The Rangel Graduate Fellowship program aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service in which they can help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy. Each year, the Rangel Program selects 20 outstanding Rangel Fellows in a highly competitive nationwide process and helps support them through two years of graduate study, internships and professional development activities, and entry into the Foreign Service.
Congrats Gabriel Kornas, 2022 Rangel Fellow!
Class of 2019, International Studies major
Gabriel is originally from the Seattle area but spent part of his childhood in Doha, Qatar. At UW, Gabriel majored in International Studies and minored in Law, Societies, and Justice. As a student at UW, he studied Spanish and had the opportunity to intern with the State Department both in Washington, DC and in Muscat, Oman. He graduated with Interdisciplinary Honors in 2019. Since then, he has worked full-time for UW in the Office of Federal Relations. Gabriel is passionate about positively representing the US abroad as a Foreign Service Officer, and intends to serve in the Management Cone of the Foreign Service. The Rangel Fellowship will enable Gabriel to receive a graduate education in Public Administration ahead of joining the Foreign Service in summer 2024. The Rangel Fellowship also provides relevant internships and mentoring to prepare recipients to be successful in the Foreign Service. Gabriel is excited and thankful for the opportunity to serve his country by working on U.S. foreign policy.
Gabriel’s near and long-term goals: My near term goal is to pursue a Master of Public Administration to prepare me with the analytical and substantive skills to succeed in the Foreign Service. I am also looking forward to the internship components of the Fellowship. As a Foreign Service Officer, I hope to have the opportunity to take assignments in different functional and geographic areas of the State Department and learn new languages.
History of UW Rangel Fellows
Senior, International Studies major, Germanics and African Studies minor
Hamda Yusuf graduated in 2016 with a degree in International Studies and minors in German and African Studies. She is a Somali-American and calls both Hargeisa, Somalia and Seattle, Washington home. Hamda has been heavily involved with the Somali Student Association on campus and served as the Community Affairs Officer. Earlier in her undergraduate studies she was able to intern with Senator Maria Cantwell’s Seattle office where she focused on immigration and visa issues. During her time at UW she developed a passion for studying immigration pathways, cultural studies, and human rights.
These passions were a big motivation in her applying for both the Rangel Fellowship and the Fulbright-Austria Community Based Combined Grant for the 2016-2017 year. Having already participated in the Spring in Vienna study abroad program her sophomore year, Hamda felt well prepared to return to a city that she found both beautiful and perplexing. With the Fulbright grant, she will work as an English teaching assistant in an Austrian secondary school, attend classes at the University of Vienna, and work with an organization that finds better housing for refugees in Austria. If she manages to have any free time, she hopes to fulfill her dream of hiking parts of the Alps.
After her Fulbright year, Hamda plans to join the Rangel Fellowship Program and do her graduate studies at the New School’s Milano School of International Affairs in New York City where she will focus on conflict and security. Hamda hopes to eventually serve as a consular officer for the Foreign Service, where she will be able to work to promote security and increase understanding between nations. As a first-generation college student, Hamda wants to recognize her parents for always motivating her to be a positive force in the world.
Senior, Interdisciplinary Honors in International Studies major
Anne Mwendar hails from Seattle, Washington where she graduated from the University of Washington in June 2014 with a BA of Interdisciplinary Honors in International Studies. She was an inaugural member of the U.S. State Department’s U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program, where she worked for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in summer 2014. She also served as a fellow at the United Nations Information Center in Washington DC. In college, she studied international relations and law at Sciences Po Paris and volunteered extensively in Kenya. In Seattle, she worked with the World Affairs Council, East African Community Service and the University of Washington Athletics Department. She is fluent in French and Kiswahili. She is passionate about foreign policy, poverty, and youth development. She will pursue a Master’s in International Affairs at Columbia University SIPA.
