Occidental Student Awarded Prestigious Foreign Service Fellowship

Occidental College senior Alexis Huff has been awarded a $35,000 international relations fellowship that will take her to Capitol Hill, graduate school, and ultimately abroad to begin a career in the Foreign Service.


 The Pasadena, Calif., native and Diplomacy and World Affairs major is one of 20 undergraduates nationwide to receive the highly competitive Rangel Graduate Fellowship.

The two-year fellowship aims to prepare outstanding college students--especially those from diverse backgrounds--for a career in U.S. foreign policy through two years of graduate study, legislative and foreign service internships, and other professional development activities. Fellows who successfully complete the fellowship and Foreign Service entry requirements receive appointments as Foreign Service officers.

"It's always pleasing when deserving students receive the recognition and reward that are their due. That is certainly the case for Alexis. I couldn't be happier," said DWA chair and associate professor Anthony Chase.

The Rangel Fellowship is administered by the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, a partnership between Howard University in Washington and the U.S. Department of State. The university named the program to honor longtime Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee.

Huff says she's excited about the opportunities the Rangel fellowship offers. She comes well-prepared: In the fall of 2009, Huff participated in the semester-long Occidental-at-the-United Nations program, where she interned at the U.N.'s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. She worked in the department's Africa Division II, which administers U.N. peacekeeping missions in Liberia, Somalia, and other west and central African countries.

"This fellowship is the culmination of my work at Oxy," she says. "Being a foreign service officer will combine my academic interests and my desire to make a positive impact in the world."

Huff will begin her fellowship this summer by interning for a member of Congress. This fall, she will attend graduate school (she is still deciding which one), where she will specialize in transnational issues and/or international political economy. Next summer, Huff and other Rangel fellows will take part in a 10-week internship at a U.S. embassy overseas. She does not yet know where she will land, but she's most interested in interning at a U.S. consulate in Rwanda or Botswana.

For more information about the Rangel Fellowship, visit: http://www.rangelprogram.org/.

For more information about Oxy's DWA program, visit: http://college.oxy.edu/dwa/.