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Courtney Halverson in her Carolina cap and gown.
Courtney Halverson

Courtney Halverson ’21 has been selected as a 2024 fellow for the prestigious Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Rangel Fellowship identifies and develops outstanding young professionals to enhance the excellence and diversity of the U.S. Foreign Service. The Rangel Fellowship includes funding support of up to $84,000 for a two-year master’s program, two summer internships, mentoring, and a career pathway into the U.S. Foreign Service.

Halverson graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in global studies. She specialized in international politics with an emphasis on Asia and also studied Japanese. Halverson was awarded high honors for her senior thesis on the dynamics of postwar peacebuilding in Japan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. For the past two years she’s taught English in a small, rural, mountainous Japanese town through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.

Halverson credits her many global educational opportunities while at UNC-Chapel Hill for preparing for a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. “My most salient, frankly, life-changing, international experience was my study abroad trip, a Burch Field Research Seminar,” said Halverson. “Our class went to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Croatia and Austria under the leadership of Dr. Robert Jenkins to study the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the ongoing peace building process that followed.” An initiative of Honors Carolina, Burch Field Research Seminars are hands-on, international learning experiences created and led by UNC faculty.

Active on campus, Halverson served as a Career Peer through University Career Services and an Admissions Ambassador through Undergraduate Admissions. She also interned with the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center.

Upon successful completion of the Rangel Fellowship Program in 2026, Halverson will become a U.S. diplomat. “Since I was 13 years old it has been my dream to become a diplomat to serve my country and the world,” said Halverson. “Ultimately, being selected as a Rangel Fellow means an invaluable opportunity to join the ranks of change makers seeking to create a better world.”

Courtney Halverson is UNC-Chapel Hill’s 8th Rangel Fellow. She was selected through a rigorous and competitive nationwide process from 1,267 candidates. Learn more about the Rangel Fellowship and other scholarship and fellowship opportunities for Carolina students and alumni through UNC’s Office of Distinguished Scholarships.

By Marc Howlett, Office of Distinguished Scholarships

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