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| by Masako Toki

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Summer Undergraduate Nonproliferation Fellows
The Pattisons (center) joined by the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Nonproliferation Fellows

Sarah and Tom Pattison have supported the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and MIIS since 2007. With a personal commitment to nonproliferation and a more secure and peaceful world, they established the Tom and Sarah Pattison Fund which supports the CNS Summer Undergraduate Nonproliferation Fellowship Program and the Critical Issues Forum Project.

Their generosity bolsters the Center’s commitment to activities to achieve a WMD-free zone in the Middle East and training of young scholars and fellows in the nonproliferation field. In this way, CNS’s unique summer undergraduate nonproliferation fellowship program aligns with the purpose of the Fund.

This summer, CNS hosted 17 outstanding nonproliferation fellows, representing a diverse set of undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds and specializations. Four of the fellows are Middlebury College undergraduates. Selected through a rigorous and competitive application process, the Summer Fellowship offers these college students a rare opportunity to engage in research on nonproliferation issues and the initiative helps fulfill CNS’  mission to train the next generation of nonproliferation specialists, a mission consistently supported by the Tom and Sarah Pattison Fund.

On July 12, the fellows presented their summer research to the Pattisons, CNS experts and several MIIS faculty members.The fellows were divided into five groups according to their research interests, and each group’s work contained a common theme: Treaties and Organizations: International Engagement; General Nonproliferation Security Threats; Regional Issues: Middle East and South Asia; Modern Nuclear and Radiological Threats; and Tackling Nonproliferation with New Technology. Projects involved high-quality research methodologies and innovative studies, resulting in original perspectives and engaging presentations.

Audience members remarked upon the high-quality research projects, innovative thinking, and analytical skills, displayed through the presentations. CNS Director William Potter stressed the importance of nonproliferation education for the next generation to combat proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Sarah and Tom’s ongoing support and investment in educational opportunities for undergraduate students is helping the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies make a lasting impact in this area, ensuring future generations can not only continue, but advance, these efforts.