All Spotlights » Reginald Oates: Wins International Scholarship
Reginald Oates said he was shocked to learn he was accepted to participate in the 2007-08 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX). From 500 exceptional candidates, only 75 were chosen for the work-study program in Germany, sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German government.
“I didn’t think it would happen for me,” said Oates. “After studying hard and waiting tables, I’m honored to be chosen for this unique opportunity.”
Oates earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Grand Valley in 2005 and is working on a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in criminal justice. He also works as a graduate research assistant in the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.
The CBYX scholarship exchange program, which started in 1983, is designed for those interested in business, engineering, technical and agricultural fields who demonstrate good communication skills, diplomacy, and a strong sense of American identity. Oates said he hopes to study government and work at the state or federal level in Germany. The program is a reciprocal exchange; 75 Germans will be living and studying throughout the United States as part of the 2007-08 program.
Oates said Grand Valley’s approach to a liberal education helped him find his passion for politics and government relations. “I originally came to Grand Valley to study biology,” he said. “After a few classes in politics and international relations, I changed the focus of my studies. The one-on-one attention I received from faculty and staff helped me personally and professionally.”
The 24-year-old Flint native leaves for Germany in July. The 12-month program consists of two months of intensive German language training in Germany, four months of classroom instruction at a German university or college of applied sciences, and a five-month internship in the participant’s career field.
“My dream is to work in governmental policy development,” he said. “This experience is an important step in helping me achieve that goal.”
By Mary Isca Pirkola