Blackwell '20 Receives 2024 Rangel Graduate Fellowship

By Jackie Torok / 07/01/2024 Alumni, Honors College

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 1, 2024) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University alumna Nasya Blackwell ’20 has been chosen as one of 45 recipients of the 2024 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship.

Blackwell is North Carolina A&T’s second Rangel Fellow and first since Migael Penix ‘07 was selected in 2009.

“My experiences living across three continents have given me the skills to commit to a career in Foreign Service,” said Blackwell. “Receiving the Rangel Fellowship will allow me to expand my knowledge of U.S. foreign policy and serve as a resource for other minorities interested in influencing U.S. foreign policy in a career that represents cultural diversity and the different experiences of America.”

As a Rangel Graduate Fellow, Blackwell is eligible for up to $42,000 annually for a two-year period for tuition, room, board, books and mandatory fees for completion of a two-year master’s degree. This includes up to $24,000 per year for tuition and mandatory fees and an academic year stipend of $18,000. Significant benefits also include stipends for two 10-week internships – one on Capitol Hill, followed by a 10-week overseas internship at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate – as well as a Department of State Foreign Service mentor and assistance in preparing for a Foreign Service career with the Department of State.

Rangel Fellow applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 throughout their period of undergraduate study in any discipline and are expected to earn a cumulative 3.2 GPA as they obtain a degree in international affairs or another area of relevance to the work of the Foreign Service at a graduate school approved by the Rangel Program.

Blackwell, of Washington, D.C., and daughter of Danielle Blackwell, was accepted to master’s programs at American University, George Washington University, Pennsylvania State University and Johns Hopkins University. She will attend Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in fall 2024 as both a Rangel Fellow and a member of the SAIS Public Service Fellows – Scholarship Program, which includes additional funding and professional development. As an aspiring public diplomacy officer and a student in the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program, she will explore gender policy and intercultural communications with a regional focus in Africa and Asia.

Additionally, Blackwell is a 2023-24 Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant recipient for an English teaching assistant (ETA) position in Taiwan, where she is completing her year of work and cross-cultural engagement and studying Mandarin Chinese. She became A&T’s first Princeton in Africa Fellow in 2022 and was placed with Emerging Public Leaders in Accra, Ghana for the 2022-23 program year. Prior to that selection, Blackwell was a semifinalist for an ETA in Colombia for the 2021-22 Fulbright Program grant application cycle. She is also as a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program recipient, which she used to study abroad and complete the intensive Spanish language and culture program at Veritas Universidad in San Jose, Costa Rica during summer 2019.

Blackwell graduated cum laude in May 2020 with a B.A. in political science and B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish and was a member of the Blue and Gold Marching Machine. She studied abroad in fall 2019 at the ISEP Global Engagement program at the University of Ghana in Accra , was a sophomore representative for 2016-17 in the University Honors Program (now the Honors College), presented research in her discipline, served in numerous campus organizations and worked part-time off campus. She was selected in summer 2018 to travel to South Korea as a student ambassador in the U.S. Congress-Republic of Korea National Assembly program and has interned on Capitol Hill twice: as an HBCU Bipartisan Caucus intern in summer 2017 and as an Emerging Leaders intern with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in summer 2016.

“Over the five-plus years I have worked with and known her, Nasya has demonstrated the steadfastness of her purpose and personifies Aggie excellence through her learning and extensive track record of leadership and service, often alongside ongoing obstacles,” said Alsace-Lorraine Gallop, A&T’s national scholarships and fellowships coordinator and Fulbright Program Adviser. “She never quits improving.”

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship is a program that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State in which they can help formulate, represent, and implement U.S. foreign policy.

It selects outstanding Rangel Fellows annually in a highly competitive nationwide process and encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.

Fellows who successfully complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers, in accordance with applicable law and State Department policy.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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