International opportunities abound for recipient of the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship.
A career as a U.S. diplomat requires fortitude, flexibility, a commitment to public service and the ability to adapt to changing situations and cultures other than your own. It takes a distinctive type of person to represent America abroad, to advance diplomatic initiatives that benefit both the United States and its international partners.
Jeremy Luna ’20 (Asian Studies; International Relations) believes he is up for the challenge, and the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program has shown they have faith in him, too. Luna is a 2020 recipient of the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship, awarded to a select few outstanding scholars through an annual, competitive nationwide contest. The Rangel Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University, supports extraordinary individuals pursuing careers in the Foreign Service.
“I am thrilled to be a part of a cohort of game changers: people who are going to diversify the U.S. Foreign Service and represent America overseas in all of its diversity,” said Luna.
The Rangel Fellowship will provide full support for Jeremy to attend Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. It will also provide extensive professional development opportunities, including a foreign affairs internship with a member of Congress in summer 2020, and an overseas embassy or consulate experience in 2021.
The nationwide contest included approximately 800 applicants and Luna was one of 30 Fellows selected in 2020. He will receive approximately $95,000 in benefits for graduate school, internships and professional development and will enter the State Department Foreign Service upon graduation in 2022.
“I look forward to embarking on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers of service to this country,” said Luna
During the competition, Luna impressed the selection panel with his commitment to advancing the interests of the American people, along with a strong record of academic success, internship experience and international study that he developed as a student at SUNY New Paltz.
As an undergraduate, Luna spent a summer in South Korea teaching English to university students while studying abroad at Dankook University. He later embarked on a year-long study abroad experience in 2017 at Kanazawa University in Japan, thanks in part to support from the nationally competitive Boren Scholarship. While at Kanazawa, Luna engaged in immersive homestay programs, attended cultural and political classes and advanced his Japanese language skills to professional proficiency. Luna went on to apply his cultural knowledge to internships at the United Nations in Tokyo and at the Sumitomo Electric Industries headquarters in Osaka.
Additionally, Luna participated in the prestigious Rangel Summer Enrichment Program, which prepares young people for careers in international service. He also completed internships on public affairs in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City.
Luna credits faculty and staff mentors – including those at the Center for International Programs (CIP), the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the Honors Program – with supporting and advising him as he sought scholarship support to pursue his international ambitions.
"So many people were involved in helping me earn this exclusive honor," said Luna, who is a recipient of a 2020 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence. “I would not have made it this far if I did not have the continued support of my professors, mentors and supervisors at SUNY New Paltz, as well as the guidance from everyone else who helped me navigate through my college journey. I owe all of my successes to them.”