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Drew University Senior Earns Prestigious Fellowship

Chekwube Okunowo C’24 has received a Pickering Fellowship for graduate-level foreign affairs

February 2024 – Drew University senior Chekwube Okunowo C’24 has recently earned a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship.

As a Pickering Fellow, Okunowo will be supported through a two-year master’s degree program. The fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State and run by Howard University, will provide professional development via access to internships, skills training, and connections.

Okunowo was selected out of a field of 1,400 applicants.

“Being a recipient of the Pickering Fellowship is honestly mind-blowing,” said Okunowo. “The rigorous selection process really tested my perseverance, with many drafts written and many hours spent staring at my laptop with writer’s block. But today, I am so happy I held on to faith, embraced the learning curve, and, through it, witnessed profound personal growth.”

The international relations major and economics minor will use the fellowship to pursue her goal of serving as a U.S. diplomat and lending a voice to global issues, most notably African affairs.

During her time at Drew, Okunowo has taken advantage of the London Semester, during which time she interned at the U.K. Parliament, and the New York Semester on the United Nations, where she networked with diplomats and foreign relations experts.

“It took a village to get to this point, and it would be remiss of me not to extend my immense gratitude to Drew’s Political Science Department, the Center for Civic Engagement, and the Center for Global Education. Thank you for all your guidance,” she said.

“Recognizing the invaluable support I’ve received along the way, I’m eager to pay it forward by offering guidance and assistance to fellow students aiming to achieve their academic and professional objectives through fellowship programs such as these.”

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