Another accolade for Kat Torres, '21

Posted: November 22, 2021 by Larry Morton*

Katherine (Kat) Torres, '21, won two of the most prestigious national scholarships while a student at the UNG. She has just been notified she has a third, but as a young alum this time.

Kat was recently notified of her selection as a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the fellowship attracts and prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers.

Kat was one of two ING students who had been selected as finalists for the fellowship. In advance of her final selection interview, Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant vice president of research and engagement, said: "This marks the first time UNG students have secured … finalist spots for the highly competitive scholarship. I think these students have strong chances because both of these young women have taken advantage of opportunities at UNG and beyond to enhance their public diplomacy skills."

Pickering Fellows receive up to $42,000 to complete a master's degree program and participate in two summer internships designed to support them in becoming excellent Foreign Service Officers. In return, Pickering Fellows agree to work with the Department of State's Foreign Service for a minimum of five years

While Torres pursued her undergraduate degree in political science with the plan to enter law school, her decision changed after participating in the Cox-State Diplomacy Seminar in the fall of 2019. There she met members of the State Department and current Foreign Service Officers as well as partook in simulations.

"After the Diplomacy Seminar simulations, I recognized that I obtained the skills and interests necessary to embrace the Consular Officer role and would be interested in seeking a permanent position within the Department of State," Torres said. "Foreign Service intersects with my personal and professional interests in international relations, public service and cultural exchange."

Last year, 90 students from around the United States were chosen as finalists out of 1,300 applicants. Of those 90, 45 are awarded the fellowship.

"[Kat] won the Fulbright. [She won the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship]" Li said. "And [she] demonstrated exceptional resilience by applying for the Pickering again."

The entire PSIA family extend a heartfelt "congratulations" to Kat!

* [Note:This article is a modified version of an article by J.K.Devine that originally appeared in the UNG Newsroom ( on 15 Nov 2021. Originally posted on 16 Nov 2021, it has been updated to reflect Kat's selection as a Pickering Fellow for 2022.]
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