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UT News

Prominent Foreign Affairs Fellowship Awarded to Liberal Arts Student

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Quimberly Jasso, an international relations and global studies senior at The University of Texas at Austin, has received a 2019 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, which is funded by the United States Department of State. The fellowship will help Jasso pursue her graduate education of a Master of International Affairs, with a focus on East Asian and security studies.

The fellowship will also provide extensive professional development opportunities. In the summer of 2020, Jasso will intern for the Department of State in Washington, D.C. The following summer she will complete an overseas internship at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Summer travel, housing and other expenses related to the internships are paid by the fellowship. She will then be employed as a foreign service officer by the Department of State, with a minimum five-year service commitment.

“The Pickering Fellowship has truly changed the course of my life and my family’s life,” Jasso said. “I will be the first in my family to earn a master’s degree. This fellowship has reinforced what I always believed throughout college: Your dreams are always worth fighting for because true fulfillment comes from doing what you love.”

The fellowship isn’t Jasso’s first experience working with the Department of State. In 2017, she spent the summer studying Mandarin in Dalian, China, through the department’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program. She also worked as a Department of State intern at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Washington, D.C., as a part of the U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program.

As a UT Austin student, Jasso was a legislative intern for Texas state Sen. Judith Zaffirini. She also served as chair of the Hispanic Business Student Association and as the under-secretary general of logistics for the Central Texas Model United Nations. She was a recipient of the prestigious Terry Foundation scholarship, which funded her undergraduate education.

“Quimberly Jasso is one of our college’s finest students,” said Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Her commitment to scholastic excellence and dedication to public service are truly inspiring. I look forward to seeing how the fellowship will create even more exciting opportunities for this outstanding young scholar.

The Pickering fellowship, established in 1992, is awarded to 30 students in the U.S. annually.