Political Science Grad to Spend Fulbright Year in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Runa Annasdotter Neely ’21 MA

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Runa Annasdotter Neely ’21 MA, a recent Villanova Political Science graduate, earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award for 2022-23. Neely will spend her Fulbright year in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, working on a research project exploring women’s political representation.

“I’ve always wanted to work with questions relating to women’s rights. My Fulbright research allows me to do this, as I will be working hands on with women’s political rights and inclusion issues,” she says. “Hopefully this is only the start of a long career working with these topics from both a research and policy perspective.”

As a graduate student, Neely had the opportunity to interview Dr. Monica McWilliams, an activist and former politician, and one of only two women who was present at the Northern Ireland peace negotiations in the ‘90s. "Hearing her stories and perspective was quite memorable," Neely says. "Beyond the purely academic, my fondest memory of being a CLAS student was meeting people who today are my closest friends.”

During her Fulbright experience, Neely is most looking forward to listening to and talking with women in politics.

"Hearing about their lived experiences will let me gain insight into experiences I could never learn in a classroom," she says. "I am also very much looking forward to trying out the local cuisine and drinking endless Bosnian coffee, hopefully beside some newfound friends!”

Neely received her a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Uppsala University, Sweden, in 2019. As an undergraduate, Neely spent a semester interning at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C. She is currently based in Brussels, Belgium, where she is working as a European Liasion Officer focusing on public health and alcohol-related harm.

Learn more about Villanova's Graduate Program in Political Science.

Villanova students and alumni interested in applying for Fulbright opportunities should contact the Center for Research and Fellowships.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

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