International Relations Student Receives Fellowship for Study in Egypt


Jose Valdovinos

Jose Valdovinos, a graduate student in American Politics and International Relations at California State University, Chico, has won a Boren Fellowship for $24,000 to study in Cairo, Egypt, for one year. The Boren Fellowships, funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), allow U.S. graduate students to add an international and language component to their graduate education.

Valdovinos will study Arab language, politics, and culture. His graduate thesis is on U.S.  foreign policy in the post-containment era (after World War II to the present). He is looking at the need to adapt foreign policies to the realities of the current world. He has a special interest in the Mideast and has taken Arabic Language classes. He and other Arabic language students have organized a club that invites Middle Eastern foreign students to interact with Americans who are studying Arabic.

Valdovinos is the first student from CSU, Chico to receive this fellowship. Professor Diana Dwyre, his master’s thesis adviser, wrote, “Jose is an unusually thoughtful, intelligent and mature young man with a serious and realistic commit- ment to public service. I strongly urged him to pursue the Boren Fellowship as a program that could bring his current knowledge and experi- ence together with advanced, targeted language and political science training in preparation for his ideal career choice, which is to work for the Department of State. This is a prestigious award, and we are very proud of him.”

Valdovinos will study at the American University in Cairo and hopes to live with a host family during his year-long stay in Egypt. “At the end of the day, we are all people and want the same things,” said Valdovinos. “A host family will keep me in touch with the basic level of government—its people. It doesn’t matter what race or creed; it is family that makes up our nations, and it is important for me to keep in touch with that.”

Valdovinos believes that this fellowship will help support his career aspirations of becoming a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. “Specifically, I would like to become either an Economic or Political Affairs officer in one of our embassies. I want to have a long and distinguished career in the Foreign Service, working my way up the ranks, perhaps even one day becoming an ambassador. It would be a great honor to serve my country in such a  way.” He believes that he will not only be able to contribute to solving global problems, but will also be able to travel and learn about different countries and cultures all over the world.

Boren Fellowships support study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. NSEP focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting Ameri- can well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable develop- ment, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

Political Statements is the official newsletter of the Political Science Department at California State University, Chico.

With around 1,000 total majors, Political Science is one of the largest departments at Chico State. Students choose courses from a rich curriculum, providing close student-faculty contact in each of the following majors of study: general political science, legal studies, criminal justice, international relations, and public administration. The department also offers a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in Political Science.

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