Campus News

Political Science major, Isabel Mitchell-Starks ‘24, selected for prestigious Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program

Isabel Mitchell-Starks, a rising senior majoring in political science at Dillard University.

June 9, 2023
Contact: Danielle Miller,

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) On March 14, 2023, a distinguished panel of U.S. diplomats and international affairs professionals selected fifteen individuals for participation in the 2023 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program following a nationwide competition that drew nearly 1,000 applicants. 

The 2023 Rangel Summer Enrichment Program participants (“Scholars”) reflect the excellence and diversity that have characterized the program since its creation. 

Isabel Mitchell-Starks, a rising senior majoring in Political Science at Dillard University, was among the fifteen applicants selected for a coveted place in this year’s Rangel Summer Enrichment Program. 

The Rangel Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) is a U.S. Department of State program that is administered by Howard University via a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Global Talent Management. The program provides undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs, a greater understanding of career opportunities in international affairs, and the enhanced knowledge and skills to pursue such careers. The Rangel Summer Enrichment Program fully funds students to spend six weeks in the nation’s capital learning from diplomats, Foreign Service Officers, and other leading foreign affairs professionals. During her time in Washington, D.C., Isabel will take two courses for credit from Howard University and participate in a seminar on professional writing, taught by a former U.S. Ambassador. Isabel will also participate in a variety of professional development activities and will attend events at diverse locations around Washington, D.C., including the U.S. Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and Congress. 

Isabel was born and raised in Richmond, California, and is pursuing a career in foreign diplomacy. She has engaged in academic extracurriculars to prepare her for her career, where she hopes to champion human rights abroad through advocacy in the allocation of humanitarian aid. In addition to her Rangel acceptance, Isabel was an awardee of the highly competitive Public Policy International Affairs Junior Summer Institute (PPIA JSI) Program at the University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Law.

Isabel has served Dillard University as a Class of 2024 Senator of the Student Government Association and a member of Mock Trial. Isabel currently serves the broader Dillard community by supporting voter engagement and education efforts as Campus Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation #VoteEverywhere Program and the incoming president of Dillard’s Political Science Society. She is also an active member of the Thompson-Cook Honors Program and of Leading Ladies International. 

Isabel’s successes inside and outside the classroom have now led her to her acceptance to the Rangel Summer Enrichment Program, and she is excited to continue expanding her interests and skills in international affairs through her program participation this summer. 

“Careers in international affairs provide young people with uniquely rewarding experiences through which they can help find solutions to issues of global concern while interacting with individuals from countries around the world,” said Kristen Shannon, Rangel program manager. “The Rangel Scholars’ summer is a pivotal experience for students interested in an international affairs career to learn about and prepare for these opportunities. We are excited to work with these 15 outstanding young people and give them the tools they need to succeed in this space.” 

For more information regarding the political science program at Dillard University, please contact Gary Clark, Ph.D., Chair of the School of Social Sciences and coordinator of the political science program at 504-816-4701 or email 

About the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program 
The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program is a U.S. Department of State program that attracts and prepares young people for international service careers. The Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State, administers the Rangel Program in collaboration with the Bureau of Global Talent Management. Announced in 2002 by Secretary of State Colin Powell, Congressman Charles B. Rangel, and Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert, its goals are to promote greater diversity and excellence in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. Howard University named this program to honor Congressman Rangel for his long standing and vocal support for showing the world the diversity that is the strength of America, as well as his example of global leadership. The Rangel Program also accepts undergraduate students to participate in the six-week Summer Enrichment Program that prepares global-minded undergraduate students for careers in international affairs. Both programs are competitive and seek applicants with a strong academic background, a commitment to service, and an interest in making a difference in the world. More information can be found online at

About Dillard University
Dillard University is a historically Black institution that cultivates leaders who live ethically, think and communicate precisely, and act courageously to make the world a better place. Located in New Orleans, Dillard is a private faith-based liberal arts university that offers 22 majors and two certificate programs. Ranked 5th on 2021 The New York Times Overall Mobility Index and 14th in 2022 by Academic Influence for Best Colleges and Universities by Academic Stewardship, Dillard’s call to future leaders is to Write Your Legacy. Find out more about Louisiana’s oldest HBCU by visiting