Colin Powell School alum Michael Cruz earns top U.S. State Dept. fellowship; Simone Jones is alternate

Michael A. Cruz, a 2015 graduate of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at The City College of New York, is one of 45 applicants nationwide awarded Charles B. Rangel International Affairs fellowships by the United States Department of State after a highly competitive process. Administered by Howard University, the Rangel program provides Fellows with up to $95,000 in benefits to prepare for a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.

A second Colin Powell School graduate, Simone Jones from the Class of 2019, is an alternate for a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. This program is also State Department-funded and administered by Howard University to attract and prepare outstanding young candidates for Foreign Service careers. 

About Michael Cruz
Raised in the Highbridge Section of the Bronx, for decades one of the poorest communities in America, Cruz’ experience at CCNY and afterwards prepared him well for the Foreign Service track that he is embarking on. Before receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science from the Colin Powell School, he traveled twice to Brazil and once to South Korea on study tours. He also participated in a service-learning program in the Dominican Republic. 

Cruz joined the Peace Corps after CCNY and spent 2016-2018 in Peru as a youth development volunteer. He’s currently a Placement Officer at Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

As Rangel Fellows, Cruz and his peers will undergo two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring, and professional development activities.  They will enter the Foreign Service as Foreign Service Officers upon graduation. 
Foreign Service Officers have an option to choose career tracks of their interest, and Cruz’ include consular affairs, economic affairs, management affairs, political affairs, and public diplomacy. “I am interested in researching the root causes of migration and aim to inform policies that will strengthen the U.S. economy and the economies of our global partners,” he said. 

Cruz’ honors at CCNY included the Dean’s List, the Korea Foundation Scholarship; Scholar in the Skadden, Arps Legal Studies Honors Program; membership in the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, and recipient of the Latin Trends Magazine Scholarship. In addition to outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement, applicants for the Rangel Fellowship must demonstrate financial need.

About Simone Jones
A double major at CCNY, Jones graduated with a BA in international studies and Black studies.  

The Manhattan resident served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, West Africa, after graduation but was evacuated back to the U.S. at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.

As a Pickering alternate, Jones is eligible to replace any first pick who is unable to start the program. She is currently a program associate at the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice in Manhattan. 

About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
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