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Fall 2016 Scholars

Abby Barnes
Abby Barnes '17

Abby is a rising senior at the College majoring in International Relations with a French & Francophone Studies minor. She loves learning languages and considers the Russian house her second home. On campus she works for AidData implementing a survey to increase aid transparency, and to evaluate the impact of external assessments of development partners such as the World Bank and USAID on internal policy of developing country beneficiaries. This summer, she will be interning for Atlas Corps, an international exchange program in D.C. that promotes global leadership. She enjoys teaching a preschool class at her nondenominational church, interviewing applicants for a peer tutoring company, and playing as a middle blocker for the William & Mary’s Club Volleyball Green team. She is passionate about cross-cultural communication and is excited to see how it can benefit conflict resolution. She is also eager to meet new interesting, hard-working people and explore D.C.

Ava Chafin '18

Ava is a current sophomore at the College, and is majoring in International Relations and Economics. On campus, Ava is involved in the International Relations Club, and is currently the Director General for the Collegiate Model United Nations Conference that the club holds every spring. She is also an administrative intern for the Project for International Peace and Security on campus. Ava worked for AidData this past summer geocoding international aid, from donors such as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank, in order to make financial aid flows more transparent. Through this work as well as the classes she has taken, she has learned that Latin American politics are what interest her and is excited to further explore the role that the United States plays in that region as well as the rest of the world. In her free time, Ava enjoys adventuring throughout campus and cannot wait to do the same in D.C.

Brenna Cowardin '19

Brenna Cowardin is a rising sophomore at the college from Harrisonburg, Virginia.  She is currently planning to declare a major in Public Policy and a minor in Hispanic Studies.  On campus, she’s a member of Humans of William & Mary and the women’s club ultimate Frisbee team.  Brenna also volunteers with College Partnership for Kids at Matthew Whaley Elementary School twice a week. She is very passionate about the human narrative after years of training in the field of journalism, and she hopes to reach out and change lives through that passion while in DC this semester. In her spare time, Brenna can be found most likely sleeping or running or eating chocolate, and occasionally making relatively gourmet meals. Brenna lived in a small town growing up, so she’s excited for a completely new experience this fall. She is eager to see what life in the city will offer and what kind of change she can be a part of when she gets there.

Yukuan Hao '19

Yukuan Hao is a rising sophomore from Beijing, China. He is majoring in Religious Studies, and is deciding between another major in Sociology or Philosophy. On campus he is a member of the Sharpe Program, and the Diversity in Philosophy discussion group. He is interested in Chinese social inequalities and cross-cultural studies. He will be conducting his research on Han-Yi education achievement gap in southwest China this summer. He is really excited to learn how the United States government understands China. He hopes his knowledge will help both sides to form a shared understanding to facilitate cooperation in the future. In his free time, Yukuan likes swimming and cooking. He is looking forward to spending his semester at another nation’s capital.

Mitch Hall '17

Mitch Hall is a rising senior at the College and hails from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. On campus, Mitch is a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity, the Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity, and College Republicans, and has previously conducted research in the Government department’s Social Networks and Political Psychology (SNaPP) Lab. Pursuing a B.A. in Government with a History minor, Mitch hopes to find a future career that combines his passion for politics with his talent for writing. In his free time Mitch enjoys hiking and outdoor recreation, meeting new people, reading up on world history, and writing controversial opinion pieces for The Federalist magazine. After a semester off from school spent in Seattle, Washington, Mitch is eager to get back to the East Coast and is especially looking forward to living and working in Washington, D.C., a place he fell in love with while interning last summer.

Rachel Kallon '17

Rachel Kallon is a rising senior at the college of William & Mary, majoring in International Relations.  Rachel hails from from Sierra Leone but was born in Islamabad, Pakistan.  On campus she is a tour guide, a dancer on the hip hop dance team Syndicate, a member of the African Cultural Society and a sister of Chi Omega sorority.  Rachel is interested in humanitarian aid and human rights and hopes to one day work in South and Southeast Asia.  In her free time she likes to dance, spend time with her friends and socialize in Swem library for prolonged periods of time.  Rachel is extremely excited to start a new chapter of her life in Washington, DC and create new memories. 

Lidia Kovacevic '17

Lidia Kovacevic is a rising senior majoring in International Relations at the College. Originally from Falls Church, VA, she moved to Belgrade, Serbia when she was 8, sparking her initial interest in all things international. On campus, Lidia is involved with the student think-tank, AidData, as a research assistant for the Geocoding team. In addition, she is a member of the International Relations club, where she helps plan the annual Model United Nations conference for middle school students. In her free time, Lidia enjoys spending time around campus and filling coffee punch cards.  

Johnson Liu '18

Zhaoning (Johnson) Liu is a sophomore from Shandong Province, China. A International Relations major with Econ minor, Johnson is a member of the AidData TUFF team and a former participant in the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association. With an interest in Middle Eastern Affairs and Islam, Johnson had traveled to several Arab countries and is currently interning at the AALIM Morocco American School. During his trip, he interviewed students from local universities on Sino-Middle East Relations, covering topics like trade agreement or Chinese investment under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Johnson is also interested in New Media, and has worked for Collegedaily, the largest Wechat platform for Chinese students in North America, since February 2015, writing and editing articles related to culture differences and college lives.

Andie Powers '17

Andie Powers is a junior at the College of William & Mary. As a Government major, she focuses heavily on international politics with an emphasis on intra-state conflicts and peace processes. She is an avid contributor to the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations (ITPIR), a research institute at William & Mary focused on international relations research. From administrative to investigative, she has done it all. Most recently, Andie was the senior administrative intern for the Project on International Peace and Security -a security think-tank under the ITPIR umbrella -and a research assistant for the Center on African Development (CAD), investigating the historical links to the spatial distribution of today's African populations. In her time between meetings, she participates in the William & Mary International Relations Club, both traveling to and directing for Model United Nations conferences across the world.  Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Andie moved up to the District with her parents while in high school. She has acclimated to the Beltway life, but still considers Texas her true home.

Cora Stern
Cora Stern '17

Cora Stern is a junior at the College and is originally from Arlington, VA.  She is pursuing a major in International Relations with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. On campus, she is involved in the William & Mary Ultimate Frisbee Club and is the Officer of Communications for Hillel. Cora has a passion for the Middle East and is planning to go abroad to continue her studies of Arabic. She hopes to work to dissolve barriers between Muslims and Jews by providing education to combat misrepresentation and ignorance in order to foster a culture of understanding and respectful discourse. Cora enjoys playing the violin as a member of the Appalachian Music Ensemble, traveling, playing with her dog, and spending time with family and friends. Cora looks forward to experiencing everything the DC Semester Progam has to offer.

Jordan Taverner '19

Jordan Taverner is a rising sophomore from Bristol in southwest Virginia. She is interested in Psychology and the ways that social issues arise from conflicts in relationships. She is most excited to spend time in DC to learn about the city and to focus her passion and understanding of social justice issues in an international setting. On campus, Jordan enjoys spending time in dance class, working with the Outreach Committee of her Episcopal church group, and playing card games with friends.

Cooper Yoo