May 02, 2024

Ka'Meron Hopkins '26 KaMeron Hopkins ’26Susquehanna University’s KaMeron Hopkins ’26, a computer science major from Odenton, Maryland, has been awarded the prestigious and highly competitive Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship by the U.S. Department of State — one of only 15 awarded annually in the United States.

The FAIT Fellowship provides undergraduate and graduate students in IT-related fields with tuition assistance, summer internships, mentorship and professional development to launch their careers in the U.S. Foreign Service as information management specialists.

Hopkins’ interest in the fellowship opportunity stems from his work as an intern with the U.S. Department of Defense, a position he has held since he was in high school that has generally centered around data engineering and analysis.

“Last summer I focused on data interoperability between system networks and was mostly tasked with finding and researching how compatible two different data systems are and how one system can transfer, receive and intercept data efficiently,” Hopkins said. “Through my time interning with the Department of Defense I’ve gained insight into how I can use my computer science skills to make a difference on a national level.”

A first-generation college student, Hopkins said news of his fellowship success felt surreal.

“It felt rewarding, though, as I had been putting in a lot of hours and long nights working on my application over the last eight months,” he said. “It felt good to see the fruits of my labor.”

“Being chosen for the FAIT Fellowship reflects an intense competition, and seeing KaMeron’s dedication acknowledged with this remarkable opportunity fills me with pride,” said Karol Weaver, professor of history and coordinator for fellowship advising. “The journey ahead through the FAIT Fellowship promises transformative experiences that will shape KaMeron’s career path for years to come.”

The FAIT program launched in 2016 as part of the State Department’s efforts to attract top technology talent. Foreign Affairs IT Fellows receive:

  • Up to $43,500 annually for two years in academic funding for tuition, room and board, books, mandatory fees and some travel expenses.
  • Stipends, housing and travel allowances for two summer internships: A domestic internship in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Department of State and an overseas internship at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • Personalized mentoring and professional development opportunities throughout the program.

Upon successful completion of the fellowship program and the State Department’s entry requirements, fellows receive an appointment in the Foreign Service as a Diplomatic Technology Officer. Fellows agree to a five-year commitment upon entry into the Foreign Service, where they will support and maintain secure and reliable IT tools and resources, ensuring that the State Department, other federal agencies, nongovernment partners and Americans overseas can effectively communicate at over 275 overseas posts in nearly 200 countries.

Hopkins plans to remain with government work in the IT field after completing his Foreign Service.

“An important piece of my motivation for pursuing my postgraduate goals is all the people who have supported me thus far. I owe what I have not just to myself but to a few others and knowing that they’ve helped me get this far fills me with a sense of purpose,” Hopkins said. “I’m someone who refuses to settle for something comfortable when I know I can pursue greater heights, even if it’s a dream greater than myself. I owe it to myself to continue to push for bigger things.”

Hopkins’ FAIT fellowship is the second in three years awarded to a Susquehanna student.