CUNY Baccalaureate Alumnus Joshua Trinidad Wins Rangel Fellowship

joshtrinidad2012 CUNY Baccalaureate graduate Joshua Trinidad’s interest in languages was sparked by his upbringing in a multilingual household and was deepened by his personal interest in cultures and the desire to communicate with people in other communities. He began his college education at Florida Gulf Coast University, then moved to NY and transferred to Hunter. In 2010 he became a CUNY BA student in order to pursue a multi-lingual degree in World Languages and Literatures / Translation and Interpretation. While working several jobs, his coursework encompassed the study of linguistics, French and Hispanic literature, Japanese language, and the translation and interpretation of all three languages. In 2010, he received the Terrence L. Tenny Scholarship for Language Study, which took him to Puerto Rico to study Spanish at a Berlitz school in Caparra.

Trinidad began teaching English as a second language through a part-time job at Berlitz, and said: “The unexpected result of entering this field has been the opening-up of a world of possibilities.” As a student of languages, he was able to apply his own experiences in classrooms to his work as a teacher, and was later awarded a position in Paris as an English Teaching Assistant for the French Ministry of Education. At the same time he was awarded the Gilman International Scholarship which helped him to study French, Japanese and translation in Paris from 2011 to 2012. The following summer, he was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship to study intensive intermediate Japanese in Japan – Japan being the most competitive placement of an already very competitive scholarship. Reflecting on these accomplishments, he says: “These experiences helped me immensely along my path to becoming a multilingual interpreter and have enabled me to connect with local communities the world over.”

Building on these experiences and his education, Trinidad recently spent a year on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Colombia. Before his departure he said: “As a dedicated student of language and translation, my goal while living in Colombia is to increase my fluency in Spanish and knowledge of Colombian culture.” Now he turns to graduate school as the next step in his journey towards working for the US Department of State.

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship is a program that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service in which they can help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy. The Rangel Program selects 30 outstanding Rangel Fellows annually in a highly competitive nationwide process and helps support them through two years of graduate study, internships and professional development activities, and entry into the Foreign Service. This program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service and those with financial need. Fellows who successfully complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers, one of the most exciting and rewarding careers available.

CUNY BA is the University-wide, individualized degree. It is an exciting, versatile, rewarding degree route for highly motivated, self-directed students whose academic goals transcend traditional majors. Students create their own degree plans working directly with faculty mentors and academic advisors.