Caitlin Bonner

Find and destroy: Alum's fellowship aimed at weapons of war

October 23, 2020

University News

Honors graduate Caitlin Bonner has been awarded the U.S. State Department’s Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellowship, a two-year opportunity serving at the U.S. government’s conventional weapons destruction program. Bonner, ’20, will serve at the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs in Washington, D.C.

“The work makes such a difference in the lives of so many people,” Bonner said in a release. “It has always been important to me that I do work that makes a real impact on the world, and the fellowship allows me to do just that.”

Bonner will assist staff with managing resources and programs used to reduce the harmful effects of conventional weapons of war in multiple geographic regions. The group also funds the clearance of landmines and other explosive remnants of war in post-conflict areas around the world.

While at Richmond, Bonner earned a bachelor’s degree in global studies and a minor in journalism. She was also the program manager for the National Association of Japan-American Societies, where she assisted international students in adapting to cross-cultural differences. 

I believe that more one-on-one conversations and interactions between people from different countries, religions, and ethnicities is the best way to improve international relations on a wider scale, Bonner said.

James Madison University’s Center for International Stabilization and Recovery manages the fellowship, which was created in 1999. It honors the legacies of Ambassador Robert C. Frasure, Joseph J. Kruzel, and Col. Samuel N. Drew, who lost their lives in 1995 while working on a diplomatic mission to end conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.