Benn Stancil will walk off the graduation stage and onto the political stage in mid-May. As the recipient of a prestigious award from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, he will join the global think tank in Washington, D.C., as a Carnegie Junior Fellow.
He was one of only 10 students nationwide selected for the fellowship. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace sponsors research and programs in international affairs and U.S. foreign policy. Fellows conduct research, write journal articles and policy papers, meet with high-level officials, and contribute to Congressional testimony during their one-year fellowship; Stancil will work in the economics area.
Stancil was also one of five Wake Forest seniors and two recent graduates to be awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Taiwan next year. He declined that award to accept the Carnegie Fellowship, but hopes to apply for the Fulbright program again next year.
“I applied for the fellowship because the current global financial situation and international economics are of great interest to me,” says Stancil, a Belmont, N.C., native who is graduating with a double major in mathematics and economics. His parents, Heather Hayes Stancil (MA ’78) and Jim Stancil (’74, JD ’78), and a brother, Will (’07), are all alumni.
In addition to the courses he took in politics and economics, he expects a philosophy course to also prove valuable during his fellowship year. “In the classes for my major, I learned a lot about how things work, but in philosophy the discussion centered around the implications of these workings,” he explained. “It was a completely different way of looking at economics, and one especially relevant to today where policy decisions often have global repercussions.”
Stancil also brings some international experience to the fellowship. He decided to start a new language – Chinese – when he came to Wake Forest, and last summer he traveled to China on a Richter Scholarship for an independent study on the Shanghai stock exchange.
“A Wake Forest education opens up a wide-range of possibilities, and the Carnegie Fellowship will allow me to spend a year meeting people in the field in which I’m interested in working,” he said. “I’m leaving a completely different person than who I came in as, and I hope that at least some of those changes were moves forward. Wake Forest has exposed me to many new experiences and people, and I have learned to allow these things to shape who I am.”
Benn Stancil is a recipient of the Upperclass Carswell (Mullen) Scholarship, the Robert P. Caldwell Scholarship, the Walter Lowe Tatum Scholarship and the Wake Forest Excellence Award.