skip navigation

University of Arkansas Student Named Pickering Fellow

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A University of Arkansas Honors College student with extensive study abroad and volunteer experience has received a 2012 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship. He is the first U of A student to be honored with this award, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State. Clint Shoemake, who will be a senior this fall, is one of only 20 new undergraduate Pickering Fellows nationwide.

The Pickering Fellowship provides financial support of up to $40,000 for the student’s senior year of undergraduate study and up to $40,000 for the first year of master’s degree study.   Pickering Fellows are required to participate in two internships — one domestic and one overseas — and to commit to three years as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. The Pickering Fellowship is administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

“We are delighted by Clint Shoemake’s selection as a Pickering Fellow,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “This is a singular honor that Clint very much deserves. He is an exceptional student, and the faculty members in political science and anthropology have prepared him well to embrace the challenges and opportunities that this award presents.”

Shoemake is from Bartlesville, Okla. He’s an honors double major in anthropology and political science in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. His focus has been on forced migration, post-conflict restoration and human rights, particularly in Africa. Currently, he is conducting oral histories of Rwandan students on campus who survived their country’s genocide. This summer Shoemake is working as a research fellow in Ghana, studying the leadership of women who own and operate their own businesses. He has also studied abroad in Tanzania, worked in India with the university’s Tibetans in Exile Today Project and served as the foreign affairs intern for U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. In the future, Shoemake plans to work for the State Department as part of the Bureau of African Affairs.

“Justice and poverty are real issues at home too,” Shoemake acknowledged. “Serving at Legal Aid of Arkansas, Seven Hills Homeless Shelter, and the Ozark Literacy Council has afforded me opportunities to ensure that poverty doesn’t inhibit justice, that homeless veterans have clothes to wear, and immigrants have the requisite language skills to succeed in the community.”

Shoemake also organized a panel discussion in fall 2011 on corporate social responsibility, at which members of the community, professors and students brought their various backgrounds and experiences to discuss the changing roles and obligations of corporations operating in a global context.

"Clint is motivated both by intellectual curiosity and by a desire to serve. The combination is powerful,” said Margaret Reid, chair of the political science department. “His leadership record reflects his deep personal commitment to helping others in a sustainable way. He will be an excellent representative of the University of Arkansas and the United States as a Foreign Service Officer and throughout what will certainly be a distinguished career.”

The Pickering Fellowship is named in honor of Thomas R. Pickering, who held the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service, and was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989 to 1992. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India, and the Russian Federation, finishing his diplomatic career in 2000 as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Students interested in applying for the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship should contact the University of Arkansas Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at or (479) 575-7940.



Margaret Reid, chair
Department of Political Science

Suzanne McCray, director
Office of Nationally Competitive Awards

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations


University student with brown hair


Clint Shoemake