German Studies Student Wins Prestigious Fellowship

Guerlina Philogene, a senior in German Studies’ dual-degree EUROBIZ program, has been named a graduate fellow in the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Program, funded by the United States Department of State and administered by Howard University. The program, which welcomes applications from members of underserved minority communities, prepares students for foreign service careers in the State Department.

Guerlina says she became aware of her strong interest in a diplomatic career thanks to her experiences in LCL, in particular with her advisers in the German Section, professors Anke Finger and Sebastian Wogenstein. “Before enrolling into UConn or EUROBIZ,” Guerlina says, “I met with Anke Finger and spoke to her about my deep interest in German and international relations.” Later, Sebastian “hinted to me, during my exchange year, that it appeared that I am more interested in foreign relations.” Guerlina concludes, “They both seemed to have known where my mind was headed before I discovered my passion while in Brussels.”

According to the announcement in UConn’s campus publication¬†Today,¬†

Following her graduation from UConn, Philogene will attend graduate school and take part in Pickering activities during her summer break between years in Washington, D.C. She will also take part in a two-week program in Washington this summer as an orientation to the program. Upon completion of graduate school, Philogene will have a 10-week overseas internship at a United States embassy or consulate. Philogene will then have a five-year commitment to State Department employment in foreign service.

Guerlina generously credits her time in LCL with helping her form the broad perspective necessary for a diplomatic career. She says, “The topics we talk about during my German courses also resonate deeply with my goals representing the United States. We discussed topics that are not often talked about when you think about Germany such as for example, Turkish, Black, and Vietnamese minority groups and their experiences.”

LCL, Guerlina relates, “became a place of refuge for me to study.” Moreover, her time in the department represented an important part of her development as a future global leader. “Whenever I go abroad,” she continues, “I always try my best to represent groups that are often looked over when speaking about the US. The German department although small, exemplifies diversity and pushing boundaries.”

Congratulations, Guerlina!