The Honors Community
- Scholarship awards:
2007 Marshall Scholarship nominee
2006 Harry S. Truman Scholarship finalist
- Honors College alumna.
- Richmond, Va.
- Social work.
- Faculty mentors:
- Timothy Hulsey, Ph.D., dean of the Honors College, and Jeff Wing, National Scholarship coordinator for The Honors College.
Jaime Stansbury hit the ground running as a member of the Virginia Commonwealth University Honors College in 2004. That year, she and a fellow honors student founded the Arabic Film Festival, which The Honors College sponsored. Stansbury had studied and traveled extensively in the Middle East prior to enrolling in VCU and she was happy to get reacquainted with Arab culture.
“It was a good way to bring together my Middle East experiences and my VCU experiences,” said Stansbury, who still attends the festival.
It was while procuring sponsorship for the festival that Stansbury met one of her mentors – Timothy Hulsey, Ph.D., dean of the Honors College. Aside from supporting the festival, Hulsey informed Stansbury of opportunities to visit the Middle East. She represented VCU at the Women as Global Leaders Conference in the United Arab Emirates in 2005.
Another mentor – Jeff Wing, National Scholarship coordinator for The Honors College – played a pivotal role in encouraging Stansbury to apply for the Harry S. Truman and Marshall scholarships, and later, graduate school.
“I felt like, as a whole, everyone in the Honors College took an interest in the honors students,” Stansbury said. “They knew me and my interests.”
Stansbury graduated from VCU in May 2007 and is working on a master’s degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. She credits the experience of applying for the Truman and Marshall scholarships as the reason she’s now in Washington, D.C.
“I can honestly say I wouldn’t be here without that connection,” Stansbury said. “The whole process was very beneficial.”
As part of her application for the Truman Scholarship, Stansbury had to create a policy proposal, which fueled her interest in the Middle East. For the Marshall application, she had to research a graduate program in the United Kingdom and make a case why that program was for her. That process sparked her curiosity about international development.
Becoming a candidate for both scholarships was rewarding, to say the least.
“It made me feel validated in the sense that I had this idea and someone else thought it was a good one, or at least considered it,” Stansbury said.
After graduate school, Stansbury hopes to live in the Middle East and do development work.
“My interest is still what I wrote in the Truman scholarship application,” she said. “Education reform as a means of change.”
“The Honors College knew me and my interests.”