Political Science Graduate Selected as 2019 Rangel Scholar

On March 20, 2019 the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program (Rangel SEP) awarded 15 placements for Rangel Scholar slots following a highly competitive nationwide selection process. Kevin O'Connor, 2019 Rangel Scholar, NCATSU

Kevin O’Connor, a May 2019 graduate who majored in political science, was selected as the first Rangel Scholar from North Carolina A&T since 2009, and its second-ever Rangel Scholar.

The Rangel SEP, funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by Howard University, supports individuals earning their bachelor's degree who are interested in pursuing a career in international affairs. Over 800 applications were submitted for the 2019 cohort, the largest amount received in the program’s history.

O’Connor, from Fayetteville, NC, was recruited and advised by Alsace Gallop, the National Scholarships and Fellowships Coordinator for NCAT Extraordinary Opportunities. “Kevin’s sustained and demonstrated interest in international affairs, work ethic, analytical skills, and selection as a 2018 Gilman Scholar made him a great candidate, and I am thrilled that he has been recognized nationally,” said Gallop.

The 2019 Rangel Scholars reflect the excellence and diversity that have characterized the program since its creation. During the fully funded six-week intensive program in Washington, DC, Scholars participated in a variety of programs with leading foreign affairs professionals and attended events at diverse locations around Washington, DC, including the CIA, State Department, and Congress.

According to Rangel Program Deputy Director Bunmi Akinnusotu, the Rangel Program encourages the application of undergraduates in minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need. The 2019 group of Rangel Scholars included individuals from 10 states including Georgia (3), New York (2), North Carolina (2), and one from each of these states: Texas, California, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.  Seven were women, eight were men, and 93% of the Scholars were from underrepresented minority groups.

“The 2019 Rangel Scholars were selected among a highly competitive pool of applicants from all over the country," said Akinnusotu. “They reflect the best and brightest of America and their summer of coursework, site visits, and important conversations is designed to shape their career trajectory and enhance their community of international affairs leaders.”

Applications for the 2020 Rangel SEP were accepted through February 4, 2020.