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Stony Brook University Scholar & Future Diplomat Wins Prestigious Rangel Fellowship

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Stony Brook University Scholar & Future Diplomat Wins Prestigious Rangel Fellowship

95K in benefits awarded to Lydia Senatus ‘18 to pursue a career in U.S. Foreign Service

 Lydia Senatus ‘18 

STONY BROOK, NY, November 21, 2017 –
Following a highly competitive nationwide contest, Stony Brook University senior 

Lydia Senatus ‘18

has been awarded a 

2018 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship

. The fellowship supports extraordinary individuals seeking  to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.  Funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, the fellowship provides:

  • Approximately $95,000 in benefits over a two year period to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs;

  • Two internships:

    • Summer 2018: Lydia will work with a member of Congress on issues regarding foreign affairs

    • Summer 2019: The U.S. Department of State will send Lydia overseas to work in a U.S. Embassy to get hands-on experience with U.S. foreign policy and the work of the Foreign Service

  • Upon completion of masters program, Lydia will become a U.S. Diplomat, where she hopes to focus on
    East Asia, the Middle East and East Africa.

As a first-generation American, Lydia has always been deeply curious about the world beyond the United States and through all of her experiences, in and outside the classroom, in the U. S. and abroad, she developed a passion for public service.

“I am excited to be joining a cohort of equally passionate young people who are committed to making a difference in the world. And, as the first Stony Brook student to receive this prestigious award, I hope to inspire students to actively pursue their dreams,” said Lydia, an Economics major and International Studies & Business Management minor.

“The selection panel was extremely impressed by Lydia’s outstanding scholarship, leadership and commitment to service,” said Patricia Scroggs, director of the 

Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program

. “Her experiences at Stony Brook University undoubtedly has helped prepare her for this honor and I look forward to seeing all that she will accomplish in her career.”

Lydia has worked closely with Stony Brook professors in the Africana Studies, Political Science and English departments, as well as with administrators and staff in the Career Center and External Scholarships and Fellowships Advising offices who have helped her further pursue her dream of becoming a U.S. Diplomat.

“Lydia is a creative and relentless scholar who asks the hard questions about inequality and injustice, and a human being who is passionately committed to connecting with people across borders and boundaries. How lucky for the world that her focus is on making a positive difference for communities in need,” said Abena Asare, assistant professor of Modern African Affairs at Stony Brook.

External Scholarships and Fellowships Advisor 

Jennifer Green

added, “
I have known Lydia since she was a sophomore and first planning her path toward a career in international affairs by participating in a summer study abroad program. It was readily apparent that she was someone to watch and she continues to impress me with her savvy and her drive.”

Lydia, a Brooklyn native, plans to pursue a Masters in International Relations upon graduation. She is currently a Student Ambassador, a member of the Women’s Leadership Council, a SUNY Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women (JFEW) Scholar, an intern for the Red Watch Band Care Team and works for the Office of International Academic Programs.

Last summer, Lydia interned with the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.  She has held leadership roles with Undergraduate Student Government, was on the Board of Directors for the Faculty Student Association and studied abroad in Wuhan, China as a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar (U.S. State Department Award).

About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become a flagship as one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 26,000 students and 2,600 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $4.6 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge. 

About the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program
The Rangel Program is a U.S. Department of State program that aims to enhance the excellence and diversity of the U.S. Foreign Service.  Begun in 2003, the Rangel Fellowship Program selects outstanding young people each year from around the country who exhibit the ideal qualities of a Foreign Service Officer. Managed by the Ralph J. Bunche Center at Howard University, the Rangel Fellowship supports those selected through graduate school and professional development activities that prepare them for their careers as Foreign Service Officers. With the academic, professional and financial support from the program, Fellows now serve as diplomats around the world, contributing to a more diverse representation and effective execution of U.S. foreign policy.  The Rangel Program is administered by Howard University. More information can be found online at

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