University Of Massachusetts Amherst Student Awarded Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship


Annie Tsan, who will be graduating in 2022, has been awarded a 2022 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Rangel Fellowship supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue a career in the Foreign Service.

The Rangel Fellowship of $84,000 will support Tsan through a two-year master’s degree in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service, providing extensive professional development opportunities such as internships, mentors and skills training.

Upon successful completion of the program, Tsan will become a U.S. diplomat, embarking on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers of service to her country. She will work to promote peace and prosperity around the world.

Tsan is the third student from UMass Amherst to win a Rangel fellowship. She is an International Scholar Program (ISP) Fellow and, as an ISP fellow, she studied abroad in Jordan and Taiwan, which exposed her to the possibility of serving as a U.S. diplomat. She is a political science major, a Chinese minor and a Women into Leadership Fellow. She is a first-generation student and Pell grant recipient.

Born in Vietnam, Tsan says her interest in international affairs was sparked by the multi-generational effects of conflict on her family.

“My great-grandparents fled southern China in the onslaught of the Japanese invasion in 1937 only for their grandsons to be drafted into a war against communism. Post-war Vietnam and third-world poverty defined the lives of my parents,” says Tsan. “And even now, conflict still plays a role in my life as an immigrant and a first-generation, low-income student. So, I’ve always been determined to work to make sure one less person – one less family like mine – suffers from the devastation of conflict. That desire led me to the path of the Foreign Service.”

Tsan worked with the Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) to put forward a competitive application. Madalina Akli, ONSA director, was her ISP instructor, mentor and scholarship advisor for three years.

“I am thrilled that Annie will join the Foreign Service through the Rangel Fellowship and represent UMass Amherst in the circle of excellence and diplomacy. Annie is such an inspiration for her ISP fellows and her UMass Amherst peers,” says Akli.

“I feel very privileged to be selected as a Rangel fellow. My achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the experiences I’ve had at UMass. I also received so much support from Madalina Akli and the Office of National Scholarship Advisement. Without Madalina’s support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have even applied for the Rangel fellowship,” says Tsan.

She continues, “I definitely want to make use of all the opportunities that come with the Rangel fellowship to grow as a person and to thrive in my future career path. Rangel will give me the opportunity to pursue a career that puts the safety and long-term well-being of individuals and communities at the forefront of diplomacy.”

The Rangel Program aims to enhance the excellence and diversity of the U.S. Foreign Service. Established in 2003, the Rangel Program selects outstanding fellows annually in a highly competitive national selection process and supports them through two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring and professional development activities.