University of South Florida


Boundless Bulls: USF Alumnus Awarded Prestigious Rangel Fellowship

USF alum Ivan Pineda on campus

USF alumnus Ivan Pineda has been recognized by the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program as a 2020 Rangel Fellow. Pineda is the third Rangel Fellow in USF history. Pineda is one of only 30 fellows selected this year from hundreds of applicants representing institutions across the United States.

Honoring distinguished Congressman Charles Rangel, this prestigious graduate fellowship aims to promote greater diversity and excellence in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. Fellows receive $37,500 annually for a two-year graduate degree in a field of their choice related to the Foreign Service, paid summer internships with a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. and at embassies abroad, professional development training and mentoring from senior Foreign Service Officers.

Rangel Fellows who successfully complete their graduate program and Foreign Service entry requirements receive guaranteed appointments in the U.S. State Department Foreign Service. Fellows commit to working as Foreign Service Officers for at least five years.

Ivan Pineda

Ivan Pineda

Pineda graduated in May 2019 magna cum laude from USF with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Quantitative Economics. He is also a graduate of the Judy Genshaft Honors College. While at USF, Pineda developed and executed programs about health and community involvement as a Peer Health Educator with the Student Wellness Center and as a Lead Fellow in student government. He also contributed to efforts to internationalize USF through involvement in the Chinese Language Club and the United Nations Student Alliance.

Pineda is no stranger to public service and the high-stakes, demanding work he will experience in the Foreign Service. As an Air Force Reservist, he was responsible for managing service members’ medical records and implementing simulation exercises as part of preparation for his wing’s continuous global deployments. Due to his exemplary service during military training, he graduated first in his class at the Air Force Military Training Health Administration School. As an intern on Florida Senator Dana Young’s re-election campaign, Pineda worked with Senator Young’s Spanish-speaking constituents to explain the Senator’s stances in key local issues and communicate their policy concerns to help Senator Young plan a more inclusive and effective campaign.

In summer 2017, Pineda studied Chinese at the American Council’s Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program with support of the Freeman Asia Scholarship and the Fund of Education Abroad Scholarship. The following summer, he was selected for the Critical Language Scholarship program in Dalian, China. This robust training in Mandarin language prepared him to undertake his Honors College thesis that explored transnational issues affecting politics and economics driving Chinese investments in renewable energy sectors in Italy and Brazil. Pineda currently teaches English, American history, music, and entrepreneurship in Kunming, China.

As a Rangel Fellow, Pineda plans to pursue a master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in Political and Economic Development. He plans to work as an economic officer in the Foreign Service, to build and maintain positive economic, trade, and other commercial interests between the U.S. and host governments and local business communities.

Pineda worked with Lauren Bartshe-Hanlen at USF’s Office of National Scholars in preparing his application. Students who are interested in applying for the Rangel Fellowship or similar awards in the future are encouraged to contact the office by visiting their website.

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