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May 22, 2009
Jared Williams, a political science and geography major from Independence who graduated earlier this month, has been awarded the Department of Homeland Security Directorate of Science and Technology Graduate Fellowship.
The fellowship is a competitive, national award given to students who have outstanding skills in the physical sciences, social sciences or technology. It covers full tuition and mandatory fees for any graduate program encompassing one of 16 core research areas in science and technology.
Department of Homeland Security fellowship appointments continue for up to three years, contingent on satisfactory academic performance, and fellows receive a year-round stipend of $2,300 a month.
As a DHS fellow, Williams will attend graduate school during the fall and spring semesters and participate in a 10-week, off-campus research internship at a department or department-affiliated facility during the summer between his first and second year of study.
Following graduation, DHS fellows must fulfill a one-year, full-time service obligation working either for the department or a department-approved venue in one of the 16 homeland security research areas.
Williams said he is currently evaluating offers from a number of graduate schools, including Johns Hopkins and the University of Denver. After completing his fellowship he hopes to embark on a career in public service, possibly as a policy specialist with a government agency.
Though funded through the Department of Homeland Security, the fellowship program is administered by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The selection process includes review by a panel of senior experts and engineers who evaluate the applicant's Graduate Record Examination scores, research experience essay, current research interests essay and Homeland Security service essay. Highly rated applications are forwarded to the DHS Directorate of Science and Technology for the final selection process.
A dual major in geography and political science, Williams recently interned with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) in St. Louis. His academic training at Northwest includes emergency preparedness operations planning, advanced geographic information systems exploitation and communications interoperability.
Williams was honored by the Student Senate this spring with the Tower Service Award, which is bestowed on individuals who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the University and its mission. Recipients are selected based on their continuing accomplishments and service to the Northwest community.
"This is a very special opportunity," Williams said. "I especially want to thank my advisors, Dr. Mark Corson, associate professor geography, and Dr. Brian Hesse, assistant professor of political science, for helping make it possible.