Conference, 2010 Intern for the Project on International Peace and Security, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, W&M Debate team, Administrator of the Writing Resources Center, Tour Guide
Future goals: Next year, I will be attending the University of Amsterdam for my Master's in European Politics on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. After that, I hope to work in Europe for a couple of years before starting law school or a doctoral program in political science.

Why did you choose William & Mary?

I choose William and Mary for three reasons. First, there are tons of opportunities for students to participate in research, study abroad, and internships that are unique to William and Mary. Second, professors really enjoy teaching and are always available to help or offer advice. I know several of my professors on a first name basis and have been invited to their homes for dinner on a number of occasions. Finally, there is a real sense of community at William and Mary. People really care about each other and want to help each other succeed, which makes this a very comfortable place to live and learn.

What's an example of a scholarly project that you've been involved in?

I worked as a research assistant for Prof. Larry Evans' Congressional Whip Count Project. I looked at original papers from leaders of Congress and coded them over the summer. During the semester, I helped Prof. Evans write two scholarly papers, one of which I presented at the 2010 Western Political Science Association conference. I was the only undergraduate on my panel to present my paper.

What programs have enriched your experience as a Monroe Scholar?

I used my Monroe Scholarship research grant to spend a week in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain researching the memorials to the Madrid train bombings. The opportunity to actually do field research, conduct interviews, and visit the memorials taught me how much fun research can be, and it opened so many doors to other experiences. Research has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my William and Mary career!

What makes being a Monroe Scholar special?

Being a Monroe Scholar gives you access to resources that allow you to get the most out of your William and Mary experience. The Charles Center is always willing to lend a helping hand when you have an idea for a project or need to get connected to people on campus.

How has the Monroe Scholar program enhanced your William & Mary experience?

My first research experience was a project I did with my Monroe Scholarship. Today, I am writing a senior honors thesis and planning to apply for doctoral programs. The Monroe Scholarship helped me learn how much I enjoyed research and has given me the direction to know what I want to do with the rest of my life.