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Press Release for Tuesday, May 21, 2013

UNF Graduate Awarded 2013 Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

 Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102




University of North Florida alumnus Jack Bisase was awarded the 2013 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which supports the preparation of future Foreign Service officers.



This fall, Bisase, who graduated from UNF in 2011 with a degree in International Studies, will be among 40 exceptional men and women who will begin their journey towards representing America as Foreign Service officers through the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships. After an intense selection process, the 2013 Pickering Fellows—20 undergraduate fellows and 20 graduate fellows—were identified as candidates with some of the skills crucial for members of the United States diplomatic corps: dedication, leadership, planning, cultural adaptability and strong communication skills.



I believe that to whom much is given, much is expected. I am tremendously grateful to all who supported me along the way for I am nothing but for those—my family, friends, professors, and mentors—who have helped me and have enabled me to get where I am today,” said Bisase, a Mandarin resident. “Since there is no way I can ever pay it back, I intend to pay it forward.”



Administered for the U.S. Department of State by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Pickering Fellowships develop a source of men and women whose academic and professional backgrounds fulfill the skill needs of the State Department and who are dedicated to representing America’s interests abroad. This year’s fellows have been admitted to master’s degree programs at a range of institutions including Harvard University, the University of California, and Berkeley, the University of Denver, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, American University, Carnegie Mellon University and more.



Bisase is among the 17th class of Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellows that will receive financial support towards a two-year, full-time master’s degree program in fields such as public policy, international affairs, public administration and other related academic fields. He will be attending American University and intends to make a career out of the Foreign Service. Ultimately, he would like to serve as an Ambassador.



Fellows in both programs participate in one domestic and one overseas internship. Upon the completion of their master’s degree, they commit to three years of service as a Foreign Service officer for the U.S. Department of State. The Foreign Service, a corps of working professionals who support the President of the United States and the Secretary of State in advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad, are front-line personnel who can be sent anywhere in the world, at any time, in service to the diplomatic needs of the United States.



The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program is named in honor of one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.