University of Notre Dame alumni Irla Atanda and Amber Bryan have been named Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellows. Alumnus DeJorie Monroe has been named a Charles B. Rangel Scholar. He is the University’s first Rangel Graduate Fellow and the second and third Pickering Graduate Fellows.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered annually by Howard University, the Pickering and Rangel Graduate Scholarship Programs each award 45 scholarships that cover tuition, room, board, books, and fees for obtaining a two-year master’s degree.
The programs also offer two internships. The first, an internship at the headquarters of the US Department of State in Washington, DC The second, an internship abroad in a US embassy or consulate. The program provides additional support for summer travel, housing, and other related expenses.
Both programs encourage applications from members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those in financial need.
In applying for the scholarships, the alumni worked with Elise Rudt, Senior National Fellowship Program Manager with the Flatley Center for Undergraduate University Engagement (CUSE), which promotes the intellectual development of Notre Dame undergraduates through scholarly engagement, research, creative endeavours, and scholarship seeking.
“Irla, DeJorie and Amber epitomize excellence and international service. Their trajectories should be examples for all Notre Dame students. I often say that scholarships beget scholarships, and Irla, having won the Gilman and Boren scholarships, DeJorie, having won the Orr and Fulbright scholarships, and Amber, having worked as an AmeriCorps fellow, perfectly demonstrate the possibilities of such scholarships to build a clear career path,” Rudt said. “I want to thank rivers of holly (associate director of Kellogg Institute for International Studies) and Dr. George Lopez (Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies) for their assistance with practice interviews.
Atanda graduated from Notre Dame in 2020 with a BA in American Studies and a minor in International Development Studies. She studied abroad at the University of Cape Town as a Gilman Scholar and at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
While at Notre Dame, she was a recipient of the David L. Boren Scholarship, Charles B. Rangel Alternate, and QuestBridge Scholar.
She currently works at Refugees International as Special Assistant to the President.
Bryan graduated from Notre Dame in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She studied abroad at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo.
While at Notre Dame, she was a Scholar AnBryce and served as Vice President and Community Services Coordinator for the Black Student Association.
She currently works at Terminix as a senior internal auditor.
Monroe graduated from Notre Dame in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and minors in Latin American studies, Middle Eastern studies and theology. She also studied abroad at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
While at Notre Dame, Monroe was a Hesburgh-Yusko Fellow and a Dean’s Scholar in the College of Arts and Letters, and was awarded a position as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Argentina.
She received her Master of Science in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University.
Monroe is currently a dual-language immersion teacher at an elementary school in Columbia, South Carolina, and marketing operations coordinator at Urbanforce/Generator Power Systems Inc.
Upon completion of the fellowship programs, Atanda, Bryan, and Monroe will serve as Foreign Service Officers in the Department of State.
The Pickering Fellowship for Foreign Affairs is named after Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering. Pickering has served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan. He also served as United States Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York.
The Rangel Fellowship in International Affairs is named after Charles B. Rangel. Rangel served in the United States Congress, representing New York City for 23 terms and 46 years. He retired in December 2016. Rangel made history in 2006 as the first African American to lead the Committee of Ways and Means, which oversees international trade, health care, economic policy and development. other major political issues.
Current students and alumni interested in applying for the Pickering, Rangel, or Payne Fellowships (a similar award for working with USAID) can contact Rudt at [email protected].