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Recent Westminster graduate awarded prestigious Pickering Fellowship

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Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2018

NEW WILMINGTON, PA – Alina Clough, a 2018 Westminster College international studies graduate, has been awarded one of only 30 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships following a highly competitive nationwide contest.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship will financially support Clough for a two-year master’s degree in a field related to the Foreign Service, as well as internships, mentoring and skills training.

As part of the Pickering program, Clough will have an internship based in Washington, D.C., working with the U.S. Department of State in summer 2020. In the summer of 2021, the State Department will send Clough overseas to work and to gain hands-on experience with U.S. foreign policy and the work of the Foreign Service. Upon successful completion of the program, Clough will  work at least five years as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer based on the needs of the State Department.

As an undergraduate at Westminster, Clough served a year as a Congress-Bundestag Fellow in Berlin, where she worked with refugees at the Tempelhof shelter and researched economics with the German think tank Konrad Adenauer Foundation. As a volunteer with the mapping project Crowd2Map Tanzania, Clough participated in a mapathon at the United Nations General Assembly this fall. She held an internship with U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) her sophomore year, served as editor of the student newspaper, and participated with Model United Nations.

“The Pickering Fellowship had been on my radar since freshman or sophomore year, but seeing the impact of the embassy’s work while in Berlin made it click that this was what I wanted to do for a career,” said Clough. “The fact that the fellowship also provided graduate funding and mentoring throughout was also a huge plus, and I think the extra education and professional development will make me a lot better prepared when I enter the Foreign Service.”

“Alina’s success in being awarded the fellowship is a recognition on the part of the Foreign Service of her abilities, accomplishments and determination, qualities I have experienced continually in working with her,” said Dr. Edward S. Cohen, professor of political science at Westminster. “I have no doubt that she will perform with distinction in both graduate study and as a Foreign Service officer.  She will be an outstanding and effective representative of our country.”

Clough is the daughter of Kevin Clough and Lynette Kuzenko and a graduate of Lake Shore Central High School in Orchard Park, N.Y.