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Announcing the 2021 Recipients of the DeJoy-Wos Scholarship


The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is pleased to announce this year’s DeJoy-Wos scholarship recipients for our summer 2021 Academic Internship Programs in Washington, D.C.

North Carolina business leader Louis DeJoy and his wife, Dr. Aldona Wos, have provided $100,000 in scholarship funding to enable North Carolina college students and an Estonian student to participate in the competitive and intense program that connects students across the United States with leadership development, internships in D.C., and courses with academic credit provided through George Mason University.

In the fourth year of a five-year gift, funded through the Louis DeJoy and Aldona Wos Family Foundation, full scholarships are awarded, with priority given to students with financial need. In addition to internships and courses, students participate in a one-on-one mentoring program, professional development seminars, guest lectures by top policy experts, career exploration panels, small group discussions, site briefings with key government leaders and networking events. This year’s DeJoy-Wos scholarship recipients have received full tuition and housing scholarships and are participating in TFAS’s prestigious Leadership Scholars Program.

DeJoy currently serves as the 75th U.S. Postmaster General. He was appointed in May 2020 by the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service. He was formerly the chairman and chief executive officer of New Breed Logistics, a major employer in the Triad region, which he merged with XPO Logistics in 2014. He is also the president of Greensboro-based LDJ Global Strategies. From 2013 to 2015 Wos was head of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Wos also served as vice-chairwoman of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

For more than 15 years, DeJoy and Wos have provided scholarship assistance to enable more than 100 North Carolina and 50 Estonian students to participate in TFAS summer programs. DeJoy said he continues to support these outstanding students because he believes in the program’s focus on developing future leaders.

“The Fund for American Studies develops rising leaders who will make a difference in their communities and around the globe,” he said. “The world-class TFAS programs provide these promising young students with experience and insight to today’s most pressing economic issues, while helping them become America’s future leaders.”

This summer, TFAS programs will host more than 1,200 students from across the U.S. and around the world in our D.C. Academic Internship Programs and Economics for Leaders programs for high school students. Program graduates join a global network of 43,000 TFAS alumni who are leaders in politics, government, public policy, business, philanthropy and the media. 



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Public Policy Major
Hometown: Wake Forest, North Carolina
Internship: Institute for Sustainable Development

Giovanna “Gigi” Cloney is a rising senior who is planning on graduating in December 2021. She has previous internship experience with the court team at a nonprofit organization that aids victims of domestic violence and sexual assault at the Suffolk County District Courts in New York. Gigi studied abroad in Freiburg, Germany, and loved traveling throughout Europe. She is involved in multiple club sports at UNC and loves to be active. She ultimately wants to move to Washington, D.C., after graduation and begin her career in the policy sector.


University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Political Science Major
Hometown: Apex, North Carolina
Internship: Alpine Group

Justin Holloman is student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a twice-elected senator for UNCW’s student government where he serves on the external affairs and diversity committees. He is also a resident advisor on campus and a proud member of Delta Chi Fraternity. Justin has a long-standing interest in both domestic and international politics, as well as languages. He has taken Spanish since sixth grade, and later began classes in Russian, German and French. Justin is pursuing a dual major in Spanish and political science with a focus on international affairs and public policy.


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Business Administration Major
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Internship: MetLife, Inc.

Emily Mecia has completed her sophomore year at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC. She was a lead intern for the Isabella Santos Foundation last summer and has had a virtual marketing internship for the past year. She is involved with the Carolina Women in Business organization, works at the Student Union and is a member of the Marketing Club and Super Cooper’s College Buddies, an organization that supports children in the hospital. She studied abroad in Seville, Spain, for part of the summer but hopes to study abroad again while in college. Emily plans to minor in Spanish and history. She enjoys playing intramural sports, traveling and spending time with friends.


