Weissman Names 2008 Colin Powell Fellows

Powell winnersThe Weissman School of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the two annual winners of the prestigious Colin Powell Fellowships in International Diplomacy. This year's successful candidates are senior Sean Perryman (far left) and junior Simon Mairzadeh. They were chosen from a strong field of accomplished and talented Weissman students. The fellowship offers students the opportunity to serve a six to eight-week high-level internship working either for the State Department in Washington or abroad, or at the United Nations in New York.

Sean Perryman

Political science major Sean Perryman is looking forward to adding the Powell Fellowship and service experience in Washington, DC to an already impressive resume that includes internships at the United Nations and Mayor Bloomberg's Office of Immigrant Affairs, a term as student Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Weissman, and study abroad in Florence, Italy. When Sean first came to Weissman he intended to study corporate communication. "When you first come into college you're not sure what to major in," he says. But, "there have been a few professors at Weissman who have helped me focus in on what I wanted to do." Sean credits the encouragement of Dr. John Brenkman, of the English department, for one. "He encouraged me along the way to move towards my real interests." Sean also singles out the support he received from Dr. Arthur Lewin, of the Black and Hispanic Studies department. "I could go in his office and ask his advice on anything." Sean plans to attend law school next year.

Simon Mairzadeh

Simon Mairzadeh is a Long Island resident whose immediate family came to this country from Iran by way of Israel, and there was great excitement upon learning he had won a Powell Fellowship. "My grandmother didn't sleep the night she found out," he recalls. Like all applicants, Simon is an outstanding student. He majors in International Studies, maintains a GPA of 3.8, and speaks "conversational" Spanish and Farsi. He picked up some Mandarin while teaching English in Shanghai during the summer of 2007. Simon's interest in international affairs sharpened over his first two years at Weissman and during his time in China, an experience that "awakened me," he says. Simon has expressed a preference to do his internship abroad. He is concerned with the image the US currently projects to the world. Where exactly would he like to go? His answer to that question reveals the type of character that exemplifies the spirit of the fellowship: "Where they can use whatever skills I may have and wherever they need help."

The competition was judged by Ambassador Carl Spielvogel along with former Ambassador to Canada and to the EU Thomas Niles, who is on the Weissman Center's Advisory Board; Myrna Chase, Dean of The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences; Professor of Finance and Director of the Weissman Center, Terrence Martell; and Deputy Director of the Weissman Center, Lene Skou.

About Colin Powell Fellowships

The Colin Powell Fellowships have been funded by former Ambassador Carl Spielvogel, who served as US Ambassador to the Slovak Republic in 2000 and 2001, and who received his BBA from Baruch in 1952, along with an Honorary LLD in 1984. He is also an Honorary Trustee of the Baruch College Fund.

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