TAMIU Sophomore Balli Named Fellow for Institute for International Public Policy
Posted: 4/21/11

TAMIU Sophomore Balli Named Fellow for
2011 Institute for International Public Policy

Texas A&M International University sophomore Philip Balli didn’t consciously set out to see how he could individually realize TAMIU’s international mission, but he’s already logged over 14,500 miles in University study-travel… and he’s about to add thousands more.

Philip Balli
Philip Balli, TAMIU Sophomore…Selected for Fellowship

Balli has been selected as one of two Texas students to be named a Fellow in the 2011 Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP), a six-year Fellowship offered by the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation. The Fellowship commitment includes participation in three summer institutes, a study abroad program, an internship, language study and graduate school.

Nicolas Bassey, IIPP director, notified Balli of his selection as a cohort member, remarking “the 2011 Selection Committee noted your commitment to international affairs and your capacity for progressive professional achievement.” He added that the program is dedicated to “ensuring that a broader range of this nation’s diversity is strategically prepared to contribute to our international dialogue.”

TAMIU president Dr. Ray Keck lauded Balli’s historic accomplishment.

“This is a young man of remarkable clarity and vision. To have been selected as one of only two Texas students to participate in this competitive multi-year Fellowship is a testimony to his intelligence and global potential,” Dr. Keck said.

Balli said he is looking forward to his Fellowship and believes that his previous study travel opportunities helped to prepare him for the Fellowship and the career in international relations that he envisions.

“I was blessed to participate in study abroad trips to both Taiwan and Ghana and each helped me to establish a clearer path to international relations. My major shifted from music to communication, which I feel is better aligned with my career aspirations,” Balli explained.

The talented string bassist said while his major has shifted, music is still very much a part of his present and his future.

“I still retain a lifelong fascination with music and while in Taiwan purchased an erhu, a two-string bowed instrument which I am learning to play. I think it would be brilliant to find a way to use music and international relations together in the future,” Balli said.

Balli will begin his Fellowship this June with 7-week program in Washington, D.C. The Washington program will include daily classes and coursework in topics including research methods, statistics and policy writing, and introductions to international affairs and global economics.

Balli was born and raised in Laredo and is a J.W. Nixon High School graduate. He is the son of Nick and Bea Balli, longtime Laredo music educators. He has two brothers, Aaron and Justin, and a sister, Rebekah. His brother Justin is a TAMIU senior music major and recently won the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Concerto Competition.

After Balli completes this summer’s program, he’ll proceed to a junior year program in Maryland, a Study Abroad program in Hong Kong and a senior program at Vermont’s Middlebury College, renowned for its strengths in international studies. An internship component is also available, as is support for graduate school studies.

Balli noted that while his frequent global travels as a TAMIU student have inspired him and set the stage for his future career, they’ve also had practical applications.

“I’ve become really good at packing,” he smiled, “it’s all about rolling versus folding.”

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