Les Aspin Fellowship Selection Committee Report

The Les Aspin Fellowship Selection Committee, Cylke, Guiler, Mazadoorian, Schmitz, and Steele, met Thursday the 29th of March to select Aspin awardees from a panel of undergraduate candidates presented by the faculty of the Jackson Institute at Yale.  Alas, Jim Trowbridge and our Class of 1986 observer Mary Grace Eapen were prevented by forces majeures  from participating in person.

We gathered in Rozenkranz Hall at 11:00 to organize our work and discuss how we could improve the Fellowship,  met with Jackson Institute Deputy Administrator Larisa Satara  from 11:30 to 12, lunched from noon to 1:30 with two of last year’s awardees Jeffrey Kaiser (South Sudan) and Erin Schutte (Seychelles), (our third laureate,  Shahla Naimi (Tajikistan), had made herself too valuable to the Afghan Mission to the U.N. and could not be released from there to join us),  had fascinating and useful interviews with seven candidates during the course of the afternoon, and ultimately decided to fund five of them in whole or in part.  The other two were charming and likable candidates also but the Committee considered their projects to be less good fits with the purpose of the Aspin than the five selected.  The Committee concluded its labors with a festive dinner at Mory’s, accompanied by The Duke’s Men.  We were sorry only that more Committeemen and brothers Murch and Knudsen could not join us this year.

The five Aspin awardees are:  Allison Hugi, who will research corruption and perceived corruption in India in collaboration with Transparency International; Nataliya Langburd, who will intern as a foreign policy researcher in Washington; Vinicius Lindoso, who will help out at the Brazil Mission to the United Nations in New York; Daniel Pitcairn, who will work in the Office of Security and Political Affiars in the Bureau of European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department; and Noah Sheinbaum, who will intern in the Plans Office of the Political Military Bureau of the State Department.

All five 2012 awardees are oriented towards public service in international relations, and the Committee considers that they will all be distinguished bearers of The Aspin emblem for 2012.  Notably, for the Global university that Yale increasingly is becoming, one of the Fellows, Vinicius Lindoso, is a foreign national interested in a career in a foreign government, Brazil.    The Committee considered that nationality is no longer a pertinent qualifying factor in the Aspin awards.

Of the $21,000 available to us, we allocated $20,000 and returned the remainder to carry over to next year.
As always, the Committeemen were the real beneficiaries of the process.  We were impressed anew with the high quality of Yale’s undergraduates and with the astonishing banquet of opportunities and experiences that Yale lays before them.

Charles Schmitz
Chairman, Yale Class of 1960 Les Aspin Fellowship Committee

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