Evan Davis, a senior in International Relations & Diplomacy, was selected as a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow for 2012! The Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program provides funding to participants as they are prepared academically and professionally to enter the United States Department of State Foreign Service. This scholarship provides up to $40,000 per year for a two year graduate program in public policy, international affairs, public administration, or academic fields such as business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages. Evan has shared his application essay below.
"My parents were not able to pursue a college education. However, as I was growing up, they instilled in me the value of a college education. The values they instilled in me are what have led me to where I am today. The successes I have achieved have not been without struggle.
At age ten, my mother was killed by a drunk driver. From the day my mother died, I have found an outlet through academics. My first major exposure to the world took place during the summer of my freshman year of high school. I participated in the People to People Student Ambassador Program and traveled to Austria, Italy, France, and Switzerland. Through this program, I gained an interest in other cultures and international relations. Partaking in a home stay, volunteering at an orphanage in Austria, and touring the United Nations in Geneva were the beginning of an overwhelming interest in international affairs.
From age sixteen I have been employed to support myself and pay for college. With the ever-changing dynamic of my family, I knew that I would be held financially responsible for my academic future. Throughout high school, I worked to achieve greatness in my studies and graduated in the top of my class. Prior to entering The Ohio State University, I chose to major in Biochemistry even though I knew it was not my passion. To help fuel my interests, I applied and was admitted to the International Affairs Scholars program, which gave me guidance and allowed me to refocus my academic passions. This program continued to expose me to the world and concept of globalization. As a result, I chose to follow my passions and major in International Relations and Diplomacy and Political Science, later declaring a minor in Portuguese. As a member of the International Affairs Scholars Program, I participated in study abroad programs to Turkey and Bolivia, giving me insight into each country's culture and history, while allowing me to see their impact on an international scale.
After studying Spanish, I chose to study Portuguese. I was compelled to learn Portuguese by my studies, which taught me about the growing importance of Brazil in the world's economic and political arenas. This was a choice that would change my college career. After studying Portuguese for only two quarters, I received a Foreign Language and Area Studies Grant for the study of advanced Portuguese and Brazilian culture. This grant allowed me to focus my studies on an area of interest and provided me with exceptional opportunities - special lectures, cultural events, diplomatic interaction, and travel to Brazil. Consequently, I have gained an in-depth look into Brazilian culture, history, and politics. As a recipient of this award, my interests were solidified, and this caused me to delve further into international affairs.
Upon graduating, I plan to get a Master's Degree in a field related to International Studies. I believe my academic experiences will be beneficial, considering Brazil's rapidly growing economy and the development of Latin America. I am confident that my talents, skills, and compassion will allow me to make cultural exchanges to connect the world and promote democracy and freedom. Ultimately, I plan to work for the State Department. My dream is to be Secretary of State, but my goal is to join the Foreign Service and focus my career on Latin America. Although this is a profound goal, I believe that with the proper conviction, motivation, and discipline, I can make it a reality."