Tomko accepted into Governor’s program at University of Pittsburgh


Mei Tomko and many other participants at a similar international studies program at IUP. Photo courtesy of Mei Tomko.

By Julia Kelbaugh, Reporter

Junior Mei Tomko was accepted into the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Global and International Studies held at the University of Pittsburgh this summer.

The process of applying was very extensive, and Tomko is grateful to be accepted into a fully paid four-week program.

“On the application I had to have a three main parts,” said Tomko. “A world language teacher write reference letter, a teacher of my choice, and a guidance counselor send in my transcript.”

Three teachers, such as human geography teacher Matt Amberban, wrote a letter of recommendation for Tomko.

Amberman felt that Tomko had many qualities and interests that made her a worthy candidate for this program.

“She was what you would hope any student interested in that kind of stuff would be: she is learning multiple languages, and wants to pursue a career in the international affairs,” said Amberman.  “So I would want to support a student who is willing to give up their time in the summer and be given a challenge to become better.”

Amberman has also seen first hand from Tomko her interest in human geography and global issues.

“I saw great potential, for sure, from her summer work, to her first test, and the questions she would ask during and after class,” said Amberman. “I felt like she was a prime student to go to a government studies program.”

Tomko has taken different foreign languages and has been interested in studying nuclear warfare, economic, and political turmoil and feeling this program will give her a head start.

“I definitely think taking different languages helped in the application process,” said Tomko. “Obviously, if you are doing international business and working with other countries, you have to know how to communicate well with the other countries and know how to solve international issues.”

Tomko hopes that this global and international studies program will be valuable in the long run, possibly joining the government and being a part of international or foreign affairs.

“I hope to learn more about international studies and generally what it is all about,” said Tomko. “Like job opportunities you can have with this major, and that it will be something I will never get bored with because there are so many countries and so many things going on around the world to explore.”