by Debra Johnson, Published June 07, 2013
YPSILANTI - An Eastern Michigan University alumna hopes to help advance the economic growth in developing countries after graduation.
Katie Collins, 25, of Brighton, Mich., was recently awarded one of the distinguished Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowships by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Collins graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Michigan University in 2010. She earned a bachelor's of science in international affairs, with a minor in economics.
The award will provide financial support towards a two-year full-time master's degree program in fields such as public policy, international affairs, public administration, and other related academic fields.
Collins plans to pursue a master of public policy at the University of Michigan starting this fall.
"I am excited to focus my degree on international economic development," said Collins. "In the Foreign Service, there are five different career tracks. My goal is to become an Economic Officer and promote economic development in developing countries."
As an undergrad, Collins interned for the State Department at the Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and served as an English teacher in Ukraine, and has had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador, Guatemala, Japan, Rwanda, Egypt and Turkey.
"This fellowship is a dream come true," said Collins. "I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my educational interests and then immediately begin my dream career of serving my country abroad."
Fellows participate in one domestic and one overseas internship. Upon the completion of their master's degree, they commit to three years of service as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. The Foreign Service, a corps of working professionals who support the President of the United States and the Secretary of State in advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad, are front-line personnel who can be sent anywhere in the world, at any time, in service to the diplomatic needs of the United States.
The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship program is named in honor of one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. Retired Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service. He served as Ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India, and the Russian Federation, finishing his career in the Foreign Service as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Administered by the U.S. Department of State, the fellowships help develop a source of men and women whose academic and professional backgrounds fulfill the skill needs of the State Department and who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad.
Visit the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship homepage for more information.