Ambassador Miriam Hughes has been appointed as the new Diplomat-in-Residence at Florida A&M on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. Unfortunately Hughes was not able to accept her appointment formally at Tuesday’s reception, due to an illness in her family.
“[Diplomats-in-residence] are a great resource to recruit students and mid-level professionals, for the state department,” said Joseph Jones, interim assistant vice president of the office of International Education and Development. “Hughes will be recruiting as far as southern Georgia to Orlando.”
Hughes will be serving a one-year term in the Office of International Education and Development, and can request another year extension to continue her service on FAMU’s campus.
According to the OIED’s Web site, Hughes’ duties as Diplomat-in-Residence at FAMU are “to expose students to internships and career opportunities under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State. Students interested in pursuing a career in inter-national affairs or interning during the summer with the U.S. Department of State are invited to make an appointment with Ambassador Hughes.”
FAMU is just one out of 16 colleges who have a Diplomat-in-Residence on campus. Three out of the 16 are historically black colleges, Howard University and Spellman College, according to the U.S Department of States’ Web site.
“Each year, the U.S. Department of State assigns senior foreign service officers to the position of Diplomat in Residence (DIR) at certain colleges and universities throughout the United States,” the OIED Web site said. “The DIR program is central to the effort to recruit the best and brightest to represent America’s rich diversity to the world.”
The U.S. Department of States’ diplomat in residences help candidates through the Foreign Service Exam application and examination process to become foreign service officer and then a DIR. They also represent at conferences, career fairs and support programs sponsored by foreign affairs groups. DIRs “engage in outreach to the military, professional organizations and other local groups.”
“Its really a prestigious honor to be a foreign service officer,” said Jones.
OEID first applied for a bid from the U.S. State Department to receive a DIR in 2001. FAMU’s first Diplomat-in-Residence was Teddy Taylor, a former FAMU School of Business and Industry graduate.
FAMU has had six Diplomat-in-Residences since 2001.
“These people [Diplomats-in-Residence] have traveled to many countries, have 10 year plus experience in foreign affairs and speak at least four languages,” Jones said.
Karen Mitchell, coordinator of the study abroad program at FAMU, encourages students to study abroad.
Mitchell said, “Studying abroad makes you more marketable.”
The Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta are co-hosts the International Awareness Week and this reception is just one of the many events on campus.
” We have a five point thrust, and one of them is international awareness and involvement,” said Jasmine Furr, a fourth-year MBA student from St. Louis and member of Delta Sigma Theta. “We hope this educates people and other cultures to be more active.”
“Due to a her father having a heart attack, Hughes will return to FAMU after Thanksgiving’s break to assist students and to formally accept her as Diplomat-in-Residence,” Jones said.