Monday, January 25, 2016

GRC Announces Nina Brekelmans Memorial Scholarship 5K

In memory of Nina Brekelmans, the Georgetown Running Club, in partnership with the Georgetown Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, is hosting the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Scholarship 5K on March 19, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. Thanks to generous support from the Cooper Standard Foundation, all proceeds raised from the race will be donated towards the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund at Georgetown University. GRC is proud to support the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Scholarship, which will contribute to preserving Nina's legacy of goodwill and women's empowerment in the Middle East.

Nina came to competitive running later in life than most of her teammates, but like other areas of her life she pursued running with tireless dedication and obvious passion.

“Nina was not the most talented athlete at GRC, but she was one of the hardest working and committed runners I've ever coached,” said GRC Coach Jerry Alexander. “She was willing to do whatever it took to contribute to the team, and her enthusiasm and drive were an inspiration to her team.”

When injuries or overseas travel kept her from competing with GRC, Nina still took great pride in her teammates’ achievements. In an email from Jordan she wrote “It's been really fun to follow your racing results and see massive PR after PR. Wish I were there to enjoy these moments with you!”

Nina also made an impression in the running community in Jordan while studying there for a year after having received a Boren Fellowship. She won the Dead Sea half marathon, her first attempt at the distance, and has been memorialized by her friends there as their “Dear Champion”. Nina was due to return to Jordan, to work on a Fulbright grant studying women’s athletics as a means of encouraging confidence and self esteem.

The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), in partnership with the Brekelmans family, established the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund to support students of the Masters of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS) program, particularly those with a demonstrated interest in promoting women's empowerment in the Middle East.

Nina graduated from the MAAS program in May 2015. The endowed scholarship fund will honor Nina's memory and accomplishments by supporting MAAS students who demonstrate an interest in women's empowerment.

For more information on the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Scholarship and the 5k race and to register, please visit

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