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First-generation student participates in State Department seminar

2019-09-27-Katherine-Torres-2
University of North Georgia junior Katherine Torres, who is pursuing a degree in political science with a concentration in pre-law, was selected to participate in the highly competitive Cox-State Department Diplomacy Seminar in October. The 20-year-old from Hoschton, Georgia, also won a Ty Cobb scholarship earlier this year.

University of North Georgia (UNG) student Katherine Torres never imagined she would spend three days in the U.S. State Department to learn about foreign and civil service. But thanks to a suggestion from Dr. Anastasia Lin, the first-generation student participated in the highly competitive Cox-State Department Diplomacy Seminar in October.

Torres, a junior pursuing a degree in political science with a concentration in pre-law, had applied for a summer enrichment program but was not selected. Then Lin, assistant vice president of research and engagement and associate professor of history, found the diplomacy seminar, a fully funded career exploration program for undergraduate students. Lin encouraged Torres to submit her application despite only having two days until the deadline.

"I was very shocked when I got it," said Torres, who is from Hoschton, Georgia.

The program is designed to give undergraduate students a better understanding of the role of diplomats and help them learn about the educational, internship and career opportunities in the foreign service and civil service.

"This will help me get my foot in the door to a career in the foreign service," said Torres, who wants to serve as a foreign service officer and then become an attorney.

The diplomacy seminar is not the only program Torres applied for at the last minute and received. Earlier this year, she applied for the Ty Cobb scholarship with only a week before the deadline.

"I had approached Dr. Lin, who I consider my mentor, when a car accident left me unable to get to work in Braselton," Torres said.

At the time, Lin suggested the Ty Cobb Educational Foundation, which awards scholarships to assist capable and deserving Georgia residents who need financial assistance in completing their college education. Torres was one of two UNG students to receive the scholarship in 2019.

"It helped me get on my feet," she said. "I would not be able to get to work without the scholarship. And work helps me pay for my college education."

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