AUGUSTA, GA) – On March 18, Courtney Gates, a senior at Paine College, was selected as a 2009 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow following a highly competitive nationwide contest. The Rangel Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by Howard University, supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue careers in the U.S. Foreign Service. Rangel Program Manager Patricia Scroggs commented, “I have no doubt that Courtney’s educational experiences at Paine College helped prepare her to excel in a highly competitive selection process. The Rangel Program is thrilled to have Courtney as a Rangel Fellow, and I know she will use her unique talents to help address global challenges and represent the United States in the most positive light as a U.S. diplomat.” Soon after receiving the Rangel Fellowship, Courtney also received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach in Taiwan, which she will begin in August 2009. She will complete her Rangel Fellowship program immediately thereafter.
Courtney, who was raised in San Bernardino, California, received her Bachelors Degree in English at Paine College this Sunday. During her time at Paine College, she has contributed to the community in a number of ways, including serving as the student representative on the Paine College Long Range Planning Committee, becoming a peer tutor, and speaking at fundraising events. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including being the Grand Prize Winner of the Maya Angelou Essay Contest in 2007, winning second place in the Blacks in Government National Oratorical Contest in 2005, and being inducted into the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society and the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society. Courtney was also the Paine College Female Student Marshall for 2009. With a deep interest in international affairs, Courtney studied abroad at Nanjing University in China in 2007 and returned to the Jiangsu Province in 2008 to study at Suzhou University. She was selected as an Institute for International Public Policy Fellow during her sophomore year and has studied in summer policy institutes at Spelman College and the University of Maryland College Park.
The Rangel Fellowship will provide Courtney with over $80,000 in benefits over a two-year period, including supporting her graduate education and professional development. She will use her fellowship to pursue a Master’s Degree at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The Rangel Program will also arrange for her to work on international affairs issues for a U.S. Member of Congress during summer 2009 and at a U.S. Embassy overseas in summer 2010. She will join the U.S. Foreign Service upon completion of her graduate degree and hopes to contribute her unique perspective and experiences to advance the interests of the United States and the global community.
The Foreign Service is a corps of working professionals who support the President of the United States and the Secretary of State to advance American foreign policy goals. Foreign Service personnel 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. A career in the Foreign Service requires unusual commitment, uncommon motivation, and the ability to endure possible hardship while advancing and defending U.S. interests.