Vinson Fellow Blog Post 1 - Maddie Dill

November 14, 2016 | Students

By Maddie Dill

Maddie Dill

Vinson Fellow Blog Post 1 - Maddie Dill

Since hearing about the Carl Vinson Institute of Government last year through my involvement with the Roosevelt Policy Scholars Program, I have had a deep respect for the wide variety of work done at the Institute. It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to learn from such leaders in public service. Through the program, I hope to gain hands-on experience in local government while also making an impact on the community.

My interests lie in the intersection of education and health, and I feel fortunate to have found a topic that fits perfectly into this overlap. A recent study found that over 500,000 children in Georgia are not eligible for public insurance programs like Medicaid and PeachCare but whose parents cannot afford dental care, thus leaving a significant gap in coverage.

This fall, with the help of Dr. Paula Sanford with the Institute’s Strategic Operations and Planning Assistance division, I plan to explore the feasibility of providing dental care in public schools around the State of Georgia to help bridge this coverage gap. Through quantitative evaluation as well as interviews with education and health officials, I plan to explore whether a dental assistance program like this could work effectively and suggest ways of implementing such a program.

My passion for improving the situations of others was instilled in me from a young age and has been a driving force in my life. I have been identifying and seeking to solve problems occurring in the world around me for as long as I can remember. Someday, I hope to work as a policymaker in education or health care so I can work toward eliminating some of the inequalities that currently exist in those fields.

This academic year I will begin a master of public administration program through the UGA School of Public and International Affairs to continue my studies and work toward my goal of creating policy. I strongly believe that the Vinson Fellows Program will further my understanding of what it means to be a public servant, and I am excited for all this semester holds!

Maddie Dill is a junior from Atlanta, majoring in anthropology and Spanish while pursuing a master of public administration degree. She serves as chief of staff with UGA Miracle, is an Honors Program teaching assistant and a head tutor with the Whatever It Takes program.