Congratulations to 2015-2016 Scholarship recipients:


Veronica Oviedo - Fausto B. Gomez Scholarship in Political Science - Spring 2016

Veronica Oviedo was born and raised in Miami, FL. She is currently pursuing a double major in Political Science and International Relations and a certificate in Pre-Law. In addition, she is an FIU Honors College and Dean’s List student. She is an active volunteer in her community both inside and outside of school. Her interest in political science drew from her eye-opening experiences traveling to her family background of Peru and Spain, as well as visiting other European countries such as France and Italy. During her time in all those countries, she was intrigued by the distinction of its government policies and government institutions. As a bilingual in Spanish and English, she aspires to use this privilege to defend the rights of others. More importantly, Veronica aspires to become the first-generation college student in her family and go on to Law School.


Christian Ilarraza Colon - Krell International Relations Scholarship - Spring 2016

Christian Ilarraza Colon is originally from Fajardo, Puerto Rico, but moved to Central Florida at a young age. In his senior year of high school he participated in the United States State Department funded Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad Program in Kayseri, Turkey. The program was created after the attacks that took places on 9/11 in order to foster relations between the United States and countries with significant Muslim populations. His study abroad experience in Turkey is what ultimately led him to study International Relations at Florida International University. He is also specializing in the Middle East and Central Asia along with national security studies. Last summer Christian participated in the Critical Language Scholarship program another US State Department initiative. He spent 8 weeks studying advance Turkish in Ankara, Turkey. Christian is interested in researching Turkey's involvement in global affairs under the Strategic Depth Doctrine that was implemented under Ahmet Davutoglu, the former Prime Minister of Turkey. Upon graduation, Christian hopes to seek employment within either the State Department or the Department of Defense.


Hatim Bukhari - Gregory B. Wolfe Ambassador Scholarship - Spring 2016

Hatim Bukhari is a junior at Florida International University, pursuing a BA in International Relations and a minor in Economics. His particular focus is on the Middle East and on American foreign policy towards the region. Hatim is originally from Kashmir, where he has experienced first-hand the intersection of geopolitics and ideology in the region. As a student in the United States, he has worked to understand the international structure and the issues within from an academic and policy-oriented lens. After his studies, Hatim plans to pursue a research-oriented career, and hopes to be a significant contributor to the literature and debate on international issues in the broader Middle East.


Maria Laura Rodriguez - Judith Hicks Stiehm Award - Spring 2016

Maria Laura was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. After graduating from high school she moved to Miami, Florida to start college at Florida International University, where she is currently a graduating senior pursuing a double major in International Relations and History and a certificate in European and Eurasian Studies. She is also an active member of the Honors College at FIU. Her main areas of interest include diplomacy, research and International Relations of Latin America and Europe. She is fluent in both Spanish and English and is currently studying French. One of her most valuable experiences while at FIU was having the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. in Summer 2015 for an internship through The Washington Center. During her time in the nation’s capital, Maria Laura participated in civic engagement activities as well as in leadership and academic development courses while completing her internship at the Osgood Center for International Studies. Upon graduation, Maria Laura hopes to work at a think tank in Washington, D.C. and to pursue her Master’s Degree in International Relations with a focus on Latin American and Western European relations.

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