Graduate students selected for Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative

May 22, 2009, 1:27 p.m.

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs has selected the 2009 cohort of incoming graduate students for the Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative (SINSI), a competitive scholarship program designed to encourage, support and prepare students who intend to pursue careers in the U.S. government.

The Woodrow Wilson School launched SINSI in February 2006. Initially open to Princeton undergraduates, the program later was expanded to include as many as five additional four-year scholarships each year for applicants to the school's master in public affairs (MPA) program. These scholarships are supported by the Robertson Fund, an endowed fund created to support the school's graduate program. The graduate-level students are known as the Charles and Marie Robertson Government Service Scholars.

This is the second cohort of graduate students to have enrolled in the program. The Woodrow Wilson School admitted four graduate students into SINSI in 2008; they began their government service fellowships immediately and will enter the school's MPA program in fall 2010.

The 2009 and subsequent graduate cohorts will enroll in the MPA program the fall after their selection. Upon completing their first year of graduate study, they will serve in a two-year fellowship with the federal government and then will return to Princeton to complete the second year of the MPA program.

"The graduate cohorts of the Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative are a testament to the diverse talents and policy interests of passionate, public service-minded students in America," said SINSI director Barbara Bodine, a former U.S. ambassador and career senior Foreign Service officer and a lecturer in public and international affairs. "We are pleased to welcome them to the program this fall."

The 2009 graduate cohort of the Scholars in the Nation's Service are:

  • Tavon Cooke, who graduated from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County with a degree in modern languages and linguistics. Cooke has academic and professional backgrounds in Russian studies with an emphasis on education, social welfare, and domestic and international health policy issues. He hopes at the conclusion of his studies to work in consular affairs as a Foreign Service officer at the Department of State or at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

  • Daniel Joyce, who has served since July 2006 as the program associate on democratic governance and human rights issues in the Andean region at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, D.C., think tank for U.S.-Latin American relations. He has organized Dialogue conferences in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. Joyce graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service with a degree in international politics and a certificate in Latin American studies. He spent a semester at the Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile, as part of his undergraduate studies.

  • Brieana Marticorena, who will graduate in June from Harvard University with a degree in government and a citation in Italian. She hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy and conflict management. Marticorena has worked in orphanages in Ghana and Brazil; taught English in Thailand, Cambodia and Poland; conducted research in Russia; and served as an intern in the U.S. Congress and for the U.S. Department of State in Italy.

  • Caitlin Pierce, who will graduate in June from Dartmouth College with a double major in environmental studies and economics. She has conducted research in southern Africa, India and British Columbia and served as an intern in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Pierce hopes to work at the nexus of international economic and environmental policy.

  • Sarah Ray, who graduated this month from Tulane University with degrees in political science and social policy. A 2008 Truman Scholar, Ray's policy interests include public housing, urban development and inequality. Her career goals include working at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and eventually returning to her home state of Tennessee to run for elected office. Fluent in Spanish, Ray has studied at the University of Granada in Spain and at the University of Cambridge in England.

They join the four graduate scholars accepted into the program in 2008: Alexander Correa, a graduate of the University of Miami; Caroline Gilliam, a graduate of Columbia University; Brian Kelly, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania; and Rachel Van Tuyl, a graduate of Auburn University.

For more information, visit the Woodrow Wilson School website.