Broderick Turner, a senior majoring in international studies and French in the Honors College at Texas State University, has been awarded a prestigious Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship from the U.S. Department of State.
Turner is the second candidate from Texas State to be named a Rangel Fellow. Abdual Muhialdin, a 2016 international studies graduate, was admitted to the program in 2018.
The Rangel Program is administered by Howard University and seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers as diplomats in the State Department's Foreign Service. Rangel Fellows receive up to $37,500 annually for a two-year period for tuition, room and board for completion of two-year master’s degrees. Fellows who successfully complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers.
"Over the past three years, I've known kind of what I want to do, but I didn't know how to go about doing it," Turner said. "Receiving the fellowship gives me a direct pipeline into something I want to do. I'm excited about going to D.C. and eventually becoming a foreign service officer after I graduate from whichever graduate school I end up going to.
"I've been a resident assistant and orientation leader at Texas State," he said. "I've had a lot of experience on campus that applies to some of the things I would end up doing as a foreign service officer, whether that be managing conflict, understanding people that are different from me, being a leader in a team environment, being a member of a team under another person, being able to combat adversity in any way, dealing with crisis situations, things like that."
The fact that Turner was accepted as a Rangel Fellow as an undergraduate is rare, but not unprecedented. Turner, who graduated from Plano West High School, spent six weeks in Washington, D.C. with 14 other undergraduates from across the country as a Rangel Summer Enrichment Scholar earlier this year, which gave him additional insight into the fellows program. The Rangel Scholar program informs students from underrepresented groups of the different careers that exist in the field of international affairs.
"They showed us all the things we are able to do with an international degree—go into business, non-governmental organizations, the Department of Defense, Department of State, things like that," he said. "Over the summer, we stayed on Howard's campus, so we were in close contact with a bunch of the current fellows, and they encouraged us to apply. They told us how much they're getting out of it and how it will lead straight to a career in the state department.
"I decided to apply. Fortunately, I was accepted," Turner said. "It's a big deal, because people coming straight out of undergrad aren't accepted that often."
The Rangel Program selects outstanding Rangel Fellows annually in a competitive nationwide process and supports them through two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring and professional development activities. It seeks individuals interested in helping to shape a freer, more secure and prosperous world through formulating, representing and implementing U.S. foreign policy. The program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women and those with financial need.