Page 51 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2013

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APRIL 2013
I had few expectations when I
applied to the Virtual Student
Foreign Service (an intern-
ship program launched by
former Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton)
in mid-summer last year.
Therefore, it was with great
surprise and
delight that
I got a call
from Perri
Green, AFSA’s
coordinator for
special awards
and outreach,
inviting me to fll the AFSA
e-Intern position in late
Admittedly, I was unfa-
miliar with the work of AFSA
and its role in maintaining
the Memorial Plaques at
the Department of State. I
was also initially puzzled as
to how my background as
a graduate student in East
Asian studies, would be help-
ful in bringing the project of
fnding more about those
listed on the plaques to frui-
As it turns out, my aca-
demic preparation has been
invaluable to my success in
the research, collection and
organization of biographical
data related to members of
the diplomatic community
who lost their lives over-
seas. Scouring archives for
snippets of life histories has
been, at times, arduous (the
Internet does not always
easily yield its secrets), but
AFSA’s First Virtual Student
Foreign Service Intern
always worthwhile to piece
together a more complete
picture of the individual. In
a small way, I like to think
I have helped to keep alive
the memory of those whose
stories had yet to be told.
When difculties arose in
my searches,
a triangula-
tion approach
was often
most helpful:
using multiple
sources to fll
in gaps and to
verify the accuracy of dates
and places. Not only did
the process introduce me
to useful online resources
like and the
Google News archive, but
it also taught me much
about America’s diplomatic
engagement with the rest of
the world.
I am currently working
to compile the information
in a way that makes it easily
accessible to AFSA members
and others who might be
interested in fnding out more
about our diplomatic heroes.
Working on the Memo-
rial Plaques project has
helped me to become a more
efcient researcher, and to
consider a Foreign Service
career. It has also given me
a better perspective on the
risks that the diplomatic
community confronts each
day as it works to promote
world peace and cross-cul-
tural understanding.
Working on the
Memorial Plaques has
made me seriously
consider a career in
the Foreign Service.
Federal Benefts Speaker Series:
“Geriatric Care”
On Wed., April 10, at 2 p.m., the ffth program in the
Federal Benefts Speakers Series will feature Carol
Kaplun, the Nurse Care Manager at Iona Senior
Services. She will speak on “Geriatric Assessment,
Assistance and Care Management,” a topic of
importance to many. The event will take place at
AFSA headquarters, 2101 E Street NW, Washington,
D.C. The series has previously focused on Medicare,
federal health benefts and the Thrift Savings Plan.
All events are available for online viewing at
For questions regarding these events, please
contact Bonnie Brown, AFSA’s Coordinator for
Retiree Benefts and Legislation, at brown@afsa.
org or (202) 944-5509. RSVPs should be sent to