MSFS is delighted to announce Michaela Rubinfeld as the 2021 recipient of the SoldierStrong Scholarship. Michaela is the sixth recipient of this endowment, a partial-tuition scholarship designated for a U.S. veteran enrolled in the MSFS program. The scholarship was established in 2015 under the leadership of SoldierStrong co-founder and Chairman of the Board Chris Meek. We had the opportunity to speak with Michaela and hear about her journey that brought her to MSFS.
How does it feel to have been awarded this scholarship?
I am extremely grateful to have been awarded this scholarship and to have SoldierStrong invest in me and my future serving this country. I believe that SoldierStrong is doing incredible work helping military veterans in every facet of their lives. From educational funding to innovative rehabilitative technology, this organization truly sets the bar for veteran support services across the nation.
How do you think education offers veterans who return from service abroad an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families, and thrive in civilian life?
I believe that education can be an incredible resource for veterans looking to pursue a higher degree, or even vocational skills to transition into civilian life. I believe that veterans are also an asset to institutions in their contribution to the overall student experience. I believe that it is important for veterans interested in pursuing higher education to take advantage of all of the military resources available. From Post-911 G.I. Bill to incredible scholarships such as SoldierStrong, military veterans are reassured by the depth of support our nation provides to them as they make their way back into civilian life.
From the different institutions that SoldierStrong has partnerships with, why did you choose Georgetown MSFS?
The principles of MSFS deeply resonate with me – Leadership, Creativity, Ethics, Service and Inclusion are fundamental to an increasingly globalized society. I was drawn to the types of service-oriented leaders Georgetown has and continues to cultivate, and wanted to be amongst a cohort of such incredible individuals who embody these core values. I only heard amazing things about Georgetown from my fellow Airmen and supervisors while I served in the government, and felt a calling to attend this institution. Additionally, the cross-sector expertise that MSFS faculty has to offer reaffirmed my desire to pursue my graduate degree here. I am proud of being a part of the Hoya network and having Georgetown on my team as I step out into a career in public service.
How do you think your military experience has prepared you to pursue a degree in international affairs?
My service with the U.S. Air Force has been integral to my development as a leader in international affairs. As an intelligence analyst, I was presented with very real national security challenges and tasked to develop comprehensive threat assessments on various issues facing our military and challenging democracy throughout the world today. My commanders, both stateside and overseas, heavily relied on me to provide them with accurate and timely intelligence so that they could make operational decisions as international events unfolded amidst the uncertainty of the warfare environment. My increasing responsibilities within the military instilled in me principles of humility, justice, and responsibility – traits that I believe will serve me well as a student at MSFS and eventually in the U.S. government.
What do you intend to concentrate on while at Georgetown? What are your interests in your studies?
I want to concentrate on the intersection of emerging technology and national security during my time at Georgetown. My background in military intelligence and international business gives me a profound perspective on public-private developments of technology that will impact the way humanity interacts with one another, and how that will continue to affect our relationships throughout time and space. I am specifically interested in blockchain technology as a disruptive mechanism that will preserve data privacy for individuals and institutions as well as harden the cyberspace landscape.
What are your plans after graduating from Georgetown?
After graduation, I would love to work at the Defense Intelligence Agency as a Science & Technology (S&T) Officer informing policymakers of the unfolding technological battlespace. I am very open to my post-grad career, as long as I can serve in a role that will preserve the integrity of our freedom and national security.