Rotary World Peace Fellows Make a Difference

It's been almost a year since most members of the first class of fellows at the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution completed their studies, and many are now in positions where they can shape policy and influence decision-making at an international level.
By M. Kathleen Pratt, The Rotarian 2 May 2005

Among the recent graduates applying their newly minted degrees in the field is Arnoldas Pranckevicius, a Lithuanian native who completed his undergraduate studies in upstate New York. After graduating from Sciences Po in Paris with a master's degree in international affairs, Pranckevicius, who speaks English, French, Lithuanian, and Russian, accepted a position as a domestic policy adviser to a man he describes as his "idol of moral leadership," President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus.

"I was indeed blessed with the opportunity to join his team and contribute in his effort of making Lithuania (an) ever more democratic, secure, and prosperous nation," says Pranckevicius.

The 25-year-old now lives and works in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, where he analyzes trends and developments in the country's political system, as well as drafting speeches and policy statements for the president. Among the issues Pranckevicius has already tackled are political corruption, advancement of ethical standards, and promotion of a civic and open society. His work at the president's office provided a unique view of directions in national policy.

"The fall was especially intense as it was marked by our parliamentary elections and the formation of new government," says Pranckevicius. "I had not only to follow and analyze the campaign and programs of the political parties (and) make elections predictions, but also draft possible coalitions and suggest the long-term consequences of one of the other formations in the government."

Please note: The application deadline for the 2006-08 Rotary World Peace Fellowship has been changed to 1 July 2005. The Rotary World Peace Fellowships are offered on a world-competitive basis. All districts are encouraged to recruit qualified candidates in their area to apply for the fellowship and to nominate one candidate for the competition. To learn more about the program or to download an application, visit the Rotary World Peace Fellowships page.


Arnoldas Pranckevicius

Colgate student named Rotary Scholar

(Note: Arnoldas Pranckeyicius was sponsored by Central NY’s District 7150 and Hamilton Rotary Club as a member of the 1st Rotary World Peace Scholar class three years ago.)

2002, HAMILTON, N.Y. Arnoldas Pranckevicius, a senior at Colgate University, has received a prestigious Rotary World Peace Scholarship from Rotary International. He is among only 70 persons so honored worldwide, and this is the Peace Scholarship program's inaugural year. He was nominated by the Rotary Club of Hamilton and endorsed by Central New York Rotary District 7150.

"The fact that he was chosen from nearly 300 candidates attests to the fine qualities that this young man possesses," said Bruce Frassinelli, governor of Rotary District 7150. "There is no doubt that he will not only make substantial contributions to his homeland, but also will further Rotary's goal of achieving world peace."

Pranckevicius plans to use his scholarship to earn a masters degree in international relations at Institut D'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Ultimately, he says, he wants to return to his native Lithuania to help with its effort to join the European Union (EU). "The [Sciences Po] graduate program in Paris, capital of one of the main driving forces of the European Union, will allow me to observe closely how European institutions function and how they reform themselves in order to accommodate future [EU] enlargement," he said. "This would be invaluable knowledge to bring back and apply in Lithuania, a would-be EU member."

While still in high school, Pranckevicius served on his local school board and worked to make the post-Russian-occupation curriculum better reflect Lithuania's democratic values. He also was active in theatricals and youth theater, acting in plays throughout Europe. As a member of the Lithuanian national debate team, won the European championship and participated in the World Debate Championships in Israel in 1998.

At Colgate, Pranckevicius is majoring in international relations and has written an honors thesis: "Is joining NATO in the national interest of Lithuania?" He is host of The World Matters, a weekly program on Colgate's television station that he originated after the events of Sept. 11. He has written more than 250 bylined articles for national newspapers in Lithuania and weekly papers in the United States, has served as an intern in the office of U.S. Senator and Balkan Caucus Chair Richard Durbin (D-IL) and also interned at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Washington, D.C. Pranckevicius is the son of Algimanta Pranckeviciene and Vilhelmas Pranckevicius of Panevezys, Lithuania.

"Arnoldas is a treasure, almost literally shining with enthusiasm: for learning, Colgate, international relations; for Lithuania, his homeland; for the television program on world events that he moderates here and the newspaper work he does at home," said Colgate's interim president, Jane Pinchin. "He uses language with precision and, yes, beauty. How lucky we are to have had him here."
For more information about the Rotary World Peace Scholarships and how to apply, go to www.rotary.org or call the Rotary club in your area.

D7150 Rotary Note: On 18 April 2002 during a briefing at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, Rotary announced to the world the first class of scholars to study at the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution.

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