ATLANTA – Kalif Robinson, an Honors College senior studying economics with a minor in Arabic at Georgia State University, is one of 30 undergraduate students from across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship. Robinson is a past Gilman Scholar and Rangel Scholar.
The Rangel Fellowship covers up to $47,500 annually towards tuition, room, board, books and mandatory fees for the completion of two-year master’s degrees. At the conclusion of two years of study, the Rangel Fellow is expected to have obtained a degree in international affairs or another area of relevance to work of the Foreign Service at a graduate school approved by the Rangel Program. Rangel Fellows will also participate in two internships. The first, an internship working on international issues for Members of Congress in Washington, D.C., will occur before the first year of graduate study. The second will be an overseas internship in a U.S. Embassy that takes places during the summer between the first and second years of graduate study. The fellowship facilitates entry into the Foreign Service for individuals who are able to complete the Foreign Service entry requirements.
Robinson shared, “I am so honored, this is a surreal feeling to be named a Rangel Fellow. This experience has made me reflect on all of the pieces of my story that have added up to this moment. From taking Latin in high school, to living in the Global Living community my freshman and sophomore years to serving as a cultural competency ambassador – all of these experiences have gotten me to this accomplishment.”
“As a first-generation college student, I want other students to realize that your experiences are just as important as others. Don’t worry about trying to match up to what others have done, just focus on your passions, your self-critical analysis and how you present your experiences to others.”
Robinson’s advice to students applying for national scholarships and fellowships is, “plan ahead and start as early as you can making meaningful connections. Talk to your professors and connect beyond classroom discussions, go to the advisement center, get a job on campus if you can. Also, find someone who can be your writing coach – personal statements are such a key part of the application process and having someone who can help you find your voice is integral to giving any selection committee a true sense of who you are. More than anything, take advantage of all of the resources at Georgia State.”
The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program is a unique partnership between Howard University and the U.S. Department of State, with strong support from the U.S. Congress. Announced in 2002 by Secretary of State Colin Powell, Congressman Charles B. Rangel and Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert, its goals are to promote greater diversity and excellence in the U.S. Foreign Service. The program is managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State.