Recent Lincoln University Graduates sworn into U.S. State Department

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Lincoln University, Pa. – Two 2015 Lincoln University graduates were recently sworn in as diplomats in the 191st Foreign Service Generalist Class at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Katrina Springer (left) and Nobuko Maybin (right) were sworn in as diplomats as part of the 191st Foreign Service Generalist Class at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on September 1, 2017.

Nobuko Maybin from Anchorage, Alaska, and Katrina Springer from Syracuse, New York, were sworn in at the Harry S Truman Building on September 1.

Often regarded as one of the most prestigious federal departments in the United States, the U.S. Department of State acts as the nation’s chief architect of U.S. foreign policy. According to its website, the State Department’s mission is “to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.”

Becoming a member of the Foreign Service is a very competitive process. Those who make it through the rigorous on-boarding process must have the skills, education, and exposure to international languages that are needed to become officers within the department. Patricia Pierce Ramsey, Lincoln University’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, believes that “the preparation and support that Maybin and Springer received while students at Lincoln University gave them a competitive edge.”

Springer, who majored in political science and minored in international relations at Lincoln, was first introduced to a State Department career during a meeting with Career Services Director Ralph Simpson Simpson during her freshman year.

“I first considered a career with the State Department after Mr. Simpson encouraged me to take the ‘Foreign Service Career Track Quiz’ during my freshman year,” Springer said. “I later attended an information session on State Department programs, hosted by Career Services. Together, those pieces marked the start of my journey toward a career in the Foreign Service.”

Both Maybin and Springer are recipients of prestigious State Department fellowships. Maybin is the first student from Lincoln University and one of only 20 undergraduate students out of more than 200 nationally—an acceptance rate of 9 percent— to win the prestigious Thomas Pickering Fellowship in 2014. Springer earned a 2015 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship. That year, she was one of only 30 students out of more than 400 nationally—an acceptance rate of 4 percent, according to a representative from the Rangel program.

Springer also participated in the Semester at Sea study abroad program with guidance from Constance Lundy, Lincoln’s former director of study abroad (retired). Springer was one of three students Lincoln sent as members of a student delegation to the 2014 U.S.–China Student Summit. She also studied Arabic in the intensive summer immersion program at Middlebury Language School and completed an internship at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia during her last semester.

Maybin majored in French and political science with a minor in international relations. Maybin was honored as the 2014 LU Woman of the Year, served as the 2013-14 Student Government Association vice president of Internal Affairs, the first Lincoln student to study abroad in Senegal as a Gilman Scholar under the Council on International Educational Exchange program, and founder of the LU Model United Nations organization.

"Lincoln was the best decision I've made in both my academic and professional career,” Maybin said. “It provided me with the skill set, network, and confidence to pursue a career as a U.S. diplomat. The support system you gain as a student at Lincoln is invaluable and ensures your success for the future."

Maybin’s first assignments will be in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Springer’s first assignment will be in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Several representatives from Lincoln University were on hand at the swearing in: Simpson; Lundy; Chieke Ihejirika, political science professor; and Judith Thomas, special assistant to the president for outreach services (retired).

Ihejirika called both Maybin and Springer “worthy Lincoln ambassadors.”

“We welcome all students interested in foreign affairs to contact us at the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and Religion to begin the process for selecting the next cohort of U.S. ambassadors in the making. We must keep the tradition. That is how we maintain our Lincoln Legacy.”

Students interested in learning more about the Foreign Service or the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship may contact the Office of Career Services. Students interested in studying abroad should contact the Office of International Programs and Services.

Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world. Lincoln offers a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse student body of approximately 2,200 men and women in more than 35 undergraduate and graduate programs.