Reflections on Being a War and Peace Fellow

War and Peace Fellows (L to R) Utkarsh Agarwal ’13, Eve G. Ahearn ’11, Emily N. Johnson ’12 and Justin M. Varilek ’11 outside the Lincoln Memorial during the 2011 Washington, DC, trip. 

by Utkarsh Agarwal ’13, War and Peace Fellow

I was admitted into the War and Fellows Program in 2010 as a sophomore, and returned as a fellow for my junior and senior years. In my four years at Dartmouth, the W&P Fellows program has been one of the most insightful and exciting opportunities where I got to interact and learn from my peers just as much as I learnt from the guest speakers. As an engineering major at Dartmouth, the W&P Fellows Program allowed me to pursue my passion of international affairs without the burden of readings or homework.

Throughout the year, W&P Fellows get unfettered access to a long list of well-accomplished people including ex-ambassadors, war veterans, CIA analysts, activists and journalists who visit campus to give public talks. Fellows get the opportunity to speak to these guests in a candid, off-the-record, dinner setting. The W&P Fellows program is also self-driven in the sense that any Fellow can request to bring in a guest speaker to campus, and Dickey will fund their visit.

The highlight of the War & Peace Fellows programming is the annual DC trip. Students plan most of the logistics of this trip which takes place in April. Typically, Fellows visit the Pentagon and the State Department where we meet with senior officials. This year, the fellows also got a peek into the budget allocation process with a terrific meeting with Tim Rieser ‘78 of Senate Appropriations Committee. The trip also includes a dinner with young CIA analysts – a career option increasingly popular with W&P alums.

For anyone with an interest in issues of War and Peace – personal or academic – I highly recommend the Fellows program. It has given me the opportunity of meeting fantastic people and asking questions of them, an opportunity that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say that the experience of being a W&P Fellow and what I have learnt as a result of it, has shaped my worldview.

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