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Aspiring Diplomat Wins Rangel Fellowship After Research Among Afro-Peruvians

January 9, 2019 – Georgetown alumna Bianca Uribe (C’18) is one of only 30 college students and graduates to receive the competitive 2019 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship to pursue a Foreign Service career. The fellowship will cover two years of graduate study an internship on Capitol Hill or at a U.S. embassy or consulate, as well as mentoring and professional development.

Hometown: New York

Major: Anthropology; Spanish and Portuguese minor

Research at Georgetown: Uribe traveled to Peru before her senior year to research how Afro-Peruvians construct informal systems of healing in response to inadequate health care systems.

She determined that health care and treatment can be culturally specific for marginalized communities and explored ways that institutions in power can build cultural competency to better serve patients and ensure community.

“To me, being a Foreign Service officer means deepening one’s knowledge of other cultures and nations to further understand our own,” she explains. “I learned this at Georgetown, an institution that promotes international service through Jesuit values.”

World Experience: Uribe became interested in international affairs during her junior semester abroad at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro – a credit-bearing experience facilitated by the Office of Global Education.

“Being in Brazil during the 2016 Olympics and the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff transformed my experience into one of deep political curiosity,” the alumna says.

While in Brazil, she volunteered at ​Museum of Maré, a place of memory and history for a well-known impoverished neighborhood in Rio. Uribe translated materials, trained local youth to give tours and updated an expansive archive that contributes to the neighborhood’s memory.

“That experience made me comfortable working in a non-native language and strengthened my desire to conduct intersectional community work within the field of public diplomacy,” Uribe says.

A Professor’s View: Joanne Rappaport, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, had Uribe in several of her classes, including a senior-level anthropological theory seminar and a graduate-level seminar on race in Latin America.

“Bianca is an incredibly perceptive young woman,” Rappaport says. “She is a talented researcher, a fluid writer and a marvelous conversationalist.”

Undergraduate Honors:

  • Kalorama Fellowship from the Office of Global Engagement
  • Scott MacPherson Stapleton Award from the anthropology department

Both awards allowed her to conduct research in Peru during summer 2017. She also traveled to Lima, Peru, that same year as a GU Impacts Fellow through the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation.  

Campus and Community Activities:

  • Student of Color Alliance, co-chair
  • Spanish & Portuguese Club, director of publicity
Bianca Uribe sits surrounded by a beach with an expansive blue sky in the background.

Bianca Uribe (C’18) visits Paracas National Reserve during her undergraduate research in Peru.

Career and Life Goals: Uribe says she wants to become a “successful, intersectional, thoughtful and critical U.S diplomat with years of service in Latin America and Africa.”

She says her experience as a first-generation college student from an immigrant family played a role in how she educated herself as a citizen of the world.

“From an early age, I saw in my community how hardships in native lands led families to migrate and how new spaces are often sites of precarious conditions,” says Uribe, who grew up in Spanish Harlem with her mother, who moved from Puerto Rico. “Receiving an education from Georgetown has helped me process and understand the systemic poverty that I grew up seeing.”

For more information about the Rangel Fellowship and other academic and professional development fellowship opportunities for students and alumni, please visit the Georgetown Office of Fellowships, Awards, and Resources or email gufa@georgetown.edu.