$1 Million Grant Will Fund IR/PS Scholarships

Twenty-four UCSD graduate students in the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies will receive full scholarships over the next four years from the Robertson Foundation for Government, a private family foundation that supports education for those pursuing careers in government. The foundation has donated $950,000 in scholarship funds for students, who are chosen from the pool of those admitted into IR/PS.

The Robertson Foundation initially pledged $450,000 in 2010, then pledged an additional $500,000 in late October of this year.

IR/PS Career Consultant Tamara Golden, who works directly with Robertson Fellows on campus, says that the Robertson Foundation decided to pledge additional money because its initial donation saw such positive results. The foundation began pledging money to five schools, including UCSD, in 2010, and decided to continue to pledge more money after developing a close relationship with each school.

“I like to think we lead the way among those five schools in demonstrating outstanding stewardship and realizing their mission in funding these students,” Golden said.

Golden also explained that the Robertson Foundation felt that IRPS was making sound decisions in the recipient selection process.

“The foundation realized that we are taking their money seriously and choosing candidates wisely,” she said. “They wanted to put even more of their money, energy and effort into our students as a result.”

The money will cover the students’ expenses as they pursue master’s degrees in international relations, provided they are committed to serving the government for at least three of the five years after they graduate. Students must also apply for government-related jobs and internships during their second year of graduate school.

“We are extremely grateful for this generous gift from the Robertson Foundation,” IR/PS Dean Peter Cowhey said in an Oct. 29 UC Newsroom press release. “With the foundation’s support, we can continue to attract exceptionally talented students to IR/PS. These students can then go on to become the high-caliber professionals that are so critically needed in the federal government.”

Each year since 2010, three Robertson Fellows have been named. This year, IRPS students Kent Boydston, Shannon Morrison and Eli Yani were selected. In the past three years, since the Robertson Foundation began giving scholarship money to IR/PS, all recipients who have graduated are now working for or seeking jobs in the U.S. government.