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Mary Odukwe selected for Rangel Fellowship

Mary Odukwe ’20, a senior international studies major from Fresno, TX, has been selected as a 2020 Rangel Fellow.

By @jkotinek, Texas A&M Honors

Mary Odukwe ’20 in front of Notre Dame, Paris during a study abroad her freshman year

Mary Odukwe ’20, a senior international studies major from Fresno, TX, has been selected as a 2020 Rangel Fellow.

The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program is a U.S. Department of State program, administered by Howard University, that attracts and prepares young people for careers of international service. 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 Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. Howard University named this program to honor Congressman Rangel for his longstanding and vocal support for showing the world the diversity that is the strength of America, as well as his example of global leadership. 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.

The Rangel Program has progressed rapidly since 2002. It is already making an important contribution to the diversity of the State Department Foreign Service and providing young people with exciting careers of international service. Rangel Fellows and Scholars are currently representing the United States in 60 countries around the world, in areas as diverse as Africa, East Asia, Latin America, South Asia, Europe and Eurasia, and Canada. They are promoting human rights, helping American citizens in trouble overseas, enhancing prosperity and development, deepening ties between the United States and people in different countries, and supporting U.S. global values and interests in many different ways.

Odukwe’s major concentration is in international commerce and she is also pursuing minors in economics and Spanish. She was born in Anambra, Nigeria, and has lived in Texas for the last ten years. She was previously selected for a Gilman Scholarship, and attended the Fulbright regional career summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Odwuke says that she was encouraged to apply to the Rangel Fellowship and graduate study in international affairs by a foreign service officer at this summit. Describing her interaction with this officer, Odukwe notes being impressed by the rewarding challenges and global experiences that come with foreign service.

“After our discussion, I knew that a career in the Foreign Service is right for me because it encompasses everything I will need to live a fulfilling life. As a Rangel fellow, I will pursue a two-year master’s degree program in a field related to the Department of State’s Foreign Service. In addition to that, I will participate in congressional and overseas internships and eventually serve as a Foreign Service Officer for at least 5 years. I hope to use this opportunity to further my knowledge of the State Department as it relates to diplomacy and economic development. Also, I plan to use my time in graduate school to refine my writing, speaking, and presentational skills. I am excited to embark on this new journey, and I can’t wait to see where this takes me.”

The Rangel Program offers graduate fellowships to outstanding seniors and college graduates who want to join the Foreign Service. These fellowships help finance two-year graduate programs, provide two summer internships, mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer, and other professional development activities. The Rangel Program also accepts undergraduate students to participate in the six-week Summer Enrichment Program that prepares global-minded undergraduate students for careers in international affairs. Both programs are competitive and seek applicants with a strong academic background, a commitment to service, and an interest in making a difference in the world around them.

Enriching experiences in LAUNCH like applying to nationally-competitive scholarships are supported through generous donations from the Association of Former Students. To learn more about applying to the Rangel Scholarship, or other nationally-competitive awards, please visit here.

Originally posted here