Campus News

UGA Honors student Valerie Tucker receives Pickering Fellowship

Valerie Tucker headshot low res-h
Valerie Tucker

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia Honors student Valerie Tucker has been awarded a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship for students interested in careers in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service.

As a Pickering Fellow, Tucker will receive a scholarship of up to $37,500 annually for tuition and other expenses for her senior year of undergraduate studies as well as for her first year enrolled in a master’s degree program.

Tucker, who is from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is a junior majoring in international affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs and Spanish in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. She is one of 10 undergraduates and 20 graduate students chosen for the 23rd cohort of the program from among hundreds of applicants from 160 colleges and universities.

“Valerie Tucker is an outstanding student in international affairs and the CITS Security Leadership Program,” said Stefanie Lindquist, dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. “She is extremely impressive and we were thrilled, but not surprised, that she was selected through the highly competitive and challenging interview process for the Pickering Fellowship at the State Department. Valerie is a SPIA and UGA student to watch-her future is super-nova bright.”

Tucker has participated in various experiential learning opportunities through UGA. She recently completed a yearlong fellowship with SPIA’s Center for International Trade and Security as a Richard B. Russell Security Leadership Scholar and has interned twice with TradeSecure LLC, a company that helps global businesses with issues such as export control, foreign investment and trade policies. Tucker also completed an immersive study abroad program with UGA en España at the University of Valencia in Spain that was funded by an Honors Program International Scholars grant. A member of the Redcoat Marching Band, Tucker served on the executive board of the UGA chapter of H.E.R.O. for Children, a nonprofit that works to improve the quality of life for children affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Pickering Fellowship program was named for Thomas Pickering, a former undersecretary of state for political affairs who also has served as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria and Jordan.

The program is administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars and funded by the U.S. Department of State. In addition to the scholarship, the award includes mentoring from a Foreign Service officer and two summer internships-one in Washington, D.C., and the other at an overseas embassy or consulate.