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Montgomery College Alum, Swechchha Shrestha ’23, One of 15 Students Nationwide Selected for U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship

Shrestha is part of the College’s graduating class and will walk the stage during the 2023 Commencement exercises, Friday, May 19

Following a highly competitive application process, Montgomery College alum Swechchha Shrestha (A.A.’23) is one of 15 individuals nationwide selected by the U.S. Department of State for the notable Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship.

In this two-year fellowship program, Shrestha will receive up to $87,000 in academic funding for two years, two summer internships, professional development and mentorship. Upon successful completion of the fellowship, Shrestha will receive an appointment in the Foreign Service as an Information Management Specialist.

Shrestha is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Information Sciences and Systems from Montgomery College, where she served as the Student Council chair and as a Montgomery College Foundation student board member. She was also vice president of the Student Senate, the chair of the Student Activities Board (SAB), and president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Shrestha is very passionate about service and technology. She enjoys volunteering, drawing, speed walking, and meeting new people.

“The FAIT Fellowship will allow me to serve my country,” Shrestha said. “I am extremely thankful for the opportunities afforded to my family after we immigrated to the United States. This fellowship gives me a chance to learn more about other cultures. I am excited to be able to strengthen diplomatic ties between the U.S. and other countries.”

Funded by the Department of State and administered by TWC, the FAIT Fellowship aims to attract top technology talent that represents the ethnic, racial, gender, social, and geographic diversity of the United States. The FAIT Fellowship encourages applications from women, minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and those with financial need.

FAIT Fellowship program provides each fellow with:

  • Up to $87,000 in academic funding over two years (junior and senior years of a bachelor’s degree program or a two-year master’s degree program)
  • Two summer internships – one at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and one at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas
  • Professional development and personalized mentoring during the fellowship program

After successfully completing the FAIT Fellowship program and the Foreign Service entry requirements, Fellows receive an appointment in the Foreign Service as an Information Management Specialist, and they launch exciting careers using their technology skills to support U.S. diplomacy abroad.

“We’re very proud of the talented, diverse group of students selected for the 2023 cohort of this unique fellowship program,” said Kim Churches, president of The Washington Center (TWC). “As a pathway to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree and to launch a career in the Foreign Service, the FAIT Fellowship is truly an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Of the 15 FAIT Fellows for the 2023 cohort, seven are in the graduate fellowship and eight are in the undergraduate fellowship. Listed below are the 15 fellows, along with the universities they plan to attend as FAIT Fellows:

Undergraduate fellows:

  • Swechchha Shrestha, University of Maryland, College Park (Montgomery College)
  • Mohinur Abdullaeva, Baruch College
  • Iyouel Endashaw, George Mason University
  • Othello Herbert, Columbia University
  • Levi Kottut, University of San Francisco
  • Karol Planadeball, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott
  • Maisha Rauzat, Pace University
  • Delphina Rivas, Southern Methodist University

Graduate fellows:

  • Christopher Catalina, University of Utah
  • Kacey Grafing, Central Michigan University
  • Lisa Guagliano, Georgetown University
  • Justin Hayes, Western Governors University
  • Mason Perry, Brigham Young University
  • Brandon Sanders, University of Alabama
  • Courtney Souter, Georgetown University

The 2024 application cycle for the FAIT Fellowship program is planned to begin in September 2023. Announcements will be posted online at and shared on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.