Steamboat native Cornelia Weiss receives Rotary Foundation Peace Fellowship | SteamboatToday.com
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Steamboat native Cornelia Weiss receives Rotary Foundation Peace Fellowship

Steamboat native Cornelia Weiss was awarded this year’s Rotary Foundation Peace Scholarship. The scholarships are one of Rotary's most prestigious international awards with only 100 are awarded each year.
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Steamboat native Cornelia Weiss was awarded this year’s Rotary Foundation Peace Scholarship. The scholarships are one of Rotary’s most prestigious international awards with only 100 are awarded each year.

— One of Steamboat’s own recently was awarded one of the Rotary Club’s most prestigious honors.

At October’s annual Rotary Foundation dinner in Fort Collins, past Rotary International President and Rotary Foundation Board Chairman John Kenny announced that Steamboat native Cornelia Weiss was awarded this year’s Rotary Foundation Peace Scholarship.

Weiss, a military lawyer for the Judge Advocate General reserves, grew up in Steamboat Springs. The daughter of Edith Weiss and sister of late, two-time Olympic slalom kayaker Rich Weiss, she is one of only 10 North Americans to receive the graduate level scholarship that will have her study peace and conflict resolution at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.



Weiss was nominated for the award by the Ski Town USA Rotary Club.

“I am humbled and honored that the Ski Town USA Rotary Club believed in me enough to endorse me to compete to become a Rotary Peace Fellow,” Weiss said. “Growing up in Steamboat has the effect of believing that there are no limits to achieving dreams if one works hard enough and dreams big enough. That is the impact of growing up in Ski Town USA — a town of people who actualize their dreams.”



Weiss attended elementary, junior high and high school in Steamboat Springs, including a year at The Lowell Whiteman School as well as a year at Colorado Mountain College. Her daughter, Couloir Hanson, was born in Steamboat, as well. Weiss credits such teachers as George Tolles as well as her mother for supporting her dreams.

Weiss recently finished a two-year stint in Colombia working with the Colombian Ministry of Defense to help its military develop legal resources for fighting narco-terrorism. She also recently finished a stint in Europe working with 15 NATO and two Partnership-for-Peace nations to establish an international airlift consortium for humanitarian and disaster relief needs.

She currently holds the rank of colonel and serves as the senior reserve judge advocate for the U.S. Air Force Operational and International Law Directorate.

“The professional development certificate program at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok is a perfect fit for her,” said Mary O’Neal, chairman of the Rotary Club’s District 5440 Peace Scholarship Committee. “The program brings in world leaders to help instruct the theoretical and practical tools of peace studies and conflict resolution. Its purpose is to give the Fellows tools and skills that they can use once they return to their communities.

“Cornelia is very deserving of the award,” she added. “The most impressive thing about her is her passion and desire to learn more and to obtain more skills in her pursuit of peace and conflict resolution, whether it be for a few individuals, a community or a country.”

Established in 2002, Rotary Peace Fellowships are one of Rotary’s most prestigious international awards. Only 100 fellowships are awarded each year, 50 for the master’s degree program and 50 for the professional development certificate, a program for more experienced professionals.

The fellowships are offered on a world-competitive basis, with each Rotary district nominating potential candidates to study at one of five Rotary Peace Centers. The fellowship includes funding for tuition and other university fees, a monthly room and board stipend, a contingency fund, funding for conferences and research, summer internship support and transportation between the fellow’s home and study destination.

“Having served in places like Colombia has reinforced how fortunate I am to have grown up in Steamboat,” Weiss said. “It’s a place where everyone has the opportunity to pursue their aspirations. My dream is for the new global generations to grow up in peace so that they can do the same.

“I’m honored to be named a Rotary Peace Fellow and am anxious to learn all I can,” she added. “My dream to bring peace is large, but to dream big is a consequence of growing up in Steamboat.”


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