A world with fewer weapons

Thursday September 20 2012


Stephanie FedrigoStephanie Fedrigo ’13 has spent her last three summers working for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense’s agency for countering weapons of mass destruction.

For Stephanie, the most important lesson has been that the world is full of shades of gray. “I learned there’s more than one way to do something,” she said. “Being willing to bend is the greatest lesson I’ve learned.”

A biology major from Arlington, Va., Stephanie has spent most of her time working for the section that battles bio-weapons and biohazard risks. This past summer, she worked with the Middle East team covering, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The team is tasked with sampling poisons, eliminating bio-weapons, and determining how to respond should there be an outbreak of anthrax or other biological agents.

When dealing with different cultures, you have to be patient and understanding: “Learning to listen more than you speak,” Stephanie said.

During the past summer, Stephanie sat in on several State Department meetings and attended a large microbiology conference in San Francisco, where she visited the Golden Gate Bridge (above).

The agency is located at Fort Belvoir, about 20 minutes from Washington, D.C. Her father used to work for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency so she decided to pursue internships there. Now she’s hopeful she might land a full-time job after graduation. “If the opportunity presents itself, I’m going to jump at it,” she said.

Stephanie came to LC to play softball, which she did for two years, and has a sports medicine minor. She is a member of the LC Emergency Medical Service and also enjoys community service with her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.