Ranissa Adityavarman ’16, an international relations major from Manlius, N.Y., is one of just 30 students nationwide to be named a 2016 Rangel Fellow, which provides financial and professional development support for graduate studies and to help facilitate entry into a career with the U.S. Foreign Service.
The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, formed in 2002, is a unique partnership between Howard University and the U.S. Department of State; its goals are to promote greater diversity and excellence within the U.S. Foreign Service.
“I decided to take this path because working for the Foreign Service can be, in my mind, one of the most important ways to influence foreign policy in our country,” Adityavarman said. “We are always going to have foreign policy decisions to make, and I want to be one of the people on the ground, lobbying for what is best not only for our national interests but also the interests of the countries with which we’re working.”
At Colgate, Adityavarman studied abroad as a junior with the Geneva study group, is an economics minor, and a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Adityavarman also spent time volunteering at the Bumi Sehat Foundation in Bali, Indonesia, thanks to a COVE Levine-Weinberg Fellowship.
“This is a wonderful accomplishment, and I’m really proud of Ranissa,” said Kim Germain, Colgate’s Assistant Dean for Fellowship Advising. “She is poised to begin a great career in the Foreign Service, and winning the Rangel means that she will have strong support and mentorship throughout her journey there.”
Rangel Fellowships provide funding for two-year graduate programs in international affairs (up to $47,500 annually), arrange a mentor within the State Department for each fellow, provide paid internships and other professional development, and facilitate entry into the U.S. Foreign Service.
“I’ve been interested in foreign relations and politics for longer than I can remember, and working for the Department of State is a surefire way to get involved in both,” Adityavarman said. “Colgate’s Geneva Study Group was extremely influential… Working for a large humanitarian organization like CARE International, as well as meeting U.S. diplomats — who are foreign service officers — in their respective organizations was both humbling and inspiring.”