Merrill Scholar: Djenaba Kendrick

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Djenaba Kendrick, Paris '92-'93

When Djenaba Kendrick, a Spelman College grad, studied with IES Abroad in Paris in 1992-93, her future in international relations began to take flight. She is now a U.S. Diplomat working at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, where she is in charge of all American Citizen Services and Visas. Kendrick has worked for the U.S. Department of State for the past 15 years and has worked at U.S. Embassies in Kigali, Rwanda, Nairobi, Kenya, and Caracas.

She says the Merrill Scholarship program was heavily promoted at Spelman and her experience studying abroad significantly impacted her career path. “I was a French major, so initially I wanted to teach college-level French and possibly get a Ph.D. in French,” says Kendrick. “However, once I studied in Paris I knew I wanted to do something more broad in the international relations field. When I returned to Spelman my senior year, I added a minor in International Studies and went on to get my master's in International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service. Being able to live and work abroad in various countries was exactly what I wanted to do.”

To Mr. Merrill, Kendrick says, “Thank you--and I hope you continue to do this scholarship program for years to come. It is so important to keep promoting study abroad programs… they absolutely do shape careers, as was my case.”