0 Cody Johnson smiling at camera in Lindley Center for Constitutional Studies at Houghton University

Houghton Student Accepted to Prestigious Graduate Fellowship

December 19, 2023

After having participated in the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Internship Program in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2023, Cody Johnson ’24 has been accepted into the prestigious Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship for 2024.

The internship provided Johnson with essential experience and opened doors for the fellowship. He spent the first three weeks of the internship in a condensed version of the orientation diplomats receive when becoming Foreign Service Officers.

“It’s a really competitive program,” said Johnson. “We had students come from all over the country, including Ivy Leagues.”

Houghton student Cody Johnson standing in hallway with international flags.
USFSIP interns on Navy Hill in Washington DC.

During the subsequent seven weeks, Johnson worked in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs’ Office of Policy Planning and Coordination. There, he coordinated congressional relations and researched U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. He found that Houghton’s holistic approach to political science provided an excellent foundation for working on a variety of global issues. Though he did not plan to pursue international affairs upon entering Houghton, this internship helped him realize the value of Houghton’s liberal arts education for a career in international affairs.

“Because of having a more general program and taking so many electives in things like Communication, Business, and Psychology,” continued Johnson, “all of that has given me a much broader perspective of the [global] issues and communication strategies to get the work done.”

Thanks to his experience, which includes serving as Student Body President this year, his internship and his education at Houghton, Johnson has been selected as a Rangel Fellow, which boasts only a 3% acceptance rate. As a Rangel Fellow, Johnson will receive $84,000 toward a two-year master’s program and participate in two graduate internships with the U.S. Congress and a U.S. embassy or consulate. The fellowship leads to a career as a diplomat with the Department of State.

About the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program

The Rangel Program is a U.S. Department of State program that aims to enhance the excellence and diversity of the U.S. Foreign Service. Begun in 2003, the Rangel Fellowship Program selects outstanding young people each year from around the country who exhibit the ideal qualities of a Foreign Service Officer. Administered by Howard University, the Rangel Fellowship supports those selected through graduate school and professional development activities that prepare them for their careers as Foreign Service Officers. With the academic, professional and financial support from the program, Fellows now serve as diplomats around the world, contributing to a more diverse representation and effective execution of U.S. foreign policy. More information can be found online at www.rangelprogram.org