Marymount junior selected for prestigious political science fellowship

Marymount junior selected for prestigious political science fellowship


The story of Elene Japaridze, a junior political science and international relations major at Marymount University, is a narrative woven from the threads of her personal experiences with conflict and occupation in her homeland of Georgia. Growing up amidst the complexities of war and her father’s involvement as a soldier during the 2008 Russia conflict and the 1990’s occupation of Abkhazia, where her mother is from, her worldview was shaped by the tumultuous geopolitical realities just outside her doorstep. 

For many prospective students, choosing a major often revolves around familiarity and comfort — yet for Japaridze, her familiarity was rooted in international conflict among neighboring nations. Her decision to pursue politics stemmed from these lived experiences, guiding her towards a path where she could unravel the intricacies of global relations and ultimately strive for positive change. 

Japaridze’s journey took a significant step forward when she was selected for The Public Policy & International Affairs Program (PPIA)’s summer fellowship, joining a cohort of 148 students. She will participate in the rigorous six-week program at the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman campus, where she will be exposed to renowned scholars and public policy experts as she prepares for a future dedicated to public service and global leadership. 

“I believe learning about politics, different political systems and international relations will give me a better understanding of the world around me,” Japaridze commented. 

Marymount junior selected for prestigious political science fellowship

Applicants for the PPIA fellowship are required to demonstrate strong academic performance and a dedication to public service and policy. They also must submit three essays, two letters of recommendation, a transcript and a résumé.  

“Elene’s success in getting this fellowship is a testament to her talent and drive. It also speaks to the value of the political science and international relations program at Marymount,” said Dr. Chad Rector, associate professor of political science at Marymount University. “She is a fantastic student and this is just the start of many great things for her!”  

Upon graduation next year, Japaridze plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy and foreign affairs, with the goal of working at institutions such as the United Nations or NATO. Her desire to contribute to global policy initiatives drives her interest in creating positive change on the international stage and developing a bridge between the U.S. and Georgia. 

“I am determined to use my knowledge and skills to contribute to the development and advancement of Georgia, my home country, and improve and promote international cooperation to address critical global issues.”