Mia Bennett Selected for U.S. Department of State Fellowship

Descriptive image for Mia Bennett Selected for U.S. Department of State Fellowship

Computer Science sophomore Mia Bennett has been selected to receive the prestigious U.S. Department of State's Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship (FAIT).

Following a highly competitive application process, Bennett is one of only 15 students nationwide to be selected for this esteemed fellowship.

Born in Japan, Benett moved to the US around the age of 7. She discovered her curiosity for different cultures and a passion to travel at a very young age.

A graduate from James H. Blake High School Benett's first encounter with computer science began in high school with an elective coding class. Her interest in computer science persuaded her to take AP computer science the following year, and by the time college applications started, she decided to major in computer science. 

As her interest in computer science  grew, so did her love for travel. Bennett participated in two summer study abroad programs during her high school. This gave her an opportunity to learn new languages and new cultures. 

Upon going to a State Department career fair on a whim last fall, she discovered the FAIT Fellowship program and decided to apply. “With vastly contrasting personal and academic interests, the fellowship would allow me to combine both my passions, so I knew I had to apply”, said Bennett.

Through the Fellowship, Bennett will receive up to $37,500 annually in academic funding for her junior and senior years in the undergraduate program, and will participate in two summer internships with stipend support – one in Washington, D.C., and one at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. After completing the two-year program and meeting Department requirements, she will receive an appointment as a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist and begin an exciting career using her technology skills to support U.S. diplomacy abroad.

In addition to her academic excellence on campus, Bennett serves on the executive board of the Japanese American Student Association, as well as a Japanese speaking partner for SLLC’s Language Partner Program.  She is an undergraduate recruitment ambassador for the College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences and  a tour guide in Maryland Images. Off-campus, she is an AFS volunteer and helps organize study abroad experiences for high school students in the area.

Bennett will begin her first domestic internship in summer 2021. “I am eager to see the world and experience new places, while still maintaining a career in the computer science industry”, said Bennett.

The fellowship is administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars and funded by the U.S. Department of State.


The Department welcomes comments, suggestions and corrections.  Send email to editor [-at-] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu.