"Her dream job is to be a Foreign Service officer, and West Texas A&M University’s Lindsey O’Neal will get a chance to learn even more about the profession at the annual Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program as the University’s first Rangel Scholar.
O’Neal, a senior political science major from Palmetto, Fla., is one of 15 scholars named to the 2018 program and will participate in the June 18-July 28 Summer Enrichment Program at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The six-week program is designed to give students like O’Neal a better understanding of career opportunities as well as enhanced knowledge of current issues and trends in international affairs. The Scholars will be exposed to think tanks, the CIA, United Nations, State Department and the Foreign Services Institute. They will take classes, explore graduate school opportunities and learn about professional options in international affairs.
“This is just what I was looking for,” O’Neal said. “The goal is to help you figure out your place in foreign service and see if it’s the right career path for you. It will help me understand what I want to pursue in the future.”
A career as a Foreign Service public diplomacy officer has been a longtime dream for O’Neal. She loves the thought of learning a new language and immersing herself in a new culture. The Summer Institute will offer her several opportunities to learn about working as a public diplomacy officer, but it won’t be her first exposure to the field of foreign service. She’s served as a Virtual Student Federal Service intern, a position managed by the U. S. Department of State that offers federal agencies the opportunity to host remote interns. O’Neal worked with a State Department foreign service officer and studied Mexican policy, reading documents in Spanish and providing analysis.
“I met Lindsey as an incoming freshman,” Laura Seals, director of WTAMU’s Nationally Competitive Scholarships, said. “She knew she wanted to work in international affairs even then. Her intelligence is impressive. I’m even more impressed with her resilience. She hasn’t won everything she’s applied for, but she has shown the resilience to keep pursuing her plans. And in the pursuit, she has won some very exciting opportunities. Lindsey is someone to keep an eye on—I can’t wait to see where her career takes her.”
O’Neal is a candidate for graduation in December 2018. She is a member of the Attebury Honors Program and an active volunteer in campus activities. O’Neal has been involved in student government since her freshman year and has served on various committees to help improve the campus. She also was a member of the WTAMU debate team. After graduation, O’Neal plans to earn a master’s degree and hopes to look at graduate school options in and around Washington, D.C. while participating in the Summer Institute.
The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program is named in honor of retired Congressman Charles B. Rangel, who served 23 terms and 46 years in Congress. He is a longtime supporter of diversity and serves as a perfect example of global leadership."
-West Texas A&M University