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Transformational Fellowship

May 4, 2021

Spencer Sexton standing in front of the Beacom College of computer & Cyber Sciences
DSU student Spencer Sexton, FAIT Fellowship winner.

DSU student Spencer Sexton is one of 15 students nationwide selected for the prestigious Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Sexton, double majoring in Computer Science and Computer Game Design, is fluent in French and English, and is interested in learning about other cultures.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to live in other parts of the world as a Foreign Service Specialist, and to learn other cultures and adapt to their customs,” said Sexton. “Plus, I’ll be pursuing a career that combines my passion for computers and desire to travel the world.” He is originally from Fort Collins, Colo.

The FAIT Fellowship program, administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC), provides up to $75,000 in academic funding for two years (the junior and senior years of an IT-related undergraduate degree program or a two-year IT-related master’s degree program).

Additionally, students participate in two summer internships with stipend support – one in Washington, D.C., and one at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad – as well as professional development training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer internships have been transitioned to virtual internships.

After completing the FAIT Fellowship program and meeting State Department requirements, Fellows receive appointments as Foreign Service Information Management Specialists and begin exciting careers using their technology skills to support U.S. diplomacy abroad.

The FAIT Fellowship launched in 2016 as part of the Department’s efforts to attract top technology talent and increase diversity in the Foreign Service.

“The Washington Center is honored to partner with the U.S. Department of State on the FAIT Fellowship program for the fifth year in a row,” said Chris Norton, The Washington Center president, “and we’re excited that we were able to provide the U.S. Department of State with a diverse pool of talented, highly qualified students for the selection process. The FAIT Fellowship program is truly an opportunity of a lifetime for these students, as a path to a career that takes them around the world and that makes a real difference.”

Selected for the 2021 cohort of the FAIT Fellowship program, Sexton will begin the two-year Fellowship with the fall 2021 semester.

Of the 15 FAIT Fellows for the 2021 cohort, seven are in the Graduate Fellowship and eight are in the Undergraduate Fellowship. The universities listed below are the student’s most recent universities.

  • Kodjo Adjoyi, American Military University
  • Laila Alexander-Player, University of San Francisco
  • Ariana Alvarez, New York University
  • Matias Ayala, Fordham University
  • Armman Baghoomian, California State University-Northridge
  • Juan Debesa, Florida International University
  • Mahesh Gowda, University of Cincinnati Main Campus
  • Enoch Masih, Northern Essex Community College
  • Micah McCally, Western Washington University
  • Carissa Nguyen, The Catholic University of America
  • Adriana Oelberg, Susquehanna University
  • Taylor Rainey, Howard University
  • Spencer Sexton, Dakota State University
  • Kelsey Woody, George Washington University
  • Armanie Zamy, Maryville University of Saint Louis
The 2022 application cycle for the FAIT Fellowship program is planned to begin in September 2021.

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Jane Utecht
Strategic Communications Coordinator
(605) 270-3816

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