University of Minnesota Alum Awarded National Scholarship for Graduate Studies in Diplomacy

Eric Chu

Eric Chu has been named a 2018 Thomas Pickering Fellow.  

Eric Chu, a 2013 graduate of the College of Biological Sciences with a B.S. in Plant Biology, has been named a 2018 Thomas Pickering Fellow. As one of 30 Fellows, Chu will receive up to $37,500 a year for two years of graduate study and summer internships with the U. S. State Department in Washington D. C. and at an embassy in a foreign country. He will use his scholarship to complete the Master of Global Human Development Program at Georgetown University.

Chu was born in Minneapolis and spent much of his childhood in Hsinchu, Taiwan before returning to St. Paul and graduating from Roseville High School. At the University of Minnesota, in addition to his plant biology major, Chu completed a minor in Norwegian and studied abroad in Italy, Morocco and Norway. In the College of Biological Sciences, he conducted research with Professor David Moeller in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology and wrote an honors thesis on “Evolution of postzygotic isolation between subspecies of Clarkia xantiana A. Gray (Onagraceae).” He was also vice president of the Taiwanese Student Society and a member of the University Honors Program, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Following graduation, Chu joined the Peace Corps and served as an education volunteer in Uganda, where he trained future primary school teachers to improve teaching methodologies and incorporate literacy teaching practices into different subjects at a teachers college. He is currently the China Research Program Coordinator at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility (CGHSR) in Guangxi, China, where he is the liaison for research collaborations between the University’s Academic Health Center and a provincial center for disease control and prevention. He also coordinates CGHSR's Global Health Seed Grants and Faculty Travel Awards programs, which encourage and fund University faculty to conduct international health research collaborations in East Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Guangxi, China.

The Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship is a U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard University that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people with financial need who represent the ethnic, gender, social, and geographic diversity of the United States for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. Applications for the 2019 Pickering Fellowship are due September 20, 2018. Seniors or recent graduates interested in applying should contact Timothy Jones in the Office of National and International Scholarships (ONIS) at

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