First of a Kind
Only 30 Rangel Fellows are selected each year, and for the first time, a UNH alum is among them.
Aseebulla “Aseeb” Niazi ’15 was awarded a 2017 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship in November following a highly competitive nationwide contest.
The Rangel Fellowship, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by Howard University, supports “extraordinary individuals” seeking careers as Foreign Service officers, an announcement from the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program states.
“I was incredibly honored and humbled when I received news that I would be a Rangel Fellow,” Niazi explains. “I have been working toward joining the Foreign Service since my junior year at UNH, and this fellowship is my first step toward achieving that goal.”
“We are thrilled to have Aseeb join our program. Our selection panel was very impressed by his intelligence, achievements and commitment to service,” notes Patricia Scroggs, the Rangel Program’s director. “His experiences at the University of New Hampshire have provided an outstanding foundation for him in these areas.”
According to the program announcement, the fellowship will provide “support for graduate studies and two internship placements over a two-year period and give him the opportunity to represent his country overseas.”
Niazi, who is originally from Afghanistan, received his bachelor’s degree from UNH with a dual major in international business and economics and international affairs. He has studied abroad in the United Arab Emirates and worked at the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success and the World Affairs Council and as a congressional staff member for Rep. Ann Kuster, D-New Hampshire, focusing on energy, the environment and agriculture policy as well as immigration casework.
"Aseeb's story is a remarkable one, and as a Foreign Service officer, he will be an excellent exemplar of the possibilities open to new Americans who possess the motivation, vision and work ethic to succeed," notes Jeanne Sokolowski, director of UNH’s Office of National Fellowships.
Fellowships at UNH
The UNH Office of National Fellowships provides information, counsel and editorial support to highly motivated students applying for national and international fellowships and scholarships like the Rangel Fellowship.
“Aseeb's success in winning a Rangel Fellowship demonstrates that UNH students can be very competitive for these types of major, national awards,” says Jeanne Sokolowski, the office’s director. “I hope Aseeb's achievements can inspire other students to start thinking about what opportunities they might pursue."
For more information about the Rangel or other opportunities, email Jeanne.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-862-0733.
Niazi credits his studies at UNH with providing the tools essential to carving out his future path. The skills he learned during his four years at UNH “will be indispensable as I embark first in graduate studies and then as a Foreign Service officer,” he says, citing in particular the courses he took in international affairs and at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.
"Aseeb worked strategically to develop qualities that would serve him well in the Foreign Service: from his choice of major to selection of a third language to study, and choice of study-abroad destination, to seeking employment in government after graduation as a way to gain hands-on experience,” Sokolowski adds. “Through these choices, he developed a skill set that was very appealing to the Rangel Program."
UNH, Niazi says, “helped prepare me by allowing me to practice essential skills such as composure, resourcefulness and both written and oral communication that I will be utilizing in my career with the State Department.”
As part of his Rangel Fellowship, Niazi will work for a member of Congress on international issues this summer and next summer will travel overseas to work in a U.S. Embassy.
The Rangel Program’s Scroggs sees a bright future for Niazi.
“I am confident that he will excel in graduate school and will contribute to global peace and prosperity as a U.S. diplomat,” she says.