Winner of Mitchell Scholarship Hopes to Help Veterans
Nov. 14, 2010 –A Georgetown law student whose firefighter father almost died after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks hopes to prepare for a career helping veterans as he studies in Ireland with his newly won Mitchell Scholarship.
Joseph Graziano is one of nine 2009 George J. Mitchell scholars.
The national scholarship give promising students funding for a year of graduate study at one of Ireland’s academic institutions. Named for former Sen. George J. Mitchell (D-Maine), the program is administered by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance and honors the pivotal role Mitchell played in the Northern Ireland peace process.
A Worthy Successor
Graziano will take a break from his studies at the Law Center to pursue a master’s degree from the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland, Gallway.
“Over the years … I have seen a remarkable line of young men and women going to Ireland as Mitchell Scholars,” wrote John Glavin, university fellowship secretary and director of Gervase Programs, in his recommendation of Graziano. “Joe is a worthy successor. He will make an enormously effective ambassador for us in Ireland.
Driven by a deep sense of civic responsibility and his father’s courageous sacrifice, Graziano became interested in veterans affairs as an undergraduate and wrote his thesis on veterans’ issues.
He worked with retired Lt. Col. John Sharp to represent veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims after anticipating that soldiers would return from Iraq and Afghanistan with high levels of stress.
Graziano also worked as a law clerk at the National Veterans Legal Services Program.
In the future he hopes to continue helping veterans access the federal benefits they’ve earned and pursue a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps.
– Katie Martha