MACON – Mercer University junior Maddie Zgonc has been accepted for admission to the 2018 Institute on Economic and International Affairs (IEIA) as a participant in the Leadership Scholars Program.
Zgonc, from Powder Springs, is a global development and political science double-major with a minor in history. She will receive a full scholarship from The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) in the amount of $8,695 to attend IEIA this summer in Washington, D.C., where she will be enrolled in and earn credit for two courses through George Mason University and will be provided housing just steps from the White House, Department of State and Foggy Bottom Metrorail Station.
“A summer internship in Washington is the best possible way of truly understanding the process that goes into creating policies that have the potential to affect the world economically, politically and socially,” said Zgonc. “Through learning about international affairs and economics in this setting, I am confident that I will gain skills and knowledge that will allow me to engage in local, national and international affairs.”
As part of the program, Zgonc will participate in a guaranteed internship placement regarding her area of interest, which is the Middle East, in addition to a variety of guest lectures and briefings. The program also covers costs to participate in continuing education opportunities in the following academic year, including online and in-person lectures and professional development seminars.
“Having met Maddie early in her Mercer career, I have seen her perspectives about world affairs and her passion for global understanding grow in sophistication and depth. She has developed a strong interest in the Middle East region, in particular, and this opportunity to intern and stay in Washington, D.C., will expose her to the myriad of positions that inform U.S. foreign policy and the specific countries and issues that dominate regional discourse,” said Dr. Eimad Houry, professor and chair of international and global studies. “I have no doubt that Maddie will make the most of the opportunity and will be intentional in using what she learns to advance her own local initiatives and commitments over the coming academic year.”
As a student at Mercer, Zgonc has participated in Model Arab League, Reformed University Fellowship, CURE International, the Student Visionary Panel, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Great Books Program. She is a Presidential Scholar, Tift Scholar, Mercer Service Scholar, Mercer Ambassador and has been recognized on the President’s List and Dean’s List.
She has participated in a Mercer On Mission trip to South Africa, a spring break study abroad experience in Dubai and two mission trips to Mexico.
She received funding from the University’s Research that Reaches Out Office for a project called “Middle to Middle,” which involved introducing a supplementary curriculum on Middle Eastern studies to local high school students in world history classes.
Additionally, Zgonc has participated in internships with the Macon Youth Development Center, Perry Presbyterian Church and the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce.
Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school and specialize in criminal law, specifically prosecution.
Since 1967, TFAS has been a leader in educating young people from around the world in the fundamental principles of American democracy and the free market system. TFAS has been the launching pad for nearly 17,000 students who have participated in its programs in Washington, D.C., and around the world in Asia, Europe and South America. Alumni of these programs are leaders in government, business, the media and the nonprofit sector. For more information, visit www.dcinternships.org.