Senior Lola Oke, a Brock Scholar and political science major, is the first UTC student to win the Rangel Graduate Fellowship
photo by Angela Foster/UTC
Senior Lola Oke, a political science major and Brock Scholar in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Honors College, has become the first UTC student to be awarded a Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship.
Ms. Oke, who said, “I want to be a change-maker; I want to be a servant,” will begin an orientation at Howard University in Washington, D.C., following UTC graduation in May. She was one of 45 fellows selected nationwide for the Rangel program’s 2023 cohort.
According to the program, Rangel Graduate Fellowships support individuals who want to help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy through a career in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. Oke will receive up to $84,000 for a two-year master’s degree, two paid internships in the U.S. Congress and a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, and mentoring and professional development opportunities.
“It means so much to me to be able to have even participated in the application process in the first place,” Ms. Oke said, “and I’ll be participating in a program that first and foremost was meant to diversify the space of diplomacy, the U.S. Department of State and foreign relations in general, and the voices that are able to be contributed to that.
Ms. Oke, a 2019 graduate of Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia, has had a highly decorated academic career at UTC. She is:
• The first UTC student accepted into the Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink program (in 2021).
• One of 20 collegiate undergraduates selected from more than 1,200 applicants as a 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program Scholar.
• A recipient of a Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute Fellowship, spending the summer of 2022 at Princeton University.
Fellows who complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers per applicable law and State Department policy.