Heather Thornton, a University of Richmond senior from Alexandria, Va., has been awarded a Rangel Graduate Fellowship for preparation to enter the Foreign Service.

Thornton is one of only 20 American college seniors and graduates chosen annually for the fellowship by the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, which prepares fellows to become Foreign Service officers.

The fellowship will provide Thornton with two years of graduate school, paid internships and professional development activities. She will attend American University in Washington, D.C.

Thornton is an Oliver Hill Scholar at Richmond, where she is majoring in international studies with a concentration in world politics and diplomacy and minoring in Latin American and Iberian Studies. She previously studied abroad a semester in Jaipur, India, at the Minnesota Studies in International Development program and spent last fall at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro on a direct exchange with Richmond.

Thornton, a graduate of Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, is the daughter of Arlene F. Yates.