Photo of Oscar Kemp (Tom Kojcsich, University Marketing)

Oscar Kemp, a junior in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University, was selected for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute Fellowship Program. He will be one of 24 college juniors to participate in the summer institute at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. 

The program was started to address the lack of diversity across the spectrum of professional public service, including government, nonprofits, public policy institutions, and international organizations. The Junior Summit Institute Fellowship prepares students to obtain a Master’s or a joint degree in public policy, public administration, international affairs, or a related field. 

Kemp was initially drawn to the fellowship after gaining interest in policy and global affairs through a Public Administration and Virginia Government Politics class. The Junior Summer Institute curriculum includes economics, statistics, domestic/international policy issues, and leadership topics, all designed to sharpen quantitative, analytic, and communication skills. 

Last year, Kemp received the VCU Board of Visitors Scholarship, which recognizes the achievements of an outstanding undergraduate student for their academic achievement, leadership, and service to the university and community. He also was recognized by the Department of African American Studies with a Black History in the Making award.

At VCU, Kemp is a Diversity Ambassador for Residential Life & Housing, a Racial Justice Fellow for the School of Social Work, an intern for the Office of the President, is president of the National Association of Black Social Workers, is a member of the First & Second Year Experiences and Transition Advisory Council, and is a member of the School of Social Work B.S.W. Program Committee. 

Most recently, Kemp was one of two students nationally to be appointed as the first student representatives to serve on the board of directors of the Council on Social Work Education, the national association representing social work education and program accreditation in the United States.

Kemp hopes to spend time abroad studying a critical language soon. He then plans to apply to the Pickering Fellowship during his senior year to help fund a master’s degree in international affairs. His long-term goal is to become a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State to develop a career in public service. 
VCU’s National Scholarship Office (NSO) assists students and recent alumni with the application process for the PPIA Junior Summer Institute Fellowship and other esteemed awards. To learn more about external funding opportunities, schedule an appointment with a member of the NSO staff.

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