Published on May 13, 2010  

Senior Spanish major Andrew Crosson was recently accepted into the U.S. Foreign Service. He decided to apply with the Foreign Service after a recruiter visited campus and sparked his interest. "It combines the three major things I was looking for in a career: service to others, international travel and language learning," he said.

"For Andrew to be accepted as an undergraduate, the first time he applied, is very rare," said Dr. Mike Ledgerwood, chair of the department of World Languages and Cultures.

Andrew will work for one of the United States' embassies overseas, though he has yet to receive his assignment. "I will be interviewing foreigners who want to come to the U.S. to either approve or deny their visa applications... [and] working directly with Americans in need in whatever country I'm in," Andrew said. "Perhaps what I am most excited about [is that] I will serve as part of the crisis management team. If there is ever a major catastrophe, such as an earthquake or a coup d'état, I will help evacuate Americans and their families and provide as much assistance as possible."

Andrew began the testing process last June, passing the Foreign Service Officer Test on his first try. He was then invited for an oral assessment with the State Department in Washington, D.C.

"When I first learned I had passed, I was astonished," Andrew said. "I never thought I would pass on my first try, especially because I am so young and have little professional experience. By the grace of God, I managed to pass on the first try, and I actually scored higher than anyone else who tested that day."

"One of the examiners told him at the end of the tests, ‘I had never heard of Samford University before, but did they ever prepare you to succeed!'" Dr. Ledgerwood said.

Andrew believes that the education he received at Samford has "immensely" prepared him for his new job. "As a Spanish major and World Languages and Cultures minor, I have not only been taught Spanish and French, but I've been taught how to learn languages in general," Andrew said. "I've also gained a deeper appreciation for foreign cultures and peoples in all of my classes."

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.