A study abroad trip to London the summer before Justin entered Howard University jump-started his interest in international affairs. To get diverse perspectives on this interest, he majored in History and Anthropology at Howard and sought additional opportunities to learn more about possible careers. Participating in the six week Rangel Summer Program helped him understand better what he did – and did not – want to do in regard to his career interests.
“The Rangel Program afforded me the opportunity to honestly assess and reevaluate my future career goals,” he said. He found the most beneficial aspect to be the guest speakers, who represented the broad spectrum of international careers. “Many of them provided information and shared experiences that demystified rather ambiguous aspect of international careers, touching on everything from a typical day-in-the life to challenges of balancing career and family overseas,” he said.
Justin has actively pursued his interest in international affairs since completing the program. After graduating in 2009, he participated in an intensive Swahili language program in Tanzania and Kenya, followed by an archaeological dig on James Island located in the Gambia River. He also won a Fulbright Fellowship and moved to Kingston, Jamaica to research the presence of African cultural retention during the enslavement era through archaeological material. Following this program, Justin began his Ph.D. studies in Anthropology and he hopes to engage in a career in academia that includes teaching and research.