Baruch College Alumna Wins Foreign Affairs Fellowship
January 18, 2023
After two consecutive years of being a finalist, the third time was a charm for Baruch College alumna Kimberly Kazdal who was chosen among 45 individuals nationwide for the prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program.
The Pickering Fellowship prepares young people for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State where they help formulate, represent, and implement U.S. foreign policy.
“I was truly in disbelief hearing that I won the Pickering Fellowship,” Kazdal recalls. “I honestly still cannot believe it, but I am proud of my dedication and owe this to my family, friends, mentors, professors, coaches, and partner who have supported me throughout all these years to keep pushing through to achieve my goal of being a U.S. Foreign Service Officer.”
As a Fellow, Kazdal will receive up to $42,000 annually to cover tuition and living expenses to complete a two-year master’s degree in an area of relevance to the State Department Foreign Service.
Kazdal (’21) graduated from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs with a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs. She will now pursue a Master of International Affairs at Columbia University, studying international economic and political development with a regional specialization in Latin America.
A Trip to Nicaragua Inspires a Career
When visiting her grandmother in Nicaragua, Kazdal visited a landfill that “illustrated the privileges she enjoyed as an American” as she witnessed Nicaraguans searching for food in the garbage.
“After witnessing the extremity of their poverty, I understood the motivation to seek opportunities overseas.”
This experience sparked an interest in becoming an economic or political Foreign Service Officer and Kazdal applied for the Pickering Fellowship.
“My biggest career goal is to create equitable economic opportunities for the most marginalized in developing countries,” says Kazdal, who previously won a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Mexico. “I hope to work really hard within the State Department to be a part of this work on a global scale and reach the most vulnerable communities, while also representing the U.S.”
As part of the Pickering Fellowship, Kazdal will undertake two mandatory internships: one with the Department of State in Washington, D.C., and another at a U.S. embassy, consulate or diplomatic mission around the world. Once she earns her graduate degree and fulfills both internships, Fellows agree to a minimum five-year commitment in the Department of State’s Foreign Service.
Student Awards Advising Support
Baruch College’s Office of National and Prestigious Fellowships Advising helps students through the essential steps of applying for fellowships and scholarships, including writing proposals.
Learn more about how this Office helps guide Baruch students through the steps to any kind of award, including a Fulbright, Gilman International Scholarship, Freeman-ASIA Scholarship, Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship, Rangel Fellowship, Venture For America, and many more.
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