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Gabrielle DeBelen

Murray 1693 Scholardebelen_g


Las Vegas, NV (Ed W Clark HS)


Public Policy 
Global Studies (concentration in Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies)

Why W&M

From the very first postcard I received to the moment Dan called to offer me a spot in the 1693 Scholars Program, my experience with William &  Mary was tailor-made to fit me.  Before I had even set foot on campus, I had received handwritten messages from my regional admissions counselor and specific information about my interests. In the midst of a college admissions process where I felt like just another application number and resume, William & Mary made me feel special. When I first visited campus, I saw that it wasn’t just me. Each member of the student body was special in their own way. Creative and fun, without being too intimidating. Involved and driven, without being too cutthroat. I was drawn to the community of the like-minded people I met. Students were open-minded and genuinely interested in what I had to say, and professors were eager to teach and collaborate with their students.

The opportunities of the 1693 Scholars Program were also appealing, especially the ability to lead my own funded research as an undergraduate (free laundry and free food was a nice perk, too). Most of all, William & Mary gave me a sense of rich historical atmosphere that I knew I wouldn’t find anywhere else. The prospect of studying in some of the oldest buildings in America and becoming part of a great tradition of scholars is incredibly invigorating. Sitting in the Great Hall of the Wren Building on the last night of my 1693 Scholars Finalist Weekend, surrounded by portraits of our Founding Fathers - I knew at William & Mary, I could make history, too.

W&M Activities
  • Research Fellow for the International Justice Lab at the Global Research Institute
    Our team is currently working on evaluating the impact of NGOs in the creation and success of truth commissions. I am helping to create a novel data set on the implementation of truth commissions' report recommendations in Guatemala, South Africa, and Timor-Leste for Professor Kelly Zvobgo's book, “Governing Truth: NGOs, Accountability Politics, and Truth Commissions.”
  • Tournament Chair of the William & Mary Mock Trial Team
  • Member of Merrimac Mentors, a student organization that volunteers at a local juvenile detention center
  • Member of the Filipino American Student Association
  • Spring 2019 Research Assistant for the Diplomacy Lab: Turkey
    The Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership with the State Department where students and faculty experts perform research related to foreign policy challenges. I worked with Professor Elizabeth Losh and a team of undergraduates to author a white paper to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara Turkey with strategies for generating content for public diplomacy campaigns on social media. 
Summer 2019

I interned with the Victim/Witness Assistance Center at the Clark County District Attorney's Office in Las Vegas, NV. I shadowed prosecutors, attended criminal trials, and worked with advocates to provide victims/witnesses with resources and support as their cases moved through the criminal justice system.

High School Activities
  • Mock Trial President
  • Theatre Club Secretary
  • Sahara West Children’s Library Volunteer
  • Teen Advisory Group President
  • Accounting Assistant at Healthwell Medical Group
  • Classical vocal training at Nevada Arts Academy
  • Piano lessons at Nevada Arts Academy
  • Health Occupations Students of America 
Awards / Distinctions
  • National Merit Semi-Finalist
  • AP Scholar with Distinction