By Edwin B. Smith
OXFORD, Miss. – A senior in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Croft Institute for International Studies and Arabic Language Flagship is the University of Mississippi’s first recipient of a prestigious Rangel Graduate Fellowship.
Charlotte Armistead, of Mooreville, is double majoring in international studies and Arabic with a minor in intelligence and security studies. The Rangel Graduate Fellowship program aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the foreign service of the U.S. Department of State, where they can help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy.
“I’ve always been drawn to a career in diplomacy, and after studying and interning in an embassy setting in Jordan last spring, it confirmed my desire to pursue a career in foreign service with the U.S. Department of State,” Armistead said. “The Rangel Fellowship was the perfect fit.”
As a Rangel fellow, Armistead will continue her academic research through the graduate program in which she is enrolled. She also plans to learn a new language and continue Arabic classes.
“I am also excited about the congressional internship in which I will participate this summer, as I believe gaining a firsthand experience in U.S. policymaking will be highly beneficial to actually carrying out U.S. foreign policy initiatives abroad as a future FSO,” Armistead said.
Armistead has studied in the Middle East and has held several internships in the region. Last year, she interned with Done by Native, an Arabic language instruction online and in-person program for both individual students and groups, at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan. She is working remotely with the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, and hopes to attend Georgetown University for her graduate education before joining the State Department as a foreign service officer.
Armistead said she was drawn to the purpose of the fellowship program, which, according to its website, is “to promote greater diversity and excellence in the U.S. Department of State.”
“As someone who grew up in rural Mississippi, I never really thought a career or opportunity like this would be possible for me,” she said. “As a Rangel fellow, I hope to give back to Mississippi, the community I grew up in, and UM by representing the diversity of Mississippi and rural Americans as a foreign service officer.”
Vivian Ibrahim, interim director for the Office of National Scholarship Advisement and Croft Associate Professor of History and International Studies, said Armistead’s achievement is one of many scholarship opportunities for which Ole Miss students can apply.
“I’m thrilled that Charlotte is our first ever Rangel fellow at the University of Mississippi,” Ibrahim said. “She has paved the way for future UM Rangel and Pickering awardees.”
Rangel fellows are selected annually in a competitive nationwide process. The program provides up to $84,000 for two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring and professional development activities. Besides support for graduate fees, the program provides support of up to $10,000 per summer.
Throughout the fellowship, Armistead will be mentored by a foreign service officer.
Over the past year, the Office of National Scholarship Advisement has increased its scope of award advising. As a result, the number of applications from UM to prestigious and highly competitive national and international awards has increased.
For information about scholarship opportunities in the Office of National Scholarship Advisement, contact Vivian Ibrahim, interim director at firstname.lastname@example.org.