June 25, 2008
Shannon Brown, a Rollins College junior majoring in international relations with a minor in Spanish, has been awarded a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship.
As a fellow, Brown will serve four-and-a-half years as a Foreign Service officer with the Department of State. She is particularly interested in democratization, human rights, conflict resolution and the Middle East. Brown, of New Port Richey, Fla., is spending her summer participating in the Rollins Student-Faculty Summer Scholarship Program researching sustainable energy policies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. She will spend the next year studying abroad in Morocco and Spain.
The Pickering Fellowship program is among the U.S. government's most prestigious awards for undergraduate students. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Brown was named one of 20 recipients of the award out of about 1,000 applicants.
"Shannon Brown is an exceptional young woman with a breadth of scholarship and skills that make her unique and fully deserving of being named a Pickering Fellow," said Jayashree Shivamoggi, director of external and competitive scholarships for Rollins College. "Beyond her stellar academic performance, her impressive leadership record on campus and her desire to represent the United States as a diplomat made for a very strong candidacy."
Among a long list of accomplishments and service activities, Brown is in the honors degree program, active in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the philosophy club, and edits for the Rollins Undergraduate Research Journal. Last year, Brown led a student effort to start an Arabic program at Rollins.
The fellowship will help Brown carry out her dream of international service. "My entire academic experience at Rollins has affirmed my interest in and commitment to international affairs and introduced me to numerous professors whose advice, encouragement, and passion have made me a better student," Brown said.
Brown was picked as one of 40 finalists out of about 1,000 applicants. After completing a written exam and attending an interview session at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C., she was selected as one of the 20 Pickering Fellows. The program provides funding for tuition, fees, books, and room and board for each Fellow's junior and senior year of college, as well as for their first year of graduate school. Additionally, fellows participate in a Junior Summer Institute between their junior and senior years and complete two paid internships with the Department of State. Upon completion of graduate school, fellows serve four-and-a half years in the Foreign Service.
Brown is one of two undergraduates at Central Florida schools who were selected as Pickering Fellows. Christopher Estoch of the University of Central Florida also was chosen.