Tyra Duque ’25 selected as Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute fellow

Duque will spend six weeks this summer participating in programming at the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Even before Tyra Duque ’25 arrived at Elon University, she knew she wanted to make the most of her time as a student. Duque was a scholar of Elon Academy, the university’s college access and success program for academically promising high school students in Alamance County.

Tyra Duque ’25

“This experience completely changed the trajectory of my life. I am a Latina, a child of immigrants, low-income, and first-generation college student,” Duque said. “While I hold these identities with pride, I recognize that they come with many societal disadvantages. I don’t think I would be successfully pursuing my bachelor’s degree without their guidance.”

The resources and community that Duque found in Elon Academy and at Elon inspired her to further pursue her education through the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute (PPIA-JSI). Although Duque learned about the program as a first year, the fellowship is only open to rising seniors, so she spent her time at Elon strengthening her resume as a Periclean Scholar and a scholar in the Odyssey Program. Duque is double majoring in political science and data analytics, which made her a perfect fit for the summer institute program.

Through the PPIA Junior Summer Institute, 149 scholars will participate in six weeks of free, rigorous summer programming at one of six campus partners to prepare students for advanced schooling and careers in public service and leadership in both domestic and global affairs. Fellows were selected based on merit and their previous, current, and stated dedication to public service.

Duque will be one of 30 students to call Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home for the summer.

“I am looking forward to meeting peers and professionals in the growing interdisciplinary field of public policy and data analytics, as it merges my current majors,” she said. “I am also excited to live in and explore Pittsburgh, even if it is for seven weeks.”

PPIA is a nonprofit organization that has been supporting efforts to increase diversity in public leadership for 43 years. After the fellowship, if Duque is admitted to one of Heinz College’s full-time graduate programs, she will receive a full-tuition scholarship. During Duque’s final year as an undergraduate student, she plans to spend the fall semester studying abroad in Seville, Spain, and her spring semester participating in Elon’s Washington, D.C. program.