RCC Alumna Selected for U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship

Jun 23
Jolene Farley

Following a highly competitive application process, Riverside City College alumna Jolene Farley is one of 15 individuals nationwide selected by the U.S. Department of State for the notable Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship.

Farley graduated this year with an Associate degree in Computer Science. She also worked on the editorial staff on MUSE, the college's literary journal. She is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Oregon State University.

In this two-year fellowship program, Farley will receive up to $75,000 in academic funding to complete the last two years of her bachelor’s degree program at Oregon State University, two summer internships, professional development, and mentorship. Upon successful completion of the fellowship, she will receive an appointment in the Foreign Service as an Information Management Specialist.

As a military spouse, Farley has lived and traveled in South Korea and Japan. Aside from school, she enjoys roller skating, volunteering in her local community, and studying languages.

“I’ve long held an interest in working for the Department of State in an international capacity as a Foreign Service worker,” says Farley. “Not only will working as an Information Management Specialist provide the incredible opportunity to live and work overseas, but it will also allow me to use my skills in technology to further the foreign relations mission of the United States.”

"Jolene was a very dedicated, hardworking student, always eager and ready to further her knowledge in Computer Science,” Paul Conrad, associate professor, Computer Science/Computer Information Systems said. “She was an absolute pleasure to mentor in her academic journey!"

Funded by the State Department, this two-year fellowship program seeks to attract highly talented, qualified candidates who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate IT-related degree and are interested in a Foreign Service career. As a path to a career as a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist (IMS), the FAIT Fellowship program provides each fellow with:

  • Up to $75,000 in academic funding over two years (junior and senior years of a bachelor’s degree program or a two-year master’s degree program)
  • Two summer internships – one at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and one at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas
  • Professional development and personalized mentoring during the fellowship program

After successfully completing the FAIT Fellowship program and the Foreign Service entry requirements, Fellows receive appointments as Foreign Service Information Management Specialists and begin exciting careers using their technology skills to support U.S. diplomacy abroad.

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.

“We’re honored to partner with the U.S. Department of State on this important Fellowship program since its inception with the 2017 cohort,” said Kim Churches, TWC president. “The FAIT Fellowship program received applications from highly qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds across the United States, and we’re very proud of the 15 selected fellows for their achievement.”

Of the 15 FAIT Fellows for the 2022 cohort, seven are in the graduate fellowship and eight are in the undergraduate fellowship.

Graduate fellows and their most recent institutions:

  • Toni Benn, Howard University
  • Jacquetta Cook, University of Florida
  • Anass El Bekkari, Franklin University
  • Elton Hima, University of Maryland Global Campus
  • Adetokunbo Okunoye, Xavier University
  • Jacob Williams, Valparaiso University
  • Andy Wu, Lehigh University

Undergraduate fellows and their current institutions:

  • Samay Chandna, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Jolene Farley, Riverside City College and Oregon State University
  • Conrad Finos, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Faith Lin, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
  • Chad Peterson, Wake Technical Community College
  • Kathryn Riordan, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Jamal Seder, University of New Orleans
  • Prince Uduka, Kennesaw State University