By Michael Walsh, Special to the Courant, The Hartford Courant
Carl D’Oleo-Lundgren speaks Spanish fluently, Arabic at an advanced level and understands Japanese fairly well.
He also has studied French, Italian, Latin and German “on the side.”
That’s one reason D’Oleo-Lundgren, a Manchester resident soon-to-be University of Connecticut senior, was chosen as one of just 20 national recipients of the Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
D’Oleo-Lundgren, a political science major at UConn with a focus in international relations, said he knew early on in his college career that he wanted to be involved with foreign service in the state department.
With the fellowship, he’s now guaranteed a position in the field he’s targeted for at least three years after he finishes graduate school.
“I’ve always been really interested in language and I’ve always been really interested in applying that in a really pragmatic way,” D’Oleo-Lundgren said. “I learned about the foreign service, which at the most basic level is the governmental body that staffs foreign embassies.”
The fellowship will also fund his final year of his undergraduate studies and his first year of his graduate studies.
Mazin Melegy, a program assistant for the Pickering fellowship, said that they look for candidates who are seriously interested in serving for their country in a foreign office.
“He’s already made a pretty outstanding commitment to serving his country,” Melegy said. “The opportunity is quite excellent. We want to make sure the people who receive the fellowship are people who are committed to serving.”
D’Oleo-Lundgren, who has done some traveling to places like the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, said he would prefer to see the firsthand effect his work would have on people.