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September 18, 2014 | Spotlight

Cohort of Three New Vinson Fellows Starts Fall Semester Internship Projects

Writer: Roger Nielsen

Three selected University of Georgia undergraduate students have begun semester-long internships through the Vinson Institute Fellows Program and will pursue hands-on research projects that contribute to the Institute's work with public officials throughout Georgia. The program also gives the Fellows the opportunity to explore the possibility of future careers in public service.

Each semester, the Institute selects a cohort of Fellows from applicants on a competitive basis. Fellows for fall 2014 are Ben Weintraut, Maggie Smith, and Jack Kelly. Kelly, a senior from Rome, is majoring in international affairs and Latin American and Caribbean studies. He has interned for U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss and studied in Spain, Cuba, Brazil, and England. His faculty mentor is Phil Boyle, a public policy and school governance specialist with the Institute.

Smith, also a senior, is from Dunwoody and is working with faculty mentor Langford Holbrook, a community development and strategic planning specialist with the Institute. She is majoring in international affairs and political science, with minors in French and religion, and intends to pursue a graduate degree. She has studied in Italy, Poland, and China and has worked as a research assistant with Charles Bullock in UGA's political science department.

Weintraut, of Macon, is majoring in political science and economics and intends to pursue a law degree or master of public administration degree. He is also a senior and is working with faculty mentor Chrissy Marlowe, a community planning and historic preservation specialist with the Institute. He has worked extensively with the UGA Office of Sustainability, where he helped to develop surveys designed to gauge environmental literacy.

The Vinson Institute Fellows Program fall internship is open to all UGA undergraduates. The Institute works with the UGA Honors Program and the university's chapter of the Roosevelt Institute to select the fellows for each spring semester cohort.

Students interested in applying to the program can contact coordinator The Institute of Government at khoward3@uga.edu for more information.