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Student Spotlight: Rachelly Buzzi Named as a 2022 Pickering Fellow

December 8, 2021

Rachelly Buzzi ’22, an international relations major in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a 2022 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellow. She is one of only 45 recipients chosen from hundreds of applicants from around the nation. Rachelly Buzzi Pickering Fellow

Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Washington Center, the Pickering Fellowship awards recipients two years of financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them for a career in the Foreign Service. Fellows will also complete a domestic internship at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and an overseas internship at a U.S. embassy.

Buzzi is motivated to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs and a career in the Foreign Service partly because of her own family history. “My diverse family background—my parents immigrated from Puerto Rico and Cuba and my grandparents came from Syria, Spain and Italy—has given me insight into international perspectives and an appreciation for cultural adaptability,” she says. “I am committed to pursuing a career in the Foreign Service because its mission aligns with my values of service and global understanding as well as with my academic interests.”

Buzzi is a Posse Scholar, a Downey Scholar with the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence and an SU Invest in Success Scholar. As an international relations major, she is completing a topic concentration in intercultural communication and a geographic region concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is also pursuing a minor in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises at the Whitman School.

Buzzi is currently participating in the University’s Maxwell-in-Washington Program and taking classes at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on international policy and global humanitarian and security issues. She is also interning with the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. “This internship is allowing me to enhance my knowledge of the department and its impact, and to be part of a team focused on research and the Heroes of U.S. Diplomacy initiative,” she says.

“As a first-generation Latina college student and first-generation American, I want to join the Foreign Service because I firmly believe in the transformative diplomatic power of representing the diversity of our country.”

—Rachelly Buzzi

This past summer, Buzzi was selected as a fellow with the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, in which she participated virtually.

Buzzi has participated in the University CAS-Maxwell Model United Nations delegation since spring 2020, representing countries as diverse as Venezuela, China, Japan and most recently, Kenya. In spring 2021, she served as co-head of the delegation and was responsible for preparing the other delegates for the conference by leading them through public speaking exercises and reviewing and editing drafts of position papers. “Her supportive and empathetic leadership style helped her fellow delegates earn a recognition award at the conference,” says Francine D’Amico, teaching professor and director of undergraduate studies in international relations in the Maxwell School and College of Arts and Sciences.

This semester, Buzzi represented Kenya at the NMUN conference in Washington, D.C., in early November. “She was selected to serve on the dais as chair in the General Assembly First Committee due to her professionalism and knowledge of the conference rules of procedure. In this capacity, she assisted the NMUN volunteer staff in managing the committee,” D’Amico says. Buzzi and her committee partner, Madeline Canelli ’22, received a “Best Position Paper” award for their work in UN WOMEN.

Outside of the classroom, Buzzi has worked at a South African education nonprofit, the LaCasita Cultural Center, and at the University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. She has volunteered with the Conflict Management Center and held several positions in Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity.

“As a first-generation Latina college student and first-generation American, I want to join the Foreign Service because I firmly believe in the transformative diplomatic power of representing the diversity of our country,” Buzzi says. “I want to promote peace, analyze policy and aid people abroad.”

“Rachelly’s academic accomplishments, record of campus and community engagement, language skills and longstanding interest in foreign affairs make her an excellent fit for the Pickering Fellowship and a career in the Foreign Service,” says Jolynn Parker, director of the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising. “Rachelly is extraordinarily well-prepared and perfectly suited to contribute to the mission of the Foreign Service.”

Students interested in learning more about the Pickering Fellowship should contact the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising at cfsa@syr.edu.

By Kelly Homan Rodoski

Published in the Summer 2022 issue of the Maxwell Perspective


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