The Story Behind The Fulbright Scholar

The Story Behind The Fulbright Scholar

Stanislas Phanord moved from Haiti to Boston’s Mat­tapan neigh­bor­hood when he was three, facing various personal challenges throughout his childhood and into high school.

Phanord, who is set to grad­uate on May 2 from Northeastern with a bachelor’s degree in polit­ical sci­ence, was recently named a Rangel Grad­uate Fellow and the recip­ient of a Ful­bright Eng­lish Teaching Assist­ant­ship in France. He is one of only 20 stu­dents to win the Rangel, which aims to pre­pare recip­i­ents for careers in the For­eign Ser­vice, and one of six people in the nation to be awarded the teaching assist­ant­ship.

The Foundation
It was in Northeastern’s Foun­da­tion Year program in 2009, however, where Phanord said he dis­cov­ered the con­fi­dence and direc­tion to put him on the path for success.

“Foun­da­tion Year pro­vided me the oppor­tu­nity to improve the skills that I wasn’t able to obtain in high school and pre­pared me for any insti­tu­tion that I was going to attend after­wards,” said Phanord.

The Foun­da­tion Year pro­gram, in Northeastern’s Col­lege of Pro­fes­sional Studies, offers local high school grad­u­ates and stu­dents holding GED com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cates the oppor­tu­nity to earn one full year of col­lege credit in 11 months. Stu­dents take rig­orous freshman level courses, meet weekly with writing and math tutors, and work closely with advisers, career coun­selors, and fac­ulty mem­bers. After com­pleting the pro­gram, they are eli­gible to pursue sev­eral dif­ferent col­lege oppor­tu­ni­ties at North­eastern or another insti­tu­tion. Phanord selected, and was accepted into, Northeastern’s Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties in 2010.

“In Foundation Year, I got the writing, quantitative, and analytical skills necessary to, not only survive, but excel at Northeastern University, he said. “Most of all, with the guidance of my Foundation Year professors, I learned how to be resourceful and how to take control of my own destiny.”

Stanislas Phanord, SSH'14, was recognized at the Academic Honors Convocation on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Brooks Canaday.

On the right track
Since then, Phanord has sought a variety of expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties that have put him on track for a career in diplo­macy. In 2012, he spent eight months in Geneva, Switzer­land. The first two were spent on a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions Pro­gram at the United National Insti­tute for Dis­ar­ma­ment Research, where he con­ducted research into the con­di­tions nec­es­sary for the UN and the Tal­iban in Afghanistan to begin a dis­ar­ma­ment, demo­bi­liza­tion, and rein­te­gra­tion process. Fol­lowing the Dia­logue pro­gram, he con­ducted a six-​​month co-​​op as a research intern at the Geneva Centre for Secu­rity Policy.

Human Rights in Africa
Yet Phanord’s global expe­ri­ences at North­eastern were just begin­ning. In 2013, he studied at Al Akhawayn Uni­ver­sity in Ifrane, Morocco, refining his French lan­guage skills and studying North Africa’s polit­ical system. Later that year, he spent two months in France taking inten­sive French lan­guage and cul­ture courses.

Learning about rape laws in Morocco inspired Phanord to pursue oppor­tu­ni­ties to con­duct research in inter­na­tional human rights and secu­rity. It was ulti­mately his work on co-​​op as a human rights vol­un­teer at the local office of the Defense and Pro­mo­tion of Human Rights in Saint-​​Louis, Senegal, oper­ated under Projects Abroad-​​Senegal, that moti­vated him to become a staunch advo­cate for human rights.

In Senegal, he con­ducted research on the rights of the Talibe, Sene­galese chil­dren who are forced to beg on the streets for food and money, which, Phanord explained, is then passed on to their teacher. Based on inter­views Phanord con­ducted with the boys, Quran pro­fes­sors, and NGOs in the area such as Amnesty Inter­na­tional, he com­piled a list of rec­om­men­da­tions to help the chil­dren; that list will be sent in this year’s annual report to the Sen­galese gov­ern­ment.

“Northeastern’s global oppor­tu­ni­ties gave me an edge in seeking out the career I always wanted: to be a diplomat,” Phanord explained. “Had I not been able to get work expe­ri­ence abroad, I would not have been able to prove to the [Rangel Fel­low­ship selec­tion] panel that I was ready or moti­vated to be sworn into the For­eign Service.”

On to Diplomacy
In October, Phanord will begin his Eng­lish teaching assist­ant­ship in France. As part of the Fulbright, he will spend seven months helping high school teachers improve the vocab­u­lary and con­ver­sa­tion skills of under­priv­i­leged stu­dents. He will also con­duct human rights research on the rela­tion­ship between France and other Fran­cophone countries.

Through the Rangel Fel­low­ship pro­gram, Phanord will receive sup­port for grad­uate school, pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment, and entry into the U.S. For­eign Ser­vice. Before trav­eling to France, he will com­plete a three-​​month con­gres­sional intern­ship through the pro­gram, working for mem­bers of Con­gress involved in inter­na­tional affairs. When he returns from France next spring, he will par­tic­i­pate in a 10-​​week intern­ship at a U.S. Embassy over­seas, after which he will begin a master’s pro­gram in public administration.

Upon com­ple­tion of the Rangel Pro­gram, which will take about three years, Phanord will be sworn into the For­eign Ser­vice as a diplomat. “With the Rangel Fel­low­ship, that job is waiting for me,” he said.  “Thanks to my experience in Foundation Year I was motivated to take full advantage of Northeastern’s co-op program, and I will fulfill my dream of serving as a U.S. diplomat.”

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A version of this article originally appeared on Northeastern News

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