Whittier College News Release

Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA 90608-0634


Media Contact:  562.907.4974 or mediarelations@whittier.edu


WHITTIER, CA (June 30, 2006)—Whittier College junior Amanda Hope has been selected a 2006 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow through the U.S. Department of State. With over 1,000 applicants each year, only a handful are awarded this highly competitive grant that provides full financial support to complete undergraduate schooling and one year of graduate education, two internships with the                   U.S. Department of State—one domestic and one abroad— and entry into the United States Foreign Service upon successful completion of the program.

Hope, a political science major from Chicago, Illinois, is the
second, consecutive Whittier College student awarded a Pickering Fellowship; last year, Erin Clancy, now a Whittier senior, was one of only 20 students across the nation to earn the grant. Hope applied after learning about the opportunity from Clancy and noting their career aspirations were closely aligned.

“My plan,” said Hope in an earlier interview, “is to become a foreign service officer in order to represent American ideals abroad and to serve as a liaison between the United States and other countries.” Well on her way to a successful career in political service, Hope’s resume already includes a completed internship with the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., where she worked with general counsel going over depositions, attending briefings, and researching public policy laws.

Under the terms of the Pickering Fellowship, Hope will attend the Junior Year Summer Institute, a seven-week program with course work in economics, calculus, and policy analysis, and exercises to develop oral and written communication skills. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies in May of 2008, she will enroll in an approved master’s program in international studies and will have access to a current foreign service officer for one-to-one mentoring. Concluding the fellowship, Hope will undergo required testing by the Department of State, and upon passing, she will enter into a contractual appointment with the Foreign Service for a minimum period of four and one-half years.

The Pickering Fellowship Program is funded by the United States Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WWNFF), with a goal to attract outstanding students in academic programs relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. Criteria for selection is based on demonstrated, outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement, college honors and awards, extracurricular, community and volunteer activities, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and an in-person panel interview in Washington, D.C.  

Formerly called the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program, the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program was named to honor one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. Mr. Pickering held the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service. He served as ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India, and the Russian Federation, finishing his career as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Founded by Quakers in 1887, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering a traditional liberal arts program integrated with both professional and pre-professional courses of study. With an emphasis on diversity, community, and curricular innovation, the College’s primary mission is to endow students with the education, skills, and values appropriate for global leadership and service. Whittier College is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Orange County.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927