Following a highly competitive nationwide selection process, 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;
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, Senatus 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, Senatus 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 Senatus, an Economics major and International Studies and 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.”
Senatus 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.”
Senatus, 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, Senatus 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).
Senatus used the Rangel Fellowship to attend Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, one of the best international relations programs in the U.S. and is about to leave for her first tour as a Foreign Service Officer in Vietnam.