ITHACA, NY—Megan Tetrick, a 2003 graduate of Ithaca College, is one of 19 students nationwide to receive this year’s Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. Named after the man considered one of the most distinguished U.S. diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century, the fellowship will allow Tetrick to earn a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Tetrick is also pursuing a certificate in Russian and Eastern Eurpoean studies from the Harriman Institute.
“It is an honor for me to have received this fellowship,” said Tetrick, who double majored in politics and journalism. “I was deeply impressed by all the candidates during the interviews because all of them had worked abroad in embassies and international organizations. I feel very fortunate to have been selected.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Pickering graduate fellowship program aims to attract outstanding students to prepare, academically and professionally, for the U.S. foreign service. Tetrick was drawn to pursuing a career in international service by experiences she’s undergone since her undergraduate days.
“After graduating from Ithaca College, I joined the Peace Corps and spent almost three years in the Ukraine,” she said. “I taught English and worked with several nongovernmental organizations that did a variety of community and economic development projects. One in particular assisted women victims of human trafficking.”
While in the Ukraine, Tetrick lived with three host families, learning Ukranian and Russian.
“It was an incredible experience,” she said. “It challenged me personally and taught me a great deal about life in another part of the world.”
As part of her Pickering fellowship, Tetrick will intern at an embassy abroad the summer after she graduates. After training at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C., she will receive an assignment as a foreign service officer. She hopes to work in the public diplomacy section of an embassy in the former Soviet Union.