January 31, 2014 | Spotlight

New Cohort of Vinson Fellows Starts Semester-Long Internship Projects

Writer: Roger Nielsen

Four selected UGA undergraduates began semester-long internships through the Vinson Institute Fellows Program this month and will pursue hands-on research projects that contribute to the Institute's work with public officials throughout Georgia.

The four sophomores, selected through the university's Roosevelt Institute chapter, are each paired with a faculty mentor to work on a research project related to his or her program of study. The internships give fellows the chance to explore future careers in public service, interact with elected officials, and examine critical issues. At the end of the semester, the students present their results to Institute faculty and staff.

Kirstie Hostetter, who is pursuing a degree in environmental economics and management, will work with Jason Evans, an environmental sustainability analyst in the Institute's Planning and Environmental Services program. She is from Memphis, Tennessee.

Atlanta resident Shaun Kleber, who is seeking degrees in international affairs and political science, will work with faculty mentor Wes Clarke, a senior public service associate whose expertise includes finance, program evaluation and economic modeling.

Amelia Watson, a Norcross resident, is working with Associate Director Stacy Jones, who manages Institute programs that assist local governments in leadership training, management, strategic planning, and community and media relations. Watson is working on a bachelor's degree in environmental health and a master's in public health.

International Center Director Rusty Brooks will mentor Kathleen Wilson, who is from Beaumont, Texas, and is pursuing a dual degree in economics and international affairs with minors in Arabic and French.

The Institute works with the university's chapter of the Roosevelt Institute and the UGA Honors Program to select the fellows for each spring semester cohort. The Vinson Institute Fellows Program fall internship is open to all UGA undergraduates. Students interested in applying to the program can contact coordinator The Institute of Government at khoward3@uga.edu for more information.