Senior receives Rangel award

On March 6, Stacy Sessions, a senior sociology and international affairs student, was granted fellowship to the 2007 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship scholarship program. Sessions was one of 10 students selected from around the country to receive this scholarship, which will pay up to $28,000 annually toward her graduate education.

Sessions’ stipend will cover her tuition, room and board, books and other mandatory expenses for a two-year master’s degree in international affairs. Sessions will begin the program this summer. She will move to Washington D.C. and then attend an internship orientation at Harvard University.

While at FAMU, Sessions served as president of the Model United Nations Association. She is also a member of the FAMU Honors Student Association, Graduate Feeder Program and the National Council of Negro Women.

In 2006, Session served as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya and in the State Department’s Office of International Health Affairs in 2005.

This summer, the Rangel program will provide Sessions with work through the U.S. department of international affairs, where she will work for a member of Congress. In fall 2007, she will begin school at the University of Denver.

“I am very excited about being chosen as one out of 10 for the fellowship and starting school at Denver,” Sessions said. In summer 2008, the Department of State, who funds the Charles B. Rangel Fellowship will send Sessions overseas to work in a U.S. Embassy “to get hands-on experience with U.S. foreign policy, conditions in a specific country and the work of the Foreign Service,” said Patricia Hanigan Scroggs, program manager of the Rangel Program.

The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Program was created in 2004 by Congressman Charles Rangel, a representative of the 15th district in New York. According to this fellowship aims to attract outstanding students who have an interest in a career in the foreign service of the U. S. Department of State.

Fellowships are offered to graduating seniors and recent graduates with strong academic standings. The program encourages involvement from minority groups and students who have financial needs.  “We live in a world in which people of many cultures, colors and faiths are actors on the international stage,” Rangel said. “In America, diversity is our strength, and we have much to offer in sharing our experience in creating a diverse and harmonious society.  With our nation’s growing international involvement, there could be no better time to attract the best and most diverse talent to represent the American people in every corner of the globe.”

Each Rangel Fellow recipient is expected to obtain a degree in international affairs or a related subject in two years. The related majors include public administration, public policy, business administration, foreign languages, economics, political science and communications. Sessions has chosen public administration.

After she graduates with a two-year master’s degree, she will be assigned a three-year appointment as a Foreign Service Officer.

For a student to be eligible for this fellowship program, he or she must be a U.S. citizen and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application. A candidate’s community, academic, extracurricular and leadership activities are also considered during the selection process.

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, a resume and a personal statement that gives their reason for applying, interest in foreign affairs and commitment to the Foreign Service.

Candidates who are selected for final consideration will be flown into Washington, D.C. for interviews and to provide an in-person writing sample. Applicants who apply should carefully review the Foreign Service requirements for medical, security and suitability clearance.

“I encourage any FAMU student to apply because these are the types of students they are looking for, students who are minorities with strong leadership skills who are open minded and like to travel internationally,” Sessions said.

Two other FAMU students, Marcus Jackson and Candice Bates, have received fellowship into this organization.

“This is a dream come true to see these young men and women, who are among the brightest and most talented, poised to represent our country overseas,” Rangel said.