Mason graduate student awarded Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship


George Mason University’s Senior of the Year has a new accolade to add to her resume: a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship.

Hannah Adamson poses outside
Photo by Ron Aira/Office of University Branding

Hannah Adamson, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution, is one of 62 recipients nationwide to be awarded a fellowship worth $8,500 by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. 

As the Phi Kappa Phi Deborah and John Yeakel Fellow, Adamson will pursue a master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution through Mason’s Accelerated Master’s Program

“I was looking at different options to fund my graduate study and I appreciated that Phi Kappa Phi offered applicants the opportunity to define how their graduate studies will contribute to achieving their goals,” said Adamson. “Knowing that an organization is comfortable investing in what I have to offer is empowering.”

“Phi Kappa Phi is one of the nation’s most prestigious honor societies, representing the next generation of leaders and scholars,” said Megan Bruening, director of Mason’s Office of Fellowships, who worked with Adamson on her application. “Hannah’s fellowship demonstrates how our own Mason Phi Kappa Phi chapter produces outstanding candidates from a select pool of applicants.”

“Growing up as a first-generation American, I have experienced the complexity of my U.S. culture with both my Irish and New Zealander heritage. Unifying these backgrounds is my commitment to make a positive impact, especially bridging social divides and protecting nature,” Adamson wrote in her personal statement for Phi Kappa Phi’s fellowship application.

Adamson’s goal is to have her education serve as a launching pad for community and international peacebuilding and environmental justice work. Currently, she works with a team at the Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation as a program officer researching insider-reconcilers—community members who use their connection to conflict parties to work toward peace.

She also enjoys working at Think Peace Learning and Support Hub as a program manager of the Peace and Trust: Horn of Africa program, where she accompanies local partners as they facilitate conversations within communities affected by violence by implementing trauma healing and mental health support in the path to peace.

“As a graduate student, I will continue to focus on understanding how individuals, communities, governments, and organizations can collaborate to identify contextualized solutions and prioritize an inclusive and sustainable future,” she said.

A University Scholar in the Honors College during her undergraduate years at Mason, Adamson was selected Senior of the Year by Mason’s Alumni Association and will be recognized at the university’s annual Celebration of Distinction in October.

Looking to the future, Adamson aims to work either in a nonprofit, government, or inter-governmental organization. She aspires to bring people together to nurture sustainable communities, especially in terms of overcoming systems of injustice and ensuring all people have access to a healthy environment and adequate resources.