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ADA – Kaylin Cullum’s passion for political science and law has led to several awards for the East Central University senior from Wetumka.
First, Cullum was accepted as only one of 10 students nationally for the University of California’s Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship. She is currently in the seven-week residential fellowship which prepares students for graduate school and law school.
Cullum is expected to complete the Policy Analysis and Communication curriculum as well as training in Public Policy and Law. The intense program has led to as many as 12 hours a day in the classroom. Most of the time is spent in the classroom in the morning while the group gets to hear from guest lecturers during the afternoon, the first of which was Robert Reich, a political economist, political commentator, author and professor.
“ECU has allowed me to get to this point by encouraging critical thinking, having good writing courses and teaching me to adapt to diverse environments,” said Cullum. “I feel like I’m holding my own, coming from a regional university, with people from Harvard and Brown. I’m able to keep up with people from larger and more resourceful universities.”
Cullum says this experience at Berkley has opened her eyes to the opportunities that are at there for career choices.
“Diversity is something I really love about the program. This program is changing my life in that I’m able to look at options I have never thought of before,” Cullum said. “Working in the foreign service is something I never thought of before I got here. Another is a gap year, either doing a fellowship or doing a job to gain experience.”
Cullum, a political science major, had plans of possibly attending law school after earning her degree from ECU, going into the program. That goal hasn’t changed.
She has garnered other honors and awards this past year.
Cullum was also accepted to the University of Oklahoma’s National Education for Women (NEW) Institute, which took place May 16-20 in Norman to meet with experts on women in politics as well as female politicians.
Thirdly, Cullum was selected as ECU’s 2014 Brad Henry Fellow which includes an $11,000 scholarship. She will attend Swansea University in Wales next spring. As a winner of the Francisco-Hatchett Scholarship in Prelaw, she will have opportunities to travel throughout Europe.
As an ECU student, Cullum was appointed to the ECU Honor Court and will serve as its chief justice in the coming year. She is also a member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society and Tigers Against Human Trafficking.
She has presented original research on women in politics at Oklahoma Undergraduate Research Day, the Oklahoma Political Science Association Annual Meeting and the Pi Sigma Alpha National Undergraduate Research Conference in Washington, D.C.
“Kaylin is one of the most talented students I have mentored at ECU,” said Dr. Christine Pappas, professor of political science. “With these world-class opportunities, the sky is the limit for Kaylin’s career.”

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