NAU student awarded the Thomas R. Pickering Scholarship
By: Natasha Reeves
An NAU student is a winner of one of the largest and most beneficial scholarships in the country.
Anela Malik, a senior political science major, was one of 20 undergraduate students in the country awarded the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program, which offers $40,000 in support annually for the senior year of college and the first year of graduate study. There are two paid internship provided to the winners as well. The first is in Washington D.C. at the State Department following their senior year. The second is overseas at a U.S. embassy during the summer between their first and second years of graduate school.
The scholarship also offers mentors to help students throughout the program.
“They are looking for people who don’t have the best resume, but have a lot of experience,” said Malik, who previously studied abroad in Morocco and Australia. She is a seasoned traveler, having ventured to countries such as Spain, Switzerland and Jamaica. Malik has done a variety of volunteer work and hosted fundraisers before; she believes her extensive travels and community service helped make her competitive for the scholarship competition.
To be eligible for the scholarship, one must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher and be in their junior year of undergraduate study. For Malik the process began in December with a detailed application, letters of recommendation and an entry essay. Applicants found out if they were finalists by April and then flew to Washington D.C. for an interview.
Malik said the scholarship has enabled her to become a Foreign Service Officer once she is done with school.
“Essentially I’ll be a diplomat [and] civil servant for the U.S. It’s my dream job, so I’m really excited,” Malik said.