Alumna Gains Global Perspective to Improve Opportunities for Students with Disabilities


Each year, hundreds of American students, aged eighteen to twenty-four, vie for the opportunity to work and study in Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals program. The reciprocal program, which has run for thirty-nine years, selects seventy-five Americans and seventy-five German professionals to spend a year experiencing life in their respective cultural-exchange nations.  

This year, Mason is celebrating the selection of Honors College alumni, Abigail Hawkins, to the prestigious CBYX program. Hawkins, who graduated from Mason in May 2022, majored in global affairs with concentrations in human security and Middle East and North Africa Studies, and a minor in Arabic.  

Throughout her undergraduate study, Hawkins worked with Mason’s College Diabetes Network and gained experience in the nonprofit sector to improve healthcare affordability and accessibility.  

Abigail Hawkins

Alongside her studies at Mason, Hawkins is a two-time alumna of the US Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), a program designed by the U.S. government to expand the number of American students, who represent a range of majors and disciplines, studying and mastering critical foreign languages. In addition to her participation in the CLS program, Hawkins has studied abroad in Jordan, Spain, and Japan.  

With her newest opportunity in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals program, Hawkins continues to forge a path for herself in international education with the goal of improving access to study abroad opportunities for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses.