Spencer Traylor ’15, a Mitchell Scholar from Brownville, Maine, was one of two college students named 2012 CIEE and Mitchell Institute International Fellows.
Traylor and Amanda Hall of Yale University were selected for international diplomacy internships this summer. In June Traylor traveled to Amman, Jordan, to examine firsthand the elements that contribute to or hinder peace processes and public diplomacy. Hall traveled to Ireland.
Traylor, who is working on an independent Middle Eastern studies major, spent two weeks staffing a CIEE International Faculty Development Seminar that included professors from Wooster College. Activities included exploration of communities and cultures, visits to Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and seminars and meetings with government officials and scholars in Jordan to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict, international cooperation, and peace negotiations.
“It was an exciting time to be in the Middle East,” he said. To the west the Egyptian elections were still being resolved, to the east lay Iraq, and in the north Syria was descending into civil turmoil.
In August Traylor and Hall were recognized at an event sponsored by CIEE, a nonprofit provider of international education experiences based in Portland, and by the Mitchell Institute. At the event Traylor presented findings from his exploration of the complex realities of peace and conflict in the Middle East. Senator George Mitchell, in the keynote address, spoke about the collaboration between CIEE and the Mitchell Institute, the future of education in this America, and Maine students’ places in the international community.
The Mitchell Institute selects one Mitchell Scholar from each Maine high school each year. Traylor was chosen from Penquis Valley High School in 2011, and was also selected the Key Bank Scholar for Piscataquis Country through the program. The scholarships were established in 1994 by Senator Mitchell to expand and improve opportunities for the education of young people in Maine.
Traylor maintained a blog chronicling his experience in the Middle East: http://mitchell-fellowship.ciee.org/.