EMU student wins prestigious graduate fellowship


Trevis Harrold is one of 20 winners, countrywide, of the 2014 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. The Pickering Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

“Trevis is a man who is self-determined. He knows that the paths we choose and the goals we strive toward determine the lives we live,” Kimberly Schatzel, Ph.D. provost and executive vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Eastern Michigan University said.

According to its website, the Fellowship is designed to attract outstanding individuals from all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career with the U.S. Department of State.

Harrold, 21, is a double major in political science and economics who came to EMU with the desire to become a U.S. Foreign Affairs Service Officer.

“He is one of the most tenacious young men I know. He cares deeply about people,” said Rebecca Sipe, director of EMU’s Honors College. “He has strong goals for his life, and he pours boundless energy into achieving them.”

Hailing from Saginaw, Mich., Harrold took his first AP Economics class at Heritage High School and was hooked.

“I think that class is kind of what sparked my interest in politics and economics,” he said.

In preparation to graduate this coming April, Harrold searched for different scholarships and fellowships that were available to him on the Internet, and “ran into” the Pickering. He thought it was a great opportunity and began to prepare for the rigorous application process.

“What was really phenomenal was that it was exactly what I wanted to do,” he said. “I want to be a U.S. Foreign Service member.”

The process took about four months, according to Harrold. He completed an essay, an exam and a round of interviews conducted in Washington D.C. He prepared by talking with faculty and administrators on campus, who helped coach him through it.

While Harrold said he was grateful to all his supporters, he has a special gratitude for his mother.

“It wouldn’t be fair to say one department or one person helped me. My family is a big part of my support system,” he said. “My mother would be, if I had to pick an individual, who’s just been there since day one.”

The scholarship, worth about $80,000, requires Harrold to work for the Department of State for five years after graduate school. But he has yet to decide on his destination after Eastern.

“I’m just researching my options, looking at different schools, and trying to narrow it down,” he said. “My first goal is to finish up here, and make Eastern and my family proud.”

While he hasn’t settled on a future alma mater, Harrold said his next step would possibly be in Public Policy or International Affairs. He believes Foreign Service and politics is a lifestyle, as evidenced by his role as a student government senator.

“Trevis is the type of person who not only strives to make the world a better place, he will make the world a better place,” Sipe said. “I'm excited to see how his future unfolds.”

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