Dylan Vest

Hello! My name is Dylan Vest and I am originally from a small town in southern West Virginia. As a first-generation college student, I am the first in my family to go to college, fly on an airplane, and to travel abroad. I graduated from West Virginia University in May 2020 (Congratulations Class of COVID-19!) with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Political Science and a minor in History. During my undergraduate career, I was able to study abroad four times, including spending a year at Sciences Po in Grenoble, France. I am a 2016 Horatio Alger Scholar, a 2017 Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar, a 2020 Fulbright ETA Selectee to South Korea (Unfortunately, I turned the opportunity down due to COVID-19), and I am a 2020 Thomas R. Pickering Fellow.

As a Pickering Fellow, I will be entering the U.S. Foreign Service with the U.S. Department of State upon graduating from Penn State SIA in 2022. I plan to pursue a career as a Public Diplomacy Officer. I chose SIA because the program has an impressive faculty and rigorous coursework that will prepare me for my future career as a diplomat. I wanted to go to a top program outside the Beltway of Washington, DC. Instead of going to DC, New York, or Cambridge, I wanted to attend a large research institution that provided a better cost of living and a more livable environment outside the traditional cities that many think of when they consider international affairs programs. SIA has treated me so well and they have made me feel so welcomed- SIA truly is a family. Starting the program in the middle of a pandemic has been facilitated by a lovely SIA team who cares about our wellbeing as we make progress toward our degree.

In what little free time that I have as a graduate student, I love watching Hallmark Christmas movies, watching sitcoms, and eating Panera Bread. I cannot wait until life is good again so I can travel, meet friends in caf├ęs and restaurants, and go to the movies. I miss these activities so much!

Academic Standing: 
Class of 2022