UConn Senior Named Pickering Fellow

'I have always tried to be a peacemaker and interested in conflict resolution'

Guerlina Philogene '24 poses for a photo in the Business Building

Guerlina Philogene '24 poses for a photo in the Business Building on Jan. 26, 2024. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

University of Connecticut student Guerlina Philogene ’24 (BUS, CLAS) has been named a fellow in the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Program, which is funded by the United States Department of State and administered by Howard University.

The Pickering Program prepares students for foreign service careers in the Department of State and welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department.

Philogene grew up in Stamford after immigrating from Haiti as a young girl. She originally attended Norwalk Community College before enrolling at UConn and is a European business, analytics and information management, and German studies major.

Following her graduation from UConn, Philogene will attend graduate school and take part in Pickering activities during her summer break between years in Washington, D.C. She will also take part in a two-week program in Washington this summer as an orientation to the program. Upon completion of graduate school, Philogene will have a 10-week overseas internship at a United States embassy or consulate.

Philogene will then have a five-year commitment to State Department employment in foreign service.

“I have always tried to be a peacemaker and interested in conflict resolution, and I think that is why I am interested in foreign diplomacy,” says Philogene. “I want to hear both sides of an issue and I can’t make a decision until then. I want to hear a lot of information before I make a concise opinion that will hopefully help both sides.”

Philogene grew up in a cross-cultural setting in which her Haitian culture was in her home while she experienced an American lifestyle in school.

“I think that benefited me in being understanding and empathic toward other people and their cultures, traditions, and way of thinking,” says Philogene.

This is Philogene’s second fellowship award as a UConn student. She was named a Gilman Scholar for 2022-23 and spent the year studying in Germany.

“Our office of Experiential Global Learning is incredibly proud of Guerlina’s accomplishments at UConn, including the role study abroad played in the exploration of her professional interests,” says Valerie Jenkelunas, EGL advisor and community liaison specialist. “As a Gilman scholar, Guerlina took advantage of a study tour to Brussels that played a key role in solidifying her path to international diplomacy.”

Philogene’s long-term plans include foreign diplomatic service, and she also has an interest in creating a nonprofit organization revolving around education.

“Education is freedom and has brought a lot to me,” says Philogene. “In college, I have had professors who have motivated me and believed in me.”


The Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships (ONSF) is a resource for students interested in learning more about the Pickering Fellowship and other prestigious, externally-funded scholarships and fellowships that support both graduate and undergraduate study. ONSF is part of Enrichment Programs and is open to all graduate and undergraduate students at the University, including students at the regional campuses. For more information about Pickering and other public service-oriented awards, contact ONSF director Vin Moscardelli