Senior, International Studies: Asia focus major
Philmon Haile is a young global leader. His background, formative events in his early years, participation in OneWorld Now!, and his pursuit of higher education have fueled his passion to address issues of equal access to education for underrepresented youth. Philmon was born in Sudan to Eritrean parents, who were both soldiers in the Eritrean War of Independence. He arrived as a refugee in Seattle at age three. He speaks Mandarin, Arabic, and Tigrinya.
OneWorld Now! (OWN) is a global leadership program for underserved high school students. Through this program, he began to study Mandarin Chinese and develop leadership skills. Through the support of OWN, he spent his junior year in the U.S. House of Representatives Page Program. In his senior year of high school, he was awarded an OWN study abroad scholarship to Anshan, China for an academic year where he attended a local high school.
Following high school graduation, Philmon was accepted to Swarthmore College on a generous scholarship, where he was involved in a Chinese NGO that promotes awareness of Hansen’s disease survivors, leading a work camp in a rural village in Southern China recovering from the disease. Afterwards, the Confucius Institute awarded him a scholarship to spend another academic year in China. Then, he began to study Arabic, earning a prestigious U.S. State Department internship, working at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing with Ambassador Gary Locke. Last summer, he earned a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Scholarship to study Arabic in Jordan. He was recently awarded the Charles B. Rangel Fellowship.
Philmon was recently chosen to speak on a panel and then present an award to Ambassador Gary Locke in Washington, D.C. Soon after, First Lady Michelle Obama, praised Philmon in a major speech in Beijing about the importance of studying abroad.
Senior, Near Eastern Studies and Political Science major
Morgan Cassell, who was born in Seattle, is the daughter of Beth Harper and Richard Cassell. As a sophomore in Garfield high school and a participant in the One World Now program, Morgan had her first international experience in Morocco. It was there that she discovered her love for Middle Eastern culture. She went on to study at the University of Washington, earning degrees in both Political Science and Near Eastern Studies. Her love for the Middle East guided her to study abroad in Turkey and Jordan. After graduation, Morgan returned to Turkey to intern at the intercultural Exchange Programs Foundation. Morgan is currently in Indonesia, teaching English with the Fulbright Program. Morgan will continue to pursue her passion for international clan, race, and gender issues by studying conflict resolution, specifically within the Islamic civilizations, in graduate school this fall. A talented linguist, she is proficient in Arabic, Turkish, and Spanish.
Senior, International Studies major
Senior, International Studies and Economics major
As an undergraduate, Glorya Cho participated in Model United Nations, volunteered with the global youth organization One World Now!, mentored a middle school student through the Journey Unlimited Mentoring Program, and completed honors-level research through the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. Upon graduation, she interned with an international non-governmental organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, studied Korean in Seoul, and studied Mandarin Chinese in Beijing and Taiwan. As a Fulbright Fellow in Zambia, Cho will study the implications of globalization as seen through increases in Chinese migration and investment on youth development policy. She will attend the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Masters in Public Policy degree program in fall 2011 as a Rangel Fellow.
Senior, International Studies and Political Science major
From the Rangel Fellows Profile Page: Vi Jacobs-Nhan has always wanted to make a difference. Since taking her first political science course as an undergraduate at the University of Washington, she knew she wanted to be part of the solution to the world’s problems, not a critic. “My experience growing up in Vietnam in the 1980s, where I witnessed firsthand the legacy left behind by American foreign policy-makers, provided context to the lectures delivered by my professors,” she said. ”However, every class presented a new set of difficult problems and left me with a sense of ineptness.” With a desire to find strategies to promote positive change, this Chinese-Vietnamese-American was drawn to opportunities to understand how decisions made in Washington could affect those as far away as Vietnam. She decided to stretch her knowledge of the world by studying abroad in Morocco. “Discussing, and at times dispelling, my host family’s notions of what constitutes an American instilled in me a desire to present the real image of America to the international community,” she said. “I am awed by a chance, through the Foreign Service, to shape America’s foreign policy and humbled by the responsibility to show the world the diversity that is America.”