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ASU cybersecurity student selected for competitive US Department of State fellowship


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May 13, 2024

Arizona State University rising junior Isa Cohen is one of only 10 undergraduate students nationwide chosen for the 2024 cohort of the Foreign Affairs Information Technology, or FAIT, Fellowship, administered by the U.S. Department of State.

The FAIT Fellowship aims to attract top technology professionals to a vibrant career with the U.S. foreign service. The program will support Cohen's final two undergraduate years with an annual stipend of up to $43,500 and provide two strategically important internships — one in Washington, D.C., and another at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. The fellowship also includes professional development and mentoring.

Isa Cohen
Isa Cohen. Photo courtesy of the Washington Center

“My passion for exploration and travel, coupled with my ability to adapt to different cultures, aligns seamlessly with my commitment to supporting diplomacy as a diplomatic technology officer in the foreign service,” Cohen said. “I’m excited for this unique opportunity provided by the FAIT Fellowship.” 

Originally from Idaho, Cohen is studying computer science with a focus on cybersecurity in the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU.

In addition to the fellowship, she is involved in ASU’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program, a program endorsed by the National Academy of Engineering that prepares Sun Devils to address global concerns through competencies that impart an ability to see the big picture and create value for society.

“We are honored that the 2024 FAIT Fellowship was awarded to one of our own outstanding Sun Devils,” said Safali Patel, associate vice president of Educational Outreach and Student Services. “Cohen will have the opportunity to take what she has learned at ASU and make a difference at a large scale through her work with the U.S. Department of State.”

With a skill set in cybersecurity, Cohen will be able to contribute to the department’s efforts to ensure secure digital environments. 

“More than ever, our students want to use their technical skills as a force for good,” said Ross Maciejewski, director of the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence. “We’re proud that Isa has received this significant recognition and sure she will effect positive change in the world.”

Cohen is the only student from ASU selected for this prestigious fellowship. the 2024 cohort comprises 10 undergraduate students and five graduate students.

“The talented, diverse group of students selected for the 2024 cohort of the FAIT Fellowship will provide lasting impact,” said Kim Churches, president of the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, which administers the FAIT Fellowship. “We’re honored to have been able to recruit the eighth cohort of this important diversity fellowship program.”

Undergraduate fellows:

• Tommy Allen, Indiana University Bloomington.

• Ana Altman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

• Uday Brathwaite, Pace University.

• Isa Cohen, Arizona State University.

• KaMeron Hopkins, Susquehanna University.

• Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu, University of Maryland, College Park.

• Ahmed Mohammad, Norwich University.

• Andrea Olavarrieta, Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

• Joshua Riley, Brigham Young University.

• Essence-Jade Springer, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Graduate fellows:

• Stefan Andreev, Johns Hopkins University.

• Confido Banza, University of Arizona.

• John Mercedes, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

• Lousindy Mitton, University of West Florida.

• Tristan Salvanera, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

How to apply

The 2025 application process for the FAIT Fellowship will begin this September. Those who wish to apply can watch for the announcement at faitfellowship.org or contact the diplomat-in-residence for the Southwest at DIRSouthwest@state.gov to learn more.

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