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UM College of Arts & Sciences Rising Senior Elaine Golden Named 2014 Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow

By UM News

UM College of Arts & Sciences Rising Senior Elaine Golden Named 2014 Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow

By UM News
Highly Competitive Program Selects 40 Fellows Per Year for Intensive Preparation for Foreign Service Careers

College of Arts & Sciences student Elaine Golden has parlayed her love of numbers and people into a prestigious scholarship.

Golden – a math and international studies major, who will be a senior this fall – was named a 2014 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellow. Only 40 students (just 20 of whom are undergraduates) across the nation are selected to participate in this program each year.


The Pickering Fellowship provides financial support toward tuition and other expenses for Fellows’ senior year of college and their first year of graduate school. Fellows also complete one internship in America, and one abroad. Upon completing their master’s degree, Fellows commit to five years of service as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer.

“The Pickering Fellowship is a tremendous honor and an absolute dream come true,” Golden said. “I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree and intern with the State Department to become a high-caliber Foreign Service Officer. Thanks to this fellowship, I get to look forward to a career in which I promote U.S. interests abroad and positively influence our foreign policy.”

She is already an active global citizen, who has interned with the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. State Department and her congressional representative. These experiences allowed her to hone her strong analytical and interpersonal skills.

On the UM campus, Golden is involved with Model United Nations, through which she has received multiple awards; and STRIVE, a service and leadership housing community where she serves as a Co-Community Assistant.

Golden has taken three classes with Assistant Professor of Political Science Joseph Parent. He said, “Elaine’s work stands out because she strikes a healthy balance between creativity and productivity. She doesn’t make excuses; she just works hard at getting better.”

He added, “Clearly the Pickering folks knew what they were doing – outgoing, open-minded, determined people are ideal for wrangling tough international problems. The fellowship will help her complete her advanced training and likely go on to a distinguished foreign service career.”

The Pickering Fellowship program is administered for the U.S. Department of State by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. It recognizes students who “have demonstrated skills critical to members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, including dedication, initiative, integrity, cultural adaptability, the ability to communicate well, and a thorough intellectual background.”

The program is named in honor of Career Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, who served as Ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India and the Russian Federation, and finished his distinguished career as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

July 15, 2014