Megan Maxwell, a graduating senior, becomes Temple’s first Carnegie Endowment junior fellow
The senior’s fellowship begins after graduation, when she will earn degrees from Temple in global studies and economics.
Megan Maxwell’s military career and academic pursuits have taken her across the country and around the world. She wants to shape policy and gain global experiences. Her next professional opportunity is an opportunity to attain both.
A senior in the College of Liberal Arts, Maxwell is the first Temple University student to have been selected to the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The one-year program selects 12 to 14 graduating seniors and recent graduates from applicants at several hundred participating colleges and universities to serve as research assistants with the Carnegie Endowment’s senior fellows.
Maxwell will relocate to Washington, D.C., and begin the fellowship upon graduating from Temple in May with degrees in global studies and economics. She will be assigned to the Carnegie Endowment’s South Asia program, which requires a strong academic background in international relations theory, political theory and international political economy.
“This fellowship means a lot to me,” said Maxwell, who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. “For me and my family, this was a huge achievement. They really encouraged me to keep trying for opportunities and never tell myself no, but instead to wait until someone else says no. It’s a tremendous honor to be Temple’s first student ever chosen for this fellowship.”
Maxwell’s path toward earning her reputable fellowship helped shape her candidacy for it, along the way honoring commitments to both her country and family.
She enrolled at Temple in 2016 following seven years of active duty in the U.S. Army, where she earned an honorable discharge after reaching the rank of sergeant. She had been based primarily at Fort Campbell in Clarksville, Tennessee, with a five-month stint in Washington, D.C., and one year in Afghanistan.
Maxwell manifested her interest in India last summer after earning a Critical Language Scholarship through the U.S. Department of State. The program grows the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages. Maxwell spent eight weeks in India, where she almost exclusively spoke Hindi.
She has managed her academic responsibilities, enlistment with the Pennsylvania National Guard and her role at home. From January 2017 through March 2018, Maxwell acted as the primary caregiver for her ailing grandmother. That routine began each morning with Maxwell preparing her grandmother’s breakfast—French roast coffee and pancakes—before commuting 35 miles from Downingtown to Temple’s Main Campus. Her grandmother passed in May 2018, after Maxwell had completed her spring semester final exams.
“My professors provided tremendous support during the entire process,” Maxwell said. “I don’t know if I would’ve gotten that anywhere else. I had a strong and healthy environment in which to learn and grow, and through good communication with my professors, I didn’t need to leave school to care for my grandmother. I am very grateful for their assistance.”
Next, Maxwell is preparing to deliver the final two of her four senior theses with graduation and the start of her junior fellowship fast approaching.
“As I go forward, I am going to credit Temple University for the mentorship I have gotten, and the flexibility and support I have received,” Maxwell said. “I’m proud to be graduating from Temple and representing the university as a Gaither Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment.”
—Christopher A. Vito