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Four UMD Juniors Named Public Policy and International Affairs Fellows

March 16, 2017

College Park, Maryland - Four University of Maryland juniors have been named 2017 Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellows. From a pool of nearly 600 applicants from across the nation, Adwoa Boateng, Fasika Delessa, Ana Ortez-Rivera, and Kendra Pryor are among the 100 new PPIA Fellows who will attend Junior Summer Institutes (JSI) this year.

The goal of PPIA is to help high-potential students from diverse backgrounds earn a master’s degree or a joint degree in public policy, international affairs, or any related field that will help prepare them for a career in public service. Before their senior year, each Fellow participates in an intensive seven-week Junior Summer Institute where they study policymaking, economics, and statistics at one of five partner universities, which are among the top institutions in the nation. After completion of the JSI, Fellows join an alumni network of nearly 4,000 leaders and have the opportunity to receive financial support for graduate study if they choose a program in the PPIA Graduate School Consortium.

“Maryland has a deep pool of exceptionally talented students committed to making the world a better place, as exemplified by our four PPIA Fellows for 2017,” said Francis DuVinage, director of the National Scholarships Office. “We are proud of these change-makers and thrilled to see them recognized by this highly selective and career-enhancing program.”

Adwoa BoatengAdwoa Boateng, an economics major in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, will attend the JSI at Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. “I am really excited to learn more about careers in public policy and diplomacy and to get guidance on graduate school options,” states Ms. Boateng. “I am confident that the Junior Summer Institute will be a landmark of my undergraduate experience, and I cannot wait to network with mentors and talented students.” At Maryland, Ms. Boateng is a research intern at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. She is also a Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellow, a participant in the Global Fellows Program, a member of the W.E.B. Du Bois Honor Society, and an alumna of College Park Scholars. Since last fall she has been a Foreign Affairs Campus Coordinator with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. In summer 2016 she was an Economic and Regional Affairs Intern at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of African Affairs and in spring she was an Acquisitions Intern with the Federal Trade Commission.

Fasika DelessaFasika Delessa, a management major in the Robert H. Smith School of Business, will attend the JSI at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Ms. Delessa, who plans to pursue a career in public service, states that she is eager “to be surrounded and inspired by a group of change-makers from campuses across the country, to be challenged and learn more of the quantitative side of public policy, and to figure out where I fit into this space.” At Maryland she is a Program Assistant for ChangeTheWorld Consulting, at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, where she manages three teams of MBA and undergraduate students participating in consulting projects with nonprofits. She is also a Fellow with the Social Innovation Fellows Program, the Vice President of Academic Affairs with the Student Government Association, and an alumna of the Civicus program. Beyond campus she interns with the Coordinated Campaign of the Maryland Democratic Party and last spring was a White House Intern providing support for Vice President Biden’s team in researching, writing, and editing policy speeches.

Ana Ortez-RiveraAna Ortez-Rivera, an anthropology major and international development and conflict resolution minor in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, who is also pursuing a certificate in Latin American Studies, will attend the JSI at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University. “I am thrilled to be a part of PPIA because it is the next step towards bridging anthropology and public policy,” states Ms. Ortez-Rivera. “My anthropological research has given me the tools to uncover the narratives of marginalized groups that are impacted by immigration policy. I want to pursue public policy in graduate school and become a policy leader. I will contribute to finding solutions to real-world problems and be a voice for underrepresented populations. PPIA will help me gain further quantitative and analytical skills I need to advance my career in public service.” Ms. Ortez-Rivera has presented her research on Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and in late March will present at the Society for Applied Anthropology Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At Maryland Ms. Ortez-Rivera is a participant in the Global Fellows program, a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, a research assistant with the Department of Anthropology, and an undergraduate tutor with the Academic Achievement Programs. She is currently an intern with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Office of Strategy and Policy, Research and Evaluation Division.

Kendra PryorKendra Pryor, an anthropology major and Spanish minor in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, who is completing a certificate in Latin American Studies, will participate in the JSI at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. At Maryland she is a research assistant in the Department of Anthropology, a member of the Honors Humanities program, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Honor Society. She is preparing for a career working in non-profit organizations serving African American and Latino populations or in diplomacy and international relations. “Perhaps the aspect of the [JSI] program that I am most look forward to,” states Ms. Pryor, “is to meet and work with a diverse group of people who are interested in similar fields of study and career pursuits. I hope that we will all make the most of this experience and it will propel us to make positive impacts in our future endeavors.”

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