The Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships (ONFS) at Colgate University is very pleased to announce that Linda Wang ’23 has been named recipient of the prestigious Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship.
The PPIA Fellowship Program is a rigorous academic graduate-level preparation program for undergraduate juniors committed to public service careers. The program was started to address the lack of diversity across the spectrum of professional public service, including government, nonprofits, public policy institutions, and international organizations. The purpose of the fellowship is to prepare students to obtain a master’s or joint degree in public policy, public administration, international affairs, or a related field.
As a PPIA fellow this summer, Linda is excited to learn more about public policy and the sector of public policy in which she would like to pursue her future career. “I really want a deeper understanding of what public policy is,” she says. “When I hear public policy, it’s such a general term that I’m not quite sure what goes into it. I think this summer will give me a basic overview, but hopefully I’ll find a sector of public policy that I’m really interested in and I can go deeply into it.”
As Linda explores her public policy interests, she also looks forward to connecting with members of her PPIA fellowship cohort. “We have a very small cohort, so I’m just really curious what other students were chosen and their reasons for applying. I think that will be really cool to learn,” she says.
At Colgate, Linda is already a part of an intellectual community as an Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUS) scholar. Since her first days on campus, OUS has been a community of support for Linda. “[OUS] is this community that I am a part of, and I’m really grateful for them because I know I have friends on campus,” she says. “Before you meet your close friends, there is a community of people that you can walk by in the hall and say hi and they know you.” As she embarks on her PPIA fellowship this summer, she looks forward to bonding with her cohort in a similar way.
OUS was instrumental in shaping Linda’s decision to apply for the PPIA JSI fellowship. According to Linda, OUS scholars Victoria Basulto ’21 and Thomas Dunia ’22 encouraged and motivated her to apply. “I would consider [Victoria] as such a role model for me at Colgate. She’s always been so willing to lend her time and help out,” Linda says. Victoria encouraged Linda to reach out to Thomas, last year’s PPIA recipient, to learn more about his experience. Through these conversations, as well as conversations with Colgate ONFS, Linda decided to apply.
Before her fellowship begins this summer, Linda will have completed two semesters studying abroad. During fall 2021, Linda studied at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. There, she developed her Arabic language skills, which she started learning as a sophomore. This semester, spring 2022, Linda is a student in Colgate’s Geneva Study Group. While there, Linda hopes to take advantage of Geneva’s international communities and institutions. These experiences will no doubt be fundamental in shaping her career trajectory in public policy and international relations.
Next fall, Linda will return to campus to begin her senior year. In addition to writing her senior thesis in international relations, she looks forward to applying to graduate programs and other nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships, such as the Boren Fellowship and the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Looking forward, Linda is excited to begin her summer as a PPIA JSI fellow. She gives the following advice to students who are interested in applying for fellowship and scholarship opportunities but may not know where to start: “Reach out! Reach out to the people who are in your network and the people who are not in your network. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how people are so willing to help out. I think also utilizing the Colgate departments like the fellowship office, for example. It’s so cool that we have [ONFS] as a resource, and I would say take full advantage of that.”
Linda gives a special thanks to Colgate Associate Dean for Fellowship Advising Stephen Wright, PhD, for greatly motivating and helping her throughout the application process. “Steve is very encouraging, very supportive, and I am very grateful that every time I go to his office, he’ll always remind me about the programs I should apply for,” she says. “Which is really good, because it makes you think, if this person thinks you can do it, then why not try?” She would also like to thank Senior Associate Director for OUS Frank Kuan and Associate Director of Off-Campus Study Cas Sowa for supporting her throughout her application experience as well.
For more information about fellowship and scholarship opportunities, please reach out to ONFS Program Coordinator Anna Brown at email@example.com to schedule an appointment.