Hello! Taking a break from our application tips to introduce our three(!) new Graduate Assistants. Our GAs are essential in keeping our office operations running smoothly, and we are so grateful for their time and support. If you reach out to our GAs, it’s likely you’ll hear from one of our GAs first. Feel free to ask them about their Fletcher experience!
First up, current MALD student, Rebecca Kelly!
Hi everyone! My name is Rebecca Kelly, and I’m a first-year MALD studying Gender and Human Security. I’m originally from Chicago, but I made my way south to attend Tulane University in New Orleans for undergrad. There I studied international relations and French with a history minor and survived three Mardi Gras seasons. I also had to take a semester off to go through chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer following my freshman year, but I still managed to graduate on time (oh, and I went into remission). Additionally, while at Tulane, I studied abroad in Paris for five months, served as vice president of Tulane’s Women in Politics club, and wrote an honors thesis on foreign interventions into civil wars.
Following graduation in May 2019, I did a year of internships. First, I wrote grants for the Aurora Food Pantry for a summer. Then I headed to DC for a semester to intern with the External Relations department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Since I had made it to the last round of consideration for Fulbright, I decided to take another internship instead of a job. I went back home to intern for the semester in Senator Duckworth’s Chicago office. I ended up liking Constituent Services a lot more than I expected and got very invested in the internship. Halfway through, though, Covid hit, and my internship went remote as we focused on helping constituents address that crisis.
At the end of my internship, the staff at Duckworth’s office recommended me to be the staff assistant in Congressman Casten’s district office, which I was incredibly grateful for given it was June 2020 and Covid was still wreaking havoc on everything. I was staff assistant and the intern coordinator until April 2021 when I was promoted to Constituent Advocate. In this position, I assisted constituents having issues with federal agencies like USCIS, Department of State, Medicare, and SSA. I felt most passionate about cases related to the VAWA visa program and refugees, which guided my decision to go to grad school to study gender-based violence issues. Gender issues always interested me, but I became sure that I wanted to focus my future career on these issues during this time.
Fletcher was always my top choice of school because I liked the flexibility of the MALD program and the option to choose gender as a field of study. Getting admitted to Fletcher truly overjoyed me, and I’m glad I chose to enroll. While I’m still new to the Fletcher community, I already feel at home. I joined the board for the Conference on Gender and International Affairs (CGIA) and working with my inspiring fellow board members is already an impactful experience. I also run the French table for all the Fletcher francophones. People at Fletcher are nice and welcoming, and I can tell my time here will impact my career trajectory and personal life in a positive way. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me. Please feel free to ask me any questions about Fletcher!