University Posse alumni pursuing fellowship program

Caroline Buck, Contributing Writer

University alum Nigel Robinson ’14 currently holds a prestigious fellowship with the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Program. Robinson, a Posse scholar, began his Rangel Fellowship in May 2018 and continues to pursue a career in foreign service.

The Posse Foundation is a program that works to bring a group of diverse students, or a “posse,” to colleges each year with the goal of creating the world’s future leaders. The University has been partnered with the Posse Foundation since 2005. During his time as a Posse Scholar at the University, Robinson majored in International Relations, preparing him for his future Rangel Fellowship.

Following graduation, Robinson worked at the non-profit Steppingstone Foundation, an organization that provides opportunities for underserved students to prepare them for college academics. In a 2018 University article entitled “Fellowships Will Advance Bucknellians’ Goals of Diplomatic Service,” Robinson calls the Steppingstone Foundation “Posse on a junior scale,” as the two programs have similar missions.

After three years at Steppingstone, Robinson went on to pursue the Rangel Fellowship. “I loved what I was doing, but I’m also interested in creating bridges between different countries and constituencies and helping people in developing nations,” Robinson said in the article. With this passion for foreign service and a background in International Relations, Robinson went on to apply for and was granted the Rangel Fellowship.

The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program awards fellowships to college graduates aspiring towards careers in Foreign Service. Over the years, Rangel Fellows have traveled to about 60 countries all over the world, working to protect and advance human rights, as well as represent the United States abroad. The program allocates funding for its fellows to participate in many incredible opportunities, such as a complete two-year graduate program, work at two summer internships, and even receive mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer. Fellows will eventually enter into the foreign service, using all of the experience they have gained through their experiences.

Robinson is almost halfway done with his two-year fellowship, through which he has done a variety of different work. At the beginning of his Rangel Fellowship, the alum pursued peace agreements in Colombia at an internship with the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is now completing graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Robinson has plans to intern at the U.S. Embassy in Thailand this upcoming summer where he will work in the political and public diplomacy sections of the embassy. Thailand’s first general election since 2014 will occur this March, an important moment for Robinson’s future work in the country. All of these opportunities have provided and continue to provide Robinson with the necessary experience for his ultimate goal in becoming a foreign diplomat. “Just like Posse ushered me into Bucknell, Rangel is ushering me into a new career and lifestyle,” he said.

All of this began for Robinson at the University and through his involvement with the Posse Foundation. “I see the Rangel Fellowship as an extension of my experience at Posse. I am not alone. I have the support system of Rangel, and the Fellows are like my Posse,” Robinson said.

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