Alexis Payne

Murray 1693 ScholarAlexis


Ashburn, VA (Broad Run High School)

Why William & Mary

I went through the typical motions of the college selection process – reading through glossy pamphlet statistics, researching departments, and taking a few tours – but aside from excellent academics, I could never pinpoint what exactly I was looking for. I found an equal surface-level appeal in attending universities located in bustling cities or small rural towns. During the whirlwind of decisions and interviews, the words of a guest speaker at a different scholarship event actually stuck with me in particular: “Regardless of where you end up, you’ll want a supportive environment, to surround yourself with people who truly care about your wellbeing and success.” The rich history, dedication to undergraduate research and learning, quirky sense of humor and beautiful campus are reason enough to choose William and Mary on paper, but when I set foot on campus during the 1693 interview weekend, I saw firsthand how invested professors were in the success of their students, and how unapologetically passionate students were about pursuing their interests, not only in their respective fields, but as a whole. When I received my offer, I accepted without hesitation. I knew I had found not only a home and community that I identified with, but also the chance to explore endless possibilities.


Economics and Mathematics

W&M Activities
  • Political Communications Research Assistant for Professor Settle in the Social Networks and Political Psychology (SNaPP) Lab
    • Last year, I collaborated to develop a coding scheme for a national survey examining the contextual facets of political discussion as part of the Contentious Interpersonal Political Interactions (CIPI) project.
    • My current work entails writing literature reviews and conducting an ongoing research project on the misrepresentation of political knowledge level on Facebook to assist Professor Settle with her book project, “Newspaper to News Feed.”
  • Research Assistant for Professor Holmes in the Political Psychology and International Relations (PPIR) Lab
    • I am in the process of developing a research project for 2016-2017
  • W&M Symphony Orchestra (Violinist)
  • W&M Smart Woman Securities
  • Senator in W&M Student Assembly and Secretary of Sophomore Committee
    • I have been elected by the class of 2019 for two consecutive terms to draft and debate legislation benefiting the student body, and have sponsored several bills. I currently sit on the Policy and Student Life committees.
Summer 2016

I worked as a business management intern under Northrop Grumman's Enterprise Services & CSO sector. I got to help compile presentations, build reporting tools, process structure requests, and assist with various ad hoc tasks. In addition to gaining knowledge of different business software, I also got to sit in on calls and meetings with top executives in the corporation, which granted me an overhead view of the workings of a global security company.

High School Activities
  • Violinist in the Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestra
  • Section Leader for school orchestra
  • Administrative Captain of Debate Team
  • Co-President of English National Honor Society
  • Historian of Science National Honor Society
  • Executive Board member of Sigma Tau Sigma
  • Soccer
  • NHS
  • Key Club
  • Co-director of Ashburn branch of Take Charge
  • French National Honor Society
  • French Club
  • AP Scholar with Distinction
  • National Achievement Program - Outstanding Participant