Elise grew up in a small town in Central Pennsylvania. She did not have the opportunity to travel abroad until after she graduated from high school when she was able to spend one year as a Rotary International exchange student in France. During her year abroad, the Parisian suburbs were ablaze with riots and New Orleans was under water. It was in that tumultuous year that she realized the importance of living abroad not merely as an ex-patriot, but as an American citizen engaging with and listening to the rest of the world.
The Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship opened the door of opportunity for her to continue the international dialogue she sought in an official capacity with the U.S. Department of State. While she is still completing the academic requirements of the program and has not as yet entered the Foreign Service, Elise is amazed at the opportunities the fellowship has already made possible for her. She has done a summer internship at the State Department working in the Office of Pakistan Affairs.
She will also be starting a Master’s Degree in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Although she feels that the decision to commit to the Pickering Fellowship is a big step to take as an undergraduate, Elise firmly believes that it has provided her unparalleled preparation for an international career in public service.