Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 2:57pm

Congratulations to UGA Honors student Valerie Tucker, who 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.

It can be difficult to appreciate just how competitive this Fellowship is - thirty winners out of tens of thousands of students. Tucker's outstanding accomplishment echoes the news of last week's Boren Scholarship winners. Increasingly, UGA is the home of very bright people, who excel by putting together unique expertise that is rewarded and desired. The great programs in SPIA combined with our expansive opportunies in foreign languages create a wonderful avenue in the learning environment for our students, who are realizing the utlity of pairing other majors with language fluency - and vice versa. Congratulations, Ms. Tucker.