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Sueli Gwiazdowski ’24 Named First Gaither Junior Fellow from Whitman College

By Mónica Hernández Williams

Photography by Baker Weilert-Pekar

Sueli Gwiazdowski ’24 sitting in Hunter.
Sueli Gwiazdowski ’24 pictured in Hunter Conservatory with her years of Debate and Forensics awards.

Whitman College senior Sueli Gwiazdowski ’24 has been selected as a James C. Gaither Junior Fellow of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

According to the college’s Fellowships and Grants team, she is the first in Whitman’s history to be awarded the prestigious fellowship. Nationally, only 16 students were selected to receive the Gaither fellowship and Gwiazdowski is the only West Coast student to be accepted.

After graduating from Whitman, Gwiazdowski will move to Washington D.C., where she will dedicate her year-long fellowship to the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program—which aims to make the world safer by understanding urgent nuclear threats and finding solutions by collaborating with researchers from around the globe. The program is part of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace which advances peace by supporting the next generation in solving issues of democracy and governance, nuclear, sustainability and geopolitics, global institutions, and technology.

Committed to Peace & a Better World

“It’s super exciting!” she says. “I hope that through this fellowship, I can dedicate myself to the areas of nuclear policy that I'm most fascinated about and that I can produce something of meaning and value to the research community.”

Gwiazdowski, a Rhetoric, Writing & Public Discourse major and Gender Studies minor, has a long list of accomplishments. She has held several student leadership positions on campus from founding the Disability and Difference Community (known as DISCO) to being the president of the Delta Gamma Sorority to tutoring other Whitties in Whitman’s Center for Writing and Speaking.

Gwiazdowski has also earned student-faculty research grants, presented at several campus-wide events and been recognized for relentlessly serving as a resource to uplift diversity, equity and inclusion across campus.


“Sueli's entire time at Whitman has been impressive,” says Dr. Jess Hernandez, Director of Fellowships and Grants. “Over the years, she has secured multiple highly competitive internships and fellowships while also making a positive impact on our campus.”

As a transfer student, Gwiazdowski immediately joined Whitman’s Debate and Forensics Team—which she says led to and intensived her interest in nuclear policy.

“I found that many of my first competitive debates centered around nuclear war impact scenarios, one way or another. Developing my skills here at Whitman gave me the platform and resources to speak, think and articulate in the ways that I need to convince and persuade people of what I believe needs to change and ought to happen,” she says.

“I think that my experiences in the debate community in tandem with founding DISCO are the key pieces of my journey that pushed and encouraged me to pursue the Gaither fellowship."

Gwiazdowski says peacebuilding is her life’s work and she's committed to building a better world. 


“All of the internship and fellowship experiences I've participated in over the past four years have pushed and enabled me to pursue a career in changemaking and peacebuilding at the caliber that I think is necessary to make enduring change for disenfranchised people,” she says.

After completing the prestigious fellowship, Gwiazdowski plans to attend law school to earn her Juris Doctorate degree.

Published on Apr 17, 2024
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