HCIC hosts event for students interested in foreign service

Patricia Scroggs, a former U.S. foreign service employee, talks to students about how to start their career paths while in undergrad.

Cassady Lamb

On Tuesday, WKU hosted an event welcoming all students who are interested in joining the foreign service after graduation and offered information about getting involved in the field as an undergraduate. 

The event was held in the Honors College and International Center. Patricia Scroggs, a former U.S. foreign service employee, is now the director of the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program. She has been the director for the program, based out of Howard University, since 2006.

The event provided students with information on how to begin their transition after college, mentioning three different fellowships available to students interested in receiving jobs in the international affairs field.

These three fellowships are the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship and the United States Agency for International Development ’s Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program. 

These programs require students to be U.S. citizens, have at least a 3.2 college GPA and be within a year of being able to apply to graduate schools. 

“It’s like you’re making a commitment to yourself that you’re going to go forward in this,” Scroggs said, who said that she is passionate about the field after working in foreign areas for much of her life. 

Scroggs advised students to apply for these programs once they pass the threshold for sophomore status, which is 31 credit hours. 

“We are looking to create more diversity in the foreign service,” Scroggs said. “We need for people to come from backgrounds like yours.” 

Scroggs also said foreign service jobs may be a stressor in family settings because professions in this field causes one to travel often and be away from their family.

“It is a job full of change.” Scroggs said after describing her international trips.

After the event, multiple students stayed after to ask Scroggs as well as Houchens questions. Freshman Olivia Blackmon said she was very inspired.

“There are so many opportunities and so many pathways for people to get involved,” Blackmon said. “It’s kind of amazing how much they’re giving us to get involved.”

News reporter Cassady Lamb can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @lambp0p.