Monthly Archives: March 2017

Alejandra Baez’s Experience with the Pickering Fellowship

From Alejandra Baez (SFS ’16) who is currently preparing for her career in the Foreign Service as a Pickering fellow:
I was exposed to the Pickering Fellowship through a few of my sisters in Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Sorority. I was a sophomore, and the girls that I knew were seniors at the time. They were recipients, so they were invaluable resources that I turned to for help with the interview process as well as to understand the extent of the fellowship and commitment to the Foreign Service.
 
For a long time before learning about the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, I knew that I had a love for travel, learning languages, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, combating inequality and fighting for social justice. Throughout college, I felt drawn to topics of international development and human rights, especially. So my biggest question was how do I build a career from all of these interests? Even more importantly, what job would PAY me to do some or all of these things? In the back of my head, I had played around with the idea of diplomacy but didn’t think seriously about it UNTIL I met these women. They exposed me to the fellowship, but also to the US Foreign Service which I began to consider as a professional career path. 
 
As a Pickering Fellow, I have a contract with the State Department to enter the Foreign Service upon receiving a master’s degree and to serve at least 5 years as a Foreign Service Officer. Fellows receive scholarships towards tuition for two years of study and complete two internships with the State Department (one domestic and one overseas) in preparation for entering the Foreign Service. This past summer, I interned with the Political Section at the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States. And this upcoming summer, I will be interning with the Public Affairs Section at U.S. Embassy Bogotá in Colombia.
 
My experience with the Pickering Fellowship has been extremely formative and uplifting. The program entails financial sponsorship for two years of study, yes, but I appreciate much more the mentorships and networks that came with the fellowship. The whole purpose and mission of the Pickering and Rangel fellowships is to increase the diversity in our Foreign Service in order to accurately represent our multicultural population. It is important to show an interest in international affairs and a dedication to serving the United States. An important component of the fellowship is that you are connected to current and past Foreign Service Officers (including some ambassadors!) and also to peers who are also pursuing the same career as you and have struggled in similar ways that you might have: being a women, low-income, first-generation, a person of color, etc. My cohort has become an essential support group for me. The sense of community is important as you will be faced with incredibly important decisions such as where to go for grad school, which regions of the world to work in, how to manage a work-life balance, and how to start a family abroad in the future, for instance. All of these choices are a part of joining the Foreign Service; they are difficult choices to make so having the Pickering community around me to ask for advice was invaluable.
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Blake Atherton’s Year at the University of St. Andrews

Below is the reflection from Blake Atherton, who received the St. Andrew’s Society Scholarship in 2015. He is currently on his fellowship year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

I studied International Political Economy in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, and am currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Security Studies in the School of International Relations at St Andrews, though the majority of my coursework (and indeed my specialty) is in international and comparative law. I am also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Constitutionalism, where I am writing a piece to be published on national constitutions and global lawmaking, and a Research Assistant for Kristen Harkness, whom I am helping to write a piece on comparative civil-military relations in Africa. As I am attending Georgetown Law next fall, this postgraduate degree is of tremendous value for my future career, which will directly or indirectly involve international and comparative law.

Master’s programs in the School of IR involve two compulsory courses, two electives, and a dissertation on the topic of your choice; further, the School of IR has a tremendous faculty and small classes, demonstrates an unconventional and multidisciplinary school of thought, and garners great respect nationally and globally. I highly recommend this scholarship, as well as the St. Andrews School of IR, for anyone interested in a career in international affairs or even political science more broadly; it is a very logical continuation of (and a nice compliment to) the SFS curriculum in particular.

Regarding benefits, the St Andrews Scholarship provides $30,000 in scholarship money – which constitutes almost full tuition at Scottish universities – to the Scottish institution of your choice, provided you get in. As there are only two St Andrews Scholars, there are not fora or events that bring the scholars together. Broadly speaking, St Andrews scholars have a great deal of autonomy and few concrete responsibilities as fellows once they matriculate at their university in Scotland.

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Jacob Gladysz, Joseph Goodman, and Lynn Lee Join the Third Cohort of Yenching Scholars at the Yenching Academy of Peking University

Jacob Gladysz (SFS ’17), Joseph Goodman (SFS ’15), and Lynn Lee (SFS ’17) have been selected as Yenching Scholars in the third cohort at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. Jacob, Joseph, and Lynn will join other outstanding graduates from around the world who will spend the 2017-2018 academic year enrolled in an English language Master of China Studies program. Established to promote interdisciplinary study of contemporary China, the Yenching Academy underlines the value of thinking about its development from both Chinese and international perspectives. As a fully-funded residential program at China’s top university, the Yenching Academy builds bridges between China and the world by gathering young people who show promise to lead and innovate in their fields.

Learn more about the Yenching Scholars program here.

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Matthew Hinson (SFS’17) Awarded Prestigious Rangel Fellowship

Georgetown senior Matthew Hinson (SFS’17) wins the Rangel Fellowship, a program funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by Howard University, which awards about $95,000 over a two-year period to foreign service officer hopefuls. Matthew has focused his undergraduate research on global conflicts and is currently writing a senior thesis on the destruction and construction of memorials during the Lebanese Civil War. Learn more about Matthew’s story here.

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Erika Raven (G’17) Wins 2017 Marshall Sherfield Fellowship

Erika Raven (G’17), a Ph.D. candidate in Georgetown’s Interdisciplinary Program for Neuroscience (IPN), has been selected as the 2017 Marshall Sherfield Fellow for postdoctoral work in the United Kingdom. The Marshall Sherfield Fellowship, administered by the same commission that awards the Marshall Scholarship for graduate study, provides the opportunity for American scientists or engineers to engage in postdoctoral work at a British university or research institute.

Erika is one of three members of the Georgetown community to receive this prestigious award for the 2016-2017 application cycle. Learn more about Erika’s plans to undertake research on the cognitive effects of iron deficiency here.

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Devika Ranjan (SFS ’17) Wins Marshall Scholarship

Devika Ranjan (SFS’17), a culture and politics major at Georgetown, has won a 2017 Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in the United Kingdom. Devika, a local of Andover, Massachusetts, plans to pursue a one-year master’s degree in Refugee and Forced Migration at the University of Oxford and pursue a second one-year master’s degree in Devised Theater. As an undergraduate, Devika has engaged in many efforts to work with marginalized communities, including choreographing a political satire with a Pakistan-based theater and facilitating a theater workshop for children’s trauma relief after last year’s earthquake in Nepal. Read more of Devika’s story here.

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Seamus Caragher (C’16) Wins Marshall Scholarship

Recent Georgetown graduate Seamus Caragher (C’16) has been named a 2017 Marshall Scholar and will study for the next two years in the United Kingdom. Seamus plans to pursue a one-year master’s degree in Cancer Sciences at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and another one-year master’s degree in Technology Policy at the University of Cambridge in England. Read more about Seamus’ research aspirations here.

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James Pavur (SFS’17) Wins Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship was founded in the early twentieth century by Cecil Rhodes to promote international understanding and peace. In the United States, 32 scholarships are awarded each year to seniors and recent graduates, funding two years of post-graduate study at Oxford University. Scholars are chosen on the basis of scholastic achievement, community involvement, integrity of character, leadership abilities, respect for their fellow beings, and energy to use their talents to the fullest.

Our very own James Pavur (SFS’16) was named a 2017 Rhodes Scholar! Read the story on James as well as check out the interview with him in The Hoya.
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