Category: General News, Student Experience

Title: 2021 Whittington Scholar Recognized for Outstanding Achievement and Commitment to Sustainable Development

Date Published: April 19, 2021

The McCourt School is excited to announce the 2021 Whittington Scholar Andrea Arciniegas Murillo (MPP’21), an international student from Colombia with a passion for sustainable development, post-conflict reconstruction, and gender equality.

The Whittington Scholarship is a prestigious award given to a second-year McCourt student who excels academically and displays a strong commitment to serving their community. Founded in 2014, the Scholarship celebrates the memory of associate dean and professor Leslie Whittington who, along with her husband and two children, died on September 11, 2001.

Transformative Student Leader

Growing up in Colombia, Andrea observed first-hand a country navigating conflict and peace negotiations, which profoundly impacted her educational interests. In 2019, Andrea interned at the Organization of American States supporting Colombia’s peace process efforts. The experience strengthened her commitment to sustainable development and her passion for helping communities rebuild.

At the McCourt School, Andrea engaged in numerous student leadership opportunities. As co-president of the Women in Public Policy Initiative (WiPPI), she organized events and mentorship programs to increase women’s visibility in leadership, politics, and public policy. As the outreach manager for the Latin American Policy Association (LAPA), Andrea led numerous efforts to increase awareness and foster policy conversations on the economic and socio-political landscape in Latin America. Lastly, as a Leadership Fellow, Andrea helped mentor incoming students while supporting equity-centered policy and community building efforts at McCourt.

“I came to McCourt thinking I would narrow down what I could do with public policy to advance international development and peacebuilding efforts,” said Andrea. “But, I’ve actually done the opposite –– I’ve expanded my view and background in the most transformative way.”

Catalyzing Change

Deeply engaged in the McCourt community, Andrea learned from and connected with a variety of policy professionals, which opened doors to exciting experiential learning opportunities. Most notably, at a LAPA event, Andrea struck a conversation with Diana Chavez, a key leader at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and later landed a summer internship in Chavez’s office.

At UNITAR, Andrea gained hands-on experience designing public-private strategies to promote sustainable practices, which led her to pursue further career opportunities working in that space.

“I found myself looking for places that aim to catalyze social change,” Andrea explained. “That’s what drove me to McCourt, and it is also what I found myself looking for when applying to internships and jobs.”

Earlier this year, Andrea began an internship at Rebel, a social impact consulting firm that aims to enhance sustainability through public-private partnerships and innovative financing. After graduating, she will join the firm full-time.

The McCourt School is thrilled to award Andrea with the 2021 Whittington Scholarship in recognition of her tremendous efforts to advance sustainable development as well as her outstanding contributions to McCourt and the Georgetown community.