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Tawni Sasaki '16


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Galesburg, IL 61401




Tawni Sasaki '16

Graduate Student, The Fletcher School

Majors in International Relations and Modern Languages

Influenced by her study abroad experience, Tawni is pursuing a master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy and plans to join the U.S. Foreign Service.

Tawni Sasaki '16

Tawni Sasaki’ 16 received the Gilman Scholarship to study in Beijing, China as a junior and studied in Besançon, France in her senior year. She received a Fulbright Fellowship after graduating from Knox to teach in Taiwan and then received a Pickering Graduate Fellowship to prepare for her career with the U.S. Foreign Service. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Tufts University.

What degree are you pursuing at Tufts University?

I'm enrolled in the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at their graduate institution, the Fletcher School. It's a two-year master's program that offers a myriad of courses on almost all things international. This summer, I also served in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in the Office of Andean Affairs.

What are your plans after receiving your degree?

I'll serve a final internship at an embassy abroad before joining the U.S. Foreign Service in the fall of 2019.

How did you decide on this career path?

I've always wanted to pursue a career in international relations in some capacity. After receiving a Gilman Award from the Department of State that gave me the opportunity to study and live abroad, I realized that going into the public sector would best allow me to grow and do what I love: represent the U.S. and promote opportunities for students to see the world. Living in other countries has profoundly impacted the way I see and interact with other people–I think that a future full of aware, educated citizens will depend on opening our world to places past this country's borders.

You've accomplished a lot, both during your time at Knox and since Commencement. How do you think Knox helped you stand out among the other applicants for these very competitive fellowships?

I certainly wouldn't be where I am today without my Knox education. It gave me the resources to apply for these opportunities and the support I needed to pursue them. I had wonderful professors who challenged my way of thinking and helped me grow, both personally and professionally. Without my mentors, I would not have found out about the fellowships and scholarships that I applied to or have been as encouraged to take classes outside of my comfort zone. Knox also gave me outlets through which I could build on my hard and soft skills: serving on the school newspaper, a leadership position in Model United Nations, and research funding. My time there was very much defined by getting out of the experience what you put into it.

Sasaki was a McNair Scholar at Knox College. She served as co-president of Model United Nations and was the Discourse editor for The Knox Student (Knox College's student-run newspaper).

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Printed on Thursday, September 28, 2023