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Sophomore Pablo Tutillo is one step closer to his dream of one day serving as a foreign diplomat. Tutillo, an international relations major, has been selected as a 2011 Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) Fellow. This unique and highly competitive five-year fellowship program is designed to provide opportunities for talented minority students to pursue careers in international affairs.
Valued at nearly $100,000, the program combines financial aid with career development and includes sophomore and junior summer policy institutes, a study abroad program, an internship, language study and graduate school.
"This fellowship means the world to me - literally," Tutillo said. "It will enrich my study of politics and the world. It will give me the chance to travel and do rigorous work to prepare for graduate school. "I want to be out there in the world making an effective and lasting difference," he added.
Andrea Rossi-Reder, associate dean of studies for freshmen and sophomores, describes Tutillo as intelligent, hard-working, responsible and personable. "Pablo wants to do it all - and he is definitely capable of doing it all," Rossi-Reder said. "This program is perfect because he will gain valuable experience that combines all of his interests."
Tutillo's interest in international relations stems from a love of languages, a passion for making a difference and his own international background. Born and raised in Cayambe, a small town nestled in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, Tutillo moved to New London in 2002. He attended Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School before studying at The Williams School, where he graduated as a member of the class of 2009. Now, as a volunteer with Connecticut College's Office of Volunteers for Community Service, Tutillo gives back to New London, tutoring students in English and Spanish at the Dual Language Arts Academy and Jennings Elementary School and serving as a student teacher of Arabic at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School. And in February, Tutillo organized an International Children's Expo on the College's campus for more than 80 local fifth graders.
"Growing up in New London has inspired me to examine the ways in which we can improve the academic, personal and social experiences of elementary students," he said. Fluent in Spanish and English and a student of French and Arabic, Tutillo says he is fascinated by languages, but hadn't really explored his passion for international relations until he met government professor Caroleen Sayej.
"Lecture after lecture, discussion after discussion, question after question, I am simply astonished as to how much I have begun to think critically and constructively after not even a full semester in her class," Tutillo said. After his experience in Sayej's Comparative Politics and Middle East Politics courses, and with Rossi-Reder's guidance, Tutillo is declaring a self-designed minor in Middle Eastern Studies. His ultimate goal, he said, is to serve as a diplomat in the Middle East, Asia or Latin America. "I am very intrigued by international public policy because it is the key to understanding issues that I am concerned with, such as human rights, education and the environment," he said. "Whether it is through law, academia or public service, I want to explore how I can address those issues."