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IWP student Gillian Hand receives scholarships from NMIF and AFIO

Gillian Hand, a current IWP student, has been awarded the National Military Intelligence Foundation (NMIF) Merit Scholarship, as well as a scholarship from the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).

Gillian first started at IWP in 2020 as an intern, where she researched the threat of ISIS and its continuing operations. Since then, she has joined IWP as a student pursuing an M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs. She has been actively involved with the IWP Student Chapter of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), and she led a scavenger hunt at the group’s most recent trip to the Spy Museum. She hopes to enter a career in the fields of national security and intelligence.

Gillian was one of only 8 students to receive the NMIF Merit Scholarship this year. Her scholarship application met with success after she attended an IWP student roundtable discussion with COL Stephen Iwicki, President of NMIF, in February of 2021.

Natalie Anderson, NMIF Scholarship Committee Chair, commented: “NMIF has a long tradition of awarding merit scholarships to exceptional students pursuing careers supporting the national security community. This year, the NMIF received 47 applications from students representing 22 different universities. The scholarship recipients are determined based on several factors, including exceptional merit, financial need, and a demonstrated desire to serve the country in a profession relating to intelligence, national security, or military service.

“Gillian Hand was selected as a recipient of a Fecteau Family Scholarship. The Fecteau Family Scholarships are named in honor of Bob Fecteau and his family. Gillian was one applicant that stood out. She received high praise for her impressive background, having taken a variety of diverse courses at IWP and extensive experience studying Mandarin through formal education and study abroad opportunities. Gillian stood out with several national security research internships, a demonstrated passion for the field of national security, and a strong drive and proclivity for networking to build relationships with former, current, and future professionals in the field.”

In addition to the NMIF scholarship, Gillian was awarded a scholarship through the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). She learned of this scholarship from Tim McCranor, IWP Academic Advising and Success Specialist. Candidates for this scholarship are evaluated on merit, character, academic commitment, relevance of studies to national security interests, and career ambitions. A special AFIO committee evaluates applications.

I truly believe my education at IWP helped me get selected for these scholarships.

“I am thankful to both organizations for awarding me these scholarships,” said Gillian. “I strongly resonate with the mission of both organizations, and I cannot thank them and their donors enough for their support. I truly believe my education at IWP helped me get selected for these scholarships. As an undergraduate, I applied for an NMIF merit scholarship but did not receive one. After a year at IWP, I decided to apply again.

“The knowledge I have gained on intelligence studies and national security from IWP has been tremendous. IWP provides students not only with the opportunity to just learn about intelligence and national security, but IWP professors push students to use their critical analysis skills when studying these fields. I believe that this helped my application, along with other factors, to stand out.”

IWP Professor Aaron Danis commented: “Gillian’s effort is a great example of how you can turn your hard work at IWP into a way to cover grad school expenses and burnish your resume for future employment.  It’s the kind of extra effort that potential employers want to see.”

Congratulations, Gillian!

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IAFIE member Gillian Hand leading the scavenger hunt
Gillian Hand leading a scavenger hunt for IWP students at a visit to the Spy Museum with the IWP Student Chapter of IAFIE.