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Robertson Fellows explore our nation’s capital

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Students stand in front of government buildings in Washington, D.C.

In a trip sponsored by the Robertson Foundation for Government, students network and learn about government positions in Washington, D.C.

The UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) attracts many students who feel a calling to public service. And thanks to our partnership with the Robertson Foundation for Government (RFG), students who have an interest in pursuing federal government careers in foreign policy, national security and international affairs have annual financial support available through fellowships. 

As part of the Robertson Fellowship program, RFG organizes a trip to Washington, D.C., each year, drawing together graduate students from across the country to get a closer look at government career opportunities in the U.S. capital. 

GPS students McKenzie Hartman ’24, Eugene Parrish ’25 and Anna Misenti ’25 had the chance to take part in the RFG trip this quarter. 

“The fall gathering is the chance for RFG Fellows to travel to our nation’s capital for four days of fellowship and networking and to experience what it means to be in public service,” Parrish explained. 

This year, the trip included visiting the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Pentagon, and Capitol Hill, as well as a dinner at the Nigerian Embassy, where the students met Uzoma Emenike, the Nigerian ambassador to the U.S.

Students also met with a number of GPS alumni who work in government positions, such as Brooke Hobbie ’04 at the Department of the Interior; Kezia Dinelt ’15 at the Bureau for Resilience, Environment, and Food Security; Jack Alegre ’22 at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and Michael Schwab-Holler ’19 at the Department of Commerce. 

“The Department of the Interior is not a department I would have associated with international affairs, but they are involved on several issues, such as the environmental sections of trade agreements and international indigenous peoples issues,” Hartman said. “It was inspiring to see so many GPS graduates doing important work and enjoying their jobs.”

Hartman said receiving a Robertson Fellowship tipped the scales for her to pick GPS, and opportunities like this have only further enhanced her graduate education. 

“The fellowship has allowed me to avoid taking out loans, something I expected to have to do for a master’s program,” Hartman continued. “I am lucky that I will not have a ball of debt hanging over my head when I graduate, which just removes a lot of stress.”

Parrish said the whole experience renewed his motivation and inspiration to finish his first quarter at GPS strong.

“With the support of the Robertson Foundation, I can focus more on my academics, which is very vital to me but also to GPS,” Parrish added. 

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Virginia S. Watson is the Assistant Director of Communications for the School of Global Policy and Strategy. She has spent her entire career in editing, writing and design, both in industry and higher education. She holds a master's in technical and professional communication from Auburn University and a B.S. in journalism from Troy University.
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