Press Release: UMD Undergraduate Student Wins Prestigious U.S. Department of State Fellowship

Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship (FAIT) - May 2, 2024

Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu, BS of Information Science student at the UMD INFO College, will join the Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship 2024 cohort

Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu, University of Maryland, College Park

Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu, University of Maryland, College Park. Photo by Lisa Helfert.

Washington, DC (May 1, 2024) – Following a nationally competitive application process, University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) student Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu is one of 15 individuals selected by the U.S. Department of State for the Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship 2024 cohort.

In this two-year fellowship program funded by the Department of State, Meleu will receive up to $43,500 annually in academic funding for the last two years of her bachelor’s degree program at UMD. The fellowship also includes two summer internships with stipend support – a domestic internship in Washington, D.C., at the Department of State and an overseas internship at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Meleu will receive professional development and personalized mentoring during the fellowship. Upon successful completion of the fellowship and the Foreign Service entry requirements, she will receive an appointment in the Foreign Service as a Diplomatic Technology Officer.

Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu

Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu

Meleu is a first-generation American, having immigrated to the U.S. with her family from the Republic of Cameroon. As a FAIT Fellow, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Science at UMD and minoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Melue is bilingual in French and English and is proficient in Spanish. She enjoys reading books, weightlifting, watching anime, and sewing.

“I want to be a positive role model for others and give back to the country that has provided me with numerous opportunities. The FAIT Fellowship will allow me to combine my passion for information technology with my desire to change the world by supporting U.S. diplomatic relations abroad.”

– Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu, FAIT Fellow 2024 Cohort

Of the 15 FAIT Fellows for the 2024 cohort, five are in the graduate fellowship and ten are in the undergraduate fellowship.
Graduate Fellows
  • Stefan Andreev, Utica University (BBA ’23); Graduate School: Johns Hopkins University
  • Confido Banza, University of Arizona (BAS ’24); Graduate School: University of Arizona
  • John Mercedes, Rhode Island College (BS ’23); Graduate School: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Lousindy Mitton, Miami Dade College (BS ’23); Graduate School: University of West Florida
  • Tristan Salvanera, Wake Forest University (BS ’08); Graduate School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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

“The talented, diverse group of students selected for the 2024 cohort of the FAIT Fellowship will provide lasting impact. We’re honored to have been able to recruit the eighth cohort of this important diversity fellowship program.”

-Kim Churches, president of The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, which administers the FAIT Fellowship.

The FAIT Fellowship aims to attract top technology talent that represents the ethnic, racial, gender, social, and geographic diversity of the United States. The FAIT Fellowship encourages applications from women, minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and those with financial need.

The 2025 application cycle for the FAIT Fellowship program is planned to begin in September 2024. Announcements will be posted online at and shared on social media on FacebookInstagramX and LinkedIn.

About The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars
The Washington Center creates flexible, immersive pathways to enhance the pipeline of diverse talent that build more equitable, inclusive workplaces and communities. Since our founding, we’ve helped more than 60,000 young people translate their college majors into career paths. We use our scale and expertise to customize each learner’s experience to be truly transformative.

About the U.S. Department of State
The Department of State’s mission is to protect and promote U.S. security, prosperity, and democratic values and shape an international environment in which all Americans can thrive. The Department’s workforce includes some 13,000 members of the Foreign Service, 11,000 Civil Service employees, and 45,000 locally employed staff at more than 270 diplomatic missions worldwide.

The original press release was written by FAIT Staff and published by Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship News on May 1, 2024.