North Carolina State University
Political Science Major
Hometown: West End, North Carolina
Internship: American Council of Trustees and Alumni

Conner Paszko is the former Chairman of College Republicans at NC State and is currently an intern for State Senator Jim Perry, who represents North Carolina’s 7th State Senate District. He thoroughly enjoys reading biographies (typically of American presidents) and books on American history. Conner plays several instruments, but primarily plays the saxophone and the bagpipes. He currently performs in the NC State Jazz Band. Conner is most proud of his time as Chairman of College Republicans at NC State because it gave him an opportunity to display his abilities in leadership, political organization and bipartisanship.


North Carolina State University
Nuclear Engineering Major
Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina
Internship: Citizens Against Government Waste

Christopher Banks Peete just completed his sophomore year and is training to become a licensed nuclear reactor operator. He has interned in the past for Congressman Mark Walker’s re-election campaign and has volunteered for numerous other candidates. He serves as the chair of the board of Elections for Student Government at NC State and is on the executive board of a few student organizations. Over the summers he tends to work in the restaurant industry, but he is excited to be interning in D.C. for a change of pace. He is considering pursuing a field of nuclear medicine, such as radiology, or staying at NC State for a master’s degree in another field of nuclear engineering, such as plasma. Banks just returned from a trip to Jordan and Israel led by General Boykin, the Undersecretary of Defense from 2002 to 2007, and some former Army Rangers.


Appalachian State University
Journalism Major
Hometown: Lugoff, South Carolina
Internship: The Well News

Ansley Puckett just completed her junior year of college and served as the arts and culture editor for The Appalachian collegiate newspaper. On the paper, Ansley enjoys writing about the unique culture of her college town and sharing book recommendations and reviews. While studying journalism, Ansley also studied English and American Sign Language. She served as an Appalachian Orientation Leader, where she assisted first-year students in their transition into college life. Ansley is active as a member of the Belk Library Book Club. When not reporting, you can find Ansley with her nose in a book.


Wake Forest University
Business Major
Hometown: Bedford Hills, New York
Internship: Public Spend Forum

Samantha “Sammy” Speegle has just completed her freshman year. She was involved in the Women in Business Club as well as the Women in Computer Science Club. This past semester she tutored a local eighth-grade student in math, science and English once a week. In high school, Sammy was junior varsity soccer captain and was also a member of the STEM Group and SPARC Conference. In her junior year, she participated in an exchange program where she studied in Argentina while living with a host family and then hosted a student from Argentina. Sammy’s past work experience includes working at the Bedford Playhouse and Bedford Village Day Camp.


Duke Kunshan University
Institutions and Governance/Public Policy Major
Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona
Internship: Business-Industry Political Action Committee

Ryan Trombly is a rising senior and member of the undergraduate inaugural class at Duke Kunshan University, a joint venture located in Kunshan, China. Ryan has been heavily involved in the formation various of clubs and research activities and has held positions as an an executive board member of Duke East Asia Nexus, a founding member of DKU Bridge – an organization that strives to connect the students and administration, and a research assistant at the university’s Humanities Research Lab. Outside of DKU, Ryan was a co-founder of an education business start-up in her freshman year and has interned for Farmlink, an organization fighting food insecurity in the United States, and Traipsin’ Global on Wheels, an NGO that empowers disabled individuals to be global citizens. An avid traveler, Ryan spent a year abroad in Denmark as an exchange student in high school and has traveled widely throughout China and Europe, which fueled her passion for studying the crossroads of international affairs and public policy.

Mihkel Märtens

University of Tartu
International Relations and Regional Studies
Home Country: Estonia
Internship: Embassy of Estonia

Mihkel Märtens has completed his first year of a master’s program in international relations. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics. He served in the Estonian Defense Forces, where he now continues in the military reserve force. During his studies, Mihkel was a member of the Society of International Relations at the University of Tartu, where he served as president. He worked as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate foreign policy course and as a freelance foreign affairs journalist for Eesti Päevaleht and Delfi. In 2018, he was chosen to represent his country as a young ambassador in the Connecting Cultures program in Oman. Mihkel’s main interests lie in the foreign policy of the European Union and the United States.


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