For Jacqueline Lindsay Tello, “there’s always something new” that comes with studying political science.
“What I love about political science is that it covers a vast array of subjects,” said Tello, a 20-year-old senior from Albany. “There’s English for the writing. You need to know history. You need to know math. It takes a little bit of the best from every subject. It’s never boring.”
Tello’s political-science skills were rewarded in December when she was named one of a dozen U.S. recipients of the American Political Science Association Minority Fellowship for 2011-12. It was the second year in a row that a Binghamton student has received the national honor.
“I was surprised and excited because not only is this a financial award, but it will give me networking and support from the American Political Science Association,” Tello said. “In addition, (the APSA) has written letters of recommendation to all of the graduate schools I applied to.”
Tello learned about the APSA fellowship opportunity last summer as part of the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, a five-week program at Duke University that simulates the graduate-school experience for 20 students from across the United States.
Tello, a political science and history double major, was then one of 10 students chosen from the Duke group to present political science research at the APSA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. Tello discussed how U.S. foreign aid affected human rights in Latin America from 1981-2001.
While Tello admitted that the Duke program “opened a lot of doors” for her, she gave much of the credit for her academic success to political science professors David Cingranelli and Benjamin Fordham.
“Without their endless help and advice, I don’t think I would’ve come this far,” she said.
Cingranelli, who has worked with Tello as director of the McNair Scholars Program and as a research collaborator, said Tello is “on a path to a bright professional future.”
“Winning recognition as a 2011-2012 APSA Minority Fellow is a big deal,” he said. “These accomplishments will help her gain admission to a prestigious political science PhD program with funding. Lindsay’s personal accomplishments also have helped other Binghamton University students. She has generously mentored McNair Scholars and others who want to follow some of the paths she has blazed.”
Besides her work as a McNair Scholar, Tello has been a member of the campus’ Amnesty International chapter since she was a freshman. She is now the group’s treasurer. Tello also studied in Spain in the summer of 2009, returned to Madrid last semester and hopes to soon visit her parents’ home countries of Ecuador and Peru.
The next stop for Tello is graduate school, where she will pursue a doctorate in political science with a specialty in international relations. She hopes to become a professor.
“I would love to come back to Binghamton and teach here,” she said. “I’d like to give back to students what I’ve experienced. There have been so many professors, teaching assistants and graduate students who have helped me become who I am today and made me realize I want to go into academia.”
With graduation nearing, Tello recalled words of advice she received from a cousin at her high school graduation: It’s not worth the money if you don’t love where you are going to college.
“I fell in love with Binghamton within my first two weeks here,” Tello said. “I met a group of friends I have to this day. I’m going to be sad to leave Binghamton: a great experience with great professors. This is a public school that, in my opinion, is just as good as some of the Ivy League schools